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    The most important questions to ask and answers to know to see if you're really prepared for a disability

     

    The most important questions to ask and answers to know to see if you're really prepared for a disability

    In our years working as financial advisors for dentists, we’ve seen a lot of unfortunate

    things happen to great people. Fortunately, with proper preparation, illness or injury does

    not have to end with a financially devastated family or a broken practice. Most dentists are

    aware of the risks when it comes to protecting their income, but not all take the steps to

    fully protect their families and practices. If you are curious if you have covered your

    financial affairs from all angles in the event of a disability, here are some of the questions

    you should ask yourself as a dental practice owner when you think about protecting your

    family and practice. If you haven’t reviewed your coverage for a few years, you might be

    surprised by what you find.

    Q: How much individual disability insurance do I need?

    A: It depends. Early on in your career, you should try to obtain as much benefit as you can

    because your earning potential will go up over time. You can also consider adding

    additional benefit in the form of catastrophic coverage and retirement protection for the

    more severe disabilities that could last a lifetime. The goal is to make sure that you don’t

    have a change in your family’s lifestyle and savings goals, along with building in some

    added flexibility to your finances during what surely is a difficult time both financially and

    emotionally. Later on in your career as you build assets and pay down debts, you might

    be able to live with a little less insurance and can try to self-insure where possible. If you

    have not insured your retirement plan contribution, it is possible to acquire coverage that

    funds an investment account directly while you are disabled.1 This allows you to not only

    cover your monthly bills but also a portion of your savings. Catastrophic disability benefits

     

    function similar to a long-term care policy and pay additional benefits to cover the cost of

    care if you suffer a particularly severe disability.

    1 The benefit is placed into an irrevocable trust with fund options to choose from, it is not

    invested directly into your existing accounts.

    RELATED: One of the biggest mistakes dentists make...

    Waiting too long to achieve success

    Read more on the next page...

     

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    Marshall Gifford
    Marshall Gifford, CLU, ChFC is a Senior Partner with North Star Resource Group in Minneapolis, Minn., specializing in consulting ...

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