How I’m ‘Future-proofing’ for My Chronically Ill Family
I have a number of friends working as financial advisors. From time to time, they offer me life insurance policies, stock market deals, and other similar investments. As a young mom and businesswoman, I am right within their target market.
I take interest in all sorts of financial tools I can use to help my family thrive in today’s uncertain times. The prices of basic needs have gone up so much in the past few decades, yet people’s earnings have not caught up.
As an entrepreneur, I am also aware that my income can vary depending on other people’s abilities to buy the goods I sell. Today, my business may be doing OK. But if a major economic disruption occurs, my primary income source may fail to provide for my family’s basic needs. I need other income sources and supplementary investments in order to remain “future-proof.”
“Future-proofing” is a term often used in the fields of business and technology. It refers to the process of anticipating future events to minimize shock to a system when these disruptions happen. Future-proofing is all about thinking long term. It’s actively basing today’s decisions on how they will potentially influence future events.
For example, we might save our extra money instead of spending it so we have cash in the event of an emergency. Or, we might opt for healthy dinners that take a while to make over an unhealthy fast food diet, because we know that getting seriously ill would cost us more in the long run.
Three years ago, my mom passed away from lymphoma and leukemia complications. For six years, she went through multiple hospital confinements and two rounds of expensive chemotherapy. We had to accept financial help from other people so we could afford the necessary treatments. My mom continued to work despite her struggles with the treatment process just so our family could get by. In turn, my dad and I fully embraced the struggle because we loved her and didn’t want to lose her.
Now that I have a husband and daughter of my own, I sometimes can’t help but contemplate the uncertain future. I wonder if I will be ready for unexpected events. My mom certainly never thought she would experience such a difficult health ordeal. Prior to that, she never expressed concerns about her health. She was always fully absorbed in her work, being the self-professed workaholic she was. Providing for our family kept her whole. She had saved up more than our family needed at the time, but even that still wasn’t enough when she got sick.
So far, I have managed to secure a life insurance policy with critical illness benefits. Still, the payout from that policy is nowhere close to what our family spent when my mom fell ill. I will need many more insurance policies for me to actually afford a major health crisis when I am older and more prone to getting sick — a mere fact of life.
I must also think about my husband, Jared, and his potential condition when he gets older. Older hemophiliacs may experience increased bouts of chronic pain from damage to joints and muscles. Apart from this, they may also suffer typical consequences of aging. I can only hope for improvements in medication, or for a possible cure for hemophilia, to make things easier for him when we grow old.
Unlike me, Jared does not qualify for an insurance policy. Insurance companies turn away individuals who are diagnosed with critical illnesses, including bleeding and seizure disorders (he has both). They have a valid reason to do so — they are simply reducing risk in order to remain profitable. Insurance companies are still businesses, after all. Yet in effect, persons with disabilities must face the sad reality that they have less of a chance at attaining affordable healthcare.
Thus, I feel pressured to stay healthy, and to increase our family’s net income in whatever way possible, so we can be more assured of the future. True enough, we can never be sure what the future may hold, but it’s always good to be prepared.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.