Beth Pinsker: Why you should protect your salary with ‘own occupation’ disability insurance, just like you insure your house

by | Jan 10, 2023 | Stock Market

Say you’re a professional football player and you get injured. You can no longer play your sport at a high level, but you can have a successful career doing something else. The salary differential: around $1 million a year versus maybe $75,000. Plus, you no longer qualify for disability insurance because there’s something else you can do for a living. NFL players in particular have short careers — an average of around three seasons — as injuries and grueling competition take their toll. The Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a high-profile injury last week, and while he will be earning his full $825,000 this season, his future is in doubt.

The same is true for action-movie heroes, CEOs, surgeons, dentists — high-paying jobs that require specialized skills. Financial adviser Jen Grant of Perryman Financial Advisory in Dallas had such a client, a dentist who had something called “own-occupation” disability insurance that covered his salary while he recovered from an injury and figured out a new career path. “He was very grateful, because he was able to pivot and build a new career as a teacher and consultant while still receiving disability pay,” Grant says.  Only 20% of workers have any kind of disability insurance policy, according to LIMRA, a life-insurance trade group, despite the fact that 40% of employers offer group policies. …

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