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Financial Preparedness is Essential for Women When it Comes to a Critical Illness

As a dashing young man, if there is one thing I know – it’s women! Furthermore, speaking as a financial advisor, if there is one thing I know about women, it’s that they need to be better prepared financially for a critical illness. Before I explain why this is especially important to women, let’s take a quick look at some expenses not covered by our public healthcare system.

While the Canadian healthcare system has many great qualities not all expenses are covered, such as prescription drugs, physiotherapy or assistance devices like walkers. You also have to consider costs for at-home assistance like housekeeping or meal delivery. Perhaps, your spouse may take time off work to care for you, which would further reduce your household income.

I know what you’re thinking: “It’s important for everyone to have financial protection, so why women in particular?” Some findings from the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) point to a disturbing trend in the Canadian workplace for women diagnosed with breast cancer, for example. While many employers provide help and support for their employees diagnosed with a critical illness, many more do not.

In a study conducted with 450 working women diagnosed with breast cancer, the CBCN revealed:*

  • 16% were fired from their jobs while undergoing treatment
  • 80% who kept their jobs had financial difficulties during treatment
  • 44% admitted to “depleting their savings”
  • 27% took on additional debt to cover expenses for their treatment
  • 20% returned to work sooner than their doctors recommend

As a group they reported a 10% drop in their average household income as a result of treatment, and with many of these women retuning to lower paying positions, much of this “lost” income will never be made up.

What can you do to protect yourself financially in the event of a critical illness?

It is important to put your needs into a real-life context. Women need to be proactive and think about what they would need financially to protect their families if they ever become seriously ill. Being financially prepared will allow a woman to concentrate her energy on recovering and still maintain her place as the heart of the family, which we all know she is.

What should be incorporated into the financial security plan?

A solid financial safety plan that includes three distinct layers could be beneficial to women:

  1. Critical illness insurance: It’s often the missing piece of the puzzle, but luckily it’s a product that’s becoming better known and understood. This insurance provides a lump-sum payment tax-free to use as you wish. Even the minimum benefit amount of $25,000 would likely cover a year’s worth of mortgage or rental payments. Imagine the care that $100,000 or $250,000 would provide?
  2. Disability insurance: It’s a valuable protection that pays a regular benefit based on your monthly salary, which can be used to cover routine financial commitments.
  3. Extended medical insurance: Even with the protection of disability insurance, many women are not able to pay for all of the prescription drugs and treatments associated with a serious illness due to their income generally being lower. An extended medical insurance plan is an excellent protection against these high costs.

For more information about building a solid financial security plan or about health and life insurance speak to one of our financial advisors today.

Orlando Ali

Orlando is a leading Life and Health Insurance Advisor at Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network – Rexdale Financial Centre.  He is here to answer any of your questions.  Give him a call today at: Phone: 416-695-1433


Orlando Ali
Director, Sales and Business Development
Life and Health Insurance Advisor
Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network

416-695-1433 ext. 232
155 Rexdale Blvd., Suite 406

Etobicoke ON, M9W 5Z8

This article should not be construed as insurance or financial advice, or as an offer or solicitation to buy any products or services mentioned herein.