Life's never a straight line. Setbacks can happen, and suddenly you're not generating as much income. Practically speaking, you have three choices (but there's only one clear winner).

1. AVOID ALL KNOWN DISASTERS

This is an impossible strategy that requires you to move through life in a hermetically sealed bubble: avoiding illness and injury and delaying death until the last possible moment. Since accidents and illness aren't things that occur by choice, you need a more reliable plan. 

2. BUILD A "WORST-CASE SCENARIO" STOCKPILE

This isn't realistic for most people. If a large chunk of your wealth can be earmarked for unpredictable expenses, you're lucky. But if you end up needing that money, it will be gone forever, including the lifetime interest it could have earned. And you'll have to work for a long time to replace it.

3. TRANSFER YOUR RISK TO SOMEONE ELSE

This is the winner. (Maybe you saw that coming?) Sam Mukhi, an Ottawa-based Lawyers Financial advisor explains why transferring your risk to an insurance company makes the most sense for most people. "When you take out disability, critical illness and life insurance policies, you transfer all the risk of losing your income to a large company that's happy to take it on," he says. Each policy creates a layer of security and protection for the people you love.

Here's how they break down – and how much you might expect to pay:

DISABILITY INSURANCE

Disability insurance protects the biggest asset most of us will ever own: the ability to earn an income. Disability Insurance can replace the lion's share of your salary up to age 71 if you're unable to work. Plan on needing about 85% of your current income to maintain your lifestyle.

How much will this cost?  This varies based on more factors than we can list here (your age, gender and province to name just three) but, generally, a 50-year-old male lawyer in Manitoba can get coverage equal to $100,000 in annual income for approximately $175/month.

CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE

Critical illness insurance provides you with a one-time, no-strings attached payout if you become sidelined due to illness. "The truth is it's more expensive to survive a critical illness than to die from it," says Mukhi. "And when physical trauma happens, financial trauma often follows." Critical illness insurance helps mitigate the financial impact so you can focus on recovery.    

How much will this cost? Critical illness insurance is an optional addition to Lawyers Financial life insurance. In Nova Scotia, a 35-year-old female lawyer should expect to pay about $6/month for $25,000 worth of critical illness coverage (in addition to her life insurance premium).

LIFE INSURANCE

Life insurance gives your family a one-time payout that can help your loved ones pay off debt, cover tuition and enjoy a lifestyle on par with the one you already provide.

How much will this cost?  A 45-year-old female lawyer in Ontario can get $100,000 of coverage for less than $10 a month.

Mukhi knows from personal experience how preparation can change lives. He was just 15 when his father died. But his father's life insurance policy took care of the family and allowed Sam to graduate from university debt-free. "You give more than money when you plan ahead," he says. "What you're really creating is opportunity and stability for the people you care about." 

REDUCE YOUR RISK TODAY

Transferring the risk of income loss is easy and affordable. Once you've chosen the right kind of policy and the ideal amount of coverage, the only risk left is that your coverage doesn't keep up with changes in your life, or changes in your income. Mukhi suggests a top-to-bottom review of your insurance coverage every three-to-five years, or whenever there's a big life change such as: 

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having a child
  • Starting a new job
  • Creating a legal partnership
  • Incorporating your practice
  • Earning more money

Get started. If you have a plan, we can help you review it. If you don't have a plan, talk to a Lawyers Financial advisor about how the right combination of insurance can help you prepare for life's worst-case-scenarios.

The above quotes for disability insurance, critical illness insurance and life insurance are as of December 23, 2021, and assume the insured person is a non-smoker. Many factors determine the rates you'll pay for insurance, including your age, smoking-status, province of residence, and assigned sex at birth. These quotes are for illustrative purposes only. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.