Disability Insurance

 

The most valuable asset earners possess — especially if they have years to go before retirement — is their capacity to earn money. Often, people think about their home, business or 401(k) balance when it comes to important assets — but consider how dramatically different your future would be if a disability rendered you unable to continue your job, or any work at all.

Many employers offer short- and long-term disability insurance options as employee benefits. Sometimes, the coverage those policies provide can be adequate, but it often doesn’t go far enough. Group policies at work may have a benefit cap that doesn’t replace enough of your income. Depending on how the plan is set up, taxes may also eat up a large chunk of your expected benefit.

A common rule of thumb is to have coverage that provides 60% to 70% of your gross income. It’s also important to know how the premium is being paid. If you are paying the premium on a pre-tax basis — for example, through a payroll deduction that reduces your income, or an employee benefit that is not added to your W-2 — then any disability benefits received subsequently will be taxable income to you. Conversely, if you pay the premium with after-tax money, the benefits will not be subject to income taxes. This can make a big difference so consider paying premiums with after-tax dollars if you have the option.

Other important considerations: Will the benefits be level or increase for inflation? Will the benefits last for a certain term or to a stated age? How long is the waiting period before benefits kick in? How does the policy define disability, and how specific is the occupation that is covered? Again, involving an experienced insurance consultant can help you optimize benefits and find a carrier best suited to you.

 

This is a very important consideration. Call us.

 

Posted 12:00 PM

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