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I’ll Have a Double Cheeseburger, Large Fry, and a Diet Soda

I’ll Have a Double Cheeseburger, Large Fry, and a Diet Soda

| April 08, 2020

Let’s say I had an out-of-body experience when I heard myself order, “A double cheeseburger, large fry, and a Diet soda.”

Oh, the irony of my selections.

What in the world of good did I think the Diet soda was going to do?

What kind of health “security” was I putting in the Diet soda? Did I think that the Diet soda was going to just magically erase the consequences of the cheeseburger and fries? “Good try,” I told myself.

Likewise, other disciplines of life, such as financial services, have areas where we may self-impose false securities. One of the areas I see most often is over-reliance on employer-offered benefits.

I as well as you should be grateful for company benefits because they often provide a cost-effective, maybe even free, means to benefits like life insurance and disability income insurance. Cheap is good, right?

Yes and no. From a cost perspective, cheap is good, however, what else is usually cheap? Cheeseburgers and fries! While the cheeseburger and fries fill a belly and provide some level of nutrients, I don’t think it takes much to argue that there are more nutritional options available.

Likewise, the company benefit plan might be a good starting point to satisfy an immediate need (of a full belly), but it may not be a complete, well rounded, long term (healthy) solution. Consider these questions:

  • Is the life insurance offering enough? If I wasn’t here, would the two-times or three-times salary be enough to help my family continue with our lifestyle? If you think yes, not so fast because how can two years of income compare to the years, maybe decades, of future income expected throughout a healthy career?
  • How long would the company disability benefits pay? Often an untrained eye will confuse short term disability with long term disability, and what happens if injury or illness lasts longer than say 12 weeks? How would that impact finances?
  • How much does the company-offered disability insurance plan pay? Often we see that company disability insurance plans provide a good starting point, but because of benefit maximums and taxation, the benefits may not be enough to continue current lifestyle.

The purpose of this article is not to beat up on cheeseburgers because I LOVE a good burger, but instead, the point is that we couldn’t live on hamburgers alone and expect them to provide us with the nutrients to survive successfully.

Also, don’t be distracted by the false hope of the Diet soda!

Income is important, as a matter of fact, really important to reaching financial goals. Income is also fragile where injury, illness, or death, can make it come to a halt unexpectedly, quickly, and unrelentingly.

Protect that income!