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Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity

    • 149 posts
    April 3, 2018 1:39 PM EDT

    Which of the following are among your greatest assets?

    1. Your vehicle or means of transportation
    2. Your house or dwelling
    3. Your health
    4. Your most precious and valued possession(s)
    5. Your income that helps you pay your bills &/or your future earning ability


    Do you have insurance to protect against adverse circumstances that could affect

    1. Your vehicle or means of transportation?
    2. Your home or the contents of your dwelling?
    3. Your health?
    4. Your most prized possession(s)?
    5. Your income?


    If you're not skimming and actually read #5 above you may be saying ... What ... insurance to protect my income?

    I'm guessing that - at a minimum - virtually everyone has health, homeowner's or renter's, and auto insurance. Gotta have it. If you get sick or injured, health care costs could wipe you out. What could it cost to repair or replace your car, home, or personal belongings damaged due to an adverse event or catastrophy? Without insurance how would you fare? After all, "life happens!"  Those who have a spouse, children, or other dependents also commonly buy life insurance as a means of providing for them in their absence.

    Health is surely one of our greatest assets. "Without your health you have nothing." We've already established the importance of health insurance, but what if your health status took a toll on your ability to do the work you do? The work that provides you with the standard of living you have achieved and enables you to take care of your debt obligations?

    Health care professionals generally invest a lot of time and money in their education. Doctors or veterinarians that go on to specialize in a discipline or develop a specific skill that elevates their day to day practice duties often achieve a higher income based on their ability to perform those specific tasks. Doctor or not - anyone who has a distinct skill or craft that enables them to earn an income because of that skill - should they become unable to do that work, their income is likely to suffer.

    Incomes for most grow over time - this is particularly true for professionals. Salaries for new grads are generally less than for those a few years out of veterinary school. As a person's income grows, there is often a change in their standard of living and lifestyle. More money in often means more money to spend ... whether it's on a bigger house, nicer car, play things, vacations, etc. 

    "Life happens." It happened to me and it could happen to you, too. It took "life happening" for me to realize just how unaware I had been in my early 30's when I had thought "that could never happen to me." Well "it" did and it derailed my career as a practicing ophthalmologist. 



    I am grateful for many things in my life, one of which is for listening to a colleague early on in my career who came from the insurance world. I was certainly unaware, and maybe even a bit cocky, but I listened and heeded advice from a couple of insurance experts (even though I truly believed it to be overkill). Disability insurance is not a sexy subject. Trust me. However, you need to know about it, and even if you think you have it through your employer, there's a lot more to know. I look forward to presenting on this topic at the upcoming AVMA Convention and have also shared key considerations for colleagues in a recent VetVine video. An investment of 23 minutes of your time could be life altering.