People risking financial security due to ‘illness denial’

Posted on

No one wants to think about becoming seriously ill. However, it’s an approach that could be leaving millions of people open to financial insecurity if something did happen. Research has revealed that Brits are often in ‘illness denial’ believing something won’t happen to them, even if the odds aren’t in their favour.

Focussing on the likelihood of being affected by a serious medical condition, research from AIG Life discovered many Brits are in a state of denial.

  • Just 22% of people questioned expected to be affected by cancer in their lifetime, however around half of people born after 1960 are expected to battle the disease
  • Heart disease is likely to cause more than a quarter of all deaths, yet only 17% think they will be affected
  • Only 7% thought they would suffer from a stroke, the leading cause of death and disability in the UK

It’s normal to think that serious illness won’t happen to you, but the reality is often different. Taking an optimistic view of the world and your future lifestyle certainly shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. However, you should take steps to ensure security should something happen.

Financial security and illness

One of the key areas where a serious illness can have an impact on our lifestyle comes down to finances. After all, it’s likely to affect your ability to work and earn an income. If you were to become too ill to work, would you have the savings to fall back on to cover essentials? The research indicates that, for many people, the answer would be ‘no’.

  • 77% of people said they’d experience financial problems if they developed a serious illness in the next six months
  • Worryingly, a quarter said it would cause significant financial problems
  • As a result, a third would need to turn to family and friends for support

Not having a financial safety net can make an already difficult time incredibly challenging. At a time when you should be focussing on recovering, stress and financial concerns can have an effect. Taking steps to provide financial support should something happen not only means you can feel more relaxed should you become seriously ill but it will give you peace of mind now.

Debbie Bolton, Head of Underwriting and Claims Strategy at AIF Life, said: “Our extended lives mean we may live in poor health for longer and sometimes with more than one serious illness. Taking a realistic and practical approach to the risk of illness and the need for financial protection will help us all to plan for the future.”

Three steps to take to improve your financial security

You can’t predict what will happen but there are things you can do to ease the burden should something occur. These three steps can help you understand and safeguard your financial security should you become too ill to work.

1. Check your employer’s policy: The first thing to do is check what your employer’s policy is on sick pay. Employer’s don’t have to offer sick pay, but many do as part of a benefits package. Usually, if you benefit from one, they will pay your full salary for a defined period of time if you become too ill to work, however, some pay out a portion of your salary. The length of time and the amount offered varies between employers so it’s important to check what your contract says.

If your employer doesn’t offer sick pay, you may qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This is paid for up to 28 weeks and is £94.25 per week. With outgoings often higher than this, it’s wise to look at alternatives if you’d be relying on SSP alone.

2. Build up an emergency fund: If you haven’t already got an emergency fund to fall back on, building one up should be a priority. It can give you a financial safety net when income stops or you face an unexpected outgoing. Adding to an emergency fund can improve your financial resilience and security.

Ideally, an emergency fund should cover your essential outgoings for three to six months. This gives you some time without having to worry about where further income will come from as you recover and get back on your feet. Whilst it might be tempting to lock savings away to access better interest rates, your emergency fund should be easily accessible.

3. Take out suitable cover: Even with an emergency fund in place, you could still face financial difficulty if you’re off work for an extended period of time. This is where taking out a suitable protection product can help. These insurance policies pay out under certain circumstances when you pay a monthly premium. There is a range of different policy types, which one is right for you will depend on your priorities and circumstances.

When looking for cover that will provide financial security should you become ill, there are broadly two options. Income Protection policies will pay out a portion of your usual salary until you can either go back to work or retire. This provides you with certainty and peace of mind. Alternatively, Critical Illness Cover will pay out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with an illness that the policy covers, this may include cancer, stroke or a heart attack.

Protection and creating a financial buffer you can fall back on when necessary should form part of your wider financial plan. If you’d like to discuss the type and level of cover that would be suitable for your circumstances, please contact us.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.





    Subscribe to our newsletter