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"Are High-Income Earners Putting Themselves at Risk?"

There’s an acronym used in financial services called HENRYs. It stands for High Earners Not Rich Yet. This term refers to people who earn strong incomes through employment or entrepreneurial ventures but wouldn’t be classified as “rich.” 


The trouble with defining “rich” in our society is that the goalposts are almost always moving. That’s a discussion for another day. For the sake of this post, I want to focus on a huge blindspot that I often see with high-income earners of all ages:


No Income Protection OR Disability insurance.


Before we dive in, I’d like to offer a brief framework that I learned from the Exit Planning Institute–




These steps are ordered this way for a reason. It can be easy for high earners to want to skip right to Building Wealth for the future. Yet, tons of them don’t go through a Discovery phase where they identify:


✅ Goals

✅ Opportunities

✅Risks

✅ Blind spots

✅ Liabilities


So, it’s entirely possible that many people who are succeeding financially are not aware of their own blind spots.


One of these blind spots can be Disability Insurance. 


I get it. No one gets fired up about purchasing disability coverage. It’s not something you run home and tell your neighbor about. 


Moreover, it is somewhat typical for many of us to think that becoming disabled is something that “won’t happen to us.” The statistics tell a different story. According to the CDC, 27% or 1 out of 4 adults in the US have (or will have) some form of disability.


Question: Would you gamble your income with those odds? What about others who rely on you for economic support?


As yourself these “What If” questions:


What if you could no longer work OR work to earn the income you currently have— how would life be different?


What if you couldn’t earn enough to afford your mortgage? 


What if you couldn’t work at all to support your family?


Would you be forced to rely on government benefits? What would be your next move?


Let’s remember our framework from above. After we go through a discovery process, step #2 is Protect.


You need to make sure you protect yourself and your loved ones. Having disability insurance (aka income protection) is one way you can do that. In my opinion, here’s what you should do:


First, ask yourself the “what if” questions above.


Next, find a qualified professional to help you assess your need for DI coverage. If you have group coverage at work, get it your coverage certificate reviewed. Group disability is a great benefit; however, it’s often incomplete when it comes to protection.


Remember blind spots? Don’t assume you’re fully protected just because you signed up for the group disability policy. You need to know what it will cover and what it won’t cover.


Once you understand the benefits you have or don’t have–shop for disability coverage protects your OWN Occupation.


⭐️ This is KEY. 


There are different levels of protection and policy riders that can be added to a disability policy. The complexity is one reason why I believe you need to have a professional help you in this endeavor. You want to make sure that your policy is specifically tailored to you and your needs. We don’t want to leave any loopholes!


Lastly, I want you to understand that a good disability policy will probably cost you some money. If you are earning a high income, that’s what you are insuring. The stakes are huge.


That’s ok!


Your ability to earn income (Human Capital) is likely your most valuable asset. This is especially true if you are getting started in the workforce and haven’t had the time to accumulate financial assets. Wealth building takes time.


Your income-earning potential is perhaps the most precious resource you have. Protect it! Don’t take it for granted!


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