Rising Tide Blog

Are you ignoring your obligations?

Posted by Matt Hale

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1993. Cool Runnings. A memorable movie for me – for all the wrong reasons.

My parents used it to try and cheer us up after telling us that Mum had life-threatening cancer. Still today, I can’t even imagine what my folks were going through having to prepare for that conversation, let alone worrying about the finances (Dad likely knowing full well he and the door-to-door life insurance salesman left Mum off the agenda when setting up the family life insurance).

This is a complex topic and one of those things you don’t talk about until it’s too late – but whether you look at it fortunately or unfortunately, I’m well equipped to have an opinion. Both my mum and sister had cancer before their mid-30’s, and unfortunately, neither had the proper life and trauma insurance in place. Sadly, this meant that not only did they have to deal with the health issue, but it also became a financial issue too.

What prompted me to think about this?

Well, during a standard Sunday night ‘insta-scroll’ I saw yet another GoFundMe for an early-mid 30’s Melbourne mum who was suffering from ovarian cancer. This mum was obviously anxious and was pleading for funds for treatment and everything that goes along with it. The reality of this is brutal and thinking about what it means for this family breaks my heart every time.

But these situations also frustrate me because while everyone digs deep for the $20 or $50 they can spare – most people have an opportunity to avoid this financial mess.

I appreciate I bring a lot of personal baggage to this story and it probably hit me a little different to most – particularly because earlier that day we had celebrated the ninth anniversary of my mum’s passing. However, it devastates me that someone else’s family might have their narrative altered even more than the inevitable due to a lack of money.

Now, 1993 and 2021 are very different for me and I’m not the kid with the mum that’s going to die prematurely – instead, I’m the dad, with a partner and an 18-month-old little man.

So, what action do I wish my dad took 28 years ago, and what action have I taken (and I think you should as well)?

  1. I spoke to my adviser (Sam Jewell) and got him to do some work on what types and levels of cover that might be right for us and our situation.
  2. I got the cover set-up, some of it’s paid from my super account, and some of it’s from our bank account (based on what made the most sense for us).
  3. I made sure Annie knows that if anything happens to either of us, we’ve got cover, and we need to speak to Sam.

Life is life and you cannot always control what happens to your health. However, I know that you have the opportunity and the obligation to consider and protect yourself and your family.