Piecing together a financial plan can appear daunting; especially when you have been diagnosed with a neurological condition. This applies not only to the individual, but their partner and family. The key to a sound financial plan is being proactive.
If your condition may dictate your early retirement on medical grounds, you should seek advice regarding the insurance cover in your superannuation and potential government benefits that may be applicable.
People living with a neurological condition, and their families, can plan for a future that may at times appear uncertain by following some key steps:
- Conduct a Financial Health Check to assess your current financial situation.
- Create a budget with contingency plans if necessary for periods where the exact income may be uncertain (eg if you are unable to work for a time on medical grounds).
- Seek advice if you are in the workforce, before making any changes to your employment conditions.
- Explore your insurance, superannuation and income protection options post diagnosis.
- Understand what entitlements, benefits and resources are available to you, your family and carer.
Honestly consider what is important now and in the future. Your quality of life, well-being and peace of mind can take priority over possessions or that extra investment property (or not if that gives you peace of mind).
This is a great idea in any financial plan. Make sure you are aware of how this will impact on your financial future.
Wealth creation. Being diagnosed does not have to stop you from achieving certain goals. For instance, is it a good idea to allocate fewer funds to superannuation than originally planned so the money is available for other goals? Allow for a change of perspective which may change your investment strategies or the complexity of your financial arrangements.
Family/partner risk evaluation. For those living with someone diagnosed with a neurological condition there are some important questions to consider:
- Are you now, or are you likely to be, the sole breadwinner?
- What would happen to anyone dependent on you if you were unable to work?
- Do you have income protection insurance?
- Is it time to review the risk protection for your partner?
What entitlements and benefits can I access?
A: The answer depends on whether you fulfil the eligibility criteria for the payments.
Your options may include:
- Income protection/salary continuance.
- Essential Medical Equipment Payment (a subsidy for electricity use with medical equipment).
- Disability Support Pension (if you are not able to work at least 15 hours a week).
- Superannuation benefits if you are unable to return to the workforce.
- Insurance including Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and trauma insurance.
- Carer’s allowance and/or payment for your main carer.
- Free advice on superannuation, insurance and employment rights through Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Phone 1800 196 050 or visit https://www.mauriceblackburn.c...
- MoneySmart website www.moneysmart.gov.au/. MoneySmart is an initiative of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to offer tips and tools to help you make the most of your money