By Ray Jaramis
Money is not a proxy for health, nor should it be. However during times of adversity anything that gives us more stability, choice and flexibility is welcomed with open arms.
Three weeks ago, I conducted what was expected to be a routine review meeting with one of my clients. We went through a number of financial matters, including how the sale of one of their family’s businesses was tracking. Fortunately, it looked like there was an interested buyer who had signed a NDA (non-disclosure agreement), and was coming to inspect the premises that week. The sale of the business would allow my clients to focus on their other business, while also freeing up more time to spend with their young children.
One of the clients recently took time off work for what I assumed were reasons relating to the sale of this business. At one point in our meeting, I asked the client in question whether they saw themselves returning to full-time work once the business was sold. My question was met with a deafening silence. It was then indicated to me that the primary motivation for selling the business was my client being diagnosed with developed stages of cancer.
Adversity has an amazing capacity to eliminate the superfluous, and sharply focus on that which is most important in our lives. As a family unit, my clients were determined to fight toward rehabilitation & recovery.
My role was clear. How can I help this family maximize their time together? The noise of selling a business would ideally be put to the side in the immediate future, so long as there was financial flexibility.
With this new information coming to light, I made some enquiries into my client’s financial history. Years before, the family had taken out a trauma insurance policy, otherwise unknown to me. I engaged with the insurer and managed the claim on my client’s behalf. In due course I was able to contact the family to confirm that $240,000 would arrive in their account imminently through the successful claim on their policy. After the initial shock subsided there was a clear sense of relief. It felt wonderful to come to my client’s aid in their hour of need. In this time of genuine adversity my role was to be there for them, to be on their side and take as much stress out of the situation as possible, allowing them to focus on the more important things.
This story is an example of why it is so important to have the tough ‘Plan B’ discussions with a trusted adviser for the protection of your family. Thanks to this family’s insurance policy, I was able to explore new options and possibilities to help my clients through this difficult time.
Sound financial management is about so much more than savvy investment decisions. The best financial life managers’ care for their clients on a personal level, their role is to support and provide guidance through all of life’s challenges.