Friday, September 7, 2012

The Security Blossoms: A Letter to My Older Brother

We often hear that what you sow in your youth, you will reap later on in your old age. But I'm talking not in terms of biblical today, but in financial terms instead!

A friend's Mom just died after long illness. For months she was in and out of doctor's office and hospitals, and finally her eldest son took her flying out to a hospital in nearby country of Singapore. She was brought home on a chartered jet just a few weeks ago, since her condition didn't allow her to take commercial flight (she couldn't even sit). I didn't know the lady personally, but my husband loves her dearly like an auntie, since he's been visiting her house and sons since childhood. So, after the funeral my husband told me what the eldest son told him.

The eldest son is a relatively successful businessman with several property and businesses. However, during the interval of his mother's illness, he had to sell some of his properties, his car, AND he still owe lots and lots of money from his very wealthy friend. By lots I mean is like what a well-paid SENIOR manager makes for TWO WHOLE YEARS. Yup, I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. Billions, in rupiah currency. Not to mention the sold apartment and car. All spent during the months of her mother's illness: doctors, hospitals, medications, trips to Singapore, accommodation, chartered jet, funeral, etc.

Both me and my husband really admire what the son did for his mother, and he said himself that he has no regret whatsoever, it is his duty as a son. But, we also realize one thing: we'd better buy ourselves a good health insurance for our old age, because we really really do not want to burden our children - or anyone - if something like this should ever happen.

I'm glad to say what we've already covered for hospital and medication for up until we reach 70 (or 75, I forgot). Both of us have insurance, on top of health insurance from work.

I'm also trying to convince my older brother to buy at least basic health insurance, for he said that he's already covered by the company he works for. Dear Brother, let's say your company can survive any economic downfall and live forever, if you continue to work there until retirement, you will only get covered until 55. And yes, I know there are Medicare and Social Security, etc. over there in the US, but let's be logical here, Brother. If every citizen is truly and fully covered by the government, there won't be such things as work health plan benefit, and private health insurance companies would have been gone to buzz ages ago. Ow, and if you notice, Brother, how many times have you watched TV shows about politicians political campaign debates about health care? If it's not such a big deal, and everybody is covered, then why all those debate, and why so many people are still and continue to be in debt over health care? Don't believe me? Then read this article here, and there thousands more over the internet.

In this age, with higher and higher life expectancy, old age illness starts way after 55. My Mom and Dad are over 70, and both of them are healthy, thank the Lord. But we never know. We need health insurance the most when we are ill AND cannot work, most generally AFTER retirement. That's why I need to buy and pay the insurance NOW - while I'm young and able to work - for LATER - when I'm old and not able to work anymore.
Of course, the best scenario is if I would never need the insurance, rite. But who knows what will happen many years down the road? Better be safe than sorry!

The insurance that I have maximizes the hospitalization fee instead of life insurance, since we're not having children yet (we might change that later when we have children). There is a maximum coverage, of course, but at least it helps should anything ever happen. A lot.

So yeah, dear Brother, take it from your sister, get yourself an insurance on top of the one you get from work. AND ask your wife to get one too, should you ever get married one day. Trust me, the amount of money I insinuated here is for Indonesian and a bit of Singaporean doctors. Can you imagine how much it would be, Brother, the expenses for US-based doctors? Perhaps like your whole income of five whole years, or more, which could be spent away just in months or less of illness. Or surgery. Or any other medical treatment. Either for you, or your loved one, if that ever happen - because it can happen to anyone.

And to all friends out there, whether you are a working woman or a homemaker, I'd suggest that if you haven't had health insurance to cover you up until you're 70 or more, consider to buy one from a reputable company - one that most likely will still be around when you hit 70.  It's not that expensive. I  started buying insurance about 7 years ago - just a very basic, cheap one since that's all I could afford at that time -, and upgraded it last year to a much better coverage.

I'm not a financial expert or anything, but if you consider to get yourself an insurance, these are some things to ponder
  • Get one from a reputable company with long history that most likely will survive yet another economic crash and still be around when you hit 70. I chose one that went Chapter 11 about 10 years ago, but they survived, they maintained good service during the crashing time, they were fully supported by the parent company, and they're still going strong up til now (and I hope for many years to come).
  • If you buy from an agent, try to buy from an agent who's been with the insurance company for at least 5 years. One who did usually are excellent agents who take care of their clients, take their work seriously (not just a happy-go-lucky part timer who sells insurance today for some commissions and go MIA next month), and will still be around in the next 5 years or more.
  • An agent most likely will offer you a standard package. Think of what you need and ask the agent to custom made a package for your need. For example, if you are a mother, you'd want to maximize your life insurance for your children. But if you are single or a wife with no children, you want to minimize your life insurance and maximize your hospitalization and disability insurance instead.
  • Just buy for the amount you can really afford to pay every month. I wrote can afford, not can buy. It's two different things.
The Bible mentioned a parable about five foolish girls and five wise ones with oil lamps. (Here's a link to the parable in the Gospel) The wise girls brought flasks of oil with them, but the foolish ones did not. And what use is an oil lamp without oil? The parable is about the Kingdom of Heaven, and just like so many things in the Bible, I found that it is applicable in daily life, too. Always be prepared, so you'll minimize risks and avoid future regrets. We cannot foresee what will happen in the future, but at least we are at peace that we have done everything we could and God will take care of the rest.

So, how is it, brother? Have you bought insurance for you and the Mrs.? ^__^

Off white jacket: H&M. Polkadot dress: Miss Selfridge. Shoes: Voir. Pearl necklace and bracelets: gifts from Mom, husband, and friends. Purple rose necklace: Warna MKG.

Linking up to:

stillbeingmollyFavorite Frock FridaySilly Happy Sweet


Lisa said...

Thank you for the reminder about being financially responsible!

Your dress is really pretty and well styled.

Bravoe Runway said...

I appreciate the reminder to be self responsible for yourself, and also :) to be financially responsible! Loving the dress Lee Anne.

Jenny said...

I love the polka dot dress, especially paired with that blazer! I would love for you to come link up to my Sunday Style linky party again :)

Sandy a la Mode said...

super cute dress and necklace!!

Sandy a la Mode

Mae said...

Thank you for the reminder about being financially responsible. Great lesson for us all! And I love your blazer. Visiting from Fashion Friday

Patti said...

You are a wise young woman to think about your future finances. And you are a stylish one too! Very pretty dress. Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday.

Denise Pacurar said...

Lovin the outfit! I'm always a big fan of polka dots!

PS: I'm having a jewelry giveaway on my blog! Enter to win!

<3 Denise

Hailey from LoveLaughterandLipstick said...

Reading your post now but had to say I LOVE the polka dots too! Great dress. I'm stopping by from the YOLO bloghop!

Sarah Hulbert Style said...

Great transitional look! Love the white blazer with the polka dots!!! ~Sarah

Miriam said...

Very thoughtful writing and I love the outfit too - polka dots! Thanks for linking in with WW too

Rolled Up Pretty said...

GO POLKA DOTS! Love them! You look SO cute in this dress! :)

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