Protecting Yourself From The Financial Impact Of Cancer
In July 2022, Oportfolio’s senior mortgage and protection advisor Jade Pinkerton will be running a gruelling 10K for a great cause. The run will push her to her limits and considering she hasn’t run regularly in 10 years; she’ll be the first to admit that she is a bit nervous! However, one thing spurs her on. No, it’s not the idea of a glass of wine on the finish line although that will be on the cards. No, Jade is running in aid of Macmillan cancer support.
Macmillan is one of the largest charities in Britain and provides specialist health care, information, and financial support to people affected by cancer and their families. They also regularly campaign for better cancer care across the UK. Their main goal is to reach and improve the lives of everyone who has cancer or has experienced the hardships of cancer.
When deciding what charity, she wanted to support in her run, there were a couple of reasons why she chose Macmillan cancer support, so we are going to hand over to her to explain.
Jade Pinkerton – 10K superstar runner and next Olympic hopeful (Also a mortgage and protection advisor)
When deciding which charity to raise funds for, Macmillan was one that immediately came to mind. I knew that they had already been a great help to my family in the past at a number of times however, a big deciding factor was also because of the amount of my clients that they have helped and supported too.
Someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every 90 seconds and 83% of people with cancer suffer some kind of financial impact as a result. A cancer diagnosis has a huge impact on your life, and I think that for a lot of people who have never experienced cancer, this can be quite a difficult thing to get your head round or understand. A cancer diagnosis can raise all sorts of worries about your health, treatment, work, and financial worries.
The Financial Impact Of Cancer
One of the first questions that people who are diagnosed with cancer have and that Macmillan gets is with regards to money worries. How will I keep earning money if I am ill with cancer? How will I pay my rent or mortgage? How will I be able to afford food or to pay utilities if I can’t work? How am I supposed to get better if I am so stressed about money? Statistics show that some people diagnosed with cancer could have to find up to an extra £891 a month on top of their usual household spending.
At Oportfolio, we aren’t a machine pumping out numbers and figures, we care about each and every one of our clients. That’s why we always aim to make sure that our clients are financially protected should the worst happen. We hope that by helping our clients to get the right financial information, insurances, and protection, we can make money worries the last thing on their minds and they can focus on getting better.
What We Do To Help
Whether you want a regular income for if you are physically unable to work, or you would rather have a tax-free lump sum of money upon the diagnosis of a serious illness such as cancer. Having money in your bank account to use as you please is a significant help.
We have had several clients over the years who have made claims on their personal protection cover due to having a serious illness – and it has made the world of difference to them and their families. One of our clients this year received a £330K lump sum in the bank within a week of their health diagnosis and another amount of money further down the line. Of course, our client would have rather had his health return to normal however the funds he received significantly reduced his financial worries and provided him with more time to recover and spend time with his family. As long as your protection policies have been set up properly, it is simple and easy to claim the money when you need it the most.
I think it’s also important to note that the money can be spent on whatever YOU choose. It is your money to do with as you please so that you can relieve any financial issues you might have and start living your life again. The money is often used for mortgage payments, bills, day-to-day spending such as clothes and food, or even treatments that aren’t covered by the NHS.
What You Can Do Now To Help Ease The Financial Impact Of Cancer
The best time to arrange protection is of course before you get ill. There is no time like the present to arrange protection before it is too late. You can prepare in advance to protect not just yourself but your partner, your children, and your family as a whole against this.
It is so important that you get independent advice from a qualified and regulated insurance advisor as different protection providers have different terms and conditions. With the more comprehensive providers covering hundreds of different types of illnesses ranging in severity, rather than just the big three or four.
As a qualified and experienced protection advisor and being part of an established and regulated organisation like Oportfolio, I can help you to organise the trusts so that the money is easy to claim and is paid quickly to the right person at the right time.
We can’t stress how important it is to protect yourself financially. Everyone is guilty of thinking that they are invincible at some point in their life, we understand that. But if you became so ill that you were physically unable to work and earn a living or perhaps your condition meant that you needed expensive equipment or treatments to live your life, would you be prepared? We really care about making sure our clients are as financially secure as they can possibly be in all areas of their finance and insurance is the most important area.
Key Points From Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan was founded in 1911 as ‘The Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer’ by Douglas Macmillan after his own father passed away from the disease. Over the last one hundred and eleven years, Macmillan has grown substantially and has helped thousands of families in need of support in the face of cancer diagnosis. Currently they are one of the largest UK charities in terms of annual expenditure and in 2020 they raised £278 million in financial support.
Macmillan provides information about cancer through its website, free printed and recorded materials, telephone support and they also have over 170 local cancer information and support services nationwide. In their extensive library of information and support on their website, they have a lot of information about what kind of support they offer. Below is some of the information.
Find the right support, whatever you need to ask
- Questions about treatment?
- Questions about how you’re feeling?
- Questions about managing day to day tasks?
- Questions about money worries?
Changes at work
When you have been diagnosed with cancer, you might not be thinking about work. Or it might be one of your first worries. Knowing your rights and talking to your employer can help you get the right support in the future.
You may not know how a cancer diagnosis will affect work in the short term or in the future. It will depend on:
- The type of cancer, its stage and size and whether it has spread
- The treatment and its side effects
- Your personal finances
- The practical support you have.
You may decide that you need to stop working when you are diagnosed with cancer, and you may want to focus on treatment and time with family and friends.
Your feelings about work
A cancer diagnosis may change the way you feel about work. You may feel:
- Concerned about how your work will be affected
- Angry that you might not be able to work as usual
- Worried about how your colleagues or clients might react
- Guilty if others may need to take on some of your work
- Worried about money
- Frustrated that you might have to take time off.
If you are self-employed
If you are self-employed, there may be other things you need to think about when you are diagnosed with cancer. Planning ahead can help make any changes to your work life easier in the future.
Taking time off
You may want to start to think about whether you need to tell clients or if you should organise some help with your business.
Closing your business
Some people make the decision to stop working when they are diagnosed with cancer. This allows them to focus on their health and other parts of their life, such as friends and family.
Make a list of your debts
Making a list of your debts can help you decide what you need to pay first.
Some debts are priority debts. These will have the most serious consequences if you do not pay them back. This could be your rent or mortgage.
Others are non-priority debts. These may have less serious consequences if you do not pay them on time. This could be a bank overdraft.
Examples of priority debts
People or companies you owe money to are called creditors. These are some examples of priority debts.
- Mortgage (secured loan) payments
Your mortgage lender may start a process to take back (repossess) your home. This may happen if you cannot pay your mortgage for a few months. It is very important to talk to your lender as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying. There are options that your lender must consider to help you manage repayments. These options will depend on your situation. Or you might be able to get financial help from the government.
- Unpaid rent (rent arrears)
If you cannot pay your rent, your landlord might try to evict you (make you leave your home). It is very important to talk to your landlord as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying. You may be able to get financial help from the government.
- Council tax in England and Wales
If you cannot pay your council tax, your local authority can take money from your pay or benefits. They may also send bailiffs to take possessions from your home. It is very important to talk to your local authority as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying. You may be able to get help with the cost of your council tax if you are on a low income.
- Energy bills
If you are having problems paying gas and electricity bills, talk to your supplier as soon as possible. If you tell them, you have cancer, they should put your name on a list of customers who need extra support. You might be able to get a grant to help pay your bills or spread the cost of your payments.
- Hire purchase or conditional sale agreements
Hire purchase (or conditional sale agreement) is a type of borrowing. You can use it to buy big items such as a car. You pay an agreed amount in instalments. You do not own these items until you have paid for it in full. If you cannot make the payments, the lender may take back (repossess) these items. If you are having problems with making payments, it is important to get some advice. You can contact StepChange Debt Charity or Citizens Advice for more information.
Final Word From Oportfolio
We may be being a bit light-hearted and poking fun at Jade and her running inexperience, but the point of this run and Oportfolio’s charity initiative to help Macmillan is close to the heart of all of us here. Everyone has a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, or work colleague that has experienced the struggles of cancer, and standing by and letting them struggle is not an option in our eyes. That’s what keeps us helping our clients to arrange the best insurance possible and that’s what makes us work together as a team to raise as much money as possible to support organisations like Macmillan.
So, if you are sitting there thinking “I don’t have any insurance” or “I’m not sure if I have enough protection should anything happen to me” then don’t waste time and give our passionate team a call today for advice and guidance. And, if you would like to support Jade in her 10K run, you can donate through her JustGiving page.