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Be Wise With Money

Self-Employed Protection

Disability income insurance helps maintain standard of living for injured carpenter

Given all he's been through the last few years, Wesley Boarts didn't think he'd get to walk his daughters down the aisle. They were proud moments that he almost didn't have.

In 2006, the self-employed carpenter from Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with stage-four throat cancer. He beat the cancer, but in 2010 he had a stroke, which nearly took his life and required him to learn how to walk again.

Being unable to work for about 50 months over six years would cause financial ruin for many people. Fortunately, Wesley had a disability income insurance contract in place. Even though he wasn't sure he really needed it when he bought it, "the price was reasonable per month," Wesley says. "Since I was self-employed, if something happened, it would be a plus."

That smart planning came to the rescue of Wesley and his wife, Linda, not once, but twice, during both of Wesley's health setbacks. After the initial waiting period, the disability income contract provided monthly benefits during his cancer treatments and again when he was learning to walk again.

Wesley used to have the same mindset many people have when they think – if they ever think – about being physically unable to work: "it won't happen to me" or "it'll all work out." But when you literally can't work, "the last thing you want on your plate is having to worry about how to pay the bills," says Kelly Perry, Wesley's Thrivent Financial representative.

Without the disability income insurance, we "would have been in dire straits," Wesley says. "And we're not high-on-the-hog people." Wesley and Linda might have even missed the wedding of one of his daughters, which took place in Las Vegas. "There's no way we would have been able to [afford to] go," adds Wesley.

The insurance "helped maintain our standard of living," Wesley says. "It didn't make up for what I made, but it did pick up the slack!"

"Any time a person is faced with the possibility of getting insurance, he always wonders if he's ever going to need it," Wesley says. "No matter what it costs, even if it's $15 a month, the payback is worth it."

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