Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Health Insurance – a fundamental piece of the retirement jigsaw. At least, I have got that correct!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

CNN Money wrote about the need to have our health insurance needs well taken care off to ensure a less stressful retirement.

This makes a lot of sense, as healthcare costs can wipe off large chunks of our retirement savings.  

Two years ago a friend of mine went in for heart surgery in a private hospital and the costs were exorbitant, to say the least. He is still paying off the debt. A month ago, my brother went in, also for heart surgery at a Government Hospital and it did not cost him a cent! It helped that his son and daughter in law are both Government doctors. 

Getting our own health insurance was more by chance rather than adroit retirement planning. I have changed jobs a number of times and each time lost the health insurance benefits as I moved. Though the “next employer” provided equivalent health benefits, the window when I was working in Ghana exposed my family and me to the risks of not having health insurance. I can only thank God that I was not forced to find out the hard way. 

We have a family plan with one of the local insurers. Apparently the fine print dictated that children over 18 were disqualified. I did not realise this until it was pointed out by a personal finance planner friend I met through blogging, KC Lau. (Thanks again, KC!) 

Of course, the silly insurance company with all its banks of computers did not have the sense to write to me and remind me of this fine print and suggest if I would be interested in separate packages for my two elder girls (Which I would most certainly have taken).

The two girls now have their own health policies.  I acknowledge that with the rising costs of healthcare, and despite my insurance I might still face a major drain, should anything untoward happen.  These healthcare costs and the strain upon the other family members is why I believe that it’s one of God’s greatest gifts when someone “goes” in a clean manner. Say, leading a reasonably healthy life and just not getting up after going to sleep or something like that. 

And I pray that when the time comes, God will give me this gift, Insya’Allah.

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