How to Plan for a Future After Breast Cancer
A cancer diagnosis can flip your life upside down and throw your plans for long and happy life out the window. Or does it?
Cancer is complicated and serious, but there are ways to plan for the future, even after a diagnosis. From financial and family goals to life insurance safeguards, here are a few ways to plan for a future after breast cancer.
Many people assume that a cancer diagnosis means you’re ineligible for life insurance, but that’s not true. You can purchase higher-risk life insurance, but it’s not as straightforward as it would be without that diagnosis.
It can be easy to become consumed with the fight with a cancer diagnosis, but making short and long-term goals can give you something to look forward to and work toward.
You may find significant benefits in meeting regularly with a life counselor to work through your trauma and plan for the future.
You need to ask yourself what’s the most important financial goal you have. Keep that in focus when you plan for secondary and supporting objectives.
Just because life seems to have screeched to a halt doesn’t mean money issues disappear. For example, if you have to quit your job to keep up with cancer treatments, you can plan for the chance to rebuild your finances after you win your fight. The stress of the financial crisis can be lowered when you have a recovery plan.
Part of your financial goals can be met with life insurance, which we’ll cover in more depth later.
Goal-setting can be therapeutic. It can take your mind off the present and give you something to work toward.
Think about what your goals are with each member of your family. Some people enjoy using a bullet journal format to help them organize thoughts. Writing down those goals will give you something to return to and read again and add to as you think of more things. Focusing on others for a little while can bring a little bit of normalcy to your thoughts.
When you’re able to get back to work, you’ll need realistic goals. You know your body, and you need to trust it to tell you when you need a break for both physical and psychological reasons.
Don’t try to fight through fatigue. Make goals that recognize you are weakened but strengthen your health. Have an honest conversation with your supervisor before you come back to work and explain that you will do your best, which means you may need to take a break.
Life Insurance Protection
Life insurance is one of the most important ways for you to plan for your future. No one likes to think about death, but having experience with cancer has forced you to consider its reality. If you already have a life insurance policy, you’re in good shape because a cancer diagnosis won’t change the already in-force policy.
If you need a life insurance policy, you can get one, but it’s a different process than it is for people without a significant diagnosis or health history.
Life Insurance in Remission
If you are in remission and have been for several years, you will be able to choose from the same options as anyone else. You will almost certainly pay more for coverage because you won’t fall into the preferred risk category, but you will have options.
You can get term or permanent life insurance policies. Remember to compare quotes because companies may calculate your risk very differently.
If you’ve only been in remission for a few months, you will have to wait to purchase a term or permanent policy. Your only option is a group life insurance policy through your employer or a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
Guaranteed life insurance doesn’t require a medical background or exam. You’re guaranteed to get the coverage if you apply, but it’s costly for a small benefit.
Life Insurance With a Current Cancer Diagnosis
If you’ve recently been diagnosed and are battling cancer, you won’t be able to purchase a new term or permanent life insurance policy.
But you can get a guaranteed policy since they don’t require medical information. You’ll have to weigh the cost and the benefit to decide if it’s right for you.
And as is the case with those in early remission, if your employer offers a life insurance policy, that’s often the best option for life insurance coverage in this situation.
Planning for your future with good life insurance coverage can give you peace of mind that you’ve done what you can to provide for your family.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She strives to help others understand how insurance can protect their financial stability and families’ futures.