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Every day in Australia, 31 families lose their primary (or equal) income earner

It's time for a family reality check - by the numbers.

Read in this article

When we first began talking with families about different ways they could protect themselves from the statistical risks we all face, some said they believed 'simply talking about such things would make them happen,' and that was their reason to avoid thinking about and planning for those risks in life.

At Sapience we believe when we have children in our lives, we don't have the luxury of putting our heads in the sand and simply ignoring the statistical realities of life.

We all face the same risks and we all need to protect ourselves and our families from.

Did you know: In 2015 there were 1,209 road fatalities in Australia? That equated to 5.08 per 100,000 people per year. The statistical reality is - every year since 2012, there are more than 1,000 road fatalities annually—it's just the statistical reality we all face.

The message of Sapience is clear:

We all need to ask 'What's the family backup plan if the unexpected happens and one of us is no longer here? Drew Browne Sapience

Families come first

Protecting and providing for our families is the primary driver for most Australians today.

In fact, to think that something might interrupt (or even take away) our ability to provide for our family is a constant concern in the back of many people's minds.

Protecting our family

The solution is actually to do something about it once and for all; get a backup plan in place along with an insurance policy to fund it, just in case life doesn't turn out the way we all hope for our family and friends.

Time and knowledge is the typical obstacle for many busy families

Our clients typically ask two questions when it comes to making a family backup plan.

  • What's the statistical reality of these risks happening to a family?
  • What's the real-world impact the death of a parent has on a child?

After working with so many families and family-run businesses, we decided to put together a free eGuide for Australian Families to help explain 3 things:

  • What happens when a family is not financially prepared for the unexpected loss of its primary income earner
  • What are the known effects on its children, and
  • What you can do to prevent this from happening to your family?

Who is the eGuide designed to help?

The guide contains results of real-life interviews and draws upon research from three major Australian studies cross-referenced with up-to-date ABS data.

  • It's relevant for all young families, single parents and parents who may have separated
  • It's important for Grandparents to understand the potential risks to their grandchildren
  • It's a must read for anyone with special or additional needs people in their lives

It's compelling reading for every family who understands that 'life happens to us all' and that we all need to have a backup plan in place, just in case.

Case Study: Anns Story. Ann’s parents thought she simply had the flu after coming home from her third birthday party at the local petting zoo left her exhausted. When the lethargy persisted and after a bout of troubling nose bleeds, Ann's mother felt something was wrong but couldn’t explain what. They returned to the GP for a set of blood test and the results later revealed a leukemia diagnoses. The most common in children and teens, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was understandably a shock to the entire family.

Ann was in and out of the hospital on a regular basis and was prescribed chemotherapy for the next 12 months. Finally, after two years the doctors gave Ann good news and an optimistic future. Leukaemia affected their entire family and support structure in many stressful ways and ultimately could have left a financial debt made up of gap payments, home modifications, reduced work hours, and additional medical treatment costs.

Thankfully they had children’s Critical Illness Insurance in place as part of their adult Critical Illness policy and received a $75,000 lump sum payment to use as they needed.

This meant one of Anne’s parents was able to give up her job temporary for 12 months to help care for her, afford a regular home helper and cleaner and later afford a much-needed family holiday to the Gold Coast after Ann’s recovery.

A quick reality check by the numbers

Below are the simple numbers of life that make up the Australian economy today.

  • According to the 2011 census, Australia has approximately 5.5 million families (defined as 2 or more people over the age of 15).
  • This means there are 2,290,000 families in Australia with dependent children who rely upon a dominant income earner.

[Sources: Hugo, G. (2001). A century of population change in Australia (ABS - Yearbook 2001 Australia)]

The numbers by family type

All families suffer the same statistical risk, but the damage that's caused by the loss of a single parent can be doubly devastating.

  • 37% of couples have at least one dependent child
  • 11% are one-parent families with at least one dependent children

The sad but true reality

The rules

Statistically speaking, the ABS classifies a married person as being between the ages of 15-64 years.

The reality

In 2014 there were 11,237 married people who passed away unexpectedly.

  • This equates to at least 31 families per day losing a family member.
  • As 48% of families have at least 1 dependent child, this means at least 15 families per day lose a parent in Australia.
  • The same will happen tomorrow and every day thereafter.

We want to help Australian families and small business owners put a backup plan in place, so their family is protected from the financial consequences these events will bring.

The financial reality

  • 1 in 3 families moved house within 2 years as a result of financial pressure after the loss
  • 63% of families had less than a week's warning prior to their spouse or parent dying
  • 78% of children who had to change schools due to financial pressure, said their academic performance suffered post-parental death

In our free eGuide we identify the avoidable triggers that compound the effect of such a loss on a child.

So what happens next?

Well, that depends on if you have a written backup plan in place.

author pic drew browneDrew Browne is a specialty Financial Risk Advisor working with Small Business Owners & their Families, Dual Income Professional Couples, and diverse families. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His business Sapience Financial Group is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 he was certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 was recognised in the inaugural Australian National Businesses of Tomorrow Awards. Today he advises Small Business Owners and their families, on how to protect themselves, from their businesses.  He writes for successful Small Business Owners and Industry publications. You can read his Modern Small Business Leadership Blog here. You can connect with him on LinkedIn Any information provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

Get Prepared for Life

Protect your Family (& the Small Business that supports you) from the statical realities of Life, Love and Business we all face.

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