When I was 17, I thought my world was coming to an end. I didn’t qualify to read Special Papers (“S” Papers) so that was basically the end of me. So I thought. No real chance of a scholarship, and no firm job offers, no clear career path thereafter. Like I said, end of the world for me. Never did I envision not qualifying for them, and even less did I think about what I was going to do without them.
Fast forward 10 or 20 years later (I don’t need to get too specific here, age is supposed to be a well kept secret), it seems laughably trivial to have lost sleep over that now minor “mishap”. There are far worse things that occur on a daily basis to many other people, and which I have thankfully been able to just read about and not experience it first hand.
Life is what happens when we make plans, and she can be pretty unpredictable. The last 10 (or 20) years have shown me that life can be pretty harsh when it happens to be in a bad mood, and I refer to the numerous large and small incidences that completely destroy lives.
We read about natural disasters (Tsunami in Phuket 2004), man made horrors (September 11, World Trade Centre in 2001), surprising cardiac arrests on the fit and healthy (45 year old Martynn Koh during a marathon), and just plain godawful accidents (Nigel and Donovan Yap, aged 13 and 7 respectively). The list could go on and on for sure. Heck, even selfies are proving to be more dangerous than shark attacks these days: Read the report here.
The point is, life is so much more fragile than we think (or care to admit). Which is possibly why many people find the subject of insurance hard to approach: Admittance of their own vulnerability, something not many people find pleasant. Its always easier to dismiss these events as “Wow, that’s sad. But luckily it didn’t happen to me. And i’m sure it won’t happen to me. I’m way too careful.”
Much as all of us wish to lead fairy tale lives and breath our last in health and peace, the odds are quite stacked against us. More than 8 out of 10 deaths in 2010 are a direct result of Critical illness, and that number is set to increase as we continue along this path of Mcfood, stressed out lives and the never ending race to keep up with the Lims.
So here it is: We cannot predict what happens tomorrow, and neither should we try too hard. But we do owe it to ourselves to prepare for the worst, and be ready to deal with it should it happen. Get yourself in front of a financial adviser already, and map out a comprehensive plan to cover your life and the lives of those close to you.
This post may have come too late to many of us, but I do hope it jolts you into action today. Now. Because not all mishaps are as trivial as qualifying for some silly exams.
Are you going to take action today? Let us know in the comments below!
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