The Smith Family Story - Case Study

Lachlan and Sandra Smith are married with three children Lucy (9), Henry (7) and Oliver (5). The children attend public school in Bundaberg, but they may send them to a private high school. They expect all three children will probably go to University and they would like to assist them when the time comes.

Lachlan was 40 and employed full time as a manager on $85,000 per annum. Sandra is 38 and employed part time as an administration assistant on $25,000 per annum. Sandra intended to stay working part time until Lucy starts high school.

Their assets and liabilities are as follows:


Assets (Liabilities)
Home $500,000 ($350,000)
Savings $5,000
Vehicles (2) $55,000
Super (Lachlan) $100,000
Super (Sandra) $18,000
Credit Cards
($5,000)

$678,000 ($355,000)


Objectives

  • Get the children educated
  • Continue to be able to afford their lifestyle (kids sport and activities, annual holidays to the Sunshine Coast, a night out every now and again)
  • Pay off the credit card debt and keep it paid monthly
  • Reduce the home mortgage as quickly as possible
  • Consider borrowing to invest
  • Be able to retire on $35,000 per annum net at age 60
Then Lachlan was diagnosed with Hodgkinsons Lymphoma. His GP advised that this would require at least 12 months in Brisbane receiving chemotherapy, that he would need a bone marrow transplant and to prepare himself for a long battle.

Lachlan’s first thought after hearing the diagnosis was:

"Thank goodness I have insurance"

Thankfully Lachlan had received advice from Ulton to implement insurance 8 months prior to the diagnosis. He phoned us to let us know and we immediately prepared all of the claim forms.

Lachlan’s insurance included the following:

  1. Income Protection Insurance which would pay 75% of his income plus his 9% super contributions after a 4 week waiting period until he is able to go back to work.
  2. $170,000 Trauma lump sum payment. Hodgkinsons Lymphoma is an autimatic claim.
The Lump sum payment allowed them to do the following:
  1. $5,000 reduction in credit card
  2. Deposit $165,000 onto their mortgage where the redraw facility will be used as follows:
    1. Around $100,000 over the next 12 months:
      • for upfront payment of medical tests (they have private health insurance but there is still a gap on a lot of the medical costs),
      • Rent on a unit in Brisbane close to the Wesley hospital so that Lachlan can spend time out of the hospital and the family can have some sort of normality when visiting Lachlan
      • Travel costs between Brisbane and Bundaberg
      • Costs of running two households for a period of time.
    2. $42,500 will be used to top up Lachlans’s Income Protection payments over the next two years, to his pre disability salary.
    3. $22,500 buffer for contingencies. Sandra could stop work for 12 months. Alternatively after Lachlan recovers, if these funds are still available then the family will go on a holiday to celebrate Lachlan’s recovery
Having the insurance gave Lachlan peace of mind that the family would not be financially disrupted at a time when they were dealing with the realities of his cancer. It also meant that he could afford to get the best medical treatment and recover properly. He could concentrate on his recovery knowing that the family were financially taken care of.

How are we going to cope?

Lachlan did not have any insurance. He would have to contact Centrelink to see what his options were. He also needed to urgently meet with the Bank manager to see how they could keep the house if he was off work for 12 months. Sandra had to go back into full time employment which disrupted the children at a time when the household was already in turmoil. Because she will need to work full time, Sandra and the children may not be able to visit Lachlan very often in Brisbane. The family are really not sure how they will cope with this traumatic event.



Make sure you can say "Thank goodness I have insurance” if something goes wrong – contact Ulton now!
 
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