Your income can be worth millions over your career—how well is it protected?

A man and his daughter enjoying their life knowing their future is protected with disability insurance.

Think of all the things your income pays for. It’s a huge list. There are the necessities, like housing, food, and utilities. And the things that make life fun and special, like vacations, dinners with friends, and movie nights out. 

Your income is the financial foundation of your life. Individual Disability Income (DI) insurance protects your foundation if the unexpected happens. It provides monthly benefits “like a paycheck” if you become too sick or hurt to work. Learn how it can help protect your current and future earnings—and see the true value of having this protection now.

Cover your most valuable asset, your income

You already insure your car and home. But your income is the asset you rely on most—so it only makes sense to protect it, too. Take a look at how a lifetime of income compares to the typical value of a home or car:

Graphic that compares the lifetime value of income ($4,983,000) to the typical value of a car ($36,113) and home ($257,900).

In other words, the future value of your income—and everything it represents in your life—isn’t something you want to leave to chance.

A disability can mean big changes to your expenses

Disabilities aren’t just the result of accidental injuries. In fact, injuries only account for 3.5% of disability insurance claims.4 Most of the time (96.5%), they’re common illnesses, like cancer, heart-related conditions, and mental-health disorders.  

Either way, being out of work due to a disability can have serious financial consequences. Two things typically happen:

  • Your income decreases or stops.
  • Your expenses increase.
Graphic showing that 96.5% of disability insurance claims are from illness, not injury.

Additional expenses caused by a disability or illness can include insurance co-pays, in-home care, and medical costs not covered by insurance.

The last thing you want is to have to dip into savings or stop saving for retirement. With DI insurance, it’s unlikely you’ll need to do either because you’ll receive monthly benefits “like a paycheck” to help pay your bills until you’re able to return to work.

Protection for your future earnings

Have you thought about how much your income could add up to over your lifetime? Consider this: A 35-year-old IT professional who's now earning $75,000 could expect to earn about $5 million3 by age 65. And a 35-year-old physician or dentist who currently earns $200,000 could earn over $13 million5 by age 65!

Graphic showing a scenario that if a 35 year old IT professional who is currently earning $75,000 could expect to earn $5 million by age 65.
Graphic showing a scenario that if a 35 year old IT professional who is currently earning $200,000 could expect to earn $13 million by age 65.

Disability insurance can be affordable

When you realize the potential value of your future income earnings, protecting that with a Disability Income (DI) insurance policy is a smart decision.

And it’s affordable. The cost of a DI policy is usually around 1 – 3% of your annual income.6 That’s less than some of us pay for a daily cup of premium coffee or monthly smartphone bill. The younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower your premium tends to be.

Another benefit? In addition to providing coverage that’s flexible and customizable to your specific needs and budget, this individual DI policy stays with you, even if you change jobs or careers.

The time to purchase this protection is when you’re healthy and working—and it’s easy to do. You can trade “It won’t happen to me” for “I’m ready for whatever life brings” by adding disability insurance to your financial checklist.

Next steps

Calculate how much disability insurance you may need.

1 Average new car price, Kelley Blue Book, December 2017.

2 U.S. Existing Single-Family Home Sales Price, YCharts, https://ycharts.com/indicators/sales_price_of_existing_homes. As seen on 06/2018.

3 Projected cumulative income of a 35-year-old earning $6,250/month ($75,000 annually), assuming a 5% annual increase to age 65.

4 Calculated with data from the “Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2017.” U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, December 2018.

5 Projected cumulative income of a 35-year-old earning $16,666/month ($200,000 annually), assuming a 5% annual increase to age 65.

6 Disability income insurance calculations are based on a variety of factors.

Disability income insurance also has limitations and exclusions. For specific costs and complete details of coverage, contact your Principal® representative.

Disability insurance from Principal® is issued by Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA 50392.

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