I am terminally ill...

Client spotlight John.jpg

In all my years as a financial adviser, I’ve come across many different scenarios with people coming to me for direction about investments, pensions, mortgages and other money matters. I always tailor my advice to suit their needs, but there’s one area where I’m fairly consistent with my guidance and that’s the necessity for people to take out life insurance.

I felt compelled to tell John Anderson’s story, as it really proves the point I am trying to make. John and I first started to get to know each other a few years ago when he moved to Esperance from Perth. Here John tells us his story:

I am terminally ill, but thank goodness for life insurance

Many years ago, in my twenties when I was single I had a nasty accident. I remember it quite clearly, I was working underground, in a nickel mine in Kambalda, when a cave I was working in started collapsing and rocks fell on me. The accident really shook me up as I broke my femur and was in quite a lot of pain.

At the time I had minimal income protection and no life cover, but that event was a turning point for me and I decided to take out permanent disability cover and a life assurance policy with Colonial First State. Fast forward a few years, and I got married to my wife Irene and I became step-father to her two boys Corey and Aaron and we had two children of our own, two daughters, Kimberley and Sheridan. My wife was added to the life insurance policy.

We moved to Esperance and we were advised to see Tamara at TV Financial Services and she suggested we put money in different investment accounts and to continue paying into the life assurance policy.

Cancer diagnosis

I was still working in the mines, when in 2014 and at the age of 58, I started to lose weight for no reason. I went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics but I still felt bad. After many medical tests, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which is a type of cancer.  It’s Leukemia and it affects the bone marrow, causing pain in my lower back. There’s not a lot you can say when you receive that news. 

It’s an aggressive cancer and quite advanced. It sounds clichéd but when I first heard the diagnosis I was speechless. It turns your life upside down. You won’t be surprised to learn that taking out that life insurance policy has proved to be the smartest decision I ever made.  

I am living with a terminal illness, I have already lived beyond medical expectations. When my diagnosis came through, I saw Tamara and she was absolutely amazing. She looked at the policy with Colonial First State and saw that I was entitled to a payment on a terminal illness. She filled out all the forms for me, I just had to sign them, gather medical certificates and then she submitted the application on my behalf.

Terminal illness payout

It took just six weeks for the money to arrive. We’ve invested some of that in high interest accounts and I have also set some cash aside for my funeral and to enjoy these last few months. The important thing is that I know Irene and our four children will be okay financially. This event has really drawn us closer together as a family.

I’ve already had stem cell treatment and I know I’m living on borrowed time. I’ve been offered further stem cell treatment, but it makes you feel very rough and I think I just want to enjoy the time I’ve got. 

I have little goals that I want to reach. I want to see a new grandchild arrive at the end of November, and my brother turns 60 on the 31st December and I plan to go to Auckland to be with him to celebrate. I’d like to fit a bit more travel in if I can, it’s good to have a bucket list.

Why life insurance is a must

I drew the bad card in the pack, I’m only 62 and I’m facing death but I am keeping positive. I roll out of bed and the sun is shining, I aim to enjoy my time here.  I suppose we all have to face the pearly gates at some time.

But I feel I should tell others that it’s important, especially if you’re the primary income earner, to have a plan, get life insurance, get some security for your wife, so if the worst does happen they’ll be looked after.

Throughout this ordeal, Tamara has been there by our side. A companion on this rollercoaster of a journey. She’s given us correct direction on all aspects of financial planning matters and helped with the paperwork for our payout. I know that she’ll look after my wife and family when I’m gone, advising them on money matters when I’m no longer here.