As my family and I enjoy a ski trip over President’s Day weekend, risk is frequently on my mind. As an overly-paranoid father, skiing with your young son can be quite stressful, and while I cannot eliminate all risk of injury, there are some precautions that can be taken. The first step is making sure he has the right equipment: helmet, goggles, gloves, properly fitting skis and ski boots, etc. The second is making sure he has the right tools and knowledge to navigate the slopes. Finally, because he is not yet old enough to ski on his own, he needs to be accompanied by an adult (usually me) at all times. My favorite line from him this year was, “I don’t need to do ski school again, because I already know how to ski!” Translation: Dad becomes the not-so-patient and constantly-worried teacher.
My paranoia was not eased by the number of injuries I witnessed. On several occasions, I saw people being stretchered off the hill via snowmobile. One incident was particularly scary; my son and I were riding up the lift, when it stopped. This is not unusual, but when we sat for about 10 minutes, I started to get a little frustrated. My frustration soon changed to concern, when we were told (yelled up to) by one of the lift operators that someone had gotten stuck in the lift chair and was dangling from it! He reassured us that he didn’t think it was too bad, but it sounded pretty darn precarious. Once the lift finally started again, we traveled over a group of rescue workers huddled around a woman with her arm in a sling. She seemed okay, but her ski trip had likely come to an early end. The volley of questions that erupted from my 7-year-old were endless!
As usual, our business and our clients also came to mind. Insuring against risk is an often-overlooked part of our clients’ financial plans (or lack thereof). Have having proper insurance in place can help answer a lot of those “what if?” questions in life. The typical gap for most people is found with life insurance. Whether there is a primary breadwinner in the family, or there are two incomes relied upon, each role-player’s worth to the family’s quality of life needs to be considered. For younger families, term life policies can be a great and relatively inexpensive solution. For older families, the situation is usually a little more complicated, as there are several solutions that should be considered.
We can never completely eliminate all risk, but make sure you are taking the proper precautions for you and your family.