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I heard this phrase for the first time in a presentation by an oncologist in the Royal College of Surgeons nearly 20 years ago. He was speaking to a group of financial services professionals and trying to impress upon us the fact that people get sick but end up with two problems without proper financial planning.

Why two problems?

Well it’s bad enough that you have a medical condition to deal with but when you consider that you may be unable to work and therefore be unable to make your loan repayments and support your family you now have a second problem – money.

For most people the decision to become an Independent Contractor is one of the most financially rewarding of their entire career but you’re acutely aware that your former employment gave you a comprehensive benefits package including Sick Pay, Life Insurance and in some cases Serious illness protection. But what you may not be aware of is that now you can very simply and affordably provide these benefits for yourself.

We don’t usually think of our current income and our future earnings as an asset. However, if you take a moment to think about it, the money you earn pays for almost everything you have… mortgage, car loan, bills, children’s education, insurance and so on. Without it, you are faced with a pretty worrying picture. Nobody wants to think about what life would be like should disability or illness strike. This issue is even more stark for Independent Professional Contractors. It’s a zero sum game that you are either at work and being paid or unable to work and relying on savings to make up the shortfall. But what happens when the savings run out? What if it’s a long term illness/disability? What if its worse, and you die?

Rockwell have been advising independent contractors for nearly ten years and over that time we have built up extensive experience in solving the problems most contractors have with respect to financial planning. That’s why we created The Umbrella Plan. A complete solution to your benefits problem and all at one affordable monthly cost.

Covid has forced a lot of us to reassess our priorities and some of us have made life changing decisions  regarding the likes of relocation which simply weren’t on the table in February 2020. It has accelerated a change in society  which we all hope will be for the better. But it also made a lot of us realise just how vulnerable we are. The disease didn’t discriminate who it attacked. It certainly didn’t care whose life it impacted. But it did bring home to many us just how vulnerable we are to a financial shock.

This is where common sense planning comes in. It started with us going to every insurance company in the country asking them to provide a best in class protection solution for Independent Contractors. It took a lot of negotiation as ultimately we’re also trying to make it as affordable as possible whilst also being as easy as possible to apply for. We’re incredibly proud of the Umbrella Plan. You get the best cover in the market topped off with the ultimate cherry on top of the best medical second opinion service in the world in Best Doctors ®.

People always ask.. ‘well can I afford it?’ Check this video out. Skip to minute 4:00. It’s the Budget Special edition of Today Tonight (the old version of Prime Time). You’ll see that they felt very comfortable giving an example of the typical household and how they would be affected by that day’s budget and in their figures they show a household spending 11% of their salary on Life Insurance. 11%!! Imagine today? A €450 per day contractor would be paying a premium of over €1,000 per month. So what’s changed? Well, the products got a hell of a lot cheaper due to our improved living standards. Insurance companies were also forced to make less money which is never a bad thing but, the ultimate reason is that enhancements in technology and product development meant they could deliver the products at reduced costs.

So does it cost 11%? Of course not. In fact the typical cost is less than most Irish families spend on Take Away Pizzas per month. I’ll make no comment on diet as I’ve weathered well during Covid myself but I think it’s only reasonable that we at least take the necessary steps to insure ourselves from the long term effects of eating too much take away pizza so that we can continue to eat take away pizza every month with peace of mind!



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