Protect your salary: Here's how
enabling financial success crutches
Safeguard your income against injury or disability.

In 2010, 68% more working-age Americans became disabled than died. Take these measures to insure your earning ability against illness or injury:

Get in a group. A third of workers can get group disability insurance at the office, says employee benefits firm Unum; you get up to 60% of your salary for free (or at a reduced price).

Not covered? Ask your professional association about discounted group insurance, or buy a policy through an agent at nahu.org.

Check for holes. Seek out a long benefit period, says Old Greenwich, Conn., financial planner Loretta Nolan. Your benefit should last to age 65, not stop two years into a lifelong disability.

Highly paid? Dependent on commissions? You may want to supplement your work policy, since group benefits are capped and calculated from a base salary.

Keep costs down. Individual plans can run to 2% to 4% of your income, says Denver-area agent John Ryan -- pricey but worth it for a sole breadwinner. To lower costs, extend the waiting period to 180 days; get costly "own occupation" coverage only for big-ticket jobs that are highly specialized -- if you're a surgeon, say.

Send a letter to the editor about this gallery to money_letters@moneymail.com.


  @Money - Last updated May 23 2013 04:39 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.