The Foreign Service Journal, March 2013

38 MARCH 2013 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL IS ADEQUATE DISABILITY INCOME INSURANCE AVAILABLE TO FS FAMILIES? BY WI L L I AM CARR I NGTON A s a financial adviser and a Foreign Service spouse, I know firsthand just how important it is for Foreign Service families to develop a finan- cial plan to enable them to achieve their goals and manage risks. One common tool for mitigating financial risks is insurance, whereby you pay someone to assume a risk for you that you are unwilling or unable to assume for yourself. High on that list is loss of income due to a long-term or permanent physical disability. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, most disabilities are caused by illness rather than accidental injury. And since the chances of developing a serious illness increase with age, one could assume that the need for disability insur- ance would also increase for older employees. In fact, while younger employees may be at a lower sta- tistical risk of a disabling illness, they have a lower financial capacity to absorb the risk. Older employees who have paid off a mortgage, accrued many years toward a pension, gotten kids William Carrington is the founder and principal of Carrington Finan- cial Planning, LLC of Arlington, Va., which specializes in financial planning for Foreign Service employees. He is the spouse of FSO Mar- got Carrington. The views expressed here are those of the author only. Many Foreign Service members mistakenly believe they have more disability income insurance than is actually the case. FS KNOW-HOW