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One common denominator among the chronically ill folks with whom I “hang” out – either my clients or online — is money worries. And the worries always come back to a single issue: living with chronic illness.
Maybe you’re worrying about this month’s bills. Maybe, like the woman who emailed me last week, you’re unemployed, your ex husband lost his job and you don’t know how you’re worried about keeping you’re going to pay to keep your 2 kids in college.
Or, like one of my clients, maybe you’re earning a salary but you’re underemployed. It’s not what you would earn if you didn’t live with a chronic illness. And you know it’s not enough to live on as you grow old.
Or you’ve got this nagging worry about the future that keeps repeating: If I lose this job, how will I ( fill in the blank)… support my family, keep my home, pay for meds and doctors? That’s the email I received today, from a policeman. Although he has a job, he also has a new autoimmune disease diagnosis, a wife who is unemployed because of chronic illness, and a young child. He’s scared about the “what if”? And he wondered how I could help him. I probably can but not with a magic wand or by giving advice.
The reality is that chronic illness makes you more vulnerable to difficult times. You have to do all you can with what you’ve got. And you have to prepare for what you think is true and for what you think could happen. Because you know that the unexpected and horrible can happen.
Christina Gombar is, among other things, someone who has spent years paying attention to her financial situation. Her post, Financial Medicine, on her blog, Reality Check, clearly lays outl the challenges we face. She doesn’t give answers but she has some ideas and you do walk away feeling that you’re more informed.
No one has answers. If they say they do, turn around and go elsewhere. But there is help out there. If you’re willing to do some work and you’re willing to ask.
What have you learned about how to financially prepare for your future?
Be sure to visit this month’s Headache Blog Carnival.