Good Life Guide: Do I need income protection?/ Your 4 financial wing women

there for the financial equivalent of holding your hair back or rescuing you from an annoying guy at the bar…

In December 2021, we explored the topic of ‘protection’ and 'back-ups'. A big thanks to Royal London who sponsored this educational series.

If you want to learn more about protection, click here:


Sometimes it’s all gravy and other times life doesn’t go to plan. From the trivial but infuriating broken boiler to those life-altering moments we could never have expected. I’ll let Baz Lurhmann do the talking here: ‘The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday’. Have a listen to Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen if you never have btw. It’s so true but there are also things we can do to back ourselves up. Each of us needs our own financial wing-women, there to do the financial equivalent of holding your hair back or rescuing you from an annoying guy at the bar…

Meet the Squad


Your Emergency Fund


In a toxic job or relationship? With a well-timed hand gesture, she'll have you out of there. The goal is 3-6 months of essential expenses

For more on EFs see this article.


Your Protection


She'll shoot daggers at your ex and be there when things get real.

Your 'back-ups' = home & travel insurance to income protection


Your spending plan


Carrie obvs doesn't have a budget but this is real life and those Gucci's won't buy themselves. Split your income into goals, wants, and needs.


Your pension


Your sensible friend who knows what's best for your long-term future. Max your contributions and start a personal pension if self-employed.

Wait, what actually is ‘protection’?

Protection is an additional form of back-up, on top of your emergency savings. It’s your second parachute if you like. For example, if your partner getting ill and being unable to work would have a serious impact on your finances (this might be most relevant for those who have dependents) then some form of financial protection might be worth it. Some employers offer things like life insurance and critical illness cover so double check you don’t already have it and check you’re not covered through an existing insurance policy. It’s also worth checking your sick pay arrangements – some employers offer full pay for 12 weeks so double-check what you’re entitled to.

Answers from Royal London

This week we had Shelley, a protection expert at Royal London on GFY Drinks to answer your burning questions on the topic. You can watch the video here, I’ve included some of the key questions below.

✴️ What’s protection in your words?

Protection is a bit of a cushion for when things go wrong. If you can’t work for a while due to sickness or injury, income protection can kick in to replace your income or at least part of it, until you’re hopefully able to go back to work.

✴️  Do we need different back-ups at different stages of life?

We all have different needs at different stages of life. The main question to ask yourself is whether losing your income through sickness or injury would detrimentally affect your ability to pay your bills. If yes, then income protection might be something you want to consider.

✴️ What if I’m young and fit?

If you’re young, fit and have other ‘back-ups’, for example, you have the security of being able to move back in with your parents, then protection might not be right for you just now but do seek financial advice if you’re unsure. If you have a mortgage or rental commitment and getting sick would make things difficult for you, it’s worth considering. It’s worth remembering that if you take out income protection now, it’ll cost you less than it would in the future.

✴️  Is it more important for those with a family?

It’s arguably most important for anyone with dependants because it’s not just you that’s reliant on your income. Having a partner and children means you might have more responsibility and need for a safety net too.

✴️  Shouldn’t I just have an emergency fund?

The average savings for those between 18 and 24 in the UK stands at £2,481, while for 25 to 34-year-olds it stands at £3,544 (ONS, 2021). It’s just particularly difficult for young renters to save given high rents and living costs. Because of this, saving a big enough emergency fund can be difficult and would quickly be eaten away if you were off work for a long period of time. Protection is something you can consider on top of an emergency fund.

✴️ What about my employer? Won’t they cover me?

Find out from your employer exactly what your benefits are when it comes to sick pay. Statutory Sick Pay is not a lot (£96.35 per week) so if you do go down the road of protection then your adviser can dovetail your cover to work hand in hand with your employee benefits.

✴️ What about the rumors that my claim won’t be paid out?

It will be but it’s really important that you’re honest when you fill out the application form - your age, smoker status, and medical history are all really important so make sure not to miss any details! This is another reason to get advice.

✴️ Help, I’ve got more questions!

If you want to learn more about income protection, there’s a fantastic resource on the Royal London site here:


If you want help finding a financial adviser, click here:


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