How to Prepare for a Medical Crisis as an Entrepreneur Based on My Experience – Rolling Stone

2022 was planned be my year Covid-19 was fading, our mom and pop video production business had its best year ever in 2021 and this year should be even better. After spending 17 years building a solid and reliable customer base, we were finally on the right track. I also developed healthy habits, like exercising and eating healthier. Then, during a routine check-up, my doctor mentioned that I had missed mammograms for a number of years during the pandemic and that I should go to my health check-up. I didn’t think anything of it; nobody in my immediate family had breast cancer. I took the test and forgot about it. A few days later, the health portal app on my phone pinged that my test result was included. I opened it up and found that I needed to do additional screening.

After the follow-up examination, I was taken to an ultrasound room. The radiologist then scowled at me and said they thought I had a malignant tumor and I needed a biopsy asap. Two biopsies, a contrast test that gave me a full body rash, and so many appointments with too many doctors later, I was diagnosed with stage 1A invasive ductal carcinoma. I had the tumor removed and bilateral reconstruction and am now on the road to recovery. Luckily we caught it early. All expenses ($100,000 and more) were covered by our company’s health insurance and we have enough cash in the bank for me to comfortably take a few months off to work on our business.

But what if that was 15 years ago? I don’t think we would have made it. We would have faced paying for my care by credit card or applying to hospitals for charity care. Neither are good solutions. As a business owner, it is important that we take the time to create a plan for emergencies such as: B. a medical crisis that could affect our work and health in the long term. Based on my experience, here is how you as a business owner can approach creating a safety net.

Pay yourself and do taxes

Entrepreneurial TV shows praise contestants when they say, “I haven’t paid myself in 5 years,” which is a great virtue. It is not. If you don’t pay yourself, you don’t pay FICA, a federal payroll tax designed to help retirees and people with disabilities. Once you leave a traditional job and start your business, you have 10 years from the last time your salary was contributed to FICA to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance if needed, and you must make a contribution before you are eligible. Nobody wants to have a disability, but what if this is your last resort? Also, when you reach retirement age, do you want a big gap in your average wages so you get fewer Social Security benefits?

First put on your oxygen mask

It’s hard to put money aside when you’re building a company or slogging through a tough quarter. Your business is your baby. You want to nurture it, nurture it and let it grow, which means investing every penny. But if you go down without an oxygen mask during a health crisis, your baby won’t make it. I recommend challenging yourself to put money into one specific account each month and not touch it unless you absolutely have to.

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Consider opening a retirement account

I waited until I was 40 to open an IRA. Before I started my business, my employers did not offer any retirement plans. That means I’ve missed almost 20 years of contributions that could have reduced my annual tax burden and 20 years of growth. Just as it is important for a business owner to put money in a savings account for when times get tough, it can be just as important for a business owner to put money in a retirement account. Depending on the type of account, you may be able to withdraw without penalty during a health crisis.

Check your health insurance options

It is common for entrepreneurs to skimp on health insurance for themselves. We all hope the unthinkable doesn’t happen, so let’s just push it off. Don’t fall into this trap. Make room in your monthly budget, look through all the options like PPO, HMO or HSA and see what works for you. We decided to go into HMO a few years ago – it saved us a ton of premiums and co-payments and paid for my health care bills with few problems. Even if you are young, it can still help to prepare for a crisis at any point in your life.

Don’t go without regular check-ups

A brand new car needs an oil change every three to six months. Your body is the only machine you will get. I skipped screenings for two years because of the pandemic and then got sick with cancer. When you work 18 hours a day at your business, it can be difficult to find time to prioritize your needs. Would you never take your brand new car to the shop for regular maintenance? no don’t neglect yourself

calm your fear

I had a debilitating fear after receiving my cancer diagnosis. It would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t set things up years ago to make it easier for me to deal with this slip-up in my life. Hopefully you never experience a crisis like I did, but if you do, a solid plan can help calm your anxiety and get you over the hurdle. Your baby needs you to be at their best!

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult a licensed professional for advice regarding your specific situation.

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