Singles should have disability policies

April 14, 1991|By New York Times News Service

If you are a single person, perhaps the worst thing that could happen to you is that you become disabled and unable to work to support yourself. That means you need a top-notch disability policy.

Chances are the one you have at work doesn't qualify. Seventy percent of U.S. companies do not have disability policies, according to Jeffrey J. Bell, director of individual disability marketing at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee.

You need a policy that will replace 60 percent to 70 percent of your income if you cannot work in your own profession, not "just something that stops paying benefits once you get back on your feet," Barbara J. Pope, partner in charge of personal financial services at Price Waterhouse in Chicago, says.

Single people must save more for retirement, too. And for single women the need is even greater because they generally earn lower salaries and live longer. On average, women who worked full time in 1989 earned 68 percent of what men earned, according to Brad Edmondson, editor of American Demographics.

Pension formulas typically pay benefits of not more than 60 percent of your final salary. The less you earn, the lower your pension.

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