Life Changed in an Instant

If you had met me in the summer of 2003, my life would have appeared pretty much like yours—or your neighbor’s or sister’s or friend’s. I was a wife and a mother who was working full time and taking care of her family. Balancing the demands of all those roles was difficult sometimes, but I felt I was doing a pretty good job of it.

That is until I stepped into a crosswalk.

I was in New York City on business and was crossing the street with the light when an SUV turned the corner and came barreling into me. I was thrown 30 feet in the air. The impact shattered my pelvis, and every joint in my body was damaged. Instantly, my carefully balanced life came crashing down.

I went from being the caretaker to having to be taken care of. My injuries were so severe that doctors said I would never walk again. I was confined to bed for eight months and needed help with the basic tasks we take for granted like bathing, dressing and getting around. It took seven surgeries and three years of intense rehabilitation and work on my part to get to my “new normal.” During that time I was unable to work and earn a living or take care of my family as I had in the past.

One of the key factors that helped me navigate this difficult chapter in my life was my disability insurance.

Our family had relied on both my and my husband’s income. This accident and my being out of work for almost three years could have decimated us financially. Fortunately, I had planned ahead and had gotten disability insurance, which provided me with an income when I was unable to work. That influx of income allowed us to stay in our home, pay our monthly bills and the mounting medical bills. It also allowed me to hire someone to help with my kids and assist me, as well. I don’t know what we would have done without my disability insurance.

I feel extremely blessed. It’s amazing I lived and even more amazing that I lead an active life now—including keeping up with my two sets of twins!

I took out the disability insurance that I had then, and that I maintain now, because I value what I do for my family: I take care of their needs physically, emotionally, and I provide a paycheck to pay for our expenses. I’m worth it.

The bottom line is, if you need your income, you need disability insurance. And the only time to get it is before you need it.

Check out the great calculator at to find out how much disability insurance you may need.

Sarah Rieger

by Sarah Rieger

Sarah Rieger is owner and president of Fulcrum Financial Group, a full-service financial services firm in Spokane, Wash., and is this year’s Disability Insurance Awareness Month spokesperson. While her practice emphasizes a comprehensive investment management approach, disability insurance is always on her list of things to discuss. Sarah is also an avid competitive athlete who participates in triathlons, marathons and bike races throughout the Northwest.

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