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What if Phuket’s roads took you?

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PHUKET: Over the last decade the number of well-known, and often very well-liked, expats who have perished on Phuket’s deadly roads seems to have increased at an alarming rate. Indeed, the most recent case has given me cause to revisit a topic nobody likes to speak about, yet the failure to address it could lead to some rather horrible consequences for your loved ones should the unthinkable come to pass. For every case we read about, where a long-term expat or tourist has passed away, there is almost always a loving family left behind, including, often, small children.

What is not usually thought about is that if proper protection has not been put in place, the mourning of the loss of the deceased’s loved ones is just the beginning of their nightmare. Being a single mother in the West is hard enough, but most often the earnings potential of a local mother in Thailand is simply not sufficient to continue to support a family with the same standard of living they have become accustomed to. International education costs being what they are, the difference this could make to the future of a small child could be enormous.

Sadly, most often a very inexpensive life insurance policy can mean the difference between a child’s future needs being met, or a mother struggling to get by in the midst of a tremendous loss, yet very often people do not put one in place. Unfortunately, many advisers in my industry are simply not very interested in the topic because it doesn’t pay as well as investments, yet in any highly regulated jurisdiction these protections are required to be in place before the conversation about investments is even allowed to begin.

Human nature also makes most people avoid doing anything about it because we naturally would like to believe car accidents or cancer are things that happen to other people and not us. Thus, we are quite happy to plan for retirement, but not for an untimely demise. The sad thing is that it is the ones we love, not ourselves, who will suffer if this comes to pass.

One common objection I have heard often here in Thailand is that many expats are afraid their wives will kill them if they put a big life insurance policy in place. Unfortunately, while I think many are just maybe a tad bit too jaded, this is something many out there actually fear. Putting aside my own feelings that if you really feel that way about your partner, you likely have no business trusting them to mother your children, you can set up a trust as beneficiary and ensure the money goes towards education or set a reasonable budget for living expenses and so on.

I like to look at life insurance, as well as health insurance, as the one time in my life I really hope that I am making a losing bet. If you have loved ones you care about, especially if there are small children in the picture and your partner does not have the earning potential to adequately meet their education needs, please do them a huge favor and get yourself covered.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expatriates around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA and provides advice on taxation and pensions. He can be reached at david.m@faramond.com or 085-335 8573.

— David Mayes

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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