In Focus: Advice for Women  

It's time to stop doing forward rolls

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

The gap

This brings me onto the gap in this protection plan: income protection. It had been something I had considered, honestly, long before the boy child came yelling out of my sun roof in 2018.

I had considered it, briefly, when I was single and living in my own little flat. It wasn't that mortality was far from my mind; I'm far too well-versed in romantic poetry to harbour unrealistic notions about living forever in perfect health. But I was, frankly, too lazy to haul myself around to it. I did, however, save.

I considered it when we got married and I started winning awards for writing about how important income protection is. I urged my husband to consider it too. He did not. I did not. 

I considered it when we started breaking into our cash savings to pay for IVF. Did I say 'breaking in'? I meant 'pillaging and raiding like a Viking on acid'.

But then I got pregnant and forgot about it amid all the sadness of losing one twin and concentrating on bringing the other one to term. 

And then I remembered it during the pandemic, when we were rebuilding our savings. 

What if I were to be too sick to work? Could my husband – even with his higher salary – afford the full mortgage payments, bills and the childcare? We'd have to put Charles full-time into nursery, not just three days a week. This would vastly increase the nursery fees.

The mortgage, bills and childcare alone would push George's outgoings to more than £3,000 a month and what would be left to live on?

Our savings would be depleted within two years – and that includes everything I have set aside for my son's education. We wouldn't just be facing tough times now but would be robbing our son of the future we have worked so hard to provide for him. 

There's no point setting him up with a Junior Isa (which I have) or a Junior Sipp (which I have) if we cannot pay anything into this. 

Women may feel they do not need to get income protection if they are on a lower salary, or work part-time, or even if they do all the childcare and keep the house full-time. But women really, really do need to protect their income and their family's lifestyle.

Spouses who are the sole breadwinners should consider taking out income protection for their non-earning partners to cover the cost of potential childcare, cleaning, gardening and so forth should the stay-at-home spouse be incapacitated. 

Sure, if I cark it, my husband gets the death-in-service. But if I became too sick or injured to work? Who cares for my family? Who cares for me?