Tuesday Talks with Mark Etherington: Your Greatest Economic Asset

For most of us, our greatest economic asset is not our home, our RRSP’s or our stock portfolio, but rather it is our health and with it our ability to earn an income.

When you look at our potential to earn an income over the course of our lifetime we each have the ability to generate a sizeable return.  And it is that ability to work and generate an income that allows us to create the lifestyles we live or aspire to … that income provides us with the ability to go to a movie, buy a car, purchase a home, take a vacation, send our children to university, buy a cottage, etc., etc.

But what do most of us do to protect that economic asset?  For most of us the answer is “I don’t know!”

In illustrative terms – if someone gave us a machine that we could plug in your basement and that would be pay out to us $3,000,000+ over the next 40 years – would we take the time to put it in a safe place and insure it against any potential hazard?  Of course we would!

But do we secure personal protection for ourselves in the event that injury or illness render us unable to work?  Do we take the time to determine whether the company we work for has disability protection in place for us? The reality is that most of us don’t think about these issues – we are too busy living our lives and working our way up the proverbial corporate ladder while believing that we’re never going to be the one that becomes sick or injured.

Unfortunately none of us are impenetrable and none of us know whether injury or illness will impact us.

So if it makes sense to protect the mythical money machine – it is time for us all to make sure we are adequately protecting our own cash machine.  Ourselves!

The first step is to investigate what disability protection is provided by the company you work for.  Questions to ask your HR team – do I have disability coverage?  How much coverage do I have? What percentage of my monthly  income does it replace? What is the definition of disability?  Does the definition of disability ever change?

The next step is to determine: is what my company provides enough?  Will it provide for me until 65? And ultimately should I be supplementing it with personally owned coverage?

Our ability to work is our greatest economic asset – make sure it is properly protected.


Mark, RHU, has 20 years of experience in the industry. Mark’s focus is to work with corporate clients in the strategic design and ongoing support of their employee benefit and retirement programs, as well as to work with individual clients providing trusted advice and customized insurance and estate planning solutions. As with everyone at Etherington Generations, Mark prides himself on advocating for his clients