Home Investing Preparing for the Unexpected: Personal Finance for Costly Medical Expenses

Preparing for the Unexpected: Personal Finance for Costly Medical Expenses


I didn’t know.

When my baby was hurt, I didn’t know how my life would be turned upside down and inside out and my finances and career would reflect that, as well.

I didn’t know that I would go through $70k worth of savings in a matter of months to protect my family. I didn’t know that COVID-19 would infect the world right as our own little world was being decimated.

And I was not prepared.

Personal Tragedy Strikes

In January of 2020, my 6-week-old son Waylon was the victim of a traumatic brain injury, resulting in multiple strokes and seizures that caused extensive brain damage.

As a result of the injury, Waylon will continue to need special daily therapies, experimental treatments, home care assistance, and physical equipment needed to support his quality of life and rehabilitation.

The estimated lifetime costs for a baby with traumatic brain injury is $3 million.

Since finding out my son’s diagnosis, I’ve enrolled him in physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision therapy, feeding therapy, speech therapy, craniosacral therapy, music therapy and a blind children’s school infant program. Additionally, I became certified in reiki treatment and infant massage to help soothe my son’s soul and muscles.

Waylon inspires us all every day with his tireless effort, sweet spirit, magical soul and contagious laugh.

How I Used to Lead My Financial Life

As we head into 2022, I’m reflecting on the past couple of years – how challenging they’ve been and how they’ve changed me.

See, I have always tended to be an optimist.  A woman who looks at the world through rose-colored glasses.

But when your world goes dark, no glasses – rose-colored or otherwise – can help you navigate the night sky.

Things happen.

Tragedy happens.

Trauma happens.

And you are never never fully prepared for it.

But should trauma hit, at least financially you can set yourself up for success.

From now on, I will be more prepared.

My Money Goal for 2022

My new goal?

Seeing the world more realistically rather than just optimistically.

Personal Capital helps me with that. The free online tools are not only helpful but also super easy to work with.

I just signed up, linked all of my financial accounts and – just like that – I’ve got my own financial planner at my fingertips.

I can track my net worth and spending, plan for retirement, and even plot out a course for Waylon’s medical expenses, therapies and future care.

These aren’t luxuries. They are necessities.

And seeing them there in black and white helps me get a lot clearer about my reality, my future, and my family’s quality of life.

I love that you can factor that in – the “fun factor.”

For us, that meant a quick birthday trip to Vegas to meet Ronnie Milsap, the singer who sings directly to Waylon’s soul. Those moments are sometimes as important as the basics. Sometimes even more so.

Most of all, I just find myself in a new chapter in my life.

Thinking about my finances – and, really, life in general – more intentionally.

Looking at where I am today, where I hope to be down the road and preparing myself to be taken care of should a roadblock appear again.

But it all starts with now – looking at where we are at today, realistically.

Because you can’t improve what you can’t track. And you can’t plan what you don’t see coming.

Get Started with Personal Capital’s Free Financial Tools


Personal Capital compensates Dawn McCoy (“Author”) for providing the content contained in this blog post. Featured individual is a paid contributor and not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”) and does not make any endorsements or recommendations about securities offerings or investment strategy.

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