Looking after your finances when you are at high-risk or going through cancer

19 Aug 2021

The shock of having to face a cancer diagnosis or the prospect of preventative surgery can be quickly compounded as thoughts turn to the financial reality of what this will mean.

Many who find themselves in financial difficulty are often unprepared for the costs of being unwell, not only physically and mentally but financially as well. There is also evidence to suggest that those who don’t have to worry about their finances after a significant health event make a faster and often stronger recovery so there’s a real benefit to planning your financial future.

What you can do:


We’re yet to meet many people who get excited about budgeting or setting up a spending plan however, knowing where your money goes & understanding how much you can afford to regularly save will not only be a key to success, you’ll also start to feel much happier see the dollars start building up & your financial future brighten.

It doesn’t have to be to the cent but start by looking through the major & regular expenses you have & see where you might be either able to save some money or possibly pair back some discretionary spending.


Albert Einstein appropriately termed ‘Compound Interest’ the 8th wonder of the world. Saving & investing even a little amount on a regular basis can build into a large amount over time so if you’d lucky enough to be able to plan your future, start early.

When starting out, look for low-cost simple investment accounts or platforms. Vanguard has a good education centre to bring you up to speed on some of the basics. If you’re unsure how to apply any of this to your situation then I’d encourage you to speak to a licensed financial adviser for personal advice.


Superannuation is one of the world’s greatest investment structures however its primary goal is to save for retirement so getting access to it early is deliberately made difficult.

While the government made it possible during COVID to access parts of your funds, the other conditions of release are harder to satisfy & each fund has its own rules in addition to the legislative requirements so you need to speak with your fund to understand whether events such as elective preventative surgery would allow you to access a partial payment.

Insurances in superannuation

Some superannuation funds automatically provide insurances as part of your fund so even though you may not have applied, it’s worth checking with your super fund what default options you may have.

Leave Entitlements

For those working, there are several statutory leave entitlements available to you from annual leave, personal or sick leave, compassionate leave etc.