Let’s keep it real: There’s a recession. So, raise your hand if you’d jump at the chance to win $1,000. You? Thought so.

And LIFE (the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education) — founded in 1994 to provide information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance — is betting there are even more people who would do the same. 

As part of this month’s focus on Disability Insurance Awareness, LIFE is inviting people to take the “Where Did My Paycheck Go?” Challenge.

This is an easy and fun way to really challenge yourself (and your employees) to take a closer look at your spending habits and see exactly where all your hard-earned money goes — and, more importantly, what you’d do if you weren’t able to earn it at all due to a disability.

The challenge is simple. LIFE has listed the top seven spending categories, according to the Department of Labor: clothing, entertainment, food, health care, housing, insurance/pensions and transportation. All you have to do is put them in order from the one that you spend the most money on, to the one that you spend the least on and click enter. You can then see how your spending pattern compares to that of the average consumer.

Everyone who submits an eligible entry gets entered to win a $1,000 American Express gift card. The winner will be selected in a random drawing on or about June 15.

I’ve already entered. A peek behind the curtain: buying organic for a family of four is not cheap, so food was a biggie. And, trying to figure out where to allocate child care expenses was tough. Since taking my kids to work with me would lead me to incur greater medical expenses for treatment of migraines, I thought health care. In the end, though, I didn’t include it.

At any rate, it was a valuable exercise. I encourage you and your workers to take the challenge to spark awareness and discussion. Even if not, don’t let this month slip by without talking to your employees about disability insurance.

“It’s important to remind Americans that protecting and providing for yourself and your family in the event of a disabling accident or illness is an act of love,” says Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global.  “Only about one in five people even recall being approached about buying disability insurance. We have to do a better job reaching out and educating consumers about the value of disability insurance and the protection it provides.”

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