Finance

It is never too early to start thinking about managing your finances, no matter what your age is, understanding how to manage your finances is essential, particularly when living with HIV. Financial concerns can be very challenging and it is important to know there are financial advisors who can support you.

For further information on financial support and management for people living with HIV, take a look at the advice available on the Life With HIV website.

Life Insurance

Buying life insurance means that when you die, your partner or other dependents are paid a lump sum to help them avoid financial hardship. The amount you pay to the insurer each month (your premium) depends on the size of the lump sum required, the length of the policy and other factors like your gender, your work and your health.

Since 2005, the insurance industry’s approach to HIV, gay sexuality and life cover has changed, and it’s now easy for gay men to buy life insurance, and some companies will insure people living with HIV. Industry guidelines now forbid questions about applicants’ sexuality but all applicants for life insurance will be asked if they have tested positive for HIV and insurers can also ask about your potential exposure to HIV risk. If you are HIV positive, you must answer this question honestly as concealing your status may render the insurance void, resulting in no pay out when you pass away. Specialist insurance brokers or financial advisers should be able to direct anyone with HIV to an insurer who will be prepared to provide them with cover.

For further information on life insurance for people living with HIV, visit Aidsmap or search for ‘HIV’ at the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) website. The ABI’s 2008 publication ‘HIV and life insurance: a consumer guide for gay men’ can be accessed here.

Early Retirement

Today’s greatly increased HIV life expectancy makes financial planning for retirement essential and people living with HIV may also want to think about applying for early retirement and receiving their pension payments early, particularly if poor health is affecting their ability to work. If the value of your pension is low, you may need to supplement your retirement income, for example from other investments such as ISAs or other savings. However you choose to fund your retirement, it’s important to think about the long term, as someone with HIV retiring at 50 could quite conceivably have 25 or 30 years ahead of them!

For further information on pensions and early retirement for people living with HIV, visit Aidsmap.

Mortgages

Having HIV should not prevent a successful mortgage application. Mortgage lenders don’t take an applicant’s health into consideration, instead scrutinising your ability to repay the loan, based on income, expenditure and credit rating, as well as the value of the property. Some mortgage lenders will suggest life insurance, but although it is sensible to have some way of covering your mortgage payments if you are unable to work for any reason, this should not be a condition of the mortgage.

People with HIV are unable to take out new income insurance policies (designed to provide some income if the policy holder is unable to work for a period of time due to illness or other circumstances). One alternative is to build up savings using a universally accessible financial product such as an ISA. Be aware that it requires good financial discipline to save money if you have easy access to your funds. ISAs or other savings and investment products that forbid instant withdrawals or limit the amount you can take out may be worth considering.

For further information on mortgages for people living with HIV, visit Aidsmap.