Few things can destroy wealth like a divorce, except perhaps a dread disease. Beth*, a Cape Town mother of two, has suffered both — and come out on top. The owner of a busy guesthouse in Claremont, Beth says that part of her saving grace has been excellent life insurance and medical aid, which she had in place when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. And it has stood her in good stead financially since she discovered that she had bone cancer in 2011. Even though life, disability and severe illness cover can be expensive, she realised the importance of having this cover — especially as a single mother. Beth's husband divorced her after the birth of their second child. He emigrated to Europe and doesn't pay maintenance. "Although she has a maintenance claim against her ex-husband, she has always realised that she is Plan A and that Plan A has to work out, and she does not have a victim mentality," says Craig Torr, her financial planner, of Crue Invest in Cape Town. As a sing...

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