After a life-changing run, financial advisor works to help clients prepare for the unexpected

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After being injured in a crash, Ken Carter uses his experience to help his clients plan for retirement.

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On a crisp September morning in 2020, Ken Carter and two of his longtime friends woke up early, laced up their shoes, and headed out for a run.

Planning a half-marathon path to make up for a race that was cancelled due to COVID-19, the trio chose a particular stretch of road near Lake Washington in Seattle that was closed off to traffic. Flanked by his friends, Carter ran down the middle of the quiet street to complete the challenge they had committed to achieving several months prior.

Not long into their early morning run, a vehicle entered the closed route and approached the group.

“The car came up from behind and struck me. My head hit the windshield and I was thrown onto the road,” says Carter, a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management’s Seattle office.

After the collision, Carter tried to pull himself up from the pavement but was unable to move. His friends rushed to his aid and called 911. One monitored his condition until paramedics and the police arrived, while the other made certain the driver stayed at the scene.

Once Carter was transported to a nearby hospital, doctors rushed him into surgery. He sustained significant injuries, including a broken spine, fractured ribs, a shattered leg and a traumatic brain injury. Over the coming months, he would face a long and difficult recovery, both in the hospital and at home. But with support from RBC Wealth Management’s benefit programs, Carter is finally back on his feet, with a new determination to help his clients plan for the unexpected in life.

A recovery fueled by personal determination and supported by RBC Wealth Management

Following the accident, Carter remained in the hospital for an entire month to recuperate. Surgeons implanted a titanium rod into his right leg to help support his bones as they healed. When he was finally discharged and arrived home, he says he felt like a teenager.

“I couldn’t drive or work or drink alcohol because of my brain injury,” he says. “It was a tough time for not only me but my wife as well.”

Carter and his wife made use of several RBC benefits programs to help them through the physical and mental challenges the accident brought into their lives. They were covered for Carter’s hospitalization and doctor’s visits through RBC’s medical program, and they also took advantage of RBC’s mental health programs to help them heal emotionally. While Carter was in the hospital, RBC’s short-term and long-term disability programs ensured he still received a paycheck.

In Feb. 2021, just five months after the accident and after completing several tests–including a driving test–Carter returned to the office, using crutches to walk for the first several weeks. With a few accommodations, including an adjustable-height desk, he eased back into his former routine.

Eventually, his doctors even allowed him to start running again to regain his strength. And to mark the one-year anniversary of the accident, Carter ran the 2021 Bellingham Bay Half Marathon alongside his daughter and the two friends who ran alongside him that fateful morning in Sept. 2020.

rbc financial advisor ken carter running

A year after being hit by a car, Ken Carter had recovered enough to be able to run a half marathon. He credits RBC’s benefits programs with helping him through the difficult recovery period.

Helping clients prepare for the unexpected

Now, Carter uses his experience to help his clients understand the importance of planning for the unexpected in life.

“There were many times in the hospital when I wondered if I was going to make it,” he says. “But because I had a will, I knew my family would be okay if I died.”

That’s why he now stresses to his clients that, as part of planning for a secure retirement, it’s essential to prepare for the things you can predict, but also the things you can’t.

“I tell them they need to be prepared for things like this,” he says, referring to his own experience. “Life insurance, disability insurance, health care, all of it. You never know what can happen.”

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