A Life Changed, a Lifestyle Remains

A Life Changed, a Lifestyle Remains

For Scott Rider, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that running was his life. In college he was a three-time Big Ten Champion, two-time All American, and later competed in the Olympic trials. His running sustained him as he charted out his career in financial services. It was also a constant as he and his high-school sweetheart, Kelly, married and raised their three children.

Running is also how he found out his life was changed forever.

It began subtly, when Scott’s toes didn’t “work as they should.” It eventually interfered with his running, and after several years of being misdiagnosed, he learned he had Parkinson’s disease.

“I remember the day I found out. As I stood outside the doctor’s office, on the sidewalk on a warm fall day, I knew my life—and my family’s—was changed forever,” says Scott.

The Life They Knew …

His day-to-day routines have changed drastically since being diagnosed at 47. Cognitive and physical limitations mean he had to give up the profession he loved. And he now relies on Kelly to help him with tasks most people take for granted, like tying his shoes.

One thing in his life has not changed, however. He and his family have been able to maintain their lifestyle, thanks to the disability insurance he purchased. He got it when he was just starting out in his career and added to it as his salary grew.

His disability insurance now replaces a significant portion of the income he once earned. It has allowed Kelly to remain a stay-at-home mom and now be a caregiver. Plus it helps them meet Scott’s growing medical needs.

In addition, the couple has been able to put their three children through college and give their daughter the wedding of her dreams. They’ve even reached a retirement goal of moving to a warmer climate. All of this was made possible by Scott’s disability insurance.

“Without it, I don’t know where we’d be,” says Scott. “I feel fortunate that I understood early on that my income was my most valuable asset, and that I needed to insure it.”

Paradise Found

Paradise Found

It’s paradise. That’s how Linda Billings describes her new home in Sarasota, Fla. Most days you’ll find this Virginia transplant out walking along the beach, attending a fitness class, meeting up with friends, and yes, still working part time.

At 68, Linda doesn’t want to give up what she loves to do: write about astrobiology for NASA. “I find it endlessly interesting and challenging work, but I just don’t want to do it full time anymore,” she says.

Thanks to the strategies she’s put in place for her retirement, with the help of her insurance professional, Linda doesn’t have to work. As part of the planning they did, Linda purchased several annuities, which now cover 100% of her current and anticipated monthly expenses.

“What appealed to me about annuities was their security and dependability—the peace of mind of not running out of money in retirement,” says Linda. And she adds that as a single woman, there’s comfort knowing she’ll have a guaranteed income stream for life.

“I don’t worry when I get into bed. I don’t fret about my financial situation anymore,” says Linda. “How many people headed for retirement are able to say that?”

The Living Benefits of Life Insurance

The Living Benefits of Life Insurance

Mark and Juanita Flechsing were high-school sweethearts who had the good fortune of turning that young love into a strong marriage. Mark worked hard on Alaska’s North Slope oil fields, gone for weeks at a time, while Juanita worked full-time back home in Wasilla.

As they looked forward to raising a family, they knew they wanted protection for the “what ifs” in life, and that’s what lead them to consider life insurance. Like many couples starting out, Juanita admits they didn’t have a lot of money, but they sat down with insurance professional Robert Barrett, Jr., and he helped them get life insurance policies that fit their budget.

Robert also suggested they get a waiver of premium rider on their policies. This would ensure if they became disabled and unable to work that they wouldn’t have to pay the premiums on their policies. The couple agreed, and it’s a good thing they did. When Mark reached his late 40s, what his doctors initially thought was reoccurring pneumonia was in fact a serious type of lung disease. Doctors said he would need a double lung transplant.

That’s when Robert reminded the couple of the living benefits of their life insurance. Because Mark was ill and unable to work, the waiver of premium kicked in, and they no longer had to pay the premiums on his policy. Additionally, because of Mark’s grave prognosis, they were able to tap into the policy’s living needs benefit. It allowed the family to continue on financially.

“We were able to use money from his life insurance policy while he was alive,” says Juanita. “It allowed me to pay the mortgage and bills we were falling behind on, as well as the mounting medical expenses.”

Unfortunately, despite the transplant, Mark died three-and-a-half years later. The remaining death benefit from the policy continued to help Juanita as she navigated her life and finances without her husband. “The life insurance helped us while Mark was alive, and continued to help me after he was gone. I can’t imagine what my life would be like now without it,” she says.

Protecting the Future

Protecting the Future

A mutual friend with a new dog brought Stephen and Katie together. Stephen had headed to his friend’s house to meet the new furry member of the family, and when he got there, he saw Katie playing with dog in the backyard. “Katie was so outgoing,” says Stephen. “She was the nicest person you’ll ever meet.” That first meeting led to beach outings and concerts, and over time to getting married and thinking about starting a family.

It was Katie who suggested they get life insurance. Stephen admits he wasn’t too happy about the idea. They were young and healthy, so he didn’t see the point. Katie, however, convinced him to sit down with insurance professional Rose Goheen, who walked them through the process and presented them with affordable options. They both decided to get life insurance coverage.

When the couple welcomed Chase, they decided to reevaluate their life insurance. Given their expanding family and responsibilities, they both bought additional life insurance. It was during her recovery from giving birth to Reid that Katie realized something was wrong. Her doctor confirmed her suspicion that the abdominal lump she felt was something much more serious. In fact, it was an aggressive form of cancer.

Katie, with the love and support of her family, valiantly fought the disease, but just over a year later it claimed this young mom’s life. She was just 30.

No words can capture the devastation that Stephen and his boys felt at Katie’s loss. “It’s horrible to lose your soul mate and best friend,” he says. “But I have two boys to support, and I want them to know their dad can carry on.”

Life insurance has helped with that process. “Nothing can bring Katie back, but having life insurance meant we didn’t lose everything,” he says. “I don’t earn enough alone to afford living in our house. Life insurance has eased my financial worries on so many levels.”

Thinking back to that first meeting with Rose, Stephen says: “Katie was the smarter one. She knew to plan for the future “our future“ with life insurance.”

Protection During a Financial Storm

Protection During a Financial Storm

Being a small-business owner is rewarding. It gives you the freedom to do what you love and to control your destiny. This appealed to Mike Jaap, who took a wealth of experience and built a metal recycling business. It paid off with exponential growth and profits.

His insurance professional Bill Cassidy was there to offer him advice—unique advice he hadn’t heard from his other advisors. Bill recommended that Mike put a whole life insurance policy in place to protect his family and as a means to build cash value.

Then came the economic crisis of 2008. His business took a huge blow when markets contracted and several major oversees clients were unable to pay their bills. Mike thought it was the death knell of his business. That is until he called Bill.

Distraught, Mike laid out the facts. His bank had withdrawn his line of credit. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to keep his business afloat, which would mean laying off a few dozen employees as well.

Bill had a simple question for him: “How much money do you need to keep your business going right now?” Perplexed, Mike gave him a figure. “No problem,” said Bill. “We can have that money in your account in two days.” What Mike had forgotten was the power of his whole life policy and the cash value it had accumulated over the dozen years he had had it.

The infusion of money from a loan against the cash value in his policy allowed Mike to regroup and keep his business going, and in the process it protected his family financially as well as his employees. Once things were stabilized, Bill and Mike set up a plan to repay the loan, so the money would be there in the event that outside forces again came to bear on his business.

Mike is thankful for these living benefits of life insurance that help him weather the financial storm. “There were a lot of sleepless nights, but my whole life insurance policy allowed me to stop worrying and keep my business,” he says.

*Withdrawing or borrowing funds from your policy will reduce its cash value and death benefit if not repaid, and may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured.

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