Understanding Its True Value

Understanding Its True Value

Running a bakery—with crack-of-dawn start times and seasonal crunches—can be tough, but Sherri and John Horsley loved their small business. It offered them the right fit. Sherri’s boundless enthusiasm made her the perfect up-front person, and John gravitated to the behind-the-scenes baking. Plus, running their own small business allowed them to spend time with their two young sons, Nate and Dave.

While it was still a new operation for them, the couple met with insurance professional Greg Call to make sure that both their business and their futures were financially secure. And, indeed, Greg saw a gap in Sherri’s life insurance coverage, which she addressed. Plus, the couple understood the wisdom in starting retirement plans. As the business grew, Sherri and John sat down for an annual review with Greg and did a new life insurance needs analysis. They discovered they needed more, so they increased their coverage.

Then, just as the holiday rush was upon them, Sherri discovered a lump, which doctors told her was breast cancer. While continuing to run the bakery and go to school for her Master’s in family counseling, she bravely battled the disease. While she did experience a period of remission, the cancer returned. Sadly, it was the devastating disease that took her life at just 45.

As John says, “The life insurance has made all the difference in the world to us.” It gave him time to grieve, as well as find a buyer for the business so he and the boys could move closer to family. John has also secured the boys’ college education and his own retirement.

“We knew life insurance was important, but didn’t understand the value until now,” he says. “I can say in hindsight that the sacrifice of putting money aside for life insurance—to give you peace of mind and less stress—is totally worth it.”

A Living Miracle

A Living Miracle

At 27, life was falling into place for Dore Bakouris. She was newly married, had a 1-year-old son and had just returned to work. Then she started suffering from severe headaches. Given that she had no previous health issues, she went to the emergency room and got a CT scan. Doctors gave her the devastating news that she had a brain tumor.

Within a week, Dore had surgery to remove what was thought to be an egg-sized tumor, but it turned out to be a cavernous angioma—a malformation of blood vessels that had started to bleed, putting pressure on her brain. Doctors said if they had waited another day, they would have lost her. Thankfully Dore survived, but she did lose her right peripheral vision and had cognitive impairments. They discovered later she had also suffered a stroke.

Thankfully Dore had done insurance planning at a young age, given her husband, Steven, was their insurance professional. Dore had disability insurance, which replaced a portion of her income. That meant there wasn’t the financial strain of going from a two-income household to one. She also had critical illness insurance, which paid out a lump sum, due to her having suffered a stroke. This money allowed them to move closer to family. That gave Dore the support she needed, since she could no longer drive and had an active toddler. “This insurance has been a miracle for us,” she says. “It’s helped us in ways I didn’t think were possible.”

Steven adds that people expect something like this to happen when you’re old or to “other” people. “I want to express how important it is to have this kind of planning in place,” he says. “Your ability to generate income is your largest asset, if you can’t work, where does that leave everything else?”

Love Insurance

Love Insurance

Christy and Daryel Dunaway’s love story began as a friendship and stayed that way for more than a decade until, as Christy says, “I understood that love was about having someone who loves you as you are—heart and soul.”

Daryel also understood at a deep level that he needed to protect his love for Christy on a financial level, as well as an emotional one. He and his friend John had started a business together, Handicapable Vans, which adapts vehicles for people with disabilities. It’s something both men knew about from firsthand experience. Daryel had become paralyzed from the chest down in a diving accident at 15; John was a quadriplegic as well.

The partners arranged legally for the business to pass to the other if one were to die, but Daryel knew he also needed to ensure his wife would be taken care of financially. Culpepper Webb, an insurance professional, worked hard to get Daryel the life insurance he needed and made sure he increased it as his business grew.

It was fortunate that both men were so adamant about getting—and increasing—that coverage. Daryel faced his life with joy and optimism, despite his physical limitations, but it was eventually his body’s inability to shake off a series of infections that took his life at 57.

Christy was overwhelmed with grief in the wake of his death. She credits Daryel’s life insurance with giving her time to grieve, and then being able to move on with her life. “It meant I didn’t have to sell our home, which we had adapted to meet our needs,” says Christy. In addition, she has opened her own consulting firm, which had been a joint goal for the couple. “Life insurance has allowed me to take action on our dream,” she says.

Life Insurance for … Life

Life Insurance for … Life

Most people think life insurance is there to protect families financially when someone dies. And while that’s true, the “living benefits” of life insurance can also help families beforehand. This has been true for Kelley and Doak Snead.

They are a match made in country music heaven—Nashville, where they met working in the industry and then bonded over their love of making music. Their love has grown over the past 23 years, and life insurance has been an important part of their life together. As Kelley grew her new career in real estate and Doak focused on raising their daughter, Emma, they knew they needed the financial safety net that life insurance offered.

Tragedy struck, however, when Kelley—the family’s main breadwinner—found out she had a drug-resistant type of Parkinson’s disease. It has slowly robbed her of her ability to work, and now even to care for herself. Fortunately, their insurance professional Wallene Leek had made sure that Kelley not only increased her life insurance over time, but that it had living benefits as well.

Kelley’s term life insurance policies have a disability waiver of premium, which means she never has to pay another premium. And because her diagnosis is terminal, the family is able to access a percentage of the death benefit now. That has meant the world to the Sneads.

The family has been able to stay in their home, instead of selling it, and Emma has been able to complete school. What’s more, Kelley and Doak are able to spend what time they have left without the crushing burden of financial worry. “Kelley’s disease may have taken away her livelihood, but life insurance has saved our lives at this point,” says Doak.

Securing the American Dream

Securing the American Dream

Steven and Ngoc Anh Tang left Vietnam to pursue the American dream: They wanted their children, Jimmy and Nancy, to have a better life. Their insurance professional Annie Vu also helped them secure their children’s financial future in case the worst were to happen. The couple purchased permanent life insurance for both Steven, who worked for an hourly wage, and for Ngoc Anh, who was mainly a stay-at-home mom.

It was on a trip with her mom and sister that Ngoc Anh was involved in a car accident. Her life-threatening injuries meant she was in and out of the hospital, but because her policy had a disability waiver of premium, she no longer had to pay for the policy. However, Ngoc Anh never fully recovered, and later died of a stroke. Again, her life insurance policy came through. Annie had advised the Tangs to get an accidental death rider, and because Ngoc Anh’s heart condition was a result of the accident, the family was entitled to double the original amount of the policy.

Now that he was a single father, Annie encouraged Steven to get additional life insurance to protect his children, which he did. Unfortunately, tragedy struck just three years after his wife had passed away. Steven learned he had liver cancer and died soon after his diagnosis. Nancy, a senior in high school, and Jimmy, who had graduated from college, were now on their own.

Thankfully, Annie and the money from the life insurance were there to shepherd them on their way. Nancy is now attending college, and the siblings have bought a house near campus so Jimmy can help his sister as they start a new chapter in their lives. They credit life insurance for that opportunity. “It’s vital for parents to have life insurance,” says Jimmy. “It means if you do die, your loved ones can go on without worrying about money while they get back on their feet.”

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