It’s About Family

It’s About Family

Jenny was single and in her 20s, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t thinking about the future. In fact, she knew she wanted to have a family one day and that saving for retirement—even this early on—was a priority.

That’s why after meeting with insurance professional Jim Silbernagel, she decided to buy a permanent life insurance policy. She knew it would help her with both goals: provide the life insurance coverage she sought and the ability to accumulate cash value to help with saving for retirement.

Jenny’s dream of having a family did come true. She met Jim on a blind date, and once married, they welcomed a son, Michael, and then several years later twins, Samuel and Nathaniel. As often happens with growing families, finances got stretched tight, and Jim suggested they cancel Jenny’s policy to save money. Jenny was adamant that they keep it. Instead, they used some of the accumulated cash value to pay the premium and keep the policy in force.* That decision would be life changing for her family.

The Chich family was looking forward to welcoming their fourth child—a girl, but tragically Jenny died while giving birth. The shock to her family was overwhelming. While life insurance could never replace their vibrant wife and mother, Jim says that Jenny’s policy helped the family in the aftermath of her death. He was able to take a yearlong leave of absence from his job to care for newborn Emma and the boys, who were all younger than 6. “I was able to focus on my kids and not worry about how I was going to buy a gallon of milk,” says Jim.

And his advice to other families is simple: “Be prepared. You may look at the cost of premiums as scary, but if you work it into your budget you don’t even realize the money is going out. Just make sure your life insurance is taken care of.”

*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.

Facing the Unexpected

Facing the Unexpected

Jamey and Robyn Koonsman met in college and realized they shared a love of the land and the animals that populated the ranches they grew up around. Once married, they shared their passion with their daughters, Hope and Jordyn. The family spent their free time attending stock shows and rodeos. Hope loved nothing more than showing steers and truly owned the ring when she was in it, and Jordyn took a shine to rodeo riding.

While it’s nothing a family should ever have to suffer, Hope died unexpectedly when she was just 19, the result of a birth defect the family thought was long in the past. It proved fortunate that the couple had done life insurance planning early on with their insurance professional Paul Miller. Not only had they bought a combination of permanent and term life insurance for themselves, they had purchased permanent life insurance for both girls. Their plan was to gift the policies to the girls once grown. Instead, they used Hope’s policy to pay medical bills and to start a foundation in her honor.

Layered on this tragedy was Robyn’s ongoing fight with breast cancer. She had been battling the disease over the course of eight years. Then, less than two years after Hope died, Robyn lost that battle at age 37. In the wake of her death, life insurance did what it was meant to: pay for medical bills and final expenses, and allow Jamey and Jordyn to continue living in their home without financial concerns. Jordyn has also been able to pursue her rodeo riding, which has sustained her through these tragedies.

Jamey says that when they originally got life insurance in their 20s, they never expected to use it. So his message to others is simple: “You’re never too young to get life insurance, because you never know what will happen. Make sure you take care of your family, so if something does happen, they won’t struggle.”

A Parent’s Sacrifice—and Gift

A Parent’s Sacrifice—and Gift

Ver en español aquí.

Roberto Loera would do anything for his family. That included leaving his homeland of Mexico and living and working in Colorado so he could provide a better life for his wife, Maria, and two boys, Roberto Jr. and Abel. He spent years working in the ski resorts during high season, and traveling back to Mexico to be with his family during the downtime.

Finally, he got word that his family’s visas had been approved. Roberto shared that joy with his insurance professional, Leila Martinez. She knew how long and hard he had worked for this opportunity, and asked if he had thought about life insurance to protect his family’s financial future. Roberto was quick to understand how important this coverage was, given that Maria would not be working. He was able to put a policy in place for less than $20 a month.

Less than a year after the family was reunited, Roberto learned that the terrible headaches he was having were the result of a brain tumor. While doctors weren’t able to remove it completely, Roberto was able to return to work. However, just nine months later, he learned the tumor had reappeared and spread, and neither surgery nor treatment was effective. The doctors gave him only months to live.

One of the proudest days of his life was when he received his citizenship, and it was just two weeks later that Roberto died at age 47. The community that loved him gave the family the emotional support they needed. And Roberto’s life insurance policy gave them the financial support they also needed. It allowed Maria time to grieve and to give Roberto the funeral he deserved. It also paid medical bills and provided for day-to-day expenses while Maria looked for work. She also set money aside for Roberto Jr. and Abel’s college dreams. “Roberto’s life insurance was such a blessing,” says Maria. “It’s something every family should have.”

El sacrificio—y regalo—de un padre

El sacrificio—y regalo—de un padre

View in English here.

Roberto Loera haría lo que fuera por su familia. Eso incluyó dejar su tierra natal de México y vivir y trabajar en Colorado para poder ofrecerles una mejor calidad de vida a su esposa María y a sus dos hijos, Roberto Jr. y Abel. Pasó años trabajando en los centros de ski durante la temporada alta y regresando a México para estar con su familia durante la temporada baja.

Finalmente, se enteró de que estaban aprobadas las visas de su familia. Roberto compartió esa alegría con su profesional de seguros, Leila Martínez. Ella sabía todo el tiempo y el esfuerzo que Roberto le había dedicado a esta oportunidad, y le preguntó si había pensado en un seguro de vida para proteger el futuro financiero de la familia. Roberto entendió de inmediato la importancia de esta cobertura, debido a que María no trabajaría. Y logró contratar una póliza por menos de US$ 20 mensuales.

Menos de un año después de que se reunió la familia, Roberto supo que los terribles dolores de cabeza que tenía provenían de un tumor cerebral. Si bien los doctores no pudieron extraerlo por completo, Roberto pudo regresar a trabajar. No obstante, tan solo nueve meses después, supo que el tumor había reaparecido y se había diseminado, y no fueron efectivos ni la cirugía ni el tratamiento. Los doctores dijeron que solo tenía unos meses de vida.

Uno de los días en los que se sintió más orgulloso fue cuando recibió su ciudadanía, y tan solo dos semanas después, Roberto falleció a los 47 años. La comunidad que lo amaba le dio a la familia el apoyo emocional que necesitaba. Y la póliza de seguro de vida de Roberto le dio el apoyo financiero que también necesitaba. Eso le dio a María tiempo para superar el duelo y le brindó a Roberto el funeral que se merecía. También pagó las facturas médicas y cubrió los gastos diarios mientras María buscaba trabajo. Ella también logró ahorrar dinero para los sueños universitarios de Roberto Jr. y Abel. “El seguro de vida de Roberto realmente fue una bendición”, destaca María. “Es algo que cada familia debería tener”.

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.”

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