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.”

Everything Will Be Okay

Everything Will Be Okay

Michael, 32, was a fit and healthy family man. As he left to run a 10K race, he kissed his wife, Traci, good-bye along with newborn Calvin and “big” sister Josie. He never made it home.

As he crossed the finish line, Michael collapsed and died. The Kovacic family would never be the same.

Thankfully, they had life insurance. Even though the young couple had been living paycheck to paycheck, their insurance professional had convinced them to buy an affordable policy.

Traci says the hardest part for her was knowing that the love of her life was never coming home. “But the reality is that everything else stayed the same,” she says. “The paychecks stopped immediately, but I still had to keep the lights on, buy food, pay the mortgage and take care of the kids. Having life insurance meant I didn’t have to make any immediate decisions or sell the house.”

“The life insurance saved us—and it still does today,” she says.

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