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In 2008 I lost my stepmother to cancer and my life changed forever. She was 62 years old. I first knew her as my fathers’ wife, then a friend, and then my mother for 26 years before she passed away. She played an instrumental role in my life, helping me through some very tough teenage years. She helped teach me to drive. Let me take her car out on dates. She played the coach, cop, and counselor for so many critical years. I grew to love her and appreciate her more and more as I matured and as the years went on. She became a loving and compassionate grandmother to our two children.
Her illness came on so quickly. One day she started feeling ill. After a few tests and doctors’ visits, we would soon find out that she had cancer. In fact, late stages of cancer. The next couple of years she fought with all she had. Treatment after treatment. It was February that year she lost her valiant battle. The void she left in my heart will never be filled. The loss of friendship is too immense to describe. I had lost my mother, my children lost their grandmother, and my father had lost his love.
As if the emotional toll on myself, my wife, my children, and my father wasn’t bad enough, the financial toll was almost as crushing and humiliating. When my stepmother was diagnosed, she was without medical insurance. She was self-employed, too young for Medicare, and felt that she was healthy enough to wait it out until she turned 65 and was eligible to enroll in Medicare.
As a family, we sold everything we could to help pay for her care. The hospital was amazing and forgave a huge portion of her debt, but in the end, nothing we did was enough to cover the financial burden. The month that she passed away I helped my father surrender his home, on acreage in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, back to the mortgage company. We relocated him to an old trailer in a senior park in the city.
My father and stepmother were both very intelligent people. They just did not realize the risks or repercussions of not having the proper protection in place. They thought those horror stories were about other people. As I said, they were very intelligent people, they were just unaware of the reality.
People should not have to go through the financial challenges that they faced during the toughest times in their lives. I decided at that moment, I would dedicate my life to educating people about the need for proper planning and protection. My wife and I sold our real estate business and I became a licensed insurance agent specializing specifically in the senior market with Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, prescription drug programs, final expense, life insurance, long-term care, and annuities. I later became a financial advisor & fiduciary. Our son is a financial advisor, registered representative & fiduciary, our daughter, daughter-in-law, and my wife are all licensed agents as well. We have made it our family’s mission to provide value to as many people as we can.
Since starting this company in 2013 we have helped thousands of people live better lives. We have reduced premiums, increased coverages, increased retirement portfolios, provided guaranteed income that cannot be outlived, provided income to surviving family members and loved ones, provided policies that paid for long-term care or treatments, and much more.
In closing, every day we have the privilege and opportunity to provide options, independence, and dignity to those we serve.