Each year, Life Happens highlights stories that show how life, health, disability income and long-term-care insurance and the people who sell them positively impact the lives of so many families and individuals.
The Real Life Stories presentations are a regular highlight of the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting. This year, attendees heard four particularly moving and inspirational stories.
The Gongos Story
John Gongos worked with his good friend, advisor Craig Wiklund, to develop a business succession plan and personal life insurance to protect his wife, Anne, and their three children should anything happen to him. When Gongos passed away at age 51, the 100-plus employees from the company he founded were able to keep their jobs and his family had a sound financial future. “Because of the planning John and Craig did, my family is taken care of for life and the company is doing great,” said Anne Gongos.
The Sherman Story
When Jason and Nicole Sherman sat down to discuss their life insurance needs with advisor Lars Hansen, Nicole insisted that family needed a policy on herself, even though Jason was the family’s primary breadwinner. When Nicole tragically died in a traffic accident, the life insurance she had insisted upon allowed Jason to take time off work to grieve with the couple’s two daughters and ensured the family’s financial security.
The Sizemore Story
Insurance advisor James Jacobs had worked with Michael Sizemore to ensure that Michael and his colleagues had solid long-term disability insurance as an employee benefit. Sizemore 26 years old and training for his first marathon when, during and evening out with friends, a drunk driver ran a red light and struck him as he was crossing a street. Sizemore’s recovery is ongoing after three year, and he has not yet been able to return to work. He has endured multiple surgeries and a great deal of rehabilitation. Sizemore’s long-term disability insurance has kept him afloat financially during his recovery.
The McNeely Story
Sam McNeely, along with his wife Amy, purchased individual life insurance policies with their advisor, NAIFA President Juli McNeely, Sam’s cousin. The policies would ensure the financial security Sam or Amy and their daughter, Charli, should one of them unexpectedly pass away. Several years later, the easygoing and otherwise healthy Sam had an aortic dissection that claimed his life at age 38. Juli was able to help Amy invest the proceeds to ensure that Amy and Charli had an ongoing stream of income. “People think life insurance is super expensive, but it’s not,” Amy said. “For the amount of coverage we had, it wasn’t expensive at all – and it was worth everything…. People my age don’t think they’re going to die, but it happens.”