Broker Check

The Reason We Do What We Do

| May 02, 2023

My 6th or 7th year in this industry, one of my younger reps asked me to handle a case with his best friend’s father. This was someone very close to this rep and that was all I needed to take this on.

“He Was Just a Great Guy”.

This was the type of guy who would have all the kids in the neighborhood over his house. He was the local football coach, so he was friendly with almost everyone in the area. He had a boat, so he’d take these kids out on the water. They would swim in his pool. He was just a great guy. And I knew him, like all the kids knew him — Mr. D.

He was around aged 52 or 53, when he came to us. He earned a living in sales, selling roofing materials, windows and more to contractors. He was a very experienced salesman who had been doing this for a long time.  He did very well from year to year, often pulling down $250,000 a year in sales. He was accustomed to making good money.

The Financial Concerns

But he also had very little money, in fact he had nothing. He had a lot of debt, about $40,000 in credit card debt alone. He had a nice house, but he had a large mortgage and a sizeable home equity line against the home. He probably had about $150,000 in his 401K, which was way too low if he’s earning a half-million each year. And he had very little in savings. Simply put, all his income coming into his accounts was going out even faster. Coupled with his financial concerns, he also didn’t have life insurance or disability insurance. He was living a big lifestyle with his family, a wife and two kids, and he was the sole breadwinner.

Our Solution

Right from the jump, I knew we needed to clean this up. So, we reengineered his financial plan. For his debt, we re-financed and re-packaged it together. Originally, he was paying 20% interest on his credit card debt. At $40,000, that amounted to paying $8,000 in interest over the year —$700 a month. Immediately once we put all that debt together, we were able to lower the interest rate.

We then got Mr. D on a budget, we got him a multi-million-dollar life insurance policy, we bought him a big disability insurance contract — around $12,000 and created a plan to start saving. That was our financial plan. He was on his way.

Unfortunate Diagnosis

Then, 18 months later, I find out that Mr. D hasn’t been feeling too well. He’s been having all sorts of doctor’s visits. Something was clearly not right. He comes in for a review with me and I immediately notice a change. He was walking different. He didn’t look like himself. He had lost weight.

Four months after that review, Mr. D and his wife come in for another review. He looks at me and tells me he has ALS — Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis— also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. If you don’t know anything about ALS, it’s not something you can come back from. It’s just question of how quickly the decline will be and how long will it linger. It was heartbreaking. I still remember that meeting to this day.

My Reason

After he revealed his diagnosis, maybe a month or so later, he rapidly loses his speech. The way he communicates with people is by writing on a board. So we go to his house, to meet with him and before we get started, he wrote me a message on the board:

 “Thank you for what you did, because if I never met you, my family wouldn’t be living in this house. And I wouldn’t have peace of mind knowing that I left everyone in a good spot.”

Stories like this are happening every day. This is the reason why we do what we do in this business. We’re making sure people are in the best financial position if the unthinkable happens. We listen to their concerns. We hear their hopes and dreams. And we make sure they’re able to live the life they want and take care of their loved ones.