December 2016 - Susman
Home / Blog


New Year Update

As humans, people, consumers, etc… We love to constantly update our life status, as well as be up-to-date on the latest and greatest. It can be the newest cell phones, techno-gadgets, movies, and fashion – whatever. We like to appear to our social universe as being interesting, exciting, fresh, and new. It is a competition of who can post and update first or who can get the newest ‘it’ item. Nobody wants to finish last or be left behind. It is all about the update!

Do you know what else needs to be updated?
Your insurance policies.

The start of the year is always a good time to review all of your polices and make any necessary changes. However, it is almost entering the third month of the year – have no fear! There is still plenty of time to update, but don’t procrastinate.
I know a woman that updates her policies almost a dozen times per year. She is always reviewing coverage to ensure that it matches with her current coverage needs and lifestyle. Marriage, divorce, children, pets, change of job, business ownership, and health – all of these events create a change in insurance policies. She consistently updates, because she knows that as life goes through changes, the amount and type of coverage for each policy must also change.

Have you made any major purchases? Save your receipts and educate yourself on inflation and exchange rates (for items purchased overseas) and how those might affect the value of your items and the replacement value as well. On the other side, be aware of insured items that have potentially depreciated. You don’t want to be paying a ton of extra money for being over-insured.
Did you do any major home renovations? Added solar panels? Updated your security system? Yes – you need to update!

Don’t get discourage or confused and feel like you have to go at this alone. Yes, there is plenty of information you can find on the internet, but our recommendation is to contact your agent and allow them to assist. Updating isn’t a difficult process, but it is an important one that deserve a lot of attention to detail. The right changes can save you money – now and in the future.

NOW might be a good time to review and update all your policies and make sure everything is still in alignment with your lifestyle. Then you can be the first among your friends to brag and update your social status!

Update NOW!
Update NOW!

Only Human

Things in our lives are constantly evolving, changing. It’s inevitable. There are many people who crack under the pressure and stress of change, making complicated situations even worse and slowing the growth process.

We currently have numerous opportunities afforded to us that our ancestors quite possibly couldn’t even comprehend. I think those “perks” make the wheels of change turn even faster than they once did. Life is fast-paced and hectic. We often convince ourselves that we have the strength and endurance of superhero. Certainly we can argue that we’re all superhero material in our own way, but we still have to remind ourselves that failure can and will happen. We are only human after all. Sometimes change comes in the form of a sudden event – illness, car accident or any event that can turn life upside-down in the blink of an eye. When those moments strike, we don’t want you worrying about ANYTHING other than getting back on your feet.

Take a moment and look at life insurance through a different lens. Buying life insurance doesn’t have to be stressful. We understand the struggles of comparing life insurance companies and policies, because we’ve been there. It can be confusing and frustrating, which is why we are here for you now. We wanted to make it easy for you to feel financially protected and we have done just that. We can offer protection whether you’re old or young, sick or healthy, male or female, gay or straight, married or single.

No matter what, we’ve got you covered.

Could you live without income?

One day after Christmas and here we are again! Now that you’ve opened your presents, let’s take a step backwards. Those presents cost some real moola, wouldn’t you agree? Question is if you were unable to work, how would you have afforded to buy all of those gifts? Join Karl Susman and guests this week as they discuss how important your income is and how to protect and guarantee it. Transcript follows:

JIM: Today’s program is a must listen-to to anyone earning a paycheck, especially those that might have recently graduated from college. Joining us today is Camille Snyder who, at age 29, is the youngest NAIFA Jackson president in the organization’s 56-year history. However, at age 23, she was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. Today, she’s going to share her story as to how she both physically and financially survived an almost two year journey and how, now, her experiences have shaped her and what she does to help others to avoid the mistakes that she made at such an early age. Welcome, Camille.


CAMILLE SNYDER: Thanks Jim. Glad to be here today.


JIM: I am so glad to have you and, today, we’re going to talk about your own personal story and I think it’s something that a lot of people can learn from and my understanding is it actually inspired you to make a career choice so why don’t we start out with tell us a little bit about your professional career.


CAMILLE SNYDER: Sure. When I graduated from college, I went to work for a young technology firm in Washington, DC and I was in sales and I sold software to Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits and mom-and-pop shops, just about anybody who I could get an appointment with. At the age of 22, I had a great income and a great career ahead of me and, really, I was on top of the world and life was going great and then an unexpected life event happened. It sort of, I have to say, it really changed the trajectory of my career and everything else.


JIM: So, tell us a little bit. What happened?


CAMILLE SNYDER: Well, when I was 23, I was asked to go to India and help manage the international sales team that this young technology firm had that was selling in the UK and Australia and I was really excited about it. After being in India for about six weeks, I was actually diagnosed with Stage 4 oral tongue cancer and it was completely out of the blue. I didn’t have any risk factors. I didn’t smoke. Cancer doesn’t even run in our family so it was a total fluke that I was diagnosed with cancer and I was diagnosed actually in India so I flew back to the United States thinking once I get back stateside, I’ll have a physician look at these results, we’re just going to get this whole thing worked out. I’m sure there’s a mix-up somewhere. It was a pretty long flight from India back to the United States and, when I got back to the United States, the physicians confirmed what the physicians in India had diagnosed. It was Stage 4 oral tongue cancer and, actually, the physicians in India probably saved my life because, in India, they have a higher incidence of oral cancer so they knew exactly what it was when they looked at it.


JIM: What was going through your mind at that point? You had the whole world by the tail, so to speak, and life is looking really good and, now, you’re dealt this prognosis. What was going through your mind at the time?


CAMILLE SNYDER: Well, I have to say, I was one of those people who, up until that point, had been invincible. There had not been much in my life that I was not able to overcome. There had not been much in my life up until that point that had caused real adversity in my life so, when I was diagnosed, I thought this can’t be right. It absolutely can’t be right. I guess they call that denial sort of in the first stage but, then, I was fortunate enough to have a choice of where I was treated and I was treated at MD Anderson out in Houston, Texas, which is a phenomenal hospital. We have so many great hospitals across the United States and, fortunately, MD Anderson is one of them. The physicians there had to break the news that my prognosis was not very good and, best-case scenario, I would probably not be able to communicate on the same level I had because of speech impediment or having a good portion of my tongue removed because I had tongue cancer so that has consequences and what it means to sit down and eat dinner with friends or with family or how you are able to work and how you’re able to communicate with people so, best-case scenario, I would probably have difficulty eating independently, being understood by those around me, and that was the best-case scenario. I thought you have got to be kidding. Again, I had been on top of the world so I was one of those people who pretty much thought I was invincible up until that time and, then, after you have a conversation like that and you’re actually in the clinic and in the hospital room and the physicians come in with a team of two or three to make sure they answer several questions, the weight of the diagnosis and, really, of the prognosis, too, became very real.


JIM: You’re talking about you were working with a technology company. I look at most people that are just coming out of college. We saw all of the statistics for young folks with health insurance and it sounds like you at least had health insurance, right?


CAMILLE SNYDER: I did. I had a great health insurance policy that I paid. I remember every month seeing it come out of my paycheck and thinking, man, I wonder if that’s worth it because it was pretty expensive but I had health insurance through my firm and I also had a group disability insurance through my firm.


JIM: Now, was that something you elected to buy, the disability insurance, or was that something that was just provided as a benefit?


CAMILLE SNYDER: It was provided as a benefit and I cannot remember because it was so long ago but I believe I opted into it but the employer paid the premium.


JIM: So, being 23, I know from having my own kids in that age group right now, talking to them about insurance, you might as well talk to them about physics and they’re not physics people. Their eyes glaze over and they think well what would I need insurance for, that’s for when people get older, and disability income, I think back. I’ve been in this business for a long time. I started in the health business, didn’t really understand disability income for the first several years I was in the business and I didn’t have my own disability income and I know when I first looked at it, I thought I’m in sales, I’m in counseling for clients, I’m advising clients. The only way I wouldn’t be able to sell, I mean they could wheel me in a wheelchair and I could still talk about it. As long as I have my mind and ability to speak, I should be okay. Now, here you are in sales. It’s amazing that you did get the disability income. I’m sure if they didn’t offer it as a benefit, you wouldn’t have had it, but talk about how that worked for you and what that provided you because, if you’re going through cancer treatment, obviously, you’re not going to work every day, especially if you’re in sales and they’re doing surgery on your ability to speak.


CAMILLE SNYDER: Yeah, you are absolutely correct. I was fortunate that I actually had two financial advisors that I worked with, even at age 22 and 23. They sat me down and we would have meetings and they talked about the importance of systematic savings and having my own individual policy on top of what I had through work and they told me my income was going up. I needed to lock in my insurability as a young, healthy person and they asked me to fill out an application for a permanent life insurance policy and an individual disability policy outside of what I had through work. In our first meeting, I actually told them that I didn’t want to move forward with the application at that point in time because my car had overheated and I needed to get a new car, it was probably time for me to upgrade my vehicle, and they said, okay, not a problem, and a few weeks later, they wanted to get back together so we sat back down and we talked about the importance of systematic savings and protecting my ability to earn an income and all of these great wonderful things. The second time we sat down, I told them that I had roommates, I was living in Washington, DC, it’s a pretty expensive to live in. I had had roommates for a few years in college and then as a young professional and I wanted my own apartment so I said not now, I’ll do it later. Then, a few weeks after that, my two advisors said, okay, you need to get serious about this and so we sat down and I filled out a life insurance application for $250,000 of permanent whole life insurance and the policy had waiver of premium and paid-up editions and eight guaranteed purchase options and all of the bells and whistles possible. I told them I could fill out the life insurance application but I would not have time to fill out the disability insurance application at that point in time so they said no problem. My life insurance application went through underwriting. I received the best possible rating and we put the policy inforce immediately. After my permanent life insurance policy went inforce, about two months later, my advisors ask for another meeting to sit back down and to talk about an individual disability insurance policy so we sat back down and I began filling out the application for individual disability insurance and I had told them I had just gotten information at work and I was actually going to be spending time in India as a part of that. On that disability application, it asked if you will be spending time in a foreign country so I marked that I would and the dates that I was expected to return. The policy goes through underwriting and the company postponed coverage until I returned from the foreign county so, when I went to India, the only disability policy I had inforce was that group long-term disability coverage. It was a real lesson to me about how quickly your insurability can change and about the importance of taking action today and taking action now because there was probably 60 days of difference, maybe 70 days of difference, between when I took that life insurance application and when I took that disability insurance application. I had been promoted and found out that I was going to be in India between those two times and it made a difference.


JIM: That’s an incredible story. We’re going to take a short break. When we come back, let’s talk a little bit more about the impact of this cancer that you came back to the United States for and how all of these coverages worked to help keep you financially sound so please stay tuned.




JIM: Welcome back as we continue to visit with Camille Snyder. She is a cancer survivor but what’s unique about her story is getting cancer at a very young age where she was a young professional right out of college and she made choices few young people make and that is to make sure she had proper coverages. What we’ve been learning from Camille, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you really need to consider this in your overall plan and it’s something you should be working with your insurance professionals to make sure you’re adequately covered. Camille, before the break, you were talking about you were postponed on individual disability income insurance and you had some group disability income insurance so what happened when you came back to get your treatment?


CAMILLE SNYDER: Unfortunately, I did not have any individual disability coverage inforce and the first thing that happened is that I learned there is a huge difference between group long-term disability and individual long-term disability. For example, a group long-term disability plan, it often will cover about 60% of your base income and, if your employer pays the premium, it’s taxable. Another thing is that group long-term disability plans are often offset by any type of government program, such as social security, and employees don’t actually own the coverage so it can be modified or canceled and the cost isn’t guaranteed versus an individual policy, which, if you have an individual disability policy that’s non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable, that means that the benefits cannot be modified and coverage cannot be canceled as long as you pay the premiums and the cost of coverage is guaranteed. The benefits are tax-free when paid for with after-tax dollars. My first lesson is that there is a huge difference between the two and I was so appreciative that my employer had a group long-term disability plan in place and that I had opted in because it did help but it was not anything adequate enough to actually cover my lifestyle because I had been in sales so my base income was only a small part of my overall compensation and it was taxable so I went from having a great income to having only a part of that income and then it was taxable on top of that. The second thing I learned is that that new car and that apartment didn’t produce any income. In fact, they take income to be maintained and pay for auto insurance and all of those things so that was a big lesson about cash flow. What I did is I had to rely on my family to help fill that gap and to keep the lights on in my apartment. I think that’s one of the things that we often miss when we speak with others about disability insurance and about why it’s important. I have a family that was very, not only able, but also willing to help me with expenses because I didn’t have enough income coming in in the form of group disability coverage or benefits and, my family, they were able and willing and they did it with joy in their heart but I think that is, really, the exception versus the rule and, even though they were able and willing to do that, it was an emotional part and the mental part of having to rely on others is something that I think we don’t really talk enough about because it’s a very frustrating position to be in because, as human beings, we are all programmed to go out and create value and produce more than we consume and, so, it’s really difficult to have to count on and lean on other people for something that you have an opportunity with different types of insurance products to help fill that gap.


JIM: We’re dependent on our parents. We go off to school. We’re ready to make our own way and it had to really hit you pretty hard because you were just gaining your independence and then getting thrown back into being dependent that had to be a challenge.


CAMILLE SNYDER: Yeah, absolutely. I think I had six months of savings built up and went through those six months of savings in probably three months because I had an apartment in DC and then an apartment in Houston, Texas where I was being treated. I had to have transportation at both of those so I was really surprised by how much just living expenses go up not to mention the cost of medication, the cost of things that flow over from health insurance. With health insurance, we make sure that our hospitals and our physicians are taken care of but disability insurance is making sure that you and your family are taken care of.


JIM: We heard that your ability to speak and be able to sell, the prognosis wasn’t that good but, obviously, we’re talking to you today, you sound great. Tell us the rest of the story. What happened afterwards and how are you doing now?


CAMILLE SNYDER: Well, I spent about nine months going through active treatment and that included chemotherapy and surgery and radiation, and then I spent about a year rehabbing from all of those things and that’s where I spent my time doing physical therapy and speech therapy. I had had a feeding tube so I had to learn how to eat independently and not choke by having a sip of water and that was really hard work, and also say it was during the rehabilitation time that I think I really floundered and that I struggled. During active treatment, I felt like I had marching orders. My physicians would say we need to do this or you need to do this and I said, okay, I can do that, just give me my marching orders, but during rehab, I was frustrated with the amount of progress I was making. It really took me a while until I could turn a corner on that and, again, I think that the mental aspect of being too sick or injured to work is something that we don’t talk about enough and prepare people for because it’s something that we just don’t really think about. After I got rehabbed enough and my physicians cleared me to go back to work, I decided that software was not something that was going to get me out of bed in the morning. I really wanted to do something that would make an impact on others because, while I was sick, I had so much support from people and so much love that came my way, I wanted to be able to give something back. I became a disability insurance specialist with a company in Washington, DC helping educate advisors and educate clients on the importance of individual disability insurance and the importance of having taken advantage of group disability coverage that might be available through the workplace, teaching people how policies work, and just making folks aware of what’s available in the marketplace.


JIM: You’ve got to get a tremendous amount of job satisfaction by doing that and that education that you’re doing could really save a family financially.


CAMILLE SNYDER: Oh, absolutely. One of the things I would really encourage your listeners to do is, during open enrollment, seek advice from your insurance professional and sit down with them and let them review with you the benefits that you have through work and explain the difference between short-term and long-term disability, whether you want to pay it with pretax dollars or post-tax dollars, and all of those things, but seeking advice from folks who are professionals who look at benefits day in and day out and familiar with them is always a great thing to do.


JIM: Camille, this has been great. Hopefully, you’ve inspired our listeners to maybe dust those policies off, make sure they’re covered where they think they’re covered, and, for those of you that have young kids just getting started in the workforce or grandkids, make sure you encourage them to take a look at this stuff because I’m guilty of the same thing. When I was young, I thought who needs insurance. Well, the younger you are, the more risk you have at stake, especially when it comes to your income. If something happens where you can’t earn a living that can be devastating, especially at a young age where you haven’t had a chance to save much, so thanks again, Camille. I really appreciate you joining us today.



Protect That Payment

Real estate concept

The purchasing of a new home means you need some additional insurance. Something you should consider is Mortgage Protection Insurance.

Mortgage Protection Insurance is like life insurance protection for your home or property. It pays your mortgage in situations like death, loss of your income source or job or become disabled.  The cost of Mortgage Protection Insurance varies from one person to another. There are other factors taken into consideration by insurance providers in assessing your insurance cost. Some of the factors include your type of work, your age, health status and value of the property and your mortgage payment among others. The mortgage protection Insurance is relatively easy to get and providers usually ask few questions on the application form, which means that overwhelming majority of home owners can get this insurance. It is beneficial to people who may be deemed uninsurable or for those considered “high risk” which generally carry higher rates. People who work in situations deemed as high risk occupations or people with health issues may also benefit from buying a Mortgage Protection Insurance.

Whether you choose to get this additional insurance or not, there are serious benefits to consider and you should always prioritize protecting yourself, your family, and your home.


Fur Baby Love

We love our fur babies. Chances are if you have one, you love yours as well. Pets are members of the family. They play the role of child, companion, therapist, and best friend. There isn’t much we wouldn’t do for those cute, furry little effaces with suck-you-in-and-wrap-you-around-their-paw-eyes. So we say.

What happens when a major medical issue occurs and now you have a vet bill that is large enough to purchase a small island? Would you and are you willing to spend the money to help heal your pet?

About a decade ago, I learned about health insurance for my pets.  Just like my own health insurance, I was able to pay each month and get a portion of pet expenses covered each time I took them to the veterinarian. Basically I was able to get coverage for my dog that included accident and illness plans reimburse a high percentage of my vet bill. The best part? I was able to choose any licensed veterinarian, specialist or emergency center anywhere in the world. I was also able to purchase routine care coverage to help pay for annual checkups, dental cleanings, and so much more.

I have to admit that at first it made me laugh that pet insurance existed.  I know I said that my dogs were always a part of the family, but prior to a decade ago, I never associated pets with insurance.  However, once brought to my attention, it made perfect sense.  Just like humans, pets are at risk of injury, illness, and death.  I purchased my own various and affordable policies from my insurance agent and was able to do the exact same thing with the pet insurance.  The same great coverage and inexpensive rates made purchasing the policy so easy.

There are so many different types of insurance, but the one that every dog owner (or animal of choice) should consider is for pets.  For me personally, it felt good knowing that not only was I providing extra protection for my dogs, but also protection for my budget and finances.

I highly recommend discussing a pet insurance policy with your agent and your veterinarian.


The broken higher education system

Higher education is a must. What a High School diploma was 50 years ago now requires a College Bachelors degree. Join Karl Susman this week as he and his guests talk about how to pay for higher education. Transcript below:

JIM: Welcome to this week’s show. I’m so excited. Today we have the president of Marquette University. I attended a program not so long ago where he described some new innovative ways that they’re bringing teaching to the classroom, and not so much the classroom but more of a worksite environment, which is really preparing kids much better for college. Having my own kids having just graduated from college and being kind of disappointed with the leadership or the interaction that my kids received when getting their education, it was refreshing to hear what Dr. Michael Lovell, the current president of Marquette University, has brought to I think it was the University of Pittsburgh, brought to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and now he’s bringing it to Marquette University, and I’m excited for him to share some of these innovative teaching techniques that are going to get our kids more prepared for the 21st Century. Welcome Dr. Lovell.


DR. LOVELL: Well thanks for having me Jim.


JIM: Did I get that right, was it University of Pittsburgh?


DR. LOVELL: That’s correct. That’s where I started.


JIM: Alright. If you wouldn’t mind, why don’t you talk to us a little bit about the challenges facing higher education. I know when I heard you present we’re talking about teaching the same way we did some 150 years ago, we’re doing things the same way for the most part, and it’s time to bring it forward, so talk a little bit about some of those challenges that we face today.


DR. LOVELL: Sure, I can honestly say that I think that higher education is facing headwinds and challenges that we’ve never faced before and they’re on several levels. The first is the traditional education system which we operate under is obsolete. We probably should have been thinking about changing the way that we teach students 30 or 40 years ago, I’ll get into that more in a few minutes. The other challenges we face is now the price sensitivity for higher education has never been more stringent in the fact that the average student is graduating with more than $25,000 in debt, and the skills they are graduating with don’t necessarily allow them to be successful when they enter the workforce, so for the first time in our history USA Today actually in December had an article written by Goldman Sachs and the title was Is Higher Education Worth It, and he said not so much. We really have a perception that what we have in term of a product may not have the value that the consumer wants anymore. Between the fact that about 25% of students graduating today are either underemployed or unemployed just demonstrates that we need to be thinking differently about the way we educate students and the skills they graduate with and understanding the financial constraints they’re under where students are making decisions for as little as $500 a year and where they go to school is pretty competitive. Between these different forces we really need to think and act differently in terms of higher education in this country.


JIM: I think parents need to be aware. I think there’s a total lack of education of what it means to pay the tuition and what are the results or what kind of return on investment we’re getting. It’s not so long ago we passed the trillion dollar mark (with a T) in student loan debt, and a lot of that student loan debt right now, you talked about how many kids are actually coming out of college and having a degree where they can actually make payments on those loans, and I’ve had a lot of clients that I’ve worked with personally that didn’t realize so much what that co-signing meant for the students, and if they can’t get a job and pay their loans, mom and dad at a time when they’re getting ready to go into retirement all of a sudden have a payment they weren’t really planning for, so it is really important. Why do you think universities need to transform themselves? I know you talked about some of the educational techniques, the fact that we can go on to Google and get an answer to any question. I know you talked a little bit about that we don’t have to teach them facts and figures we need to teach them how to do things that can be productive in society today, so how do universities do that?


DR. LOVELL: If you think about our traditional education model, it was actually adopted back in 1893, and think about the way the world has changed since then. I like to use the case of Moore’s Law and how we keep doubling computer processing power and by the year 2023 a single one inch computer chip will have more processing power than the human brain, and by 2045 that one inch computer chip will have more processing power than all the brains in the world combined. That’s the world that students graduating are going to be going into. Back 50 years ago or more, the knowledge you’d get from sitting in a classroom and being given to you in a lecture and you being able to kind of return that knowledge, that did have some value because not everyone would have that same knowledge, but today, as you alluded to, we can get any piece of information on a phone or other device in a matter of seconds. What skills students need to be successful are maybe critical thinkers and problem solvers and be able to work in teams, be innovative and entrepreneurial and be able to communicate. Those are the skills we need to focus on. In a traditional lecture based environment those aren’t necessary the skills the students are learning, so there’s really two things that I think we need to do in higher education that would give the students skills they need to be successful in a knowledge based economy which we now operate in. That is first of all we still need to focus on the core of what a liberal arts education is, because that is where we do learn to communicate and to think critically, but along those lines we need to be solving real world problems within all courses. We need to find a way to bring in challenges that the private sector is facing into the curriculum at the university. When I say that, we saw in the past it’s a little bit easier to do in the professional schools, but we also need to do that in kind of the core liberal arts, humanities as well. There’s ways that I’ve seen other universities do this that really does bring a lot of value to the students, because if they’re solving real world problems when they’re learning content in the classroom, that makes them much better prepared to synthesize all the information and data is out there for them to come up with problems they’re going to have by society and quite frankly it will make them good employees.


JIM: We’re going to take a short break, and when we come back what I’d like to explore is, number one what you’re doing at Marquette University kind of to, I know you’ve got a strategic plan to do just what you’ve been talking about and what Marquette University is doing, but also share some of your successes that you’ve had in some of your past experiences, so please stay tuned.




JIM: Welcome back as we continue to visit with Dr. Michael Lovell who is the president of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Lovell has had some great success in transforming the way education is being done in our nation’s colleges, and he’s had some success at some past colleges and now he’s implementing those same types of strategies at Marquette University. Share with us what is Marquette doing in its strategic plan beyond boundaries and its vision statement to guide the transformations to have Marquette have an educational experience that’s kind of like what you were kind of describing in the beginning.


DR. LOVELL: Really we have a vision and we want to be on the leading edge of education in terms of being innovative and entrepreneurial and be looked at as a model for other schools in the country. Through my past experiences I found that if you can find ways to collaborate closely with industry and kind of, actually I’ve refer it to as a co-location model where you actually have people in the private sector helping develop and deliver curriculum and actually do technical work with the university it creates and ecosystem that benefits all sides. It creates a talent pipeline for the companies you’re working with, it allows the university’s talents and technology development to help the companies be more successful, and it helps the faculty and students be more relevant and successful in their endeavors. I can go back, the first time I saw this was back in Pittsburg, and between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh we built a building when at the time was called a co-lab, and the idea is we built a seven story building and we essentially invited companies to come co-locate with us so that they could help teach courses with us their employees and our students and faculty work in their lab. When we built this it was kind of a leap of faith, we didn’t know who was going to come, but we knew the industry did want to be tied closer to the university. I like to describe it the first company that moved into that facility was Intel and I met a gentleman at the track, I’m a runner, and he described how he was an Intel employee but he was also an adjunct faculty in the computer science department, he was teaching and mentoring students and doing research with some of the other faculty with Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh. Once Intel was in there the next company came in was Google and they filled the rest of the building up. Again, because they wanted to be close and work close with the universities. Once Google was there, the next company that wanted to come in was Microsoft, and so they actually built the Gate Center next to this facility that was between Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. Google got so big they moved out and moved into an old Nabisco factor in the next neighborhood over, and then both Apple and Disney moved in. I’d like to say that the reason why these companies moved in is because they saw value in working close with the university, and certainly as the university experiences our students and faculty were able to get and the opportunities they had with these companies, all five of which had never been in Pittsburgh before. We built this facility was really second to none what we provide the campus. Kind of taking that model when I went to UWM I started working very closely with Johnson Controls and understanding kind of the secret mix was getting the employees with the companies side-by-side with our faculty and students to not only develop curriculum but to do research and other technology development. With Johnson Controls we actually took a classroom offline and we were able to recruit 15 PhD scientists from around the world, only one was from the United States that otherwise probably wouldn’t have come to Milwaukee. The reason why they came was they came their offices were on our campus and their labs we built in our engineering building, and so we had 22 student interns, we had 11 faculty members and these 15 employees from Johnson Control who had adjunct employment for helping us teach and develop curriculum and do research, and that model was so successful in so many ways. In the first year we actually got $35 million in federal grants from DOE with a 92% success rate which is unheard of to that success. The technology we developed, the first battery that we developed in those labs became the standard for the Department of Energy for all of their _____ batteries. I think every student at the time when I left UWM once they graduated they got a job with Johnson Controls and they had the skillset that they couldn’t of had anywhere else because we had the best battery research labs in the country at UWM which we never could have built on our own without this partnership and collaboration. With those two experiences at Pittsburgh and UWM as we think about plan and rolling out the way we’re going to change things on our campus. A couple of examples, we built an athletic performance research center we have planning, and in this facility we’re partnering with Aurora Healthcare and the Milwaukee Bucks to really create a state of the art facility where people from around the country will come to get the research done on athletic performance, and we’ll attract some really special people, and Aurora will attract people, and the Bucks, Wesley Edens the owner of the Bucks he’s trying to recruit free agents so he can allow them to win an NBA championship who typically want to go to Miami or New York or Los Angeles, and if we can somehow build a facility where we do research that will allow them to extend their career by two years by coming to Milwaukee that will financially be enough incentive to hopefully get some free agents here for them.


JIM: Hopefully we didn’t let the secret out that other teams are going to compete with now. I’m just fascinated by the work that you’re doing, and it is amazing because I had some kids that graduated from college here and it just seemed like there wasn’t a lot of direction, there wasn’t a lot of outcome based education. It’s like you just go in, you take your classes, you get your degree and cross your fingers and hope it all works out, and this is so much in alignment with a direct path. It’s just amazing. I’m from the Milwaukee area and we keep hearing about the brain drain and you’re doing just the opposite. You’re bringing some of the most brilliant minds here to mentor students and then they have the jobs here potentially waiting for them because they’re already integrated into the how that company does business, it’s fascinating. Talk a little bit to about I know here in Milwaukee we do a lot of water research, and I think with UWM there was also some interesting things that you helped evolve there as well.


DR. LOVELL: At UWM we started the first school of fresh water science in the country, and we’re blessed to have over 140 water technology companies here in Milwaukee, it’s really based on roots. Milwaukee is really becoming a global leader in water technology. One of the great things we did about three or four years ago was we built something called the Global Water Center, it’s a seven story building down the fifth ward of Milwaukee and it includes research going on from some of the largest water technology companies including AO Smith, Badger Meter, Veolia, Rexnord. We also rotate six new startup companies in the building every year, but we also have the universities. In particular Marquette is on the sixth floor and UWM is on the seventh floor, but we have research labs and space which the great thing about this building is everyone can utilize each of the facilities and you have all this co-mingling of existing companies, startup companies, faculty and student researchers that really is phenomenal, and it’s become a place where literally people from around the world visit on a weekly basis to get their water problems solved. This co-location is something that’s really special. Getting back to the brain drain, another thing that we’ve started and just finished up our second year, something called The Commons here in Milwaukee. The Commons is a partnership between a local organization called Innovation Milwaukee or Mike with the 23 higher ed institutions in the southern region and what we’ve done is we’ve created a place and a platform to allow students that are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship to gather and find each other and what we’ve done is we have two tracks, one is students can come pitch their ideas about a new company to each other, and then the resources are located and awarded for in The Common for them to have the mentoring and access the capital or things they would need to be successful to launch a company. Then on the flip side we also have companies come pitch ideas for students to work on. People like Kohl’s, Milwaukee Bucks, Briggs and Stratton, have pitched ideas to student teams, and it’s amazing how these student teams work on these problems the companies need help with in innovative ways. The companies talk about how the students help transform their organizations and help their employees think differently and act differently because of the students, but a great stat I just learned last week was that 81% of the students involved in The Common are more likely to stay in Milwaukee based on this experience where they have that direct connection and again getting the companies and the students tied together with a regional perspective means that the talent is more likely to stay here because students see that hey I do have a future here, there are jobs that are interesting and I can stay in Milwaukee. As we think about our strategic plan, when we talk about building any new building on our campus, we want to pro-locate, have companies located with us and hopefully those ties that they have here, like with Johnson Control at UWM, those students will then stay and work for the companies that they’re seeing and understand they do have great futures here.


JIM: One question I’d want to ask is, let’s say we’ve got some parents out there listening and their child is now finished high school and maybe some of those juniors right now that are exploring colleges that they want to go to, and I’m amazed, the first I ever really heard about this was hearing you speak a couple weeks ago, and obviously this has been in the works like at the University of Pittsburgh you started this years ago, and I know I was at a wedding recently and talking with people at the wedding they had heard about this technological boom that Pittsburgh got with all these major tech companies coming into Pittsburgh where there was none before. If there is a student exploring, maybe they’re not quite sure what line of work they want to get into or they’re looking at their first couple years of colleges trying to figure it all out. What advice would you give as far as looking into colleges for opportunities like you described. Because it seems like it’s a very well-kept secret.


DR. LOVELL: Well the biggest thing is first of all there’s always the fits with any university that they’d have to feel comfortable with the campus. Like I know some students may like more rural, some like more urban, but thinking about what skills they need to be successful, there needs to be opportunities for them to get those real world, hands-on learning experiences as part of their education, that’s really what’s going to breed them success going on the future, and I always say, I love the fact we have entrepreneurship opportunities for students on our campus, because I’d much rather have them have their first venture when they’re a student here, and if they fail they’re going to be supported in ways other than if they were older on their own they wouldn’t have. Just think about ways that students can either have that entrepreneurship experience or have the hands-on experiences whether it be internships or actually programs directly on college campuses where they’re working with companies and solving problems that are important to the private sector.


JIM: Lastly, what about for those business owners out there that have companies, and a lot of us as business owners, I know I went to a seminar about how to deal with millennials and the younger ages today. I remember one seminar that I went to if you hire a young person consider that they’ll be on board two years as a record and get what you can out of them, they’re very smart, but they’re going to be on to the next challenge or the next challenge or the next challenge. But if there’s a business that wants to tap into this young talent, how do they go about partnering with a university. Is it just the big Fortune 500 companies or are there opportunities for small medium size businesses too?


DR. LOVELL: There are all kinds of opportunities for anyone. I can go through example after example; it doesn’t have to be those large companies. We recently had the banking industry, particularly the rural banks in Wisconsin, they were looking for talent, and we were able to develop a banking program to feed those industries so that we were graduating students that would go out and work in the banks that were in rural areas where they were having trouble talent. We’re always open to thinking about ways that we can work with different sectors or different companies of any size to ensure that they’re getting the talent they need to be successful long-term, because ultimately it gets back to the fact that students when they graduate they’re going to want to get a job, and if we can create these opportunities so that it’s a direct line once they graduate here they have the skills they need to be successful in those jobs it’s a win win for both sides.


JIM: Who would a company contact to find out about programs at maybe some of their local colleges?


DR. LOVELL: Every university has direct corporate relations. We have a whole department that works on that. We have somebody on our campus called Carmela Ruffolo, she focuses on this full-time. She’s always trying to meet with companies and figure out what they need. I have CEO forum where I meet with CEOs a few times a semester and get together and try to figure out their needs are. A perfect example is something we heard in one of these forums about how important data and election data science was. It didn’t matter what field they were in big data was going to be hugely important, and so we actually, very proud to say we’re launching one of the first undergraduate data science programs in the country this fall to kind of give students the skills that they need whether it be healthcare, whether it be business, engineering, you know data is just so critically important and so we heard the need and moving forward and developing the course work and things the students need to be successful going into these fields which are still emerging today.


JIM: I know we’re running a little bit long today, but I got one more question, do you also have a think tank of university presidents such as yourself where you get together and exchange ideas, or is this something you want to kind of keep to yourself to give you a competitive edge?


DR. LOVELL: No, I think there is plenty of space for us to do this, and I happen to be part of something called The Council on Competitiveness, which includes university presidents, directors of national labs, and CEOs of companies, and we get together several times a year to talk about what the needs are to help your country to be more competitive, particularly around manufacturing and other areas. In fact we just lead an analysis around water and what the needs are going to be for the future of water in manufacturing in our country, and we just had a report that we are presenting to the White House on this. There are a group of us that are thinking along these lines and great colleagues out there like Michael Crow from Arizona State University, somebody I have a lot of respect for that I like to learn from and hopefully he learns a little bit from me as we get together in these forums.


JIM: Well Dr. Lovell it was great having you here. This has been another eye-opening experience, and I’ll tell you what I have become very cynical of our educational system and you’ve restored my faith. I congratulate you for what you’re doing and what your colleagues are doing. I think we need to put America back on the map again, you’re instrumental for that to happen.


DR. LOVELL: Well thank you very much Jim. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you.

We All Need a Doctor At Some Point

What are the chances you will get sick soon?  We all need to see a doctor at some point, which means we all need health insurance.  When searching for health insurance coverage, make sure you know your options.  Understanding the different types of policies is extremely important and can affect the amount you pay and the type of coverage you receive.  It now goes WAY beyond just in or out of network.  Purchasing the cheapest or even the most expensive policy isn’t always the best idea either.

If you aren’t currently employed or have very little money, there are still some affordable health insurance options available:

  • COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • The Health Insurance Marketplace for Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Short Term Health Insurance Coverage
  • Group Insurance from Organization Memberships
  • Group Health Expenses Sharing Plan
  • Health Care Sharing Ministry
  • Health Insurance Discount Cards


If you are looking to lower your insurance costs, it is important to remember the following things:

There are alternatives to buying individual health insurance

Know what you need and can afford

  • Make sure you plan has these essentials: Outpatient care
  • Emergency room visits
  • Inpatient care in a hospital
  • Care before and after your baby is born
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lab tests
  • Preventive services

Compare ALL plans and costs

Shop around

Pick the plan that best meets your individual healthcare needs.

Susman Insurance has a group of health insurance professionals to help you find the perfect policy and the most affordable price.  Please contact us as soon as possible so we can get you covered.


Through the Window

How do you protect your home?

We are sure you know there are many ways to keep your home safe and secure – alarm system, cameras, attack dog, armed guards, etc.… Did you know one important piece of home safety and security are your windows?

Your windows are basically used to keep the good in and the bad out.  So, how do you do that?

  • – Put locks on every window
  • – Place LOUD alarms on every window – loud enough to deter anyone from continuing to enter your home
  • – Use windows made of reinforced glass, making them much harder to break
  • – Consider outdoor window bars. They now come in many decorative options.
  • – Utilize shutters or window gates
  • – Install security film over all the windows and glass doors

Have your own window security ideas?  Feel free to comment below and share them with us.  Together, we can help keep all our homes safe and secure!


Best Places to Retire

Ready to retire? Maybe you are not ready to retire, however you want to plan for it. What do want to do when you retire? Travel? You bet! Join Karl Susman on this week’s podcast when he and guests talk about some of the best places to retire. Transcript follows:

JIM: Where is the best place to retire? What matters most to you; climate, low taxes, employment opportunities, the community? Joining us is seasoned financial columnist, Richard Eisenberg, here to help you clarify and prioritize your wants and needs so you can enjoy your retirement years. Welcome Richard.


RICHARD: Thank you Jim.


JIM: It’s great to have you on and I know we’ve had you on in the past. Recently, I saw an article and I’m from Wisconsin so it struck me. It said, Retiring Rich, Wisconsin is For You, and I’ve seen all these different lists. I’ve seen lists which say Wisconsin is the worst place, Wisconsin is the best place, and that always catches my eye being from here, but I’ve seen all these different things. What do you make of those lists and where are the best places to retire? How do you determine that?


RICHARD: Well some of these lists can be very helpful but I think people really need to be careful when using them because I’ve looked at a lot of lists. In fact, when I was at Money Magazine I created the Best Places to Live in America Franchise, which they do every year. The thing that’s really important for people to know is the value of the lists depends on the criteria that go into it and what kinds of places they’re looking at, and so that’s the reason why one list will have Wisconsin at the top and another at the bottom. It’s not because one of them is wrong, it’s that they look at different types of criteria and so I think it’s really important to know what are they looking at, how do they define a best place and what types of places are they even looking at to decide which ones should even be ranked at all.


JIM: Well you know I have a lot of family that lives in Florida and Florida is always tout as a great place to live because there are no income taxes, or state income taxes anyway, and I hear about how reasonable the property taxes are and what’s interesting about that is I look at the cost of buying a house there and I just think back I had a family member who bought a house and it was about 1800 square feet, no basement, I’m used to a basement at home, and a very small lot, and it was a nice Florida house in a gated community and they paid $500,000 for it and it was $5000 a year in property taxes. I had a house that was bigger on a two acre lot and I was paying $3000 in property taxes, but I only paid $150,000 for my house, so on a per $1000 basis the property taxes that I was paying was ridiculous, but on a square footage basis I was getting a bargain, so I think that’s kind of what you’re eluding to. You can’t just look at the per cost per $1000 property tax, you’ve really got to look at the cost of living and then how are you going to live because certain services might be more in one place or the cost of going out to eat or groceries. I think that there are a lot of things that go into it. Is that true?


RICHARD: That’s absolutely true and also it’s important to just think to yourself what matters to me in choosing a place to live because your own criteria might be very different from the place that’s ranking these places. You mentioned Florida. Some people love the climate in Florida. Other people feel that it’s much too hot in certain places during the summertime and they wouldn’t want to live there, at least not all year-round, so that’s a factor that you may need to think about because in some rankings Florida places do well for weather because it’s sunny, and it certainly is sunny, but it can be brutally hot certain times of the year. Another thing you want to think about is am I going to want to work in retirement and if I am is that going to be a place where I can find jobs, will people be interested in hiring me, and I was surprised recently there was a survey that came out from Bankrate, and they usually do very good work in rankings, but when they did their best states to retire to they didn’t even include work or the economy as a factor and to me it seems that that was a big omission because not everybody is going to work in retirement but many people will and many people want to think about it and to me that ought to be a criteria.


JIM: I think that would be a big one because this whole retirement phenomena, we’ve talked about on the program in the past, the whole idea of retirement in the last 100 years is a new phenomenon because if you look back over the history of mankind, mankind literally worked until they dropped and it’s only in the last 100 years or so that we could have a retirement and heck when they created the social security system it was based on an average life expectancy where people were dying before they would collect their first check. Now we have life expectancies exceeding your first check by 20 maybe even 30 years, so to go 30 years of your life without having any income and hoping to have enough savings to provide for not only your income needs but an inflationary hedge, increasing healthcare costs as we get older, I mean all those things, it may be important that people do continue to work and have some sort of income so they’re not completely reliant on their life savings. Do you see that as being a factor as well?


RICHARD: Absolutely I do and I also think there are a lot of people who want to work part-time in retirement for other reasons, not just financial but emotional, psychological. They want to keep their brain active; they want to socialize with other people. They want to get out of the house. They want to challenge themselves, so there’s a lot more to work than just money. There are some people who are going to say I’ve worked my whole career, I’m tired, I’m ready to just relax and that’s great and that’s fine for some people, but for others they’re going to want to do some sort of work for somebody else or maybe on their own and I think for those people they ought to take a look to see what are the prospects if I’m going to move to a place, could I actually find a job or could I start a business.


JIM: Well I think we’ve created a lot of questions for people. Let’s take a short break and when we come back let’s talk about what people can do for themselves and what resources are available to help create the right fit of where they’re going to live in retirement, so please stay tuned.




JIM: Welcome back as we continue to visit with Richard Eisenberg. He actually is the founder of the Best Places to Live in America that was originated in Money Magazine and you’ve had a lot of work on the subject as far as figuring out the best places to live. I know we’ve seen the list, best places to raise a family, best places to lives, best places to retire, best places to work at, and it all can be very confusing and I know when people get to retirement my experience has been it’s one heck of an adjustment because you go from having something to do every day to being on vacation every day and you go from having a paycheck to now I’ve got to live off of what’s left and a lot of people that is a heck of a transition and some people it takes a long time before they’re able to finally sleep at night and adjust to that new structure in their lives, so we talked about some of the challenges with a lot of the lists that we have out there, so let’s say we have someone that’s starting to think about when they’re going to retire, how they’re going to retire, where they’re going to retire. What would your advice be to help people find the right fit? What are some of the resources that might be available out there?


RICHARD: Let’s talk for a minute I guess just about where are you going to retire. I wrote an article for Next Avenue. It was called Best Places Lists: Who Can You Trust? I said there are really four questions that you should answer when you’re looking at other rankings because there are a lot of rankings out there. It’s pretty easy to do a search online and find lots of lists of best places to retire. I’m going to look at one of those lists, or some of them, I want to find out which places are they including in their rankings. In other words, what is the set of places that they’re looking at to begin with? Sometimes they only look at small communities, sometimes only large, sometimes metropolitan areas. What places do they leave out is another question. Some lists I found will not include more than a certain number of places in the same state or the same county and that’s fine if you understand it but it actually disqualifies some presently good places just because they happen to be in the same state. I also want people to look at what is the criteria and how is it weighted, so you want to see whether they are thinking of things that matter the same that you think of things that matter for choosing a place to live, and then finally what is not included because a lot of these rankings leave things out. I mentioned one ranking I saw left out the employment possibilities. Sometimes these rankings don’t do a great job of evaluating the quality of healthcare in an area because that’s a hard thing to quantify but yet it’s a very important factor and of course there are things that the rankings just can’t include, which are the prospects of living near relatives, near my children or my grandchildren, or a place that I grew up, so there are lots of things that are important to all of us that just can’t be done in a ranking.


JIM: So really the starting point is you want to write a list of all the things that might be important to you, so it’s access to maybe healthcare, access to what the cost of living might be, what the climate is, all those different things, so if you have that list how do you quantify that and rank the different places? What research do you use?


RICHARD: What I would do is I would look at some of the lists and rankings online, but the first thing I would do before looking at which places are number one and which are on the bottom, is I would go to the methodology part and if they do this ranking well they should have a section that says here’s how we did it. This is the criteria that we use; this is the weighting we use, so that you know what’s going into it. I’ve also seen some of these rankings that don’t do that at all. They don’t tell you how they did it and then they just say here are some great places. If I found a ranking like that I would ignore it because if I can’t understand how they came up with the places I don’t know whether those places would be good places for me to live. Once I see the methodology I’ll say okay now I understand and if that methodology makes sense for me that’s great, then that’s a list that probably would be very useful for me. If it’s not, if they put too much weight on say weather or culture or whatever it might be, then I might say okay I’ll keep that in mind because that’s not what matters to me. Some of these rankings now also online allow people to do their own version and so at Money Magazine site and a few other sites you can put in the criteria that matter to you. I really recommend people do that because that way you can come up with your own ranking using the data that these other places have already collected, but you put it in the format that matters to you.


JIM: As you’re talking, I’m thinking about a buddy of mine that lives in Southern California and I had reached out to him. We were having a conversation. It was in the middle of winter and obviously it was quite chilly in my part of the country and he was talking about how beautiful it was and he said yeah Jim you should come down to Southern California. He says it’s beautiful, you can spend the time at the beach and he says I only live a block from the beach and I said well what are your property taxes. He has the same size house as I have and his property taxes were close to $40,000 a year. What I save on property taxes; he only lived a block from the beach in Southern California so that’s a premium, I said you know with what I save on property taxes, I’m three hours away from many beaches that have beautiful weather. All’s I got to do is hop on a private jet with the money I’m saving and I can be there. I asked him, I said when’s the last time you were at the beach that’s a block away and he’s too busy trying to pay his property taxes he doesn’t have time to go the beach. What you’re saying is so important you really have to take the time to think about it and I want to kind of switch gears a little bit because I don’t know if it’s me getting older that I’m hearing this more often or if it’s a really buzz that’s been created and that is retiring abroad. I’ve seen ads. I know friends that have built homes in other countries that they plan on retiring at and they talk about how the cost of living is so much cheaper, but for me it kind of scares me what kind of security would I have, what kind of healthcare would I have. What have you found about retiring abroad? Is that a viable alternative for people?


RICHARD: Well it can be for some people. It could be much less expensive in many parts of the world than it is here, not everywhere, but certainly lots of places in Central and South America are less expensive than in many parts of the United States, but then there are many parts in Europe that are just as expensive or more expensive than here. Two rankings that I’ve seen that I think are worth looking at, one is called the Live and Invest Overseas website and what they have is what they call the retire overseas index and then there’s another one called and they also do a ranking. Each of them once a year come out with a list of the best places to retire around the world, but here again you really want to know how they’ve chosen which places to even look at and I just wrote a piece recently about the retire overseas index list called the World’s Best Places to Retire and what interested me was not even so much the places that came out so well, I was surprised for example number one was a place in Portugal called The Algarve, but what surprised me was that they did not include any places like Costa Rica or Australia or New Zealand or Uruguay and I asked them about that and they said well we didn’t include Australia or New Zealand because they’re too expensive and they are too far from the United States for a lot of people. They didn’t include Costa Rica because the cost of living has been going up lately and Uruguay they felt was too expensive, so those may all be fine in criteria but people might be surprised that those places weren’t even looked at so they won’t even include it in their list.


JIM: I don’t know if you know anything about this but I happened to go on a trip to Nicaragua recently and man it seemed like the whole country was built around trying to track people to retire down there and vacation down there and I know Nicaragua 10 years ago you didn’t want to go there, but they’re making a very conscientious effort to get on those lists. What have you heard about Nicaragua?


RICHARD: The folks at International Living have been big fans of Nicaragua. It’s been in their top five places to live in the past few years, so it has improved. It’s certainly not the place it was before and it’s an inexpensive place to live. That said, Nicaragua did not show up at all in the top ten or the retire overseas list that just came out, so everybody has a different way of looking at these things. I might mention that the live and invest overseas people have a conference coming up in Orlando, Florida September 13 to 16 and I mentioned that only in case there’s anybody in your audience who is thinking about possibly retiring overseas but would love to learn a little bit more about it and that might be a place to spend a day or a couple days to learn a little bit about what is it like to live overseas and have someplace to compare versus the others.


JIM: So if someone is interested in attending that or finding out more about that where would they go?


RICHARD: You go to the website for live and invest overseas. It’s just called


JIM: Alright, well Richard I really appreciate you taking the time. You’ve really given some food for thought. I know a lot of times I have clients come to me and they’ve read one of these articles and it’s almost like it’s gospel; it’s reasonable to live, and then we start going through what’s the criteria and I think what you shared today is so important. I think some of these things are a good way of starting to filter down to kind of focus in on where you really want to look, but I think you’ve got to do your homework. You’ve got to make sure that you’ve taken the time to figure out what’s all important to you from what you need to have, what you want to avoid, and then using these lists as a resource guide to kind of narrow in your focus and what you want to do the research on. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and sometimes there’s no place like home, so you really want to think this out because getting up and moving overseas or moving 1000 or 2000 miles away; one thing I found, which you talked about earlier in the program, getting away from family is okay if it’s a two week vacation but when you relocate many people end up struggling with that because their mindset is this will be a cool place to go to, but when you’re there 24/7/365 it presents sometimes more challenges. Thank you for your time.


RICHARD: Thank you so much Jim.

Don’t Be Afraid

Are you afraid to talk about life insurance?  Do you have life insurance?

Often our blogs are loosely related to insurance, because we want to be able to relate them to your everyday life. 


You know, that gift you were given and hopefully making the most of every single day. 

Sadly, we have lost many friends over the past few years, because they no longer viewed each day as a gift.  They chose partying over more responsible priorities and unfortunately, overdose, poisoning, and fatal accidents happened.

Whenever someone you love dies, you will always feel like they were taken away from you too soon.  In my personal experience, it has been hard for me to accept losing so many people in my life to such careless and tragic acts.  It has been even more difficult to watch the victims of these deaths – the loved ones and families – deal with mourning AND the financial aftermath. 

So many people go without life insurance and when they are taken too soon and/or without notice, there is absolutely nothing to help their loved ones maintain their standard of living, cover the bills, or even cover funeral costs.  Don’t be afraid to discuss your life insurance needs with your loved ones or to contact us to get all the information you need.  It is never too early to set yourself up for the future or to make sure you loved ones will be taken care of no matter what happens.