Monday April 17, 2017

Cancer Sucks! Financial Lessons with a terminal illness benefit

Financial lessons with a terminal illness benefit

Its been quite some time since her death, and I have had a personal challenge writing this post. Like you, I too am not fond of dealing with death, so I hope those of you who can relate understand why it has taken me so long to share her story.  Good news, is this is really a story of how she lived and less about how she passed. Within this story is an important lesson of sound financial planning, a terminal illness benefit,  and not getting bamboozled by the slimy sharks that nearly robbed her and her family.


The Second Time Liz beat Breast Cancer (linked is an awesome video of Liz Ringing the Bell as she beat cancer a second time, because of privacy settings on her Facebook Page some viewers may not be able to view.)

A Brief Back Story

Liz and I met early in our lives at a time before we even knew ourselves, really. Our parents were strong in the community and our fathers were teachers and head coaches at the High School we would later attend.  Liz and I grew up together in a beautiful town just right out side of Santa, Fe New Mexico.  Even though we were both teachers kids, that didn’t stop us from ditching an occasional class and testing the system.  To say the least, we were good kids but far from perfect and the discipline of our fathers was heavy but with much love.  Our high school class mates and community miss her dearly but remember her fondly.  Liz was Awesome!

Cancer Sucks!

We can all take a few pages out of the playbook for those who have faced or defeated Cancer.  Liz, crushed breast cancer twice and declared victory by ringing the bell (video shared above).  I am still brought to tears and my emotions get the better of me as I remember how she lived life with passion.  However, it reminds me of how short our life can be and how challenging and unfair cancer can make it suck.  Liz (despite the unfairness) did not stop living life nor did she ever give up.  She showed us all how to suck it up and be brave!

Now for the financial lesson

Liz with the help of an awesome insurance agent purchased a low cost, large amount of Term Life Insurance at a young age.  Notably, that insurance agent was also a teacher like our parents and strong in the community.  To this day, I compliment the hard work that Rick Romero has done being a advocate of Term Life Insurance.  Like the many teachers in our community, they are our greats roll models.  We, as mischievous kids, do not realize the tremendous impact that our awesome educators have on our lives until we are far removed and grown up.

Fast forward to her battle #3 with Cancer, Liz was ready to fight and fight she did right to the last round.  Several months before her death, I was able to visit with her at her home.  She had just had treatment earlier that week and I expected her not to get out of bed if my timing was not in her favor.  Sure enough, It was bad timing! Yet, she got up and showed off that lovely bald head with pride.  It is this quality type of person that you just can not help but love more for being strong in bad times.  Before long, she had asked by a few financial questions and before we knew it, we were reviewing her insurance policies.  She was very interested to know my thoughts as she and her husband were considering selling the life insurance.  (Google analytics and algorithms might block or lower this post because of language that I wanted to use, but I will be forthright and limit my comment to somewhat clean)  Immediately what went through my mind was beyond your typical: Hell No!!!  You have a terminal illness benefit

Enter the Slimy Sharks

Liz needed specialized treatment and would fly out to Arizona often to get treatment for what was now a terminal illness.  When the doctors gave her less then a year to live, she set out to prove them wrong.  During this time, it is common to find ourselves vulnerable to possible threats that wouldn’t normally attack us.  Liz and her family were approached to sell their policy in exchange for money.  In the insurance world this is known as a Life Settlement or Viatical.  When done correctly and for the right reasons, this can be a fair deal for both parties.  But this was hardly the case and far from fair.  Sadly, the offer was less than a a quarter of what the policy death benefit gave them.  Not an attractive offer and not a good financial move for anyone except the Shark.  Slime was all over this as they did not consult her about her own Terminal Illness Benefit rider within her own policy.  I am happy to report that she did not sell.  Her motivation was for money now, to use while she was fighting and to live while she was living.

We avoided those Slimy Sharks and I hope that they eat “caca with a dash of poopoo” (quote from Pets).  Liz on the other hand, received access to more 50% of her policy benefit.  Here is how this was done.

Her policy had a Terminal Illness benefit also know as a living benefit.  Nearly all term insurance comes with this benefit rider with no cost.  In general, this is how they work.  If you have term insurance with a terminal illness benefit, you can receive up to 50% of your life insurance death benefit in advance if your condition is considered medically terminal.  In many cases, this is limited to $250,000 to use while you are living.  This is a check written directly from the insurance company to you and for you to use as you wish. Those dam sharks do not have the decency to review her policy.

Terminal Illness Benefit is Fierce!

With most companies, this is not only a awesome rider (add on) but it is at no additional cost.  I will cover more about insurance and riders on a later post.  Nonetheless, I have hope in sharing this personal story. I share this story with strong intentions that it helps one more person from being robbed or bamboozled by slimy sharks (note: Bamboozled is not yet an official g-town term).

As I said, this is about how she lived.  Liz was smart and had some angels with her along the way.  I champion the insurance salesman and Liz for taking the time to prepare for the future.  She and her family, with the help of Rick Romero, made a great choice to purchase large amounts of quality term insurance.  While it was never the plan, she was able to use much of that while she was living.  Liz and her family used it to make awesome memories.  I will reach out to the family and see if I can somehow get a hold of a picture to share.

We love you Lizard!

Now for the Shameless Plug…

For an easy way to search Term Life Insurance I have shared this link for

(Full Disclosure, I set up this webpage to be a advocate and champion of Life Insurance and saving paper.  There is also an occasional snarky rant on a silly things like the Kardashian binge watching.)

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