2014 Real Life Stories honorees announced by Life Happens
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Life Happens, formerly known as the nonprofit LIFE Foundation, on June 23 announced the winners of its annual Real Life Stories Client Recognition Program, which honors licensed insurance professionals for going beyond the call of duty for clients and their families.
Now in its 19th year, the Real Life Stories program recognizes exemplary service and expert financial advice and assistance to clients in times of great financial need. This year's winners bring to life stories of families who have been faced with hardship due to the unexpected death of a loved one or long-term illness. The program aims to raise awareness of the crucial importance of seeking professional insurance advice as part of a sound financial plan. Millions of Americans remain uneducated about the insurance options available without the guidance of an agent or advisor.
"This year, Life Happens' Insurance Barometer Study showed that less than one-third of adults have a financial advisor or agent," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, President and CEO of Life Happens. "People underestimate the importance of expert advice to ensure the financial protection of their families. The insurance agents highlighted in this year's Real Life Stories program and the stories of the lives they've impacted serve as a reminder of how important it is to seek professional guidance. Having adequate insurance protection, including the right amount and the right policy to fit your needs, is a crucial part of responsible financial planning."
The four recipients, along with their clients, will be honored during the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) annual meeting on Sept. 8 in San Diego. A free simulcast will be available online at www.lifehappens.org/RLS2014.
The 2014 Life Happens Real Life Stories honorees are:
Melissa Mlasko, Futurity First, Medford, Ore.: Melissa's clients, Jim and Judy, were high school sweethearts who later married and had recently entered retirement. Judy had just come to Melissa for help with transitioning from her employer's health plan to Medicare when she learned that her breast cancer had returned and spread. Melissa researched Judy's group life insurance policy and coordinated an accelerated death benefit rider, which allowed the couple to live out Judy's last days free of financial worry. Jim is now able to access funds through Judy's life insurance proceeds to supplement his retirement income.
Steve Edmondson, State Farm, San Clemente, Calif.: Steve helped his clients Ron and Kelli find permanent life insurance coverage, which offered the couple both financial protection and a means to accumulate cash value. This forward-looking plan proved useful when the couple was able to access funds from their life insurance policies to help with a down payment for their dream home. Later on when money became tight, the couple considered canceling their life insurance, but Steve advised against it and increased their coverage while helping them cut unnecessary spending. Just three years later, Kelli suddenly died of heart failure and now, thanks to her life insurance policy, Ron and their two sons are able to stay in the home they love.
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