The Love Letter

As excited as I am about all of the opportunities for both you and me in our industry for 2018, I have to reflect back sadly to 2017.  At this point in time, I want to talk to you more about 2017, than 2018.

On November 2nd, my father in law passed away.  He meant the world to my wife, Pamela, and was a fantastic grandfather to my two boys, Noah and Kiefer.

8 days later, on November 10th, I lost my mother.  There are no words to describe the loss of a parent, especially one that was as dear to me as she was.

On November 20th, I turned 50 years old.  Not that turning 50 was that difficult, but it was the first birthday I’ve spent, without my Mom by my side.

The very next day, on November 21st, I lost a great friend of almost 25 years, who also happened to be an ISG advisor.  Actually, one of the first advisors I recruited to do business with me back in 1992.

I never expected to have such a year of loss, much less all in one month and I never want to go through that again.  I also hope that none of you have to experience that much grief in such a short period of time.

I want to focus just on my Mom for the purpose of this version of Cliff’s Notes.

My Mom was a single Mom who raised two boys on her own.   She was an educator in a small private school, making less than $15,000 per year.  We grew up in a nice home, we were well fed and well provided for and loved beyond measure.  She never missed a game, school play, or anything that my brother and I were involved in.  She often worked a second job during the summers to make ends meet.

My brother and I were co-executors of her Will.  He was best at handling logistics and the emotional side of things, and I handled the financial aspects.

My mother made very sure that my brother and I were educated, graduated college, made “acceptable” grades and ultimately found careers of our own.  She always told us how very proud of us that she was.

It’s not that what I’m about to tell you was necessary, or needed or certainly not expected.

My Mom left my brother and I a “Love Letter”.  That letter was in the form of a Whole Life Insurance policy that she had taken out in 1989 and had paid premiums on ever since that time.  In reviewing that policy, she never missed a payment, never made a late payment and made sure that she could leave those proceeds to me and my brother as her last gift to us.  I don’t see how she was financially able to do it, so I have determined that it was her love for us, that made sure that policy stayed in force until the day she died.

Being in this industry for 30 years, I’ve heard every objection known to mankind on why someone does not pull the trigger and purchase life insurance.  I’m not judging those individuals, nor am I saying they don’t love their families.  But the next time I hear the objection, “I just can’t afford it”, you better believe me when I tell you, I just don’t fall for that.

As you think about your love for your own families and as you work with clients who are planning for their families, please take just a second to think – Life Insurance is not always about the money left behind.  It’s more often the love in that person’s heart, that wanted to leave one last Love Letter behind.

Go out and make it a great day!