Sep 01 2022 / Round the Table Magazine
Being persistent and doing the right thing
Each day, our business is about doing the right thing, whether that means building meaningful relationships, listening and truly hearing, identifying financial and insurance gaps, providing top-notch service, or treating people ethically.
Here is my favorite story about doing the right thing.
About 25 years ago, I started working with a married couple who had their own business. They had very few liquid assets, as their wealth was tied up in their business and their properties.
My relationship was strong with the wife, but her husband never had any time to work on his financial plan. He was too busy running the business, and I had a hard time pinning him down. He happened to be a former top national salesman and didn’t trust me because he thought I was just after the commissions. Yet, I persevered and learned a valuable lesson: Don’t overlook the spouse. The good news was he wasn’t in charge of the money — she was.
Both individuals were skeptical and unreceptive at first; however, I persisted. Many appointments and conversations later, I was finally able to convince the wife that she needed a financial plan. She saw that she needed an insurance policy based on her family’s medical history, and with little liquidity available, she needed a way to pay for her impending health care needs. She gradually became receptive to the idea after reviewing a few companies and purchased her policy.
Little did I know that the biggest challenge was yet to come: The husband insisted his wife would take care of him and had no need for the policy. He thought he was invincible. It took me three more years to convince him. He finally signed the form because he cared so much about his wife, and she made it clear that he had to buy a policy, or else.
You see, the policies were about two things: keeping the family together and allowing the couple freedom of choice if and when a difficult time should come. The relationships with their adult children mattered the most to the wife, and she didn’t want anyone arguing over the quality of care and finances. As business owners, they wanted to remain independent financially, not dependent on their adult children.
So, here’s how the story ends. The invincible man who never thought he would file a claim on that policy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 82, just as the couple was selling their business. No happy retirement, no travel in their future. Instead, they had many doctor appointments and several stays in memory care units. A vibrant man, gone.
He had a new home in a private memory care unit. The claim lasted for five years and paid more than $500,000. That man had the best possible treatment, and the claim allowed for both him and his wife to live in dignity until his passing. Additionally, his illness did not create any financial stress for the family. The outcome made me really sad, but also made me glad for him and her.
That man was my father.
Are you doing the right thing?