By: Mark D. Milbrod, CLU, CLTC
Sales Vice President

Reflection.  Something we do every year around this time.  We are ushering out an old year and welcoming in another.  2021 was once again a challenging year for all of us as we are still working through this pandemic.   For some of us, personal issues also came into play this past year.

I would like to share my story.  My father, who is 83 years old, suffered a horrific injury back in June.  A man who was independent his entire life was suddenly dealing with the harsh reality of losing that independence.  The injury he endured took him through a journey that would see several hospital stays, multiple trips into rehab and ultimately into an Assisted Living Facility.  My brothers and I worked tirelessly to put the pieces back together for him (and for us as a family).

For years, I have been advocating the importance of the many products we sell.  Although I was a strong believer in what I would preach, there is nothing more humbling than to live it from the other side.

We went through the various stages of “the process.”  We experienced first hand the ridiculous Medicare system.  It is truly a game that is not for the weak at heart.  The very system that is supposed to protect you , often times can act as your largest obstacle.  Our goal was to avoid Medicaid as an option.  With that, you have very little control over a loved one’s future.    In our situation however,  we had some light at the end of the tunnel. We had purchased a Long Term Care policy many years ago. After navigating the maze for several months, we finally reached the end of the Elimination Period of his policy.  With that, the world opened up.

Although it entailed a move out of state, we were able to put a plan in place that utilized my Dad’s modest income, which included a small pension and his Social Security benefits.  When you add in the monthly benefits from his Long Term Care policy, the plan we put into place ensures him, despite his new limited physical limitations, a life full of the dignity that he deserves.

I am sharing this story as a way to stress the importance of what it is we do for a living…WE CHANGE LIVES.   A chill goes down my spine when I think of what would have been, if not for the Long Term Care policy.  I would have been “the shoemaker with holes in my shoes.”

I urge you to look at your personal situations.  Do you have a plan in place? What will your children have to endure if something happens to you?  Will you be that shoemaker?

Take this as a lesson and a story to bring to your clients the next time you are pitching them about the importance of the planning process.  I was truly humbled by living in the fishbowl instead of just looking in from the outside.

We have all spoken about the Cost of Waiting to our clients.  Perhaps you highlighted the cost increase  a year or two from now, but the true cost of waiting is not being able to do anything until it’s too late.

As we say goodbye to 2021 and welcome in 2022, let’s take a hard look at the stories that are not written yet.  Be more purposeful with your clients.  As I write this, the news hit the wire about John Madden’s death.  One of his famous quotes was…

“The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers  anything else”

Be that champion to your clients and their families.

Wishing you all a Very Healthy, Safe and Happy 2022.