Posts Tagged ‘LIFE’

2014 Real Life Stories Winners Announced

July 1st, 2014, One Comment ».

Life Happens has announced the winners of its annual Real Life Stories Client Recognition Program, which honors insurance professionals for going beyond the call of duty for clients and their families.

Now in its 19th year, the program recognizes exemplary service and expert financial advice and assistance to clients in times of great financial need.

“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, Check, 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 NAIFA 2014 Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. The presentation will take place on September 8, 2014, and a free simulcast will be available at

The 2014 Life Happens Real Life Stories honorees are:

  • Melissa Mlasco, 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, and 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.
  • Larry Ricke, Ricke & Associates, New Albany, Ind.: Larry’s client, Valerie, was transitioning from her medical residency when her group long-term disability insurance plan was about to terminate. She was already diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and reluctantly converted it to an individual disability income insurance policy. When her ulcerative colitis worsened and she was unable to work, the insurance helped her care for her young daughters as a single parent. Valerie met Tim through her insurance agent. Larry advised Tim to get disability income insurance with MassMutual. When Tim fell ill due to an undiagnosed aneurism and heart valve issue, he too found himself unable to work. Thanks to their individual DI policies, the family was able to keep their home and remain financially stable.
  • Steve Sabo, Sabo Financial Group, Boulder, Colo.: Steve helped to advise one of his small-business owner clients, Scott, to purchase adequate insurance to ensure he was covered both at work and at home.  Steve helped Scott and his business partner, David, put in place a buy-sell agreement funded with life insurance that would make sure his business survive in the event of his death and protect his wife Cathy and their children. When Scott’s business grew, Steve advised him to increase both his personal and business life insurance coverage. Tragically, Scott died in a paddle boarding accident. Thankfully, the policy through Scott’s business enabled Cathy to gain compensation from Scott’s portion of the company without becoming an owner. Now, Cathy and her daughters have time to grieve without financial worry.

This year’s Real Life Stories are available in the form of engaging videos that can be used to help educate clients about the importance of insurance planning. The stories will also be included in a new Life Happens digital advertising campaign, which will kick off during Life Insurance Awareness Month in September.

In addition to the Real Life Stories videos, there are other LIAM-related resources, including many featuring the 2014 LIAM Spokesperson, Boomer Season, available on Life Happens’ industry site. To access all the resources, Life Happens members must register and login to

Life Happens is accepting applications for the 2015 program, starting September 1, 2014, until January 2, 2015. Licensed insurance professionals and team members are encouraged to visit to submit their best client success story and receive more information.

To learn more, visit


By Ayo Mseka




LIFE Seeks Applications for 2014 Life Lessons Scholarship Program

February 12th, 2014, Comments Off.

LIFE Seeks Applications for 2014 Life Lessons Scholarship Program

The LIFE Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program. The deadline for all applications is March 3, 2014.

Now in its 10th year, the scholarship benefits college students and college-bound high school seniors who are facing challenges in achieving a higher education, following the death of a parent or legal guardian who did not have life insurance.

This year, the LIFE Foundation will award its highest level of scholarship money since the program’s inception–$175,000.  A total of 46 deserving students will be awarded scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $15,000, based on a 500-word written essay or a 3-minute video that describes the ways their lives have changed since the death of their loved one.

The cost of higher education in the United States is at an all-time high and has increased more than 500 percent over the past 20 years.** The LIFE Foundation recognizes the severity of student debt and seeks to alleviate this stress for young people who may not receive financial support from their families.

“Paying for college is a significant challenge for most families today, and the inspiring stories young people share through our LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program illustrate just how much more difficult it becomes when a parent dies without a financial safety net in place,” says Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, President and CEO of the LIFE Foundation.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer $175,000 this year to help students who have persevered in the face of tragedy achieve their dream of a college education. Life insurance is vital to protecting the futures of the ones you love and we want to encourage more parents to ensure their families are protected.”

The 2014 scholarship program

The LIFE Lessons Scholarship program is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24 who have been accepted to, or are currently enrolled in, a college, university, or trade school, and have suffered the loss of a parent or legal guardian without a life insurance policy. Candidates must apply to the program online at The deadline for submissions is March 3 at 4 p.m. ET.

The LIFE Foundation will award a total of 46 scholarships in 2014, including two $15,000 grand-prize scholarships, and for the first year a $10,000 scholarship, thanks to contributions made by LIFE’s board of directors. An additional four $7,500 scholarships, nine $5,000 scholarships and 30 $2,000 scholarships will be awarded between the two categories.

The 2013 LIFE Lessons essay category grand prize winner, Shane LaBarge, had just entered his first year of college when he received the shocking news that his father had died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Not only was his family going through emotional hardship, but without his father’s income and no life insurance in place to provide financial support, they were also faced with piling bills and expenses. With the help of his LIFE Lessons Scholarship, Shane’s education is no longer a burden for Shane and his mother, who suffers from a disability and is unable to work.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that the LIFE Foundation will award more than $100,000 in scholarships through the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program. LIFE would like to recognize the generous financial support it receives from the NAILBA Charitable Foundation, the MDRT Foundation and NAHU Foundation, whose grants help fund the scholarship money awarded to students.

LIFE also accepts contributions from individual donors. For information about making a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship program to support future applicants, visit:

All inquiries regarding the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program can be emailed to:


**Source: U.S. Labor Department