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Life - Knowledge

 

September 08, 2010
Real Life Stories

Frank Ames – Amid Grief, Many Silver Linings

 

While helping to build the Los Angeles subway system, Frank Ames was hit by a truck and injured so severely that he was no longer able to work at his construction job. Complications from the injury impacted his life in many ways. Even something seemingly as simple as buying life insurance became very difficult. With two small children, Frank and his wife, Laura, knew life insurance was a must.


Due to his poor health, Frank was only able to buy a small policy. Fortunately, Laura, a teacher, was in great health and qualified for preferred rates on her policy, which she bought with the help of insurance agent Bob Arensberg, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF. During a doctor’s visit just weeks later, Laura received devastating news. She had a cancerous tumor in her abdomen. She battled the disease for several years, but in early 2005 doctors gave her just a year to live. She and Frank invoked a provision in her insurance policy that allowed for an early payout to a terminally ill policyholder, and used one third of the death benefit to buy land in rural Missouri and build a home. Laura spent her final months there. She passed away at age 42.

 

Frank remains unable to work, but a provision in Laura’s policy allowed him to apply some of the death benefit toward life insurance coverage for himself, regardless of his physical condition. Today, he supplements his small Social Security disability payments with income generated by invested insurance proceeds, plus rental income on a second home he and Laura had built on their property. He also set up college funds for his children, Bethany and Joshua. Frank was even able to set aside money to honor Laura’s memory with a foundation in her name that is building a church playground and children’s center. “Without this policy they would have been in an awful financial situation,” says Arensberg. “Amid all this grief at least there are some silver linings.”

 

Tara Newby- A Good Samaritan’s Lasting Legacy

 

Preston Newby, 24, was a youth pastor who “lived to serve other people,” says his wife, Tara. So it was no surprise when he pulled off the Interstate late one night to help passengers in a car that had just collided with an elk. After discovering they were hurt, Preston returned to his car, told Tara what had happened, and ran back to the scene. While calling for help, Preston was struck from behind by a driver who swerved to avoid the accident scene. He died moments later in Tara’s arms.

 

The tragic situation would have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the Newbys’ decision a few years earlier to buy life insurance. They had gone to see agent Jerry Braun to talk about auto and renter’s insurance. But with their first child on the way, Jerry suggested they also consider life insurance. “We discussed how, if one of us passed away, the other would want to stay home with the children,” says Tara. Sadly, that hypothetical discussion became reality all too soon for Tara, who was 10 weeks pregnant with her second child when Preston’s life was tragically cut short. But thanks to the life insurance, she is able to be a full-time mother to Jacob, 2, and Micah, 3 months.

 

She also paid off her student loans and other debts. More importantly, it gave her time to grieve and to focus on her children. “With so much to stress about while raising two children, it’s a blessing not to have to worry about finances,” says Tara. “I feel like it was Preston’s last gift to us.”

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