Big doors swing on small hinges.
Have you ever heard that old saying before? It basically means that sometimes big things happen as a result of small events. Often we don’t realize what or how small behaviors influence big things happening, either in our lives or the lives of others. As we build our business we are creating a legacy, and as we live our lives we are leaving a legacy.
About 10 years ago I was running Medicare Supplement leads in Newport, Tenn. with another agent. One lead was a couple who had lived in their home for some 35 years. The husband was 69, retired, and his wife was just turning 65 and worked part time at Dollywood. The reason she was working part time was to earn enough money to make their house payment. Some 20 years earlier her husband had been laid off his job; it took him a few months to get a new job. He could not keep up his house payment so he worked out an arrangement with his bank to add the missing payments to the end of his loan, thus resulting in his wife needing to continue to work part time. After helping her with her Medicare Supplement I ask the question I ask all my senior clients, “Are you paying taxes, and are you paying taxes on your Social Security?” The answer to both questions was yes. I then ask the follow-up question I always ask, “Is that what you expected, and is that what you were planning on doing?” And, of course, the answer was no.
I then ask my next follow-up question, “What plan do you have to reduce or eliminate paying taxes on your Social Security?” And the answer was they did not have a plan and that’s what they were talking to me about. Just the answer I was looking for.
Get the facts
After doing a qualified fact finder, the following circumstances presented themselves. They still owed about $34,000 on their house. She worked enough hours to make the house payment, however, she would prefer to not have to work and be at home with her husband who had some medical issues. They had a $150,000 non-qualified, seven-year deferred annuity that was in its sixth year. They didn’t need the money to live on, and had some money in savings, with some income from a few investments. Except for their house payment, they had no other real bills.