Life Insurance Calculator
When purchasing life insurance, the question really isn’t how much you need, but how much capital your family will need at the time of your death. Click the image above to calculate your needs.
Real Life Stories
Anne Gongos: His Final Gift
When John and Anne Gongos met, they knew at once they were meant to be together. And so they began creating a life together built on respect, faith and raising their three children.
As their family grew, John’s business, Gongos Research, did as well. It was not only thriving financially, but it was a place where employees loved to work—it was like an extended family. John felt compelled to care for both his families—the one at home and at work.
As a child, John saw firsthand what happened when there was no life insurance. His father died at 43, leaving his mother to raise three children with no financial resources. Later, one of his first bosses died in his early 50s leaving his business affairs in disarray.
As a consequence, John worked closely with insurance professional Craig Wiklund, CLU, ChFC, to ensure that neither his family nor business would suffer if something happened to him. A key piece they put in place was a business succession plan, funded with life insurance. Craig also made sure that John had adequate personal life insurance.
That planning was fortuitous. An acute stomach pain that sent John to the emergency room turned out to be cancer. He died just nine days later at 51.
The grief was overwhelming, says Anne, but one thing she didn’t have to worry about then or into the future was money. She received the death benefit proceeds from John’s personal life insurance policy and money from the sale of the business, which was all laid out in the succession plan. In addition, the business transition went as planned, and the 100-plus employees that John considered family were able to keep their job and help the company thrive under the new owners.
“Because of the planning John and Craig did, my family is taken care of for life and the company is doing great,” says Anne. “Life insurance was truly John’s final gift to us.”
Ron Franco: Keeping a Dream in Place
Kelly and Ron Franco met while working at a local grocery store, and over time a romance blossomed. Soon after they were married, they sat down with insurance agent Steve Edmondson. He helped them put their long-term dreams into motion by setting up a plan that included permanent life insurance, which offered both protection and a means to accumulate cash value.
Their family grew to include two sons, and Ron started his own concrete construction business. When the Francos were ready to buy their dream home, they tapped into the accumulated cash value of their life insurance policy to help with a down payment.
As Ron’s business had seasonal dry spells, money became tight so Ron decided they should cancel their life insurance. Steve asked the couple to sit down and do a financial and budget analysis first. What they found was an even bigger need for coverage. Steve helped them find ways to cut unnecessary spending so they could afford to keep their permanent policies and supplement them with new term life insurance policies.
Kelly, who oversaw their finances, tapped into the accumulated cash value of their permanent policies to pay bills, including their life insurance premiums, to get them through this rough patch.
Her decision proved momentous. Just four months later, Kelly, who was only 46 at the time, died suddenly of heart failure. Ron’s grief was compounded by the thought that they would lose their home and the life they had built with their boys. Steve assured Ron that Kelly had not cancelled the insurance. “We worked hard for what we have and paid diligently. Life insurance made it possible for the boys and me to stay in our home,” says Ron.
Jessi Burch: A Single Mom’s Gift to Her Daughter
It’s not easy being a single parent, but Lauri Turnes faced more hurdles than most. A school bus driver in southern Virginia, Lauri suffered severe injuries from a car accident that left her barely able to walk and unable to work. In addition, her daughter, Jessi, was battling a life-threatening kidney ailment.
When financial strains became severe, Lauri would sometimes turn to the whole life insurance policy she had purchased years earlier. By withdrawing funds from the policy’s accumulated dividends, she could make ends meet when money was especially tight. But by the time Lauri needed to buy a new car for herself and a high school class ring for Jessi, the dividends were exhausted.
Lauri considered cashing in the policy to make those purchases, but her insurance agent, Lynne Crittenden, CPCU, counseled against it. Knowing that the coverage was still needed to safeguard Jessi’s financial future, Lynne instead arranged for Lauri to borrow money from the policy, which allowed it to remain in force.
Not long afterward, while driving alone on a rain-slicked road one Saturday afternoon, Lauri lost control of her new car and struck a tree. She died at the scene. Today, Jessi lives with her grandparents and is studying nursing at Central Virginia Community College. She is in good health, thanks to a kidney donation from her half-sister. Lauri’s life insurance policy and a death benefit from her auto insurance policy have provided Jessi with a financial cushion that can help pay college expenses or, perhaps, be used as a down payment on a home. “Lauri is an example of someone who struggled financially but was able to take care of her daughter,” says Crittenden.