How did I get here?
I have been in and around financial services for a long time. My dad was a life insurance agent in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. As an impressionable young person, I watched how he developed a personal relationship with many of his clients. I can remember several instances growing up when one of his long-term clients died and he was gratefully welcomed by the widow (most often) and kids to see how the policy benefits could help them survive this sometimes unexpected tragedy. I felt proud of my dad for choosing a career that enabled him to help in a such tangible way.
What happened next?
Before becoming a wife, and mother I worked on wilderness issues for the Sierra Club, helped with Washington state’s Vietnamese refugee resettlement program, and later in the field of career-life planning.
A couple of years after my daughter was born, I worked 10 years in telecommunications management software sales to large organizations. Then life happened and I found myself unexpectedly laid off, I realized I had a choice to make; seek another company or reinvent myself professionally using all the talents I possessed. A friend suggested I join his insurance agency, and I began to think about my dad’s career more consciously. Kids don’t often want to do what their parents did for a living because that wouldn’t be cool. After all, what do parents know? Saying no thanks to following in our parent’s footsteps is just one way in which we, as young people, differentiate ourselves as we seek our own distinct path.
Yet, at age 40, it now seemed like a good idea and career direction given that my dad had set such a fine example. He had died five years before and it also seemed like a way to honor and pay respect to my earliest mentor.
Twice in my 23-year insurance career, I’ve been a “captive” agent working for a specific carrier (AIG and Mass Mutual), but for most of it, I’ve been an independent agent. This means I’m appointed with a variety of companies and can “shop” for the best policy for my client. Earlier in my career I was also securities licensed and sold mutual funds, variable annuities and variable life. But after several major market swings, I decided to specialize in the insurance side of financial services. This primarily consists of several types of life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care strategies and fixed annuity programs. These products can be invaluable tools to help minimize financial risk and plan retirement strategies that will help to protect and leverage assets for the long run.
How do I work?
Here’s my basic philosophy: I enjoy collaborating with clients (and their other advisors) about their specific life situation. I like to use the analogy of a chess board. Chess is a game of strategy. We have various pieces we can move around, but sometimes it really helps to have a collaborative conversation with someone who knows how to create the tailored strategies we need that will move us closer to our personal financial goals.