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Focusing on the next generation

One client takes care of her family's needs

As Karen Williams–Harsh welcomes guests into her beautiful new home, she pauses in front of a framed picture of her mother.

“She helped us get started. She gave me the money to buy our first home. And we were able to get this wonderful house for our own retirement. She planned and saved her entire life so that we would have security and happiness.”

Karen's daughter, Katie, chimes in, “Grandma always told me to come see her if I ever needed her help. When I got married, she helped us get a place to live. This year, I am able to go back to school for my master&rsdq;s degree—thanks to Grandma.”

Karen said, “Mom made a vow early in life that her family would never face the poverty she had experienced in her childhood.”

Although income during her working years was relatively modest—Nelda was a children's librarian and her husband, George, a railroad employee—the couple spent their money carefully and saved all they could.

George purchased stocks, mostly in companies near their Wisconsin home—the OshKosh clothing company and a local bank. After his death, Nelda took over the financial management duties, becoming an avid investor.

New York Life Agents Carrie Hall and Murray Pruetz (below) remember their first meeting with Nelda in 1995. According to Murray, “She was extremely astute and peppered us with good questions: ‘Will I be able to grow and preserve my assets? How can I reduce estate taxes?’”

Carrie adds, “Nelda had spoken with many advisors before she met us. She wanted to make sure she was working with someone she could trust. Fortunately, she felt confident enough in us to tell her daughter, ‘Murray is a good guy. And Carrie seems like a smart cookie.’”

“Carrie and I showed Nelda how to diversify her assets in line with her goals and objectives,” Murray recalls. “Then we helped her secure her retirement income with an immediate annuity and protect her estate through life insurance and trust planning. She also bought whole life and long–term care insurance for Karen and Katie, giving them financial peace of mind for a lifetime.”

“At this point,” says Karen, “Mom was in great shape financially. But she never stopped worrying about money. Even though she allowed herself occasional luxuries, like nice vacations for all of us, she still clipped coupons and bought generic store–brand groceries. Falling into poverty was a fear that haunted her every day of her life.”

Murray will never forget his last conversation with Nelda. “Carrie and I visited her in the hospital, just a few weeks before she died. She and her family had made wise use of virtually every core product offered by New York Life. Their financial security was assured. And yet, her first question to us was, ‘Can I afford the hospital bills? Can my family afford it?’”

“Murray and Carrie told Mom the bills would be paid and her family would always have everything they need,” Karen remembers. “And, for the first time ever, Mom looked completely relaxed. She was content, knowing her dream was fulfilled.”

Speaking in a whisper, she adds, “You did good, Mom. You did lots of good.”

Immediate annuities are issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company. Guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuer. See contract for complete terms and conditions. Neither New York Life Insurance Company, nor its agents, provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professional before making decisions.