The Company You Keep
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What Are Customers Saying About Us?

These are just some of the many happy policyholders that New York Life has served.

People my age tend to worry about the security of their nest eggs and how to make them last as long as possible. Being entirely self-supporting, I've had some money difficulties in the past, and last year the situation became downright scary.

I finally got my courage up and made a phone call to see if I could use some of my 401(k) money now. What a pleasant surprise: the New York Life Investment Management was helpful and kind, and didn't make me feel the tiniest bit Uncomfortable?

There were no hassles and no red tape. When I called New York Life, they simply said, "Yes, we can help. Here's how we'll do it." It's such a great comfort to know that, when I need them, the people of New York Life will be there for me.
- Patricia Powell

No one would accuse me of making life easy for my insurance agent. I did some serious comparison-shopping when my wife and I decided to purchase a fairly significant amount of life insurance.

I asked my agent, Gib Surles, to show me policies from four or five different companies. Finally, I narrowed them down to two, and I thought either would be a good choice.

But then Gib pointed out something that was important to me. One of the firms was part of New York Life, a company that is not publicly traded. The other was an investor owned company.

It seems to me that, in a publicly owned insurance company, you've got a built-in conflict of interest between the investors and the policyholders. Investors tend to focus on a company's quarterly performance and will get in or out of a stock based upon the quarterly numbers. And I know that when a company is under pressure to please Wall Street, short-term profitability becomes the number-one priority.

I don't want my insurance company taking unnecessary risks in the hope of getting immediate returns that will impress investors.

I would much rather do business with a company that is interested in impressing me, the policyholder. I want a life insurance company that only has one objective: to make sure my family will always have the financial protection I paid for. That's why I'm with New York Life.
- Don Powell

Jill McCarthy's father died in a work-related accident that left her mother and the children to fend for themselves. So when New York Life agent Stuart Grossman met Jill during an employee presentation on insurance benefits at a local nursing home, he didn't need to explain to her the value of insurance. Jill and her husband Bob, a 37-year-old delivery truck driver, were in the process of buying a home. Each of them owned a small life insurance policy. But Jill, knowing the hardships that could befall a family, was determined to obtain additional protection.

The McCarthys wanted to drop their current coverage and purchase two larger life insurance policies from New York Life. Stuart encouraged her not to drop her old policies, and certainly not until the new ones were in effect. Jill will always remember that advice.

One week later, Bob's delivery truck rolled and hit a guardrail, killing him instantly. Jill was devastated and obviously concerned about her family's future. She had four children and barely enough money in the bank to pay the funeral expenses. Jill also didn't know if the new insurance policy was in force, she had only signed an enrollment form electing to have a payroll deduction of the premium.

Stuart's secretary noticed a story in the newspaper about the accident and informed him that the paperwork for the McCarthy's new policy was on her desk. Stuart immediately called Jill to reassure her and said his company would pay her the insurance money simply based on the signed receipt for the payroll deduction.

Stuart also helped Jill receive payment from another insurance company on the original policy he had told her to hold on to. He called the company's president and explained the immediacy of the situation. Three days later, Jill received a check from that company as well.

Today, Jill is back on her feet, owns her own home and a $250,000 life insurance policy. "If it wasn't for Stuart, we wouldn't have a roof over our heads," said Jill. "I know the value of insurance, it keeps a family together."
- Jill McCarthy

Hear more of Jill's story

Linda Benders and Jeanne Rizzotto had recently purchased a realty company in a small town in Montana. Linda was a wife and mother of four who also cared for her elderly mother-in-law. Jeanne was a single parent, raising two sons. Linda and Jeanne's busy lifestyles and growing business commitments led them to consider purchasing life insurance through their business. They met with New York Life agents Stephanie Walter and Patti Larsen, CLU, to have their insurance needs analyzed. Acting on their agents' recommendations, the businesswomen purchased life insurance to fund "buy-sell agreements" that would protect their business interests should something happen to either one of them.

As time went by, their business took off. They moved into a much larger office space and added staff. In February 1997, Linda and Jeanne met with their agents for an annual review of their financial situation. Linda and Jeanne had become concerned about investing for retirement. Their agents, however, felt that the two women were now underinsured due to their increased financial commitments. They strongly encouraged Linda and Jeanne to purchase more life insurance first and to invest the remainder of their available monthly earnings in IRAs.

After several weeks and considerable deliberations with their agents, Linda and Jeanne agreed to their recommendations.

Days later, on March 15, 1997, Linda and one of her daughters were involved in a tragic car accident on an icy road. Linda was killed. Jeanne called her agent Patti at 6:00 a.m. the next morning to tell her about the accident, "I'm scared. I just need to know if Linda's family will be all right and if I'm going to be all right," she said.

Because of the insurance, Linda's husband is able to care for their 3-year-old daughter and elderly mother, and their other three children can stay in college.

"For months, Patti and Stephanie implored us to get the right type of insurance to protect our business interests. We weren't exactly an easy sell. We were focused on the realty business and couldn't be bothered dealing with insurance," said Jeanne, "We could have lost it all. Because of the insurance, Linda's family has security, and I didn't lose the company."
- Jeanne Rizzotto

Hear more of Jeanne and Linda's story

Del Bloomer had considerable ambitions for his business, community and family. A devoted father of eight-year-old twins, Maya and Matthew, he was the CEO of Delinda Technological Services, a successful information company named for him and his wife, Linda. Del also established Light On, a foundation that teaches computer skills to underprivileged children. And the word around his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama was that he'd one day be mayor.

Insurance agent Greg Clark, LUTCF, had read a newspaper article about Del, and a casual note led to a meeting. Del had purchased life insurance when his kids were younger and the business was just starting out, but knew he needed more. Greg helped him significantly increase his coverage to provide additional protection for his family and growing business.

Del's decision to buy more life insurance proved critical. Just one year later,, Linda and the twins found themselves rushing Del to the hospital with severe chest pains. As Linda ran to get a wheelchair, she saw Del, who had tried to stand, fall back into the car. He never regained consciousness. A massive heart attack ended Del's life at age 40.

"Del's wish was to protect his family and business and pass on his legacy, and that's what he did," said Greg.

With the life insurance proceeds, Linda and the twins are keeping Del's memory alive. Linda has kept the business and the foundation running. The money has also helped give her family a "fresh start" in a new home, pay off debts, and establish a retirement savings program for herself and college-funding plans for the twins. "I have peace of mind today because Del had the foresight to plan ahead," Linda said.
-Linda Bloomer

Hear more of Del and Linda's story

As an only child who married but didn't have children of her own, Margaret Sweborg always had an independent streak. She worked for many years as an executive secretary for a state agency in Illinois. In her free time, she and her husband, Wayne, often would travel across the country in their conversion van.

Wayne died in 1988, leaving Margaret widowed for the second time in her life. But Margaret wasn't about to let her loss slow her down. Recently retired, she kept busy by doing volunteer work and still took frequent road trips in the van, often by herself.

Fending for herself was nothing new for Margaret, but she was concerned about how she'd manage if her health ever deteriorated. So she met with Michael J. Reid, CLU, ChFC, an insurance agent who helped her purchase long-term care insurance.

Like most people, Margaret bought the insurance hoping she'd never need it. But 13 years later, Margaret, 79, tripped while stepping into her home and broke her hip. Unable to move, she lay on the floor for five days. Finally a concerned neighbor got someone to open the door and Margaret, her pulse barely detectable, was rushed to the hospital.

The attending physician called Margaret's granddaughter, Rindy Main, with the sobering news that she probably wouldn't make it through the night. Margaret defied the doctor's prediction, but the accident caused a sharp decline in her overall health.

Unable to care for herself anymore, Margaret now lives in a nursing home in Farmington, Illinois where she has first-rate, around-the-clock care. According to her granddaughter, "were it not for the $70 daily benefit from her long-term care policy plus some retirement savings, she probably would have spent down all her assets and sought care through Medicaid. Now she gets all the care she needs and then some."
-Rindy Main

Hear more of Margaret's story

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