The Tang family left their home in Vietnam to build a better life in America. From left to right: Ngoc Anh, Stephen, Nancy, Jimmy.

Stephen and Ngoc Anh Tang left their home in Vietnam to build a better life in southern California for themselves and their children, Jimmy and Nancy. They were immigrants hoping to achieve the classic American dream.

They worked hard: Stephen got a job as an hourly worker and Ngoc Anh Tang stayed at home. They also made sure to set aside money for life insurance to protect their family and their dream in a new country.


"Without the insurance, Jimmy and I would be nowhere right now."

Tang family at there son's graduation

Jimmy Tang and his sister Nancy were able to buy a home and to send Nancy to college after both parents died a few years apart.

No one could have predicted that tragedy awaited them and that those policies would provide their children a financial and emotional foundation as they moved into adulthood.

The first blow came with a car accident that seriously injured Ngoc Anh and led to her death two years later.

The surviving Tangs were devastated, but their Custom Whole Life policy from New York Life gave them a cushion. In addition, the policy had two riders that proved to be very important.

First was the waiver of premium disability rider, which covered the premiums when Ngoc Anh was in and out of the hospital. That enabled the family to maintain the policy. Second was the accidental death benefit rider, which doubled the benefit paid to the family because New York Life deemed Ngoc Anh’s death an accident—even though it had occurred two years earlier.

The money helped the family get back on its feet. Stephen bought more insurance on the advice of his New York Life financial professional, Annie Vu. She said it was important to get more protection since he was a single parent.

Only three years later, the Tangs suffered another shocking blow: Stephen was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer and died shortly thereafter. Nancy was still a senior in high school and Jimmy was a recent college graduate.

It was traumatic for Nancy and Jimmy to lose both of their parents so unexpectedly. But they’ve been able to get back on track because of the steps their parents took to protect their financial future.

Nancy was able to go to college. Jimmy even bought a house for the pair to live in near Nancy’s campus.

“Without the insurance, me and Jimmy would be nowhere right now,” says Nancy.

Stephen and Ngoc Anh Tang did not live to see their children’s better life in America, but through their planning they were able to keep their children on the path they had dreamed of when they first came to this country.

The experience of the people described in this material may not be representative of the experiences of other clients. Experiences obtained by these people are not indicative of the future experiences that may be obtained. Certain conditions must be met to exercise policy riders.

Explore the basics of life insurance: 

  • Learn how a policy works—what it is, how you pay, and what you can expect
  • Understand how different kinds of protection can help you
  • Estimate how much coverage you might need

Visit our introduction to life insurance to find answers to questions you may have.