Advisor Today - May/June 2015 - (Page 61)
the lighter side of life
By Penny Righthand, CLU, ChFC
Serving Our Clients
As agents, we are supposed to do our best for the clients we serve.
here was an urgent message in
my voicemail at work a couple
of weeks ago. "This is Toyota
Financial calling. It is urgent that you
call us by the end of today," it said. I
was about to delete it, thinking it was
a marketing call, but then I replayed
it and heard the word "financial."
Had my monthly payment not gone
through? I wondered. I checked my
bank record on line and saw that my
last payment had cleared. So I forgot
Later that afternoon they called
me again. "Your lease was up last
week, Ms. Righthand," the man
said. "What do you intend to do
"What are you talking about?" I
said, not altogether pleasantly. "I just
bought this car a year or so ago! Wasn't
it a five-year lease? It can't be up!"
I pulled out my file to find the
papers on the car as he continued to
insist that I had to make up my mind
about what to do. "We're talking about
your 2011 Prius, right?" he asked.
"2011?" I couldn't believe it had
been that long.
"You had a three-year lease.
It's over now. You have to make
As the papers surfaced in front of
me, I realized he was right. "Oh my
gosh!" I was slightly more contrite
this time. "You are right! I don't know
where the time has gone! What do
I have to do? What are my options?
And how much time do I have?"
Three years looking forward is
much longer than three years
looking backward. That is even
true for 20 years. When I came
into this business, having been
a squirrely kid, I had never done
anything for longer than 10 years.
I had never held a job, a marriage,
or a kid for more than that. I made
a commitment to myself to stay in
Her options were more expensive than the cost of permanent
insurance would have been for her at 50.
the business for 20 years. When I
did that, it felt vaguely like what I
imagined a lifetime prison sentence
without parole would feel like. Of
course the perks were much better.
But still, 20 years sounded like a
long time. Now I'm entering my 28th
year. I'm not sure what happened to
year 20. I must have blinked.
But 28 years ago, I sold a 50-yearold woman a 20-year term policy.
She wanted to leave something for
her children, she'd said, because
she didn't have a lot of money to
leave them. If this were an algebra
problem, I'd ask you to guess how
old she was when my phone rang.
And you'd be correct. My phone
rang on her 70th birthday. "What
happened to my life insurance?" she
asked in a not-too-happy voice.
For some reason, I remember
every detail of appointments I've had
from the very beginning of my career.
I can tell you the conversations, the
location, the clothes we both wore.
So I reminded her that she had
chosen to buy a 20-year term policy
because the permanent insurance
was too expensive. And the 20 years
were now up.
"Twenty years?" she said. "It can't
be 20 years already!" she objected.
But we both knew it was true. I don't
know how she confirmed it, but I
glanced in the mirror near my desk.
Twenty years had gone by in the blink
of an eye.
"What do I have to do now?" she
wanted to know. "What are
We looked at her options, and
even if her health had been perfect,
which it wasn't, they were all too
expensive. And they were all more
expensive than the cost of permanent
insurance would have been for her at
50. I felt terrible! But not as bad as
she did, I'm sure.
I was luckier with my car options
than she was with her insurance
options. All I had to do was pay
more. My insurability and my age
didn't matter to Toyota Financial.
But we life insurance professionals,
who are supposed to do what's best
for our clients, ought to consider
those issues when we sign someone
up for 20- or 30-year term. After all,
tempus fugit. And term ends.
Peggy Righthand, CLU, ChFC,
lives in the San Francisco area and is
a member of NAIFA-Alameda County.
Contact her at
May/June 2015 | ADVISOR TODAY 61
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - May/June 2015
From the Editor
Investing with Purpose
Ascending to Greatness
DI Insurance Saves a Family—Twice
Hack-Proof Your Social Media Site
A Unique Asset That Is Often Overlooked
How I Sell Whole Life
When Being Wrong Is Right
Selling Life Insurance Today
Retirement Planning for Today’s Boomers
Repotting Your Career
NAIFA Government Relations
After the Sale
Marketing to Millennials
How to Win the Hispanic Market
In Step with a Winner
Work for Free—and Make Lots of Money Doing It!
Creating a Center of Influence
Advisor Today - May/June 2015