Vicki Bowen's Story
As a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 8 children, including 2 with autism, I know the importance of a close family. I’m not sure how we would have been able to get through all the trials and tribulations we’ve had to deal with over the past years, if we weren’t supporting each other.
I entered the insurance industry in 1990. From then until 2012, I helped my company’s agents in the field by properly taking care of their client relationships. Not only did I enjoy supporting clients in their problems, some of them even became good friends of mine throughout the process. My colleagues were also a great source of friendship and I feel extremely grateful for all the wonderful relationships I have developed over the years. It became obvious to me that supporting people was my calling.
In 2012, I left the company with my co-worker Dennis and we became partners to form an online Final Expense Insurance Agency. As my trainer and mentor, Dennis instilled in me the values that our company stands for, and I couldn’t support them more. We will always be loyal to our customers, never to an insurance company. We keep our clients at the heart of what we do, and will support them as much as we can to ease future burdens their families might face.
Not very many agencies have excelled in the telesales and online insurance market, but we believed that to properly service your clients today it was the way to go. After so many years of selling in the field, Dennis felt more and more that he was intruding in his clients’ lives. It is not easy to sit down and talk finances for an hour or two at the end of people’s busy day. We find it so much easier to work over the phone and internet, where our clients have access to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a client is ready to consider a plan, he or she can just grab a cup of coffee and we will work with them until we find the company and policy that is best suited for their situation.
"We will always be loyal to our customers, never to an insurance company."
My goal every morning, when I sit down to my desk is not only to support my clients at 100%, it is also to make a friend. It could be the first or 100th person I call that day, but when I do make a friend they are a friend for life. I can’t express what a great feeling that is. They call me on my cell phone whenever they need something, or just to chat. I love it. As the top-of-the-chart salesman for several of the companies that we represent, and the #1 telesales agent for the largest writers of final expense in the country, we have proven that our system works. It shows that doing the right thing for people not only brings you long-lasting friendships, you can make a living out of it at the same time.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently had to have both removed. After a year of chemo treatments that almost ended my life on several occasions, and another 6 months of radiation, I am happy to say that I am back and ready to pick up right where I left off. I can’t say how thankful I am to my family, friends, business associates and all my wonderful clients that supported me every step of the way. I am fortunate to have completed my end of life plan and bought the insurance to cover my health before I got sick. I have always been there for my family. They are my life. I surely don’t want to drop the ball at the end.
I am at my desk every weekday, and available by email and cell to our customers 24/7. If a client needs help using our free resources and planning tools, or has personal concerns about final expense funding due to health or other issues, I am here to listen. I love my job. During my workday, I’m a licensed insurance agent, a personal shopper, and at times I’m just chatting with a new or cherished friend. What is not to love.
Dennis Waton's Story
My family has been in the insurance business since 1945. My dad joined my uncle’s company when he came home from WWII. He was an honest, hardworking man with a heart of gold. He raised 3 sons and they meant the world to him. His love was unconditional.
In business, my dad was caring and very close to his clients. We grew up eating at their restaurants and buying what we needed from their shops. When one of his customers passed away, he always took it personally, and made sure the insurance policy paid quickly. He would even deliver the check personally to ensure finances would not become a source of extra stress for the family during that difficult time.
I grew up witnessing all this, and the values of family, love and support grew ever stronger in me. I have raised 3 boys myself, 2 as a single father, and I can’t express the pride I feel in the fathers that they have now become to my 5 grandchildren. Family is at the heart of my life, and I can see my sons have embraced this value too. I couldn’t imagine a day when they wouldn’t be there for each other.
"A family member passing away can be one of the most challenging moments there are, and could quickly become a reason for the family to tear apart."
When my mother contracted Alzheimer’s, it was a no brainer for me to leave my job on the West Coast and move back to Florida to be with her. I wanted to support her and felt very fortunate to have the chance to spend that time with her. I thought my brothers would like the opportunity to cherish time with her too.
Unfortunately, the situation didn’t evolve the way I would have hoped for. My brothers, who were at a much higher financial level than me, were embroiled in a nasty feud involving their insurance agency.
By simply wanting to bring everyone together, I somehow found myself in the middle of their bitter argument and lost not only the money that my parents proudly left for me, but more importantly, I lost my relationship with my two brothers. One of them didn’t even come to the funeral which was devastating. I can only thank my children who supported me and didn’t allow me to fall apart all together.
Add to that the money situation. Each lives in a completely different financial reality. Is the one that has the most money going to feel animosity towards the others if they believe he should bear more of the expense? What a situation for a family to be in on what must be one of the worst days of their lives.
This should be a chance for them to come together, grieve together, and celebrate our lives together. Not a day to mourn my death while arguing over funeral details. Instead, I would like it to deepen their relationship with each other and bond them together for the rest of their lives.
The situation I found myself in with my brothers unfortunately happens all the time. Since I started working in this industry, I have seen families ripped apart because of different ideas about arrangements and money, over and over again. That, more than anything else, is why I have built My Parting Gift: To prevent this from happening to you. Arrangements can be made ahead of time. Money can be put away or used to purchase life insurance for pennies on the dollar. The choices you make now are choices your children won’t be forced to make later.
So, talk to your family, use our complimentary planning tools we offer to you, and feel free to contact us and discuss any type of funding questions you might have.
President of Advanced Senior Advisors and creator of My Parting Gift
Dennis Waton - President of Advanced Senior Advisors LLC