hen Ann Reynolds’ husband, Mark, died in 2003, he left behind what seemed like a modest life insurance benefit. But it has made a world of difference in Ann’s life. Once an energetic human resources executive who power-walked five miles a day, Ann, 53, is confined to a wheel chair because of a degenerative back condition.
Unable to work, she relies on a disability insurance policy she bought through her employer and Social Security payments, which together just manage to meet her living expenses. That’s where Mark’s life insurance benefit comes in. With the help of financial advisor Bridy Condon, she has made the most of that money. It paid for a lift-equipped van that allows her to drive herself around town while sitting in her wheel chair. “The van is my freedom,” she says. “It makes me feel like I’m not disabled and can go on with my life.”
It also paid for thousands of dollars in dental work to repair damage caused by the many medications she is required to take. Most importantly, she has used it occasionally to make mortgage payments so she could continue to live in the San Diego home that she and Mark shared for most of their 21 years together.
Ann has many challenges ahead. Her disability insurance payments will end when she is 65, and she’s not sure how she’ll make ends meet then. But she’s grateful for everything that insurance has done for her thus far. “I was lucky I had some life and disability insurance, not enough, but some,” she says. “This small amount has absolutely saved the quality of my life.”