When Bill developed a weakness in his right hand in 2003, he and Connie thought it was a judo injury. It wasn’t, and his doctors delivered the devastating diagnosis: Lou Gehrig’s disease. Bill continued to work for several more years as a product demonstration specialist at AT&T, but eventually had to retire.
The last year and a half of Bill’s life was especially difficult, as he lost much of his muscle function. Ultimately, he had difficulty breathing and could not feed himself. The Hobson family rallied. The couple’s daughters, Carleigh, Paige and Cari, took turns caring for him between classes and work; Connie did the same during her lunch hour at a dentist’s office. Bill finally succumbed to the illness over Thanksgiving weekend of 2009.
But Bill’s illness and passing didn’t devastate the family financially, thanks to insurance planning. Short- and long-term disability insurance benefits through AT&T helped the family make ends meet when Bill could no longer work. Through a group life insurance program, his company provided one times his annual salary in life insurance benefits, and Bill bought supplemental coverage to increase the benefit to three times his salary. He also had an individual life insurance policy that he purchased on his own.
Financial representative Jim Loken, ChFC, FIC, helped Connie turn the death benefits from Bill’s various policies, and his pension and 401(k), into an income stream. It has helped Connie remain in the family home, and take an occasional vacation with the girls.
“The goal was to live a similar lifestyle to what we were living when Bill was working,” Connie says. “Not fancy, but comfortable.”