As one of 13 children, Bob Mentz learned early in life that he needed to be independent to get ahead. That spirit was with him when he got his first job at age 12 delivering newspapers. And it stayed with him as an adult when he and wife, Debbie, opened a greeting card store near Tampa, Florida.
Bob learned about the greeting card business from his father. But his most important lesson came when his father died with little life insurance, leaving his mother with few resources to support herself. Bob wanted a more secure future for his family. So after a chance meeting in his store with Michele Florio Williams, CLU, a financial professional with the MONY Group, he was eager to have his finances reviewed.
At Michele’s recommendation, Bob bought life insurance and increased his coverage over the years as his financial needs evolved. In the 1980s, when he wanted to expand and interest rates were high, he borrowed at relatively low rates against the cash values of his permanent life insurance policies.
Business continued to thrive, largely due to Bob’s contagious sense of humor and caring personality. "He made everyone smile and made everyone feel special," says Michele, who became one of the family’s closest friends. "Members of his church, delivery drivers, his clients, everyone."
Then tragedy struck. Bob died of a bleeding ulcer at age 50. Two years later, not a day goes by that Debbie doesn’t miss her husband. But life insurance proceeds have allowed her to carry on their dreams without worrying about finances.
The business is doing great and provides a good living for Debbie. And the insurance money will allow her to retire comfortably and help fund future life goals for her children and grandchildren.
"He gave me everything when he was alive," says Debbie. "And he made sure that would continue after he died."