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Remle Winand: A Firefighter Who Was Prepared

Jim Winand was not yet married when he met Michael Tokushige, a financial professional, but he was already thinking ahead, asking about life insurance for himself and his fiancée, Remle. Just 28, he was fit and muscular, and spent as much time as he could in the Pacific Ocean off Honolulu, where he was a parasailing and scuba diving instructor, as well as a boat captain.

Many young people barely give life insurance a thought, but Jim “was already on the right path,” Tokushige recalls. “He was really concerned about taking care of his wife-to-be.” Jim knew that if he bought life insurance while he was young and healthy he could lock in low premiums on a policy that would grow over time. In the years that followed, Jim took a position as a firefighter at the Honolulu Fire Department. He kept in touch with Michael and bought additional life insurance coverage for himself and Remle as their family grew to include two children. Then in late 2006, Jim called to share some crushing news. He had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

As Jim fought the cancer in the months that followed, he never stopped preparing for his family’s future. At Tokushige’s suggestion, he invoked a provision in his original policy that allowed him to apply some of its dividends toward increasing the death benefit. He passed away in July 2007, just 15 days shy of his 39th birthday.  Today, proceeds from Jim’s individual policies, as well as additional coverage through the fire department, allow Remle the time and financial security to home school their two children, Mia, 6, and Levi, 4. “He was an amazing man who always thought about things and prepared,” says Remle. “He made it possible for us to continue living the way we always wanted to.”

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