Monday, March 21st, was World Down Syndrome Day. This day falls on 3/21 every year as people with Down syndrome have 3 copies of their 21st chromosome. I never paid attention to this day…never even knew it was a thing, until this year.
My daughter was born in August and, unbeknownst to us, was born with Down syndrome. What did that mean for our new, tiny family? Kennedy needed to be in the NICU for a week and has two valves in her heart that remain open, but should be closed. We go for routine echocardiograms and the valves are starting to close. She is doing so well that her cardiologist doesn’t need to see her again (unless there are significant changes of course) until she’s 3! That’s great news! We are lucky and she is growing really well and is healthy!
Before Kennedy was born, my husband Joe and I knew that we needed to increase our life insurance – big life event, right? We worked with our agent to figure out what we would need, went through the super simple application process, and bam! More insurance. We chose to go with term insurance and figured that we could look at permanent products as we went along. We knew that this was what we were supposed to do, but many people don’t. It’s important to double back with your clients and check in on them. Are they buying a house? Getting married? Having a baby? What a super easy way to talk to them about their needs.
We knew that we needed the extra coverage, especially with a baby on the way so that we would be prepared for the unexpected and/or be able to leave her something when we died (maybe for her to take an amazing vacation or pay off her student debt or provide a little extra for her family). It was important for us to know that should something unexpected happen to one or both of us, there would be means to pay off the mortgage and student debt, fund college for her; and, she would know that we were looking out for her when we chose to get insurance in the first place.
While we prepared for benefits in case one of us died unexpectedly, we didn’t prepare for Kennedy to have a disability. We are now facing a new reality. We need to revisit our term policy and get additional coverage, in case she has more needs down the road. We need to look at conversion to a permanent product and/or a product that can specifically help fund a Special Needs Trust.
Currently, we are looking at the PruLife Survivorship Index UL which offers the ability to not only cover the unexpected but can also work for us to leave a legacy for Kennedy and care for her special needs and her financial future, even when we’re gone. Through this product, we would be able to fund a Special Needs Trust which would provide tax benefits for Kennedy and protect any benefits she receives from the government.
Joe and I never expected that we would need to discuss things like a Special Needs Trust, but reality isn’t always what you expect and I’m glad that there are insurance options that we can use to ensure that Kennedy is taken care of now and in the future. Your clients may face the unexpected too, and they’ll turn to you for sound advice on products that can give them the coverage they need. That’s where we can help! Bring your unexpeteds to us and we can help you guide your clients to the best product for their reality.
We don’t know what the future holds for Kennedy. We certainly hope that she will be able to live on her own, but she may need a little extra help and we may not be there to always provide it for her. However, when we’re gone, we know that she will have our life insurance benefit to help.
The love of our lives: Kennedy