Thursday, September 13

Did I mention that its official?

As of this week, I have passed all of my tests, completed most of the required "Country Learning", and been officially appointed with Country Insurance and Financial Services.

What does this mean? This means that I am legally allowed to consult with you on your financial future (retirement, education and long-term planning) and evaluate your risk exposures (home, auto, life, disability and long-term care insurance needs). While I am only able to write insurance policies in Washington, I am licensed to work with you on your financial planning in all 50 states. I'm working on getting Country to allow me to also write life, long-term care and disability in other states, as the need arises.

A few things you should know about Country. The are pretty conservative, which means they have high standards for how they do business and with whom they do business.

For example, I can't write business policies for my friends in the restaurant business who serve alcohol. Crazy? Not really. The idea behind insurance is you are transferring your risk of loss to someone else. You want your insurance company to cover other people like you, so that the risk is manageable, so that the company will keep rates consistent and be around for a long time. Plus, they feel its reflective of their background (they were the first to provide specific farm and crop insurance - before Country, farmers had to buy full value business insurance and most couldn't afford it), supports their commitment to serving their communities and allows them to provide the most value to their customers.

This isn't to say we won't get creative. I'm working on a "Business Owners Policy" to cover Lisa's home-based jewelry business. A typical homeowner's policy won't cover the jewelry, even with a jewelry rider or schedule, due to the fact that she uses it for business pursuits. The reality is, our former agent may have assured us that the jewelry rider we paid him for will cover it, but as soon as the company finds out she uses it (even if its as a sample) for business, they will deny the claim. All that extra money, and its not covered.

I wouldn't ever claim to be an expert in every situation, but this is a good example of my willingness and ability to help you figure out what you need, even if you are insured with another company or working with another planner. This is the career I chose. The point is to serve my friends, family and community regardless of them working with Country, and have faith that God will continue to provide for us (thankfully, that will never change).

Don't hesitate to drop me a line with any questions. Will always do my best to help you out and/or refer you to the people who can.

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Thursday, September 6

Even geeks drink wine

The pictures are proof.

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Buy Local, Be...

As a fan of "Buy Local, Be Local" and a relentless "foodie" (see the other term on MR's blog) I find myself enjoying the bounty that is Summer and Fall in the Northwest, but sneaking into the produce aisle for the guilty pleasures of citrus, mangoes, bananas and such. While I whole-heartily support local farming, farmer's markets and artisan food producers I don't feel the need, nor the calling, of someone like Kingsolver to join the "100 mile" experience.

This came to a head for me a few weeks ago while discussing Kingsolver's book on her "100 mile" experiment for her and her family to limit themselves to only eating food grown or produced within 100 miles of their home. Having not read the book, I would be an idiot to critique, but I simply have two issues with the experiment:
  1. This seems like a "high-class" experiment - I would like to experiment with only using a helicopter for my transportation needs. I would encourage others to do the same, expound on how it is one less car on the road, lets me spend more time with my kids, gets me more in tune with my avian roots and I would even be willing to heli-pool my daughters Kindergarten class.
  2. We don't live in a bubble - Rugged individualism was one of the things that led pioneers to settle the West, aliens to migrate and utopians to utope. But remember, pioneers & migrants were/are, typically, poor and looking to make an opportunity for themselves, for there were/are fewer and fewer from whence they came/come.
I must say, I am intentionally supporting my local community, but hesitantly giving up my support of global commerce. Any thoughts?

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Tuesday, September 4

28 years later

28 years ago I was a 5th grader at Happy Valley School. Today, Maryn starts the first grade. Yikes! She didn't even flinch. She was so excited to start, headed straight into class, said "Hi" to the teacher, "See ya" to mom, dad and Larsen, then decided she'd give us all a hug before we left. Couldn't have been prouder!

She is the bomb! Drop her an email and let her know:
m a r y n @ j a m i e i m u s . c o m

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