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Mark and Juanita Flechsing were high-school sweethearts who had the good fortune of turning that young love into a strong marriage. Mark worked hard on Alaska’s North Slope oil fields, gone for weeks at a time, while Juanita worked full-time back home in Wasilla. 


As they looked forward to raising a family, they knew they wanted protection for the “what ifs” in life, and that’s what lead them to consider life insurance. Like many couples starting out, Juanita admits they didn’t have a lot of money, but they sat down with insurance professional Robert Barrett, Jr., and he helped them get life insurance policies that fit their budget.

When Help Was Needed

Robert also suggested they get a waiver of premium rider on their policies. This would ensure if they became disabled and unable to work that they wouldn’t have to pay the premiums on their policies. The couple agreed, and it’s a good thing they did. When Mark reached his late 40s, what his doctors initially thought was reoccurring pneumonia was in fact a serious type of lung disease. Doctors said he would need a double lung transplant.

That’s when Robert reminded the couple of the living benefits of their life insurance. Because Mark was ill and unable to work, the waiver of premium kicked in, and they no longer had to pay the premiums on his policy. Additionally, because of Mark’s grave prognosis, they were able to tap into the policy’s living needs benefit. It allowed the family to continue on financially. 

“We were able to use money from his life insurance policy while he was alive,” says Juanita. “It allowed me to pay the mortgage and bills we were falling behind on, as well as the mounting medical expenses.” 

Unfortunately, despite the transplant, Mark died three-and-a-half years later. The remaining death benefit from the policy continued to help Juanita as she navigated her life and finances without her husband. “The life insurance helped us while Mark was alive, and continued to help me after he was gone. I can’t imagine what my life would be like now without it,” she says.

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