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Like many of you, I watched the countless news stories of the devastating hurricanes that hit the United States and our neighbors in the Caribbean islands. Texas, specifically the Houston area, and the state of Florida suffered catastrophic losses, and many of our NAFA members were hit hard, losing houses, offices, cars and personal property that they will never be able to replace. Many people will be out of work for weeks and months, maybe never being able to recover from the losses suffered in these storms. Rebuilding will be a long and difficult process. If you have not reached out to those in need, or if you have not donated to a charity that directly helps the storm victims, please do so today—right now, as our friends and all those affected will continue to need our help for years to come. These storms—Harvey and Irma—will be old news stories before long, but their economic effect on our NAFA friends—insurance companies, IMO’s and agents/registered reps—will be felt for many years.
As I watched a news story ten days after the storms had passed, I heard a reporter interviewing a woman in Key West, Florida, one of the areas that was hit the hardest as Irma passed through, hitting the southern part of Florida. The hurricane had destroyed her home and all of her personal property that was inside. She said that she and her husband had a beautiful home and they had prepared for the storm the best they could with hurricane shutters, and they had boarded up all the exposed windows before driving their cars north to central Florida days before the storm hit.
When they finally returned, a week after the storm, they found that their home was a total loss, along with everything in it; many of their possessions were gone forever, with no way to replace them. Then she said something that shocked and surprised me; she said, “We did not have any insurance on our property and the contents, we have no way to replace and rebuild.”
I thought—What? How is that possible? I wondered, how many other people did not have insurance on their home, their contents, their cars, their business or anything else that was important to them that they wanted to protect? I am sure there are thousands of people that had no insurance and no funds to replace all that they lost. Then I remembered: NAFA’s mission is to educate people on products that protect retirement money against loss and that provide a guaranteed lifetime income that they can’t outlive.
Do we as an industry do enough to educate people about fixed annuities and how our products protect people’s money during retirement? How many people who suffered losses during these terrible storms said, “Well, at least I have my fixed annuity; I know I can count on that being there when I need it.” Many people lost their business, their homes and their property and might not have had those items insured as we are learning. The guarantees that fixed annuities offer are one of the most important aspects of our products. Make sure that is part of your presentation and that your clients and prospects understand how important guarantees are.
Make it your mission to help people understand our products, specifically the guarantees that will be there when they need them the most. And, please let us all continue to keep those people affected by the hurricanes in our thoughts and prayers.


Charles R. “Chip” Anderson
Executive Director, NAFA

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