How a Life Insurance Policy Saved a Teenagers Life

A safety net following a tragic loss - Interview with Neal Frankle

Neal Frankle

Owner of Wealth Resources Group and the blog wealthpilgrim.com, Neal Frankle is what many would consider an inspiration. Frankle has overcome tragedy and many boundaries to neal-frankle-profileachieve financial and spiritual happiness. Via his blog the WealthPilgrim, Frankle shares a personal story with his readers to help them achieve their own personal and financial goals. From a young age, Neal recognised the importance of financial security in living a life of happiness and free of stress . After the passing of his parents at the age of 17, Frankle found himself homeless and broke until he received a death benefit from a life insurance policy.

So how did Neal Frankle turn his life around and become the owner of a successful financial company and a renowned blog? Read Frankle's interview with insurance publisher William Eve to find out.

WE: Neal, what motivated you to get where you are today?

NF: I really didn’t have much choice. I had to work pretty hard because I didn’t have much to fall back on. Both my parents passed away before I finished high school. I didn’t even know that credit cards existed at the time so going into debt wasn’t even a possibility.

Could you explain for our readers the situation you were in before you received the death benefit?

Well I was in shock after my father’s accident so I didn’t really even think about money. Within a few weeks of the accident I learned about the life insurance policy. The interesting thing was that the policy had some exclusions that possibly could have allowed the company not to pay a thing. We came to a settlement which was unbelievably fair.

My father only bought insurance because he was forced to.

At a young age did you or your family think life insurance was something worth getting?

Never thought about it. My father only bought insurance because he was forced to. He was taking out a loan for a business deal and the bank required it. After he made one payment, the accident happened but since the loan wasn’t made, we were still the beneficiaries.

What type of claim did you receive?

Term life. $100,000 split 4 ways.

Living 17 and broke is truly a scary feeling, what was the experience like when you received the death benefit?

I didn’t understand what $25,000 meant. It didn’t impact me emotionally because I had no reference. Remember, I was young and this was back in 1974.

What did you want to do with the money?

I wanted to use the money to get me through college. I took the money to my father’s stock broker who ultimately churned the account. I fired him after 6 months. I bought high yield bonds and held them. With that income and social security and VA benefits, I had about $300 a month coming in and I made it on that. Like I said, it was a very long time ago.

If we hadn’t received that money I don’t even want to think where I’d be.

How did it turn your life around financially and emotionally?

I ultimately gave my entire $25k to my sister to enable her to buy a home which she did and housed my other 2 siblings. If we hadn’t received that money I don’t even want to think where I’d be. I would probably not have been able to get through college and my sister would not have been able to have a home for herself and my siblings.

Once they were OK, I worked hard and looked for a career that would allow me to have financial security. My fear motivated me to work really hard. This ultimately led to financial security. Emotional security came only after a very different kind of “work” that continues to this day.

In your blog you said “True wealth requires both financial and emotional skill” how would you achieve that?

Faith in a higher power. That is the only real security there is. I would work hard to acquire financial security by looking for ways to be of service to others (that they are willing to pay for of course). Emotional security requires daily work and is not a function of money. This is something I strive for daily.

What advice would you give people who would want to take out life insurance

If you are responsible for others, you have an obligation to buy coverage. You may not like this, but I am a huge fan of term life and I don’t recommend whole life or universal for most people. But people must determine how much life insurance they need and then buy it without over thinking it. (Whole life insurance is no longer offered in Australia)

What is the best advice you can give for people living in financial fear?

Write down what your fears are and what you can do about it. If you have “family continuity” fear, get the insurance. If you have “income fears”, start another job. If you have general anxiety, find a spiritual connection. It starts by having clarity on what the issue is.

Neal Frankle is a Certified Financial Planner™ working with people who want to make smart decisions about their money -- so they don’t have to worry. He grew up with very limited resources and knows what it means to work hard for money. He believes your money should allow you to achieve those things that you hold most important in life.

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William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for finder.com.au specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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