Why I decided to Sell Life Insurance

I recently started selling Life, Auto, and Home insurance, and the first question I received was, “Are you going to quit Fitz in The Morning.” So let me answer that quickly with a no way! I’ve been working with Fitz off and on for 15 years, and we have more fun before 9:00 a.m. than most people do in an entire day. However, I have always been interested in the insurance business and truly believe that good insurance should be at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. More specifically, let me tell you when I realized the importance of life insurance.

It was almost exactly 5 years ago when I contacted my good friend Matt about selling both my wife and I some life insurance. We went over our options and I signed my papers, got a little blood work, and received a $750,000 20 year term life insurance policy. My wife on the other hand procrastinated, and yes I have her permission to tell you this story. She put it off despite Matt’s persistence and my nagging. And one day she had a dermatology appointment to get a mole checked, and within days our life was turned upside down. She received a diagnosis of stage two melanoma…the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The life insurance policy setting on the table unsigned did not cross my mind, but my wife thought about it almost immediately. At that moment all I could think about was the possibility of losing the love of my life. But I want to be honest, the life insurance policy did cross my mind eventually, because I had to face the reality that I could be left alone to raise three children. Who would help me get them to school in the morning? Who would pick them up from school if I had to work late? And if I found someone…how would I afford to pay them for their help? Should I quit my job and consider moving closer to family to get some help? Unfortunately, I haven’t saved money like I should have throughout the years, and so on top of the heart break and stress of losing my precious wife…I had to pile on the financial concerns as well.

Once cancer or another major medical diagnosis has been made it will likely make it impossible to purchase life insurance for at least 3 years.  Yes, after someone has been in remission for three to five years it is possible, but the price will not be nearly as affordable as it was during the healthy years. I’m obviously thankful that Amy has been in remission for nearly 5 years now.

I truly hope that you are a “glass half-full” type of person, because that makes life a whole lot easier, but as one wise man said, “Expect the best and prepare for the worst.” For the price you spend monthly on one good meal you can make sure you are prepared.

  • Tony Russell, Mumma Insurance, Bellevue
  • TonyR@mummainsurance.com

 

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To The 2% of Social Media Users Who are A Pain in The Ass

 

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What Does “Religious Freedom” Really Mean?

religious-freedomV2By now you have heard about the shit storm being caused by the Governor of Indiana in the name of “religious freedom.” And I want to be honest with you, I don’t have a clue what that phrase “religious freedom” means. I once thought it meant that people had the right to practice any religion they wished, but there seems to be much more to it!

Again, I am in the dark on this one, but depending on what you read…the phrase could mean a business owner(s) has the right to discriminate based on religious beliefs. Apparently, the media is focused on a belief that the new “religious freedom” bills could lead to discrimination toward the LGBT community. And while I fully understand that concern, I believe people need to look a little deeper. The manner in which these new laws or even the First Amendment are interpreted leads to many other questions such as:

  • If a Muslim believes it’s a sin to hire Christians would they be able to only hire Muslims?
  • If someone’s religion leads them to believe drinking alcohol is a sin can they refuse to hire those who drink beer?
  • If a boss’ religion says premarital sex is a sin could he fire a woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock?
  • Can you refuse to work on Sunday if your religion says it’s a sin?
  • Finally, what qualifies as a religious belief, and do we all have the right to start our own religion?

As you can see I have a lot of questions about which direction this can go. I would love for you to click here and comment section below! And please share The Next Half with your friends on social media.

 

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My Response to Clay Travis’, “Kentucky vs. West Virginia: The Dumbest Sweet 16 Game of All Time.”

Being from West Virginia I’ve grown accustomed to being the punchline or punching bag for others. And even I’ve made the occasional joke or two about being from WV, and don’t mind a good-hearted “ribbing” from friends. I’m also one of those people who believes most others are too sensitive and need to learn to take a joke. However, I recently read an article by a Vanderbilt educated attorney (turned sports writer), which stirred a mixture of anger and sadness. His name is Clay Travis and the title of his article was, “Kentucky vs. West Virginia: The Dumbest Sweet 16 Game of All Time.” And here are some quotes from Clay’s article:

Tomorrow Kentucky and West Virginia will play in a Sweet 16 match-up pitting the two dumbest fan bases to ever compete for a spot in the Elite 8.

This game will be like Woodstock for dumb people, a modern day Hatfields vs. McCoys.

Of course, basketball isn’t really life if you have anything better going on in your life, but we’re talking about people from West Virginia and Kentucky. They really don’t have anything better going on in their lives. Especially not now that “Breaking Bad” showed everyone in the entire country how to make high-quality meth.

But it’s not just me saying these fans are dumb, Kentucky has recently been ranked as the fourth dumbest overall state. West Virginia? Well, West Virginia was ranked the dumbest overall state, with just 17.3 percent of the population having a bachelor degree.

It’s an upside down world when it comes to Kentucky and West Virginia — fans in single wides cheering for coaches in mansions, basketball fans without teeth cheering for basketball players with teeth, fans who have no hope of being admitted to academic powerhouse universities like Kentucky and West Virginia living or dying to the beat of a basketball’s dribble.

Now, let me ask you a few questions, and I want you to truly think about the answer. What if Clay had written the above statements about a specific race? What would happen if he claimed that all Hispanics, African Americans, or Caucasians are dumb? What if he used statistics to prove and demonstrate that certain races have a low college graduation rate, which he correlates to stupidity? We all know the answer to those questions, but at the end of the day this is no different. To literally be cruel to a specific group of people based on where they live is no different than racism.

Clay is an example of what I see in the media on a daily basis, which is the narcissistic personality disorder. He has an insatiable need for power and attention, and will do whatever it takes to get it. And if that means stepping on and being cruel to others so be it! And I don’t say that with anger, but with sadness. It saddens me that an organization like Fox Sports would allow a man to hurt others simply to get traffic generated to their website.

Finally, let’s make no mistake about it…this is a great example of bullying those who appear to be weak. Fortunately, I was raised on the Kentucky and West Virginia border, and I can tell you we are by no means weak people. Many may not have graduated from college, and some may live in a “single wide”, but does that make them inferior to others who did graduate and live in a large home?

What do you think Clay Travis? Does your law degree and college education make you better than others? Does your nice home in Tennessee mean you are superior to the hardworking man living in a double wide a few miles away? Apparently you believe it does and that again saddens me.  Do you need to feel as though you have some power. Well congratulations, because Fox Sports has given you some power, and a very large platform. Unfortunately, you have taken that powerful platform, and used it to hurt others. It’s a shame that a great writer is simply not a good man.

I find the anti-bully message from Fox Sports below ironic: 

 

 

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Why We can’t Handle The Truth!

In the clip below from “A Few Good Men” we see the famous scene where the classic line, “YOU can’t handle the truth” is delivered. I was only 25 years-old when I watched that movie, but I can remember feeling the power of Jack Nicholson delivering that line as if he was speaking directly to every person in the theater. As I near 50 I find it ironic that I now realize how true that statement is for most of us. The truth is, as Jack said, most people can’t handle the truth. I believe this is apparent in the way we handle our religious and political beliefs

Think about all the different religions of the world. Each major religion has held tight to their beliefs despite scientific or archaeological evidence proving some of them to be incorrect. And so we continue to battle and stand our ground based on ancient beliefs that are based on false information. And some have even used their religious books to condone discrimination or even to kill or enslave others.

And what about those who hold tight to being politically left or right? When faced with the fact an opponent’s policy benefited the American public they “spin” it until it looks as though it’s a complete failure. They can’t say to the other side, “Well done.”

So why can’t we simply accept the truth? Why can’t we listen to the small voice in our shallow mind, which encourages us to question those beliefs or convictions we hold to so tightly? Because to do so would make us do something we truly despise. And that is to admit we are wrong.

As I move through my midlife years, and hopefully into old age, I hope that I will continue to learn and grow. We often encourage people to speak the truth by saying, “Remember, the truth will set you free.” However, that statement was originally used to encourage people to accept the truth, because it is then we are truly free. Anything else is simply living in a land of make-believe.

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Why Older Men have Big Balls

Big earsThis morning I just sat and stared at my feet. And as I was looking at them I wondered if there is anything on a man’s body that shows his age more than his feet? And then a disturbing image popped into my mind.

Recently a 75 year-old dude strolled passed me in the locker room of a gym. You would have thought he was a 25 year-old gigolo with his towel draped over his shoulder. Yes my friends, there are a couple of things that truly show a man’s age! And I’m not talking about the ass that looks like someone let the air out of each cheek. No, a man’s age, like the rings on a tree, can be found just north of the deflated cheeks and prehistoric feet.

The testicles are where a man really shows his age! Apparently there are a few things on a man’s body that never stop growing, and it isn’t just his ears! I check my ears everyday, and they are without a doubt growing. In fact, that is a scientific fact. And being the genius that I am…I believe that it may be nature’s way of balancing out the man. You know, our ears seem to get huge so something has to keep us from getting top heavy. So the testicles are like the pendulums of stability. So ladies, I say this with love and for the benefit of all of us guys in the next half of life, you need to take them out of your purse and give them back to us. They are finally good for something.

 

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The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

weddingringesequalitysamesexmarriage2Today I’m joined by Joe Wenke who has written the book, “The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.” Please listen to the entire segment and I would LOVE to get your comments in the discussion section of my website!

 

 

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For My Friends Around The Country Who are Ready for The Snow to Stop!

On Fitz in The Morning today we introduced a new song for all of our friends across the country ready for…well…the snowmen to die!

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Cindy Crawford Untouched: Get Real

cindy-769x1024On the show today I said that Cindy Crawford’s stomach doesn’t look good in the recently released photo. And it wasn’t long until the texts, phone calls, and emails came rolling in to say I was a horrible person and that I am everything wrong with men in this country. I don’t understand why someone can’t give an honest opinion.

Cindy Crawford is a beautiful woman, but like all of us she has gotten older. And when we get older our bodies change and NEW FLASH…it ain’t always pretty. And that is okay! My concern is that as Americans we are so focused on being politically correct it leads us into denial and dishonesty. Secondly, people are saying Cindy was trying to show America that it is okay to get older and have some flaws. Well, from what I understand that photo was leaked, and had it not been…you and I would have seen a picture that made 48 year-old Cindy look like a 21 year-old Super Model. My point was not to be cruel, but we don’t have to bullshit each other either. Getting older is awesome, but it ain’t always pretty on the outside. What people need to get from the photo is that despite not having the body she did at 25…she hasn’t stopped being sexy and saucy!

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What to Do When They say, “I love you, but I’m no longer in love with you.”

iloveubuti27mnotinlovewithuI can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I love them, but I’m no longer in love with them” when referring to a spouse. And unfortunately I can’t count the number of people who have told me that they have had that statement made directly to them. I recently spoke with a woman whose husband had used that heart piercing statement when discussing the difficulties in their marriage. She then asked me how she should handle it. So let me share my answer with you as well.

My first word of advice is to not overreact, and I know that makes you want to slap me, but the statement can mean many different things. And this is especially true if a man says it, because we can rarely communicate feelings clearly! So the first step is to clarify what your spouse or significant other is saying. They could actually mean any of the following:

  • It’s over and I’m ready to move on.
  • My love is so buried underneath of hurt and frustration that I can’t feel it.
  • I want to feel like we are in love again.

As you read through those you can easily see that most men will not use those statements, but I promise you that “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” can mean one of the three.  If a woman says it then she will usually follow up with the clarification before being asked. She will usually follow “I’m not in love with you” by either letting you know she wants to work it out or throw you out.

Once you clarify what is being said you are truly the one with the decision to make. You can run like a bat out of hell or run directly into it! Choosing to stay and make your marriage work will at times feel like you are in hell, but you can survive and come out of it with a little piece of heaven on earth. Do everything you can to save your marriage before giving up or allowing someone else too. When I officiate weddings I say something like the following:

May you always remember that love is not always something that you feel, but it is something that you do. To love is to listen, learn, labor, and laugh. You must be willing to listen to each other, learn more about each other, work on your relationship, and laugh at how silly you both can be in trying to get your way.

The most important point may be “to love is to labor”, because having and keeping a good relationship takes work. And yes there will be times when you or your spouse doesn’t feel in love, but that doesn’t mean you stop actively loving each other. And that is my main point today. Don’t stop loving someone even when they say they have stopped loving or being in love with you. And I wish I could end with that sentence, because it sounded so damn good, but I can’t stop there.

I want to be honest and say there may come a time when you have to let someone go. Please never stay in a relationship where you are being abused emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Life is too short for you to live that way. I’ encouraging you to not allow the pain and anger of hearing, “I’m not in love with you” to cause you to quickly give up. Simply let that person know you are willing to get help and do your part to change things for the better.

My Favorite Book on Marriage:

The Heart of the 5 Love Languages (Abridged Gift-Sized Version)

 

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