Only 36% of workers surveyed anticipate that their monthly Social Security benefit “will be a major source of income” during retirement. However, 67% of retirees surveyed have determined that their monthly Social Security benefit “is a major source of income” during retirement (source: Employee Benefit Research Institute 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey). This reflects failure or insufficient planning for retirement. Please contact me for additional information on this very important subject.
On March 28, 1928, 90 years ago today, Farmers Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange was born and on April 9th, sold its first auto policy on a 1925 Cadillac Phaeton to Charles Briscoe. This was the beginning of a wonderful Corporate story that has had tremendous positive impact on many individuals; employees, agents, district managers, and of course, the many customers that have had their lives saved from financial ruin through the products purchased through the Farmers Group of Companies through the years. I have been blessed in that I have met many wonderful people during my association with Farmers, both fellow employees, fellow district managers and fellow agents, not to mention the many wonderful customers that I am privileged to serve.
I began my career in the Home Office located at 4680 Wilshire Boulevard in the In Plant Printing department in 1977. From there I went to the Sales Department with positions as Sales Statistical Clerk, Sales Materials Coordinator and Sales Statistical Specialist. Bob Winton and Jim Pattenson were my bosses for the positions in Sales. Not only were they mentors of mine, but also became very close personal friends! During my tenure in Home Office Sales we had two Vice President’s of Sales, George Seebart and Bim Braddock; two of the finest gentlemen anyone would ever wish to meet and each taught me quite a bit about leadership! In 1983, the Regional Sales Manager in the Simi Regional Office, Stan Bergstrom, promoted me to Sales Administration Manager in the Simi Regional Office. Later that year I was promoted to Division Agency Manager in what was at that time known as the Central Division, which we soon changed to the Saleblazers Division. Stan was yet another boss who I had great respect for and developed a strong friendship with that lasted throughout the years. During my tenure at the Simi Regional Office we had two Vice President – Regional Manager’s in Paul Whealen and John Schock and again wonderful mentors, individuals and friends.
In 1984, I left employment of the Company and went to work for Ron Wheat as his District Manager Recruiting and Training Assistant. Ron taught me about working with agents, developing mutual respect with them and how to properly train so that they were as effective as possible when working with the client making coverage recommendations. I developed a deep respect and friendship with Ron and would be remiss if I didn’t mention his dad Bob with whom Ron shared an office for the beginning of my tenure with him. The two of them together were quite a team. In 1987 Stan Bergstrom and John Schock offered me a position as a District Manager in the Simi Valley area. I served 18 years in this position enjoying recruiting new agents and training them in the business of insurance. In 2005 I decided that it was time for a change and opened an agency for myself and have been building up a clientele ever since.
I mention the names of those that were instrumental in my career development but there are many, many more that have made a significant impact on my personal and professional life. People like Charlie Smith, Morry Samuels and Dave Malone who treated me so well during my first business trip to the Santa Ana Regional Office, my dear friends Jim & Bobbie Colclaser who through the years have treated me like family, Home Office friends and co workers Jack Wong, Brian Smith, Lorraine Gimlin, Bob Mobeck, Doug Onyon, Larnie Rowlett, Rick Wright. Donna Lilly, Patti Murphy Pattenson, Mike Bigley and Jerry Faulwell. Regional Office co workers and friends Shirley Johnson, Syd Thoreson, Clarence Mann, Cam McCluskey, George Gueperoux, Arnold Owen, Chuck Roberts, Will Hawkinson, Daryl Hubbard, Jim Jacobs, Paul Quinn, Marita Faulwell, Steve & Donna Mace, Lee Gay Wilk, Cathy Benaway and many, many more, too many to name. To everyone whose path I have crossed in the last forty years, you have made my life special and I thank you! Happy Birthday Farmers! If you have a story about your relationship with Farmers and want to share, please by all means post it on this blog as a tribute to Thomas Leavey and John Tyler!
In the wake of Thomas Fire, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents that charity and home repair scams often follow disasters. The Sheriff’s Office warns people about urgent appeals for charitable donations, and cautions residents in stricken areas about fraudulent home repair offers. The scammers often play on the emotions of people especially during major incidents.
If you are asked to make a charitable donation to help people in disaster affected areas, consider these tips:
• Donate to charities you know and trust.
• Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight.
• Do not give out personal or financial information including your credit card or bank account number unless you know the charity is reputable.
• Never send cash by mail.
• Be suspicious of random calls requesting a donation.
• Be cautious about clicking on links in emails requesting a donation.
• Check out a charity before you donate by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at 703-276-0100 or at website www.give.org
Remember, fraudsters also target disaster affected areas, hoping to cash in on insurance settlements. Home and business owners who need to hire a contractor should:
• Check the contractor’s identification and references.
• Verify the contractor’s license though the State Contractors Board at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
• Ask for copies of the contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
• Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance.
• Deal with reputable people in your community.
• Call local law enforcement if you suspect a con.
For more information on giving to victims of the Thomas Fire you can contact the below charities:
Ventura County United Way – http://vcunitedway.org/ or by calling (805) 485-6288.
Salvation Army – http://www.salvationarmy.org/ or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/ or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS
Cyber attacks on small business have an average cost of $9,000.00 per attack according to a National Small Business Association survey and www.staysafeonline.org.
NSBA also estimates that nearly 59% of small to medium size companies don’t have a plan in place to respond and report data breaches, and everyone is a potential target.
Studies show Cyber Criminals target vulnerable computer systems and networks, regardless of whether it’s a Fortune 500 company, a small business, or an individual mobile device. Criminals are looking for any valuable information-employee and customer information, bank account numbers, financial information, or access to a larger network.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This annual campaign to Stop|Think|Connect is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.
Basic tips to help prevent your business from falling victim to a Cyber Attack include:
* Run scheduled back-ups of critical data
* Use and regularly update antivirus software
* Secure internet connections with firewalls
* Use encryption, and secured Wi-Fi networks
* Establish and enforce security practices, including strong, frequently changed passwords
* Ensure business continuity plans include cyber incidents
Call us for a review of your business insurance so that we can ensure you have very important coverage that will protect you from this risk!
Higher than you probably think. You can ignore the problem, but it’s hard to ignore the facts:
Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
Accidents are NOT usually the culprit. Back injuries, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses cause the majority of long-term absences.
Are you prepared if it happens to you? Probably not. If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have disability insurance (Social Security Administration states that 67% of Americans working in the private sector do not have long term disability insurance), or enough emergency savings to last 34.6 months. Yes, that’s the duration of the average long-term disability claim.
Call or e-mail us for a quick, convenient outline of Disability Insurance coverage and cost. It may be one of the most important calls you can make!