Hey ladies, are you covered?

Disclosure:  I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Royal Neighbors of America. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Royal Neighbors of America and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.


One benefit of being a military family is that due to vocational circumstances, families must be prepared in all situations.

Life insurance, Power of Attorneys, guardianship paperwork and wills are all part of the process to ensure a family is ready for possible deployment.

It really is not easy to make the emotional decision to look into anything that confirms our mortality. To admit we have an expiration date is humbling and scary, especially if you have children.

My husband and I first met with a life insurance agent around 28 years ago, after our first daughter was born. I admit, I was nervous. A new mom in my early twenties – the last thing I wanted to think about was dying and leaving my family behind. We were advised on coverage for my husband, who was the only income-earner at the time. I figured we didn’t need insurance on me, as I wasn’t bringing home a paycheck.

Boy, was I wrong! Our agent asked how much it would cost my husband – who at the time was on active duty military service – to employ full-time childcare, assistance with housework, meal preparation and other expenses that we didn’t pay for because I was a stay-at-home mom. Additionally, how much would it cost him to fly one of our mothers out to where we were stationed for the 24-hour care of our daughter, should he leave for training – or be deployed?

As time sped forward, and I did start earning an income, we made sure we adjusted the life insurance coverage on me as needed. With our children getting older, my husband wouldn’t need childcare, but he would certainly need a replacement for my income, and any other expenses, if the worse were to happen.

September is National Life Insurance month, and statistics show that women are less apt than men to have life insurance. And, if they do have coverage, it usually isn’t in proportion to what their family needs.

“Women must protect their salaries,” says Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest and oldest women-led insurers in the United States. “Life insurance can replace your salary, cover childcare expenses, pay off a mortgage or protect college dreams.”

I found this statistic profound: the Life Insurance Market Research Association (LIMRA) reports that one in three U.S. households have no life insurance at all.

One of the biggest concerns most people have, is “how much coverage do I need?” Below is a list of questions to ponder:

  1. How much will it cost to pay off your debts such as a mortgage, credit card payments, auto or other loans, if you were to die prematurely?
  2. What are your ongoing expenses? Don’t forget daycare, tuition, grocery, and energy bills.
  3. Would your family be able to pay its bills?
  4. Do you have enough to pay for funeral expenses? The average funeral costs about $7,000, according to a 2009 estimate by the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Royal Neighbors has an insurance calculator to help give you an idea as to what coverage is needed. How much do you think would cover your family? Using the above questions as a guideline, grab a calculator and do some math. Check your guesstimate with the insurance calculator and see if you are correct. It only takes a few minutes.

How did you come out? Interesting, isn’t it?

In addition to offering life insurance coverage, Royal Neighbors of America offers insurance products to fulfill financial needs of growth, savings, and protection. Members receive valuable benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization’s local chapters to help make a difference in their communities.

The organization’s philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women’s lives through its national programs, including the Nation of NeighborsSM Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. They are involved with Baskets of Hope (baby supplies for new mothers, filled backpacks for school children, baskets of financial education tools for women pursuing their careers, baskets of food for local pantries as well as supplies for soldiers overseas.  And with Join Hands Day, local partners dig in to plant neighborhood gardens and goodwill where communities need it most.

Trust me, I know how intimidating it is to approach this subject, and then how intimidating it is to look at your finances. But once you take the steps needed to insure your family’s well-being, you will feel much better having a plan of action in place. Want more info? Contact Royal Neighbors of America – life insurance with a difference.

Do you have the proper amount of life insurance coverage, or legal paperwork in place for an emergency? Let me know in the comments below.

© Lynne Cobb – 2013

The Top 7 Ways 9-11 Changed This MilSpouse

blue star flag

Where were you when the world stopped turning? – Alan Jackson

September 11, 2001. We all remember where we were, what we were doing, and how the world became a scarier place. We watched in horror as innocent men, women and children died a horrific death. We watched in horror as first responders died trying to save lives. We cried for people we didn’t know. We cried tears of joy when a victim was pulled alive from the wreckage.

September 12, 2001, was a different day. Churches were open, people were praying, flags were raised, blood was donated and people from across the country headed to the East Coast to help. Military recruiters saw people lining up to defend our great nation. A great sense of community joined us all together.

We were like one family.

My Army husband, who was no longer on active duty, was restless. His colleagues were fighting in the War on Terror. I knew that his patriotism and military skills were needed, and I also knew that at some point, we would discuss his future military service – a decision that would be difficult to make. Should he re-up? If it kept our sons, our nephews and our friends’ sons from having to go, then yes.

Our decision was wrought with anguish. It certainly wasn’t easy. It was like putting my spouse into the line of fire. But he, being a man of character, strong faith, and a true soldier – selfless to the core – we took a leap of faith.

Without a doubt, September 11, 2001 changed me. It changed our family. It changed our country. Some of the changes in me are good – some, not so much. As I reflect the anniversary, remembering where I was, and who I was then, I will share the Top Seven Ways 9-11-01 changed me – for better and for worse.

1 – Lack of patience: When someone complains that their spouse will be gone a few days, I bite my tongue. I want to shout, “Try six weeks, six months, eight months or fifteen months at a time.” For a lot of families, you can multiply that separation by way more than one deployment in ten years. Admittedly, my lack of patience isn’t fair to others. And, truthfully, I’d rather hear someone complain about missing their spouse than have them doing a happy dance that their spouse is away. But what I realize, is that because of 9-11, my patience level isn’t always where it needs to be, and I am working on that. And it isn’t just this instance. My lack of patience with people being rude and obnoxious is evident. A flaw in my character. So, my lack of patience in others and in their complaining is truly the worst change in me since that awful day.

2 – Putting myself in other’s shoes: I find that I can be more empathetic now than I was before. Not all days, but most, I try my hardest not to judge. The other day, a clerk shorted me $10 in change. I was annoyed that I had to wait while they counted the drawer to make sure I wasn’t scamming. But I also tried to remember that mistakes happen – it wasn’t personal. I also wondered what hardships she was facing. Did she have a son or daughter deploying? An elderly parent to care for? An electric bill that couldn’t be paid? So, one good thing that 9-11 has taught me is to slow my quick tongue, and think before I speak, because I don’t know what burden the next person is carrying. And yes, I am trying really hard to remember that while driving…kind of goes hand-in-hand with that patience flaw I am working on…

3 – Value of time: Military families treasure time above anything else. So, when we see others bicker and complain over their loved ones, it really hurts. Sure, you may not want to pick up a pair of your hubby’s dirty boxers or your mom just may be a witch for grounding you. But there is a spouse out there somewhere who longs to grab dirty socks off the floor. And a teenager missing their parent, even if the parent was “being mean.” Some military families count down the days until a reunion…others aren’t so lucky, as they have faced a hero’s devastating injury or a death. Be kind to your loved ones – let them know you love them. Another good thing from 9-11 is that I learned how valuable time is, even if it sounds corny. Seconds count, as they turn into minutes, hours and days.

4 – Appreciating “geeks” who make our communication possible: Technology, used properly, has been one of the greatest gifts to military families. The ability to video chat, make phone calls, email, etc., has been a Godsend. Honestly, I don’t know how my military spouse predecessors coped, as it took so very long to get a letter from their husbands, fathers and sons. Just 10-12 years ago, we were running our Internet signal off a phone line. Now, our smartphones keep us connected. Holidays, birthdays, special events, even births can all be shared via video feed. What a blessing, what a change, for military families still serving due to 9-11.

5 – Appreciating all service families. It isn’t just the military and their families who deserve a shout-out. It is also our police, fire and other first responders – and their families. Each day, there are parents, spouses and children that send their loved ones out the door to serve and protect us in our daily lives. Those families are on the same emotional roller-coaster that military families ride.  Sadly, it took 9-11 for me to really appreciate what others in our community do to keep us safe. So as much as I appreciate being thanked for my service as an Army wife and an Air Force mom, when I can, I thank our first responders and the families who love, worry and support them.

6 – Flags. Yes, you bet the flag flies proudly here. There is also the addition of a Blue Star service flag, bearing two stars. If, thirty years ago, someone would have told me, a new military spouse at the time, that I’d be presented one of these flags, I wouldn’t have believed them. In fact, I didn’t even know what a Blue Star service flag was back then. Because of 9-11, I have come to love the U.S. flag and what it represents more than I thought I ever would, because I truly understand the cost and sacrifice for freedom.

7 – Faith. Sure, it may sound cliché. But when your spouse or child is in harm’s way, you realize that you truly do not have control. Faith isn’t found just in foxholes, it is found at the kitchen table, tucking the children into bed, in holding hands in prayer, or in the embrace of a caring friend. Knowing that people pray for my family and for me is such a tremendous comfort. Faith brings hope. The biggest – and best – change in me since 9-11 has been my personal walk in faith.

So yes, some good changes, some new appreciations and most definitely an area (or two) of personal growth to work on. If we can take anything away from a tragic event, I hope it is change – good change, so that we become better people – to ourselves, our family and to strangers.

© Lynne Cobb – 2013

How has tragedy changed you? Feel free to share your story in the comment section.




Taking the opportunity to help a caregiver


Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Today has been “one of those days, ” a day when I feel like no matter how hard I try, I keep smacking into the proverbial brick wall.

One positive thing that happens from “a day as such” is that it tends to put things into proper perspective, and I can usually find motivation to put one foot in front of the other and keep on moving. For me, that usually comes with getting outside of myself and trying to help someone else.

Several months ago, when I was contacted to be a brand ambassador for Verizon as one of the #Boomer #VZWVoices bloggers, I often wondered why I was chosen. My blog isn’t as big or as well-known as some of the other’s who were chosen. When we all met in Chicago, I was floored by the success of these talented women bloggers, who were more than willing to share their lives in person and through their blog posts. They have also been generous in sharing their areas of expertise. It is really nice to “see” them again when we have our Webinars.

A few weeks ago, while in a conference, we #Boomers were introduced to some Verizon products, which will be highlighted at the gatherings each of us will host in our home areas. One item really caught my eye, as when I had started blogging, it was because I was looking for support, and used writing for therapy, as my dad suffered with Alzheimer’s.

Anyhow – back to my frustrating day. I took a call from a colleague who presented another brick-wall-challenge that I get to hurdle. Yippee! (Good thing I have a #FitBit!) She knows some of the craziness our family has gone through in the past few years, and though she called me with news I didn’t want to hear, she also took a few moments to just chat and listen to me vent. Bless her heart!

I returned the favor, and asked how she was doing, as I know she struggles daily, caring for her spouse who has Alzheimer’s. And though she has a network of support throughout the work-day, I know that when she is at work, she worries about her husband.

I admit, I have often been a little afraid to share posts about products, as I don’t want to come off like a salesperson. However, there is a great product through Verizon that would really make this woman’s stress level a bit more tolerable, so I took the opportunity to share it with her. And she was very receptive and wanted to know more about the product.


For caregivers, the Sure Response mobile response system may be that piece of technology that will make their lives a bit easier. It has GPS tracking, emergency phone service and several other features that would help in the care of a loved one in the event that he or she wandered off or needed assistance in their home due to a fall or sudden illness. This video explains more detail on the Sure Response program, and of course, the product would work for anyone of any age – those living alone, those terminally ill, dementia patients, and children.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that God places us where He needs us to be. Maybe that is why I was “chosen.” Maybe watching my mother care for my dad has been put to good use. Maybe it makes me more sympathetic to caregivers. Maybe my rough day turned someone else’s bad day into a better one. Maybe I gave someone hope when I just couldn’t feel it myself.

Maybe I will never know.

All I do know is this: some days, it may be that we are just a shoulder to lean on. Other days, we may be more proactive in how we can help. In either case, when I have a bad day, I will do my best to step outside myself and realize that someone else may have it worse.

I will not ignore the nudge to help, even if I sound like a salesperson 🙂

If you live in the metro Detroit area and are interested in attending an upcoming event, let me know in the comments below. As the date nears, I will be posting additional info. If you are not from this area, but are interested in attending an event, let me know that as well, so I can direct you to another #Boomer blogger in your area.

© Lynne Cobb – 2013


It’s the little things…

Of course it’s trivial, but then most things are. – John Malkovich

In larger things we are convivial; what causes trouble is the trivial. – Richard Armour

When you are in deep conflict about something, sometimes the most trivial thing can tip the scales. – Ethel Merman

I loved the above quotes so much, I couldn’t decide what to use. Me – I’m the kind of gal that gave birth four times and didn’t find the pain to be all that intolerable. Mother’s amnesia? Maybe. But heed this warning: don’t be near me if I have stubbed my toe or closed my fingers into a drawer. That kind of pain sends me into orbit. And gives me loads to complain about for hours…or days…

It’s the little things…

So let me preface this post with these simple words: I know that there are much bigger problems looming in this world at this very moment. However, I find that I absolutely, positively, must complain about something so very trivial.

So here goes… Most everyone in our nation is holding their collective breath on what will happen with Syria. And, taking my dear husband’s advice, I do try my very best to not watch the news, as I am a recovering news-watching addict. That being said, the journalist in me, and my inquisitive nature, got the best of me, and I have had the television on more than usual for the past few days, listening to the pundits and experts.

Believe me, I am weary. Last night, I was so proud of myself, as I flipped channels and started watching a documentary. But, this morning, curiosity got the best of me, and while I was exercising at 8 a.m., guess what? Yes, I gave into temptation and flipped over to the news.

Oh – that was a mistake. But, not for the obvious reasons of seeing bad news.

The commercials! Seriously, I wanted to start stabbing myself in the eye with a pencil. Who comes up with this stuff??? I think the advertisements stressed me out more than the content of the newscast.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Pharmaceutical companies: Listen, folks, whoever writes your ad copy is scaring the tar out of me! Even if I had any of the illnesses you have a miracle drug for, your disclaimers make me want to run, screaming the other way. Your beautiful scenery with well-adjusted actors wearing happy faces does not calm me down, especially when I hear this drug may cause me death or diarrhea or insomnia. And if I have to tell my doctor that I am taking other meds before trying this new one, shouldn’t he or she already know that before writing me another script? Just saying… 
  • Weight Loss Industry: Really, I am super-duper happy for the people who have lost lots of weight using your program. Truly, I am. But, when I see the before and after shots, could you possibly admit that maybe, just maybe, these people also used exercise and a personal trainer to reach their goal? That it wasn’t just the food or the pill or shaking something on their donuts and chili dogs and fries?
  • Mattress and furniture stores: Hey, can you update your commercials to reflect that Labor Day 2013 is over? Surely there must be another holiday this weekend (Grandparent’s Day, Caught-a-Mouse-in-a-Mousetrap Day) that we can celebrate so I feel motivated to rush out and get my furniture without paying any sales tax.
  • Save 500%! Okay – really and truly – the save “something percent” commercials are my absolute breaking point. I will tell you this, that 100% of the time I see a percentage-off commercial, I will start yelling at the TV. “Save 50%!” Save 50% off what, based on what? We are never told! Are we saving 50% off the MSRP? Or off the clearance? Off the new customer rate? Off the airspace between someone’s ears? This arbitrary number means NOTHING TO ME unless I know what am I basing my savings on – or off – of! Please, solve this mystery for me, a once-upon-a-time wanna-be accountant who failed pre-calculus but still loves number-crunching.

Whew! I feel so much better now. Again, I know, that there are much bigger, scarier things going on in the world at the moment. But when I yelled at the television for stupid commercials, it made me laugh at myself, and for a few moments, there was a reprieve from the harsh realities of the news.  A little laughter goes a long way…and so does shutting off the boob-tube.

What trivial things rouse your ire?

© Lynne Cobb – 2013

Just for fun…notice anything hysterical about this ad placement?

Too funny! An ad for tattoos, and another for their removal!
Too funny! An ad for tattoos, and another for their removal!