Rocky Boone has learned over the course of his life to trust his gut. That instinct served him well over 20 years ago…and still today.
While working as a wholesale factory rep in the mobile home business in North Carolina, Rocky was interrupted by the company receptionist. The other salespeople had to leave early, and he was buried with paperwork and inquires. When the receptionist mentioned that a local dealer was in the lobby, he asked that she try to get the dealer to come back on Monday morning. “OK,” she replied, “but it’s Melanie from Westwood.”
Rocky looked up, and reacted. “Send her on in.”
“And the world stopped”, says Rocky now, thinking back on that moment and how it could have easily passed him by.
You see, Rocky had casually run into Melanie before. And since they lived in a small town in North Carolina where “everyone is married”, Rocky realized this was an opportunity he had to take no matter how busy he was. After some initial business talk, Rocky took a leap.
“I said, “What do you think about having lunch sometime?” And she said “I don’t know, what would your wife say about that?”. And I said “Well, I don’t know. We’ve been divorced about 10 years, I could probably give her a call. But I think she’d be OK with it.”
They went out to lunch soon after. “She actually had no interest in me at first,”, Rocky recalls. “She was wanting to maybe introduce me to some of her friends.” But after spending July 4th at his lake house, talking and laughing together as Rocky nearly set his boat dock on fire, she changed her mind.
Six months later, they were married.
But last year, after more than twenty years of love and marriage, life changed.
Melanie had been experiencing stomach pains, thought it was indigestion but visited her doctor after the pain persisted. Initial tests showed no major issues, yet the pain gradually increased. An upper GI revealed a mass, and a biopsy followed with a clearer understanding of what was involved.
A tumor was found growing on a major artery just outside the pancreas. After another endoscopy and laparoscopy and visits to doctors at UNC Charlotte, the Boones learned that it was inoperable.
Melanie went through an aggressive chemo treatment, which took a toll on her body. They considered immunotherapy, but were concerned about the side effects of an experimental treatment.
Instead, they considered how to improve her life as much as possible. Without treatment, their doctor recommended hospice services early to help her with pain management. With the costs of medication and hospice looming (and his hopes to spend as much time with Melanie as possible, which meant less time at work), Rocky’s gut told him to start preparing for the inevitable financial crunch that lay ahead.
His experience in insurance helped him realize that they already owned an asset that could help…Melanie’s life insurance policy.
“I wasn’t interested in selling the policy”, Rocky recalls, “but I knew it was a possibility to borrow against the policy…We didn’t have enough cash value in the policy to borrow against that, so I knew we had to work with the death benefit.”
Rocky called Fifth Season Financial, and quickly connected with Eric Smith (Fifth Season Financial’s Program Director). “I was struck positively by his candor in dealing with me, and his straight-forward answering of my questions without a lot of fluff.” Eric explained how Fifth Season Financial’s Funds for Living Program helps patients with later-stage illnesses use their life insurance policies as collateral for a loan, giving them unrestricted funds to use now to improve their lives, while still preserving funds for beneficiaries later.
Having been a successful insurance salesman for years, Rocky expected an aggressive pitch. “With me as a salesman, I would have been closing, closing, closing and closing some more. But I didn’t see any of the “salesmanship” in him. Instead, it was “Here’s what we have, and here’s how we can help you, and let us know if we can be of assistance.”
Rocky was initially hesitant to move forward. But Fifth Season did not push him to move forward until he and his wife were ready. “It was all under my timetable…I never felt like anybody was putting any kind of heat or pressure on me to do anything.”
After considering their options, and learning how they could use Funds For Living funds to help with some debts and keep funds ready for needs to come, the Boones decided to move forward on an advance with Fifth Season Financial. Using a universal life insurance policy with a $200,000 death benefit, the Boones received a $50,000 advance to use as they see fit, and know that they can potentially access more funds later if Melanie’s medical status changes.
The peace of mind in working with Fifth Season has helped them focus on living their best quality of life together. “I wasn’t pleased with Fifth Season Financial…I was extremely pleased. I’ve always left like I could read people. I’ve been working with people for 35 years, and I’ve seen all types. I kind of pride myself on being able to figure out people pretty quick, and I just had a good feeling about everything. I’ve learned over the years to trust my gut…and my gut said this was OK.”
And when Rocky was asked what he would say to people thinking about working with Fifth Season, he was clear. “It’s nothing to be afraid of,”, he says. “It’s something that’s definitely worth investigating if you’re in a position that you feel like you’re going to need more cash than you have available.”
We’re thrilled to have worked with Rocky and Melanie Boone, and are so happy that we’ve been able to help in any way in their continued time together.