TaLisa Hughes: A passion for helping the elderly

For TaLisa Hughes, family and church is center of her universe. But a close second is helping those around her figure out the complexities of insurance and investments.

Hughes and her husband own and operate American Senior Benefits in the Houston area, where they specialize in helping the elderly understand the importance of insurance for health needs and legacy wishes.

Hughes recently took the time to respond to the following questions for this week’s Women’s Insurance Network Producer Profile feature.

 

What drew you to a career in the insurance industry?

It all started when I was trying to help my grandmother find insurance. I had a friend in the business that came over to help her with insurance and that friend started talking to me about going to work for her. Being that I was in a transition in my life and I had been praying for direction and an opportunity to arise, I felt as though God placed me in her path for my new direction.

 

You’ve mentioned that helping the elderly is a passion of yours. How did that come to be?

My grandmother had a major health concern in 2006 and I tried helping her with getting her to the hospital emergency room. But because she did not have very good insurance, we had to go to the “free” hospital in Houston. It was an awful experience where we had to wait eight hours before seeing a doctor. I didn’t have a seat and there were people everywhere — all over the waiting room and all the way down the halls.

The entire time I was there I thought about how there had to be a better way; a place where she could go to a regular hospital in the event we needed an emergency room again. After we finally left, I started doing research on what was available for her and found there were many options that she wasn’t aware of. I found that she qualified for a low income subsidy. Therefore, her Social Security check was increased and she then had all of her medications reduced to where she was paying half of her check towards medications. I found that there were many people out there that qualified for extra help and didn’t realize it.

 

How do you help the elderly through your business?

As I just mentioned, I have come to realize that many elderly people qualify for more benefits than they are aware of. Also, I have found that most people are not aware of the many different types of life insurance and with the majority of them they will end by the time our clients turn age 80 or sooner, and they do not realize that. I have found that most people do not know how much coverage they have or when the coverage stops. Plus, people are living much longer now than we did many years ago. Therefore, the price of life insurance has gone down as the average life expectancy has gone up. So, many times we can give people more coverage for less money per month.

 

You offer insurance services throughout the Houston area. Do you know of many other women doing the same thing in this area?

I do know some but, unfortunately, there are not enough women taking advantage of this incredible opportunity; an opportunity to supplement their household income while still having flexible time to care for children and the home. Or by taking the bull by the horns and being the sole head of household because with the income possibilities with insurance and investments, the sky is the limit for you. Also, this career utilizes most women’s natural motherly instinct to simply help people.

 

What are some of the volunteer initiatives you and your husband are a part of?

I am the youth director of our church and he is the sound coordinator of our church. We also work with foster children — our home is a licensed foster home through the state of Texas and currently we have a young man that we are in the process of adopting that has been in foster care for the past eight years.

We also partner up with another church and every fifth Sunday we go to downtown Houston and pass out food and blankets and clothing to the homeless. Recently, we have been helping people who have lost their homes and belongings due to Hurricane Harvey. While I made sandwiches to pass out, my husband and the other men in our church used a boat to rescue more than 150 people — along with pets — out of their flooded homes. It has been devastating for many people in the Houston area.

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know has an inspiring story to tell, please reach out to traci@womensinsurancenet.com. And as always, we welcome your comments below.

 


 

Emily Holbrook is a former Editor in Chief of National Underwriter Life & Health and Retirement Advisor magazine. She has covered the financial, risk management and insurance industries for more than a decade, with her work appearing in Risk Management, National Law Review and Huffington Post. Emily graduated with dual degrees in Finance and English and worked in the financial industry as a fixed income trading administrator and analyst before becoming a full-time writer and editor. Emily now owns her own writing, editing and content strategy company, Red Label Writing. She can be reached at emily@redlabelwriting.com or on LinkedIn.

 

 

16 Comments

  1. I have been to those “free” hospitals as well when I was in college and had no money or insurance and the description is spot on. The waiting room was wall to wall people and it took forever just to see someone.

  2. I was laid off was presented the opportunity in financial advisory. I was hesitant at first since I have never worked in the industry before but I was embraced by my colleagues and now the sky is the limit.

  3. My agency decided to do a volunteer event at a local food bank. I must admit that I have never volunteered before. But I absolutely love it! It was so fulfilling. I have now volunteered on my own at the same food bank and I am thankful to my agency for introducing me to it.

    • Yes, some people just complain about the conditions but TaLisa is making a difference whether it be fostering or handing out blankets.

  4. I agree that the industry brings out the motherly instinct to help people. Sure, a goal of the agency is to make money but a bigger goal is helping a client achieve their goals.

    • I am going to be honest and when I started in the industry, I did not know that life insurance expired at a certain age. It made me so angry that I had a policy and my broker never told me!

      • I think a lot of people think the same. But it is the job of a advisory to properly advise them of every loop hole.

        • Years ago, My grandmother paid on a life insurance policy for decades and when she died at 92 we went to go cash the life insurance policy and found out that it had expired at 85. That was a shock to the family. Had we know, we would have planned accordingly…

  5. I work with a lot of pet rescues in my local area so I was happy when her church family rescued 150 people and many pets!

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