Today, August 29th, 2017, day 4 of Hurricane Harvey, I am sitting at my computer In Houston, Texas, safe and secure for the time being. At this point, I do not know what awaits my fellow Texans who have been directly affected by the destructive winds and flooding Hurricane Harvey has produced. Nobody does.
Like many people, I have been watching the 24 hours a day coverage of Harvey, and I have witnessed the determination and strength of first responders, volunteers, local citizens, and our government leaders all working together to help the victims of the hurricane. Their courage, caring and commitment gives me hope.
This tragic event affecting so many in the Houston area is a large scale reminder of a personal health tragedy I recently experienced. My personal incident in no way compares to the scope of suffering that those who were affected by the wrath of Harvey have experienced, but the way the doctors came to my aid compares with the extensive rescue efforts during the storm.
A few months ago, on a calm, uneventful Saturday morning, similar to the sort of ordinary day on which Harvey was forming in the Gulf of Mexico, I lay on our living room sofa, mentally organizing my day.
Suddenly, without warning, I saw what appeared to be an enormous foreign object in my left eye. It materialized so quickly and appeared so large that I was shocked and horrified. I brushed at my face and shouted aloud, “What was that?”
The Retina Specialist I consulted a few days later explained what had occurred. In layman’s terms, I had had a “stroke in my eye.” In medical terms, I had a retinal vein occlusion. This eye condition results in sudden blurred vision or loss of vision when a retinal vein becomes blocked by a blood clot. I vaguely understood what he was explaining, but the only thing I wanted to know was “Will I be able to see clearly again?”.
We don’t yet have an answer to that question. But, just as the victims of Harvey must rely on others to assist them, I have to rely on the experts to help me. So far I am satisfied with the doctors who have examined, diagnosed and treated my condition and with the improvement in my vision. I am thankful for the medical facility that provided a place for my treatment, the staff which has provided care and the medications administered in treatment. This winning team has helped me return to my work of helping individuals and their families who are retired or near retirement and are looking for a safe, secure place to invest their retirement savings.
I believe there are similarities in my work for my clients as a professional insurance and retirement specialist, the outstanding work done by the eye specialists to save my vision, and the efforts from all who continue to participate in protecting those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Just as the eye specialists and hurricane recovery experts look for solutions to solve problems for individuals, I search for solutions to help keep client’s retirement savings safe. If my clients are worried that their investments may be lost due to market volatility, and they need safety plus a reasonable return on their investment, I may propose an Index Annuity solution. With an Indexed Annuity, they earn interest because the benefits are linked to the performance of an equity index, and their investment is are safe because their funds are never directly exposed to the market. Also, their funds are secure because insurance companies are required to keep excess reserves of cash and short term assets to be able to pay policyholders.
The rain and the historic flooding that has paralyzed Houston during Hurricane Harvey will soon be gone. But the enormous challenges of this disaster will be with us a long, long time. Because of all those involved in working together, we can be sure that our communities will emerge whole and vibrant again. Because of the medical specialists, their facilities and medications used to save my eye; I can trust that my vision will be improved to the best possible outcome. And, through the dedication of myself and other retirement specialists and the companies who work to provide the very best investments possible, our clients can be assured of a safer, more secure retirement future.