Today, we’re dealing with the more practical side of preparing for your marriage: your financial and insurance future! Fear not, our friend Myra Howard is a State Farm Agency Owner with TONS of knowledge to help you know what to do next!
At State Farm, we aim to help you protect what you have, recover from the unexpected, and prepare for the future. My agency specializes in helping couples merge their insurance and financial lives together. Our objective is to help simplify the complex for you.
How did you get started in this business?
Prior to joining State Farm, I was a major gifts fundraiser for several organizations. As a result, I worked with many very affluent people and one of the things I discovered was that they all had risk managers to help with their money. I knew that State Farm would give me the education and training so that I could help anyone, in any walk of life, make smart choices with their money. It’s a very humbling job and I am grateful to be able to help people every day.
What’s your favorite wedding story?
Recently, I worked with a couple who were not only blending their finances, they were also blending their families. We worked together to identify their needs, prioritize what they needed to do next, develop an action plan, and meet their needs within their budget. When you can help someone essentially remake their financial life, it’s very gratifying.
Why do you like working with couples who are just getting married?
I love working with couples when they are just starting out. They need information and I have lots of knowledge, so we work together to build their future. There is nothing more exciting that hearing about that first house, first baby, new job, or whatever life brings!
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
The most difficult situation I ever face is when someone calls me to see if a family member has life insurance and they don’t have any. I’ve seen families have to take up collections for funeral services, children left with no way to be educated, and spouses left with limited income sources. We are open about the need for life insurance and encourage couples to take a practical approach to taking care of each other financially.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Remember that money and marriage don’t always go together like peanut butter and jelly! It’s a good idea to have honest conversations about finances early so that you both have reasonable expectations and a plan.
How far in advance should couples contact you?
We can help a couple at any stage of the process. Oftentimes, we start out by insuring the ring, providing renter’s coverage, or even helping with auto insurance savings. Then we progress into helping the couple merge it all together after the wedding.
What inspired you the most / where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by just how hard people work to get by. Seeing my clients, who are doing everything they can to provide for their families, inspires me to want to give them my best efforts and help them find the most value possible. We just try to lighten our clients loads a little bit by making one part of their lives easy to manage.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
Since I’m a big reader, I spend a lot of time on continuing my education. Last year, I earned my Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation. This year, I’m focusing on reworking sections of my garden. I also have a big friend network and enjoy getting together with interesting people.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I have two degrees in journalism from the University of Georgia, which comes in handy since I ask people questions all day long!
Thank you, Myra, for chatting with us! If you’d like to learn more about how Myra can help you prepare for your future, please visit www.myrahoward.com.