Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care industry share their advice. So let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Lisa Rehburg:

Well, thank you, Valerie, for the opportunity to be here. I really do appreciate it. My name is Lisa Rehburg. I’m president of Rehburg Life Insurance settlements, and I do something that I think most of your listeners have no idea about. We help clients who no longer want or need their life insurance policies, sell them for cash. And just real briefly, 500,000 seniors a year will lapse their policies and they’ll just basically throw them away. We help them get money for those policies.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very nice. So let me ask you this. Okay, so wait. I don’t want to get into too much depth here on how this all works, but if I have a million dollar life insurance policy and I need to use that money maybe for something else, and it’s a term policy, I can potentially sell it to you and get the cash out of that to pay for care or whatever I need to pay for, and then you guys become the owner and beneficiaries of that policy, right? Or you or someone there.

Lisa Rehburg:

Somebody else does, right. So there are investor groups buying these policies. We’re life settlements brokers. So what we do is we have access to about 30 different investor groups. We basically broke with a deal, but our job is to market the policy to get the most money for our clients that we possibly can.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Nice. That is so awesome. And I bet you most seniors who still have a life insurance policy in place, don’t even realize that this is an option for them.

Lisa Rehburg:

They have absolutely no idea, and many people that work with seniors have no idea. Even a lot of financial advisors or insurance professionals have no idea, or if they even know about it, there’s a lot of misperceptions. So the bottom line is we are a really big, hidden secret, and I love giving our clients found money.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Okay. I’m going to ask you another question that’s not on our list here, but it’s intriguing to me. So what if my 20 year term life policies almost ready to lapse? I mean, I’m almost done. It’s almost at the 20 year mark. Can I still sell it to you if it hasn’t lapsed already?

Lisa Rehburg:

Yes. Did you want me to go on? Yes. It happens all the time. Literally, I have several policies right now that were literally at the end, client was going to walk away with nothing and we just got a client last month $50,000 on their $250,000 term policy that they were going to walk away from. I’ve got clients right now that literally, yeah, it was a game changer for him. Got clients right now where some of these policies, if people are healthier, they don’t bring a whole lot. One right now, it’s like $6,000. One’s about $3,000. But bottom line here is that they were going to walk away with zero and so they’re thrilled to pieces.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. Wow. That is really cool. And that money can be used for anything. Okay. Let me ask one more question because I know everybody’s going to want to know this. If I get money from my life insurance policy the way you just described, do I have to pay taxes on it?

Lisa Rehburg:

All right. So I’m going to qualify this by saying I’m not a tax professional. I’m not a CPA. So we always tell people, talk to your own tax professionals and now I’m going to answer your question. The answer is possibly. So the premiums that are paid into the policy are what’s called a basis, and if the settlement is underneath that, so once again, add up all your premiums from the whole time you’ve been paying in. If the settlement is underneath that, and many times it is, you’re not going to pay taxes on it.

Lisa Rehburg:

If it’s over that the vast majority of the time, it’s going to be capital gains. So you’ll get whatever that basis is tax free anyway and then over that capital gain. So like I said, think about your house. Same thing. If you buy a house for $100,000, sell it for $50,000, no taxes, right? If you sell that house for $150,000, you will have some capital gains on that $50,000.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes. Perfect. Okay. Makes a lot of sense. All right. That answers. I’m sure there are more questions on this and you get them all the time, but we’re going to keep going here with our interview because I’m totally fascinated by life settlements. All right. What is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Lisa Rehburg:

We just talked about it. We help clients find money from an asset they don’t know they have. It literally is found money. And so how much fun is that, right?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s totally fun. And I mean, I can’t imagine the number of people who are like, oh my gosh, you are kidding me. I totally have a life insurance policy come to term. Even though you get a couple thousand bucks out of it, it’s better than nothing. So, yeah. Awesome.

Lisa Rehburg:

Exactly.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And the fact that they can use this for care. I mean, I know that some of the amounts aren’t that big, but for those folks who are getting a big amount of money or enough to pay for care for a few years, or even a few months is better than out of pocket. So that’s really awesome.

Lisa Rehburg:

That’s exactly it. So we just sold the $150,000 policy of a woman who’s in her sixties. She does have MS and she knows she’s going to need care. Not right this second, but it’s going to be around the corner pretty fast and we got her $25,000. That can go a decent amount of ways to help pay for someone’s care. I’ve just sold a cheap $400,000 policy for $250,000, and that is going to be used for care. So they’re just repurposing an asset that they don’t know they have into what could help them be more comfortable today.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That’s great. That’s great news. It sounds to me, this may be also, I’m gleaning this. I have no experience in this. If you’re not well, do you get more money when you, or does it depend on a lot of other things?

Lisa Rehburg:

It depends upon several different factors, but generally yes. So we’re kind of in a bizarro insurance world where the more health impairment somebody has, the more valuable the policy because bluntly, the investor groups who buy these policies are going to be the new owner, they’re going to pay the premium and they’re going to be the beneficiary. So bluntly, the shorter someone’s life expectancy, the sooner this investor group receives their return, the more money they’re willing to pay for it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. And it sounds horrible. It’s kind of the odds are you’re going to die pretty soon. I mean, not pretty soon, but you know. You’re not going to live to be 100 if you’re really, really sick. Odds are they’ll get their money faster and they’re going to get that what would have been that inheritance or whatever it is. I totally get that now. So that if you have some chronic illnesses that are maybe shortening your life expectancy significantly, there’s more money available to you and the return is going to be faster. I got it. That makes a lot of sense to me.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. I would imagine that in your career and in your life, and maybe it has to do with just insurance in general or serving seniors, there have been people in your life who’ve been inspirations to you, or maybe organizations that just are doing a great job. Who would you like to talk about?

Lisa Rehburg:

I’ve been in the insurance business for 30 years, but life settlements has been my life for the past five years. So what has been inspirational to me are all the people who serve seniors, everything from the healthcare workers to home healthcare people, to assisted living, to memory care, to elder law attorneys and everyone, placement professionals, everybody in between because you know I’m missing a lot of people, but anyone in between that really supports a senior community to help them age well, amazing, amazing people, but you’re right. Alzheimer’s Associations, Parkinson’s Resource Associations, all these wonderful organizations and associations here to support seniors. I’ve met so many of them, too many of them to name, but they all do a fantastic job. And frankly, they’re all my heroes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Thank you for saying. Yes. And in the last year, they’ve always been heroes, but in the last year, the challenges have been wide and deep. And so for everyone who’s out there trying to help seniors, and that includes you too. I mean, you may not do daily care, but you’re trying to get someone cash flow to help them get to where they need to be, or at least maybe it’s just to buy a piece of equipment. Maybe it’s for care down the road or whatever it is, you’re still helping them achieve those goals, whatever they may be.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We’ve all had a rough year, but it’s great to share this kind of information with folks. I’m not a financial advisor. They need to go to somebody like you. I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I have heard of life settlements in my entire career and I know they’ve been so helpful to folks, but it’s just not something that’s talked about very often. So this is great information.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. Let’s talk about online marketing. I would imagine you have a website and I would imagine that you talk about life settlements on your website. So we will put the link to your website with your video so that everybody knows how to get ahold of you, talk to you. Can you do business in all the states or just one state or how do you do that?

Lisa Rehburg:

We do serve clients nationwide. So we are pleased to be able to do that. Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Okay. And so what has been your experience with online marketing? Especially in the last year when we can’t really get up close.

Lisa Rehburg:

Good question. And I thought about that because I don’t do traditional online advertisement. So you’re not going to see me advertise on Facebook or anything like that for a couple of different reasons. One is, what I do I think it’s more sophisticated service and it’s very financially sensitive. So I don’t know if I feel comfortable if someone answering a Facebook ad. I just don’t think that’s right.

Lisa Rehburg:

And the other thing is, frankly, in all fairness, we have big buyers. One in particular has literally billions of dollars and they are advertising and they’re wonderful and that’s great, but I don’t want to compete with that. I can’t compete with that. So I don’t do Facebook. And the difference is if someone goes directly to that buyer, like I said, they’re wonderful. We work with them. That buyer’s trying to get the policy as inexpensively as possible. Our job is the opposite to get the most money. So point is I don’t want to compete with that, but back to your point. What I do do is a lot of Zoom education like this. So I do pop that on my website. It is on my blog. It is on LinkedIn. Only, I’m all about education to raise awareness. So bluntly, anybody and everybody that would like to have me speak ,it’s rotary clubs, it’s chambers of commerce, it’s insurance associations, financial associations, senior association. Any and all of it, I am absolutely delighted to do it. So that has been my focus and it’s worked out very, very well.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, yes. Thank you. I would say this when a home care agency gets involved with a senior, they don’t always know every piece of financial data that say a nursing home, assisted living or independent living community would probably have to know in order for you to be able to move in there. They got to know a lot of stuff.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

A home care agency on the other hand is not going to ask as many of those questions or have as much detail, but they do know when a family is struggling and may have some challenges with being able to afford home care. And I think it’s important for folks like you to be introduced to home care agencies and care homes and folks that can help, and they don’t have to educate the people themselves, but just to be able to introduce the topic and say, you know what? I know somebody that you could probably get an appointment with that would really explain this better than I can. I think that’s really the value here is introducing you to folks that are in the face of seniors every day and may not know how to speak to this, but definitely can introduce the topic and then just say, hey, I don’t know everything, but here it is. Plus, doing a little research online, going to your website, going to other websites that talk about life settlements in an educated way is a great way for folks to learn.

Lisa Rehburg:

Well, you’re right. It’s an awareness issue. So my focus has just been awareness education because it’s not going to be right for everybody. It shouldn’t be right for everybody, frankly, but it can be a really great option and solution. And frankly, it can be another arrow in someone’s quiver, if you will, when they’re talking to a client or potential client about how to afford, how to fund care.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Exactly. Exactly. Yep. That’s right. That’s right. And there are lots of I think life settlements, and again, this is not right for everybody either, but we’ve talked about reverse mortgages on the show, which I know are called, there’s all kinds of technical names for them, but I know in both those cases for very different reasons, they can be very appropriate for the person.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I can tell you, and this is not life settlement related, but if you’re looking for a different financial strategy or maybe thinking there might be something else that you could do, my mother-in-law lived in assisted living and in private pay in a nursing home because years ago, she took out a reverse mortgage, sat on that equity and kept it separate, never spent it, and then when it was time for her to go to assisted living, they sold the house, got that rest of the equity out of that house and she got to live, took that money and was able to pay for assisted living and then private pay nursing home care for a very long time just with the equity that she had in her house. But there has to be certain criteria that the whole family had to kind of understand what was happening here. We didn’t make the decision lightly. It was all about what needed to happen at the time.

Lisa Rehburg:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

There are creative financial strategies that can work for lots of different reasons.

Lisa Rehburg:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Okay. What piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Lisa Rehburg:

Oh, I just think follow your passion. I mean, you can’t tell that I’m excited about what I do, right? You can’t tell I’m passionate about what I do. Follow your passion and one step in front of the other. Keep going, keep going, keep going. It’s basic. It’s not hard. Well, back up. It can be hard, but it’s not anything that’s mind blowing. It’s not anything that’s revolutionary here. It’s the basics, but first I think it starts off with love what you do. Follow your passion.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely.

Lisa Rehburg:

I’m an insurance geek, what can I tell you?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I know. Yeah. Well, I’m a computer nerd. So we all have our little nerdy things, but I will tell you that it makes your life, your day, your willingness and your desire to help others so much more fun and you feel so much more resilient when you’re doing something you love and it shows. It shows in how you treat your clients. It shows in how you handle your business. Doing something you love is definitely important.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. When you have a win in life or business, or just a great day, how do you like to celebrate?

Lisa Rehburg:

Well, I celebrate with my clients. They’re so cute because they’ll call me. I had to [inaudible 00:16:39] a couple of them. One of them said, call me on a Saturday. He got his money on Friday night and checked his bank account on Saturday. He calls me, he goes, “Lisa, I don’t want to make your husband jealous, but I just love you. I’m paying off the car on Monday.” So my point is that’s my victory dance when I get the text messages, it’s like, we ain’t got the money or I had clients husband and wife call me, it’s here, yay. I love that. That’s my little victory dance and I celebrate right along with them and it may include a couple sips of wine.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That’s quite all right. We’ve had wines. We’ve had wine, we’ve had dirty martinis and we’ve had a hospice physician pull out a jug of tequila from under his desk. And he says, “A little bit of this goes a long way.” And he’s well respected. And I said, you know what, man, you are right about that.

Lisa Rehburg:

That’s right. Whatever works for you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s right. A little bit of wine is always okay. So thank you very much and this has been great. I know it’s short. There’s so many questions that people are going to have about this. Is it right for me? Should I do this? What do I got to do? And so we’re going to just refer them all on to you, but I appreciate you coming on here and explaining this because as you know, better than I do, this is something that people really don’t know a whole lot about or how it works and we just don’t see it that often. So thank you very much.

Lisa Rehburg:

Oh, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here, to raise visibility for it. So thank you so much, Valerie.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Thanks. We’ll talk to you soon.