The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has formed a partnership with award-winning entertainer Rita Moreno as part of its Insure U consumer education campaign. Though many know about her extraordinary career, Rita’s struggle following her husband Dr. Leonard Gordon’s death often goes untold yet mirrors a situation familiar to many seniors.
During their 46-year marriage, Leonard was solely responsible for handling the family’s financial affairs. After his passing, Rita was not only emotionally exhausted but also completely unprepared to take on complex insurance and financial plans.
“I was so busy with my career and not really interested in learning about our finances, so it made sense for Leonard to handle it alone,” Moreno said. “Looking back, it would have been much wiser for us to have taken the time to share that information with each other. Losing him was hard enough, but the added stress of not knowing anything about our insurance or finances made it even tougher.”
Motivated by her experience, Rita has partnered with the NAIC to encourage older Americans to prevent themselves from ending up in the same situation:
- Sharing is caring. If your plans and policies are a mystery to your spouse or partner, do not wait any longer to share. An open exchange of information is vital to ensure you are both prepared if one of you is unable to provide information.
- Ask the experts. When reviewing your plans and policies, do not make assumptions. A call to your state insurance department can help clear up confusion about insurance policies and ensure you are not carrying more insurance than necessary, which may help save money and prevent fraud.
- Pass it on. Make sure your adult children understand your long-term care plans, life insurance policies, end-of-life wishes and the importance of planning ahead for their family. “This situation really made my daughter think,” Moreno said. “She learned a very valuable lesson from my experience.”
Featured in a nationally-distributed radio public service announcement (in English and Spanish), Rita hopes her story resonates with families and inspires them to make smart insurance and retirement planning decisions together. For unbiased tips and tools to help consumers understand their insurance options, visit www.insureu-online.org, NAIC’s online education