DEA Meeting : New York Life

Dr. Paul Chafetz joined DEA when Braden Howell, New York Life, was DEA President, he did a great job and really impressed him.  Braden is the 3rd generation member of DEA in his family, as his father and grandfather were also members. He describes Braden as a bit of a Renaissance Man, as he is a graduate of Greenhill School and Texas Christian University.  He is happily married and a father of three children.  Braden is very active in his children’s activities, as well as, his church.  Braden chose his career in financial services with New York Life because “he wanted to do something that mattered and would have a lasting impact.”  Braden has accumulated many honors in his career, which is not surprising since his degree is in Journalism – where he learned the difference between truth and falsehood!  He is a treasured member of DEA and even though he is 20-25 years his junior, he truly considers him a role model and is honored to have him as a colleague.

Braden began by promising everyone he would try not to bore them as everyone loves to talk about insurance first thing in the morning! Braden is married to his wonderful wife, Rebecca, who he met while attending school at TCU. They have 3 children; Caleb (10), Landry (7), and Finley (4 going on 17).

So how did Braden get into life insurance?  Many of you don’t know this, but Braden is not supposed to be in this industry or a member of DEA or in this room this morning.  Growing up he believed that he was to play football, and not just play football, but play for the Dallas Cowboys.  That was his plan.  And then he went to TCU to play football and that is where he learned that God made football players and he was not one of them!  So, when that didn’t work out, he ended up with a degree in Journalism, which he loves and still loves to write as a hobby.

His first job was with the Dallas Morning News, he was Agate Editor.  That is the lowest rung editor possible, but he dominated the Etc. page of Sports Day!  He worked from 3:00pm to 12:00am and what struck his about this job, even as a 22-year old kid, was the phone conversations he would overhear his colleagues having.  They would be on the phone with their kids asking “How was your day today, How did you do on that test? How was choir practice?”.  And Braden realized then that he wanted to be able to have those conversations at home, face to face, with his kids one day. He wanted to be able to control his own schedule.

While at the Dallas Morning News Braden had the opportunity to go to Atlanta to take part in the trainee program, or better known as a glorified intern.  He worked in public relations, media relations, and stat information for the team.  And on the public side, he wrote the game programs.  If you were ever at an Atlanta Braves game in 2004-2005, he wrote the feature story for the program. So, I hope you kept that playbill because it will be worth a lot of money one day!  And although Braden put his heart into writing those, he realized that out of 60,000 programs printed for each game – 60,000 were left in stadium after the game underneath some beer and peanuts!  It was then he realized he wanted to do something that matters. He thought about being on the business side and spoke to one of the Assistant GM’s for the Braves and expressed his interest.  The Assistant GM said there is only one problem – you’ve never played baseball at a competitive level and there is zero chance of you being hired.  And to add injury to insult, the man telling him this had never played competitive baseball!

After burying his dream of being in sports, Braden came back to Dallas for another job opportunity.  That would be the 3rd company that shall not be named.  That was the worst company in the history of the world!  Here he and his colleagues would be expected to work on a Saturday, even if there was no work to be done.  They would all play Solitaire on their computers just because the owner wanted to work on a Saturday.  But why did they do it? For the paycheck.  That is when Braden decided he didn’t want to be forced to go to a job every day that he hates, just for a paycheck.  Luckily, one week after he proposed to Rebecca, that company said he had to move to Kansas to keep his job.  There was no way he was moving to Kansas.  So, there he was, engaged a week and jobless.  Things were good, all he needed to do was figure out what he wanted to do with his life!

So, he put it all together – needed to control his own schedule, do something that matters and not let anyone control him by holding money over his head.  That lead him to financial services.

Braden looked around at several different companies and settled on New York Life because he felt they would give him the best training…and more importantly, they had the prettiest building in New York!

What does he provide?  Although, he sells life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance he considers those just tools and solutions.  What he really provides is significance.  He can’t ensure that people lead significant lives, but he can make sure they leave significant legacies.  He can provide security.  Braden knows that if for some reason he doesn’t make it home tonight, that Rebecca will not have to go back work.  She will be able to continue to stay home and raise their kids and the disruption in their lives financially will be non-existent.  Life insurance makes sure that your quality of life is protected for those you love.  If you love somebody or you owe somebody money, then there is a need for life insurance.

Braden showed a chart with thirty-two boxes, each box had a number in it ranging from 3 to 67.  This chart, Braden explained, was ages of people who appeared in the obituaries for a two-week period in Dallas.  We all think it won’t happen to us, but most of these people didn’t think it would happen to them either.  It is important and nothing good comes from delaying, because tomorrow may not come.

Long-term care insurance is another important insurance that helps pay for costs associated with long term care.  Most policies will reimburse you for care of person with a chronic medical condition, in a variety of places; such as: your home, nursing home, or assisted living facility.  It includes assistance with routine daily activities like, bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed, etc.

One of Braden’s biggest regrets was allowing his father-in-law to cancel his long-term care policy.  After carrying it for a few years, he said he didn’t see the benefit or feel that they would ever need it.  Unfortunately, his father-in-law now has Parkinson’s disease and is in an inpatient rehabilitation facility where he is undergoing intensive therapy.  When people think about long-term care insurance, they think of old people.  But his father-in-law is only 67 years old.  Long-term care insurance also provides you with the ability to provide quality time with your loved one instead of having the burden of being the main caretaker.

If you have not talked to anyone about life insurance, disability, or long-term care insurance come to Braden.  Talk to him, he wants to help!

Chris Clausen, CNC Home Care, commented that he believes everyone should have long-term care insurance.  He has one family he has worked with for over 19 years, and they have spent over 3.3 million dollars providing care for a wife that had a stroke.

Barbara Scribner, Keller Williams Realty, asked if it is true that the younger you are when you purchase it the cheaper it is.  Braden said, yes in most cases the younger you are the less expensive it is.

Dr. Paul Chafetz also thanked Braden for helping him and his wife with their life insurance recently.

See what all Braden can help with at

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