Work-Life Balance

Thinking about what I want to accomplish and setting goals happens at the beginning of each new year. Often my ‘resolutions’ are not as resolute as they should be to impact lasting change, and many trickle off by February and are forgotten. However, one thing that never changes is planning my annual camping trip; the only consistent trip I take during the year.  Who can blame me when there are views like this to enjoy?


We stay in a place that is outside most cell phone coverage, which is the best part of my camping trip.  It is time completely unplugged from all distractions. I spend my time reading in my favorite hammock, cruising around on my dirt bike, fishing, painting, or just hanging out in the shade with a plate of delicious food chatting with family.

You may be wondering why I have told you all about my favorite trip of the year. Taking an annual trip to the place I love the most is one way I have found to unwind, recharge, and refocus on my priorities.  I regain my equilibrium and re-energize to face the stress of life.

3So what does this have to do with goals or setting up proper work-life balance? Why is it important to practice work-life balance?  Does such a thing actually exist?  Below are five things I try to do.

  1. Prioritize and Plan — while this may seem obvious, I have learned that preparation helps alleviate much of the stress of last minute changes. Planning ahead is essential at work because much of what I do depends on or affects my coworkers’ projects. Now for the “life” side of planning ahead. Does it really matter if I plan what day I’m going to do my laundry?  For me, it does.  I have a schedule for when I will complete certain tasks such as laundry and frozen meal prepping which helps me instantly identify what time I have available for the inevitable emergencies of life. (By the way, my favorite “emergencies” often involve chocolate and a good book!)
  2. De-junk, De-clutter, Delete — this is a new one for me. I have recently discovered the freedom of just simply getting rid of excess— not only is there more physical space in my environment but I have found that the more neat and tidy my space is, the easier it is to maintain my balance and stay centered on what is most important.
  3. The Power of a Positive No — learning how to say “No” is a great way to maintain balance at work. Saying no, or communicating concerns and limitations can help management adequately plan time and set expectations for project completion.
  4. Relaxation, Meditation, and Laughter — As a naturally artistic person, spending time creating something new is my way of relaxing and de-stressing. Journaling, reading, watching movies, cooking, gardening, spending time with friends and families, and even cleaning are all ways of relaxing—you just have to find what works for you. Meditation or mindfulness is also useful for maintaining balance. Just don’t forget to laugh! Laughter releases endorphins that will help you feel better.
  5. Vacation — last on my list, but just as important as the rest is a vacation! Although my camping trip is my favorite vacation during the year, I try to plan ahead to spread my vacation time throughout the whole year. Taking a day off here and there throughout the year can really help to keep a fresh perspective and balance.

Hopefully these tips help you find your center and balance work and life to create an amazing future.  I still have a lot to work on but it just takes one step at a time.  (Or in my case, one long ride through the mountains!)  Good luck!

Blog written by: Jennifer Tolman, Creative Marketing Specialist for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Saying Goodbye to Dad

Losing my dad to cancer was one of the toughest things I have had to do. The emotional and physical toll the death of a loved one has on the individual and family is exhausting. If that is not enough, you then have the financial responsibility of planning a funeral fitting of your loved one.

We had some money. Dad had a life insurance policy, but because it was acquired less than two years before his passing, we only received $500; not much to work with. Mom told me that they had tried to plan ahead by purchasing the policies so the family wouldn’t have to worry about final expenses, but as life goes you can’t plan for cancer.

The funeral was a loving tribute to my dad as a husband, father, and military veteran.  The whole experience opened my eyes to a part of losing someone that I hadn’t thought about before…finances. I am glad my mom has a life insurance policy. After Dad passed away, we realized we needed to do something different so we purchased additional insurance for Mom to cover not only the burial but also any outstanding debt she may have when she passes.

Going through this process showed me that it is an easy process and the benefits are very high. The value of life insurance is not something we often think about but I’m so glad my parents started planning ahead. Having learned from this experience I will never again underestimate the importance of life insurance.

Blog written by: Revellie Pope, Senior Underwriter for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Better Safe Than “Too Late”

While final expense insurance can be a difficult topic to discuss with ones you love, it is essential to planning your life and can be a major factor of how your family’s standard of living is when you are no longer around. Final Expense Insurance can substantially impact your family after you are gone by ensuring they are not negatively impacted financially.

Reasons to have Final Expense Insurance.

There are a multitude of reasons why Final Expense products are so valuable for one to have.

  • There is no doubt that family is always at the forefront of most decisions made in life, and when purchasing a final expense insurance policy, this definitely rings true. Being properly prepared is the best way to assure that your family and legacy will be intact when you pass. The Peace of mind that comes with having final expense insurance is one that helps you fight unforeseen circumstances and be prepared. Final expense insurance can help cover things like funeral costs, medical bills, debts, and other financial situations that could financially burden your family if not otherwise covered correctly.
  • The ability for you to plan for expenses when someone passes can leave you with comfort in knowing your family will not have to struggle financially in order to pay for final expenses.
  • Death should not lead to debt for loved ones. We all want our families to live great lives, even when we can no longer be there and be involved. Final expense insurance can help pay debts and help families secure money for their futures. Providing even when you have passed is great and helps bring peace of mind to the situation. With funerals having a median cost of $7045[1] and the median household income being 51,017[2] funerals can put financial stress on your loved ones. This accumulated with possible things like medical bills, debts, and benefits lost from passing can hurt loved ones financially. Be prepared for the unforeseen and unknown by preparing adequately.

Final Expense insurance is a very crucial and important facet in today’s insurance landscape. It is becoming more of a necessity than an option. Being aware and prepared to protect you and your family’s standard of life is what is key when considering your options.

To learn more about Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company’s New Vantage Life Insurance products, please visit our website at or call 1.888.510.0668.
Blog written by: Brian Mehl, Creative Marketing Assistant for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

[1] National Funeral Directors Association.
[2] Data collected from the Census Bureaus of the United States of America

Sentinel Security Life Welcomes Russell Hill

Russell PicSentinel Security Life Insurance Co. would like to welcome Russell Hill as Assistant Controller!

Although Russell is new to this position, Sentinel welcomed him last November as an investment accountant bringing over 25 years of accounting experience in various industries, but most notably with insurance.

Russell isn’t just about numbers. At Sentinel, Russell can be recognized because of his smiling face and University of Utah pride. As a graduate of the University of Utah, Russell is loud and proud when it comes to donning red and cheering on the University of Utah Running Utes football team.

Russell enjoys going bowling, but isn’t partial to golf – although he has not yet picked up this endearing sport. Firing up the grill, barbecuing outside on the deck of his home and on occasion picking up some Cafe Rio counts as a touchdown for this guy. The beautiful Utah outdoors during spring and autumn provide solace for Russell, who fortunately also finds solace within the walls of Sentinel Security Life.

Sentinel Security Life is thrilled to have Russell Hill as part of the family.

Blog written by: Brian Mehl & Thy Vu Mims, Creative Marketing for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Hospital Indemnity – Why You Should Choose One

Healthcare is no longer an option, but a necessity. Without proper coverage, a single health-related event can be financially devastating. Many families are left to face insurmountable medical bills and associated costs. Many families forget fine details when planning for emergencies, such as out-of-pocket expenses left over after coverage has run out.

14 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are exposed to gaps in their policy resulting in unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses. These gaps can be costly – the average hospital inpatient benefit gap in Medicare Advantage is $1,500. Nobody wants to pay that cash amount, and many do not plan for those costs.

Currently, only 1% of Medicare Advantage enrollees use a Hospital Indemnity plan to help with those unforeseen costs. It is not commonly understood that some Hospital Indemnity plans go hand-in-hand with Medicare Advantage plans to provide beneficiaries with the best coverage possible. Unexpected Hospital expenses are then covered including: Primary Care Doctor Office Visits, Skilled Nursing Care, Durable Medical Equipment, Lump Sum Cancer Payouts, Ambulance Services and much more.

Hospital Indemnity plans are designed to offer relief from unexpected medical bills due to the above-mentioned medical needs. Nobody should be left to pick up the pieces after a health-related incident. Nobody should fear not having enough to cover their needs. Make sure you have a secure hospital indemnity plan that covers the gaps that Medicare Advantage leaves behind.

To learn more about Health Insurance and different types, including Indemnity Plans, visit The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) – a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Americans take responsibility for their finances through the ownership of life insurance and related products.

To learn more about Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company’s Hospital Indemnity product, please visit our website at or call 1.888.510.0668.

Blog written by: Thy Vu Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.


Going Green!

Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company’s home has been on 2121 South State Street since 1948 in a historical building that has been a landmark for decades. As Sentinel’s growth continues, moving locations was a must. On June 3, 2013 Sentinel Security Life moved to a beautiful new location at 1405 West 2200 South in Salt Lake City. The move became the perfect opportunity to kick old habits and make new and improved ones.

With a new building and an outstanding team, we as a company decided to seize the opportunity to begin Going Green. We learned that 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. This was a great starting point for Sentinel to begin the challenge of Going Green. Recycling receptacles have been placed in each break room and we have a separate recycling dumpster in our parking lot. Sentinel’s efforts in recycling has taken a momentous turn, and we are proud to have this program in place.

In addition to our recycling efforts, Sentinel has also taken steps to reduce waste in other ways, not just putting waste into the correct receptacles – why not reduce or eliminate it altogether where possible? Our IT team researched new printing options for the new building; with the goal of cutting down our printing costs and reducing paper waste. Through many discussions we concluded that having a central printer for each floor and dismissing employee’s desk printers would cut down on paper usage, as well as toner expenses. The new high volume printer defaults to print 2 sided, which uses and discards less paper. This small feat aids in conserving resources, reducing water and energy use, and preventing pollution.

Other efforts from our IT team include Installation of visual monitors in the conference rooms which enable us to share presentations on screen rather than printing out hard copies. Finally, implementing new scanning procedures for all of the new, as well as old, policies that are housed in our corporate office.

Our Sales and Marketing team researched and executed Electronic application software for our agents to utilize. These applications take place of paper applications which in turn conserves waste and promotes technology. Our Marketing team has spent countless hours to establish a user friendly website with access to all the forms that one would need to perform business as usual. Lastly, our Marketing team employs e-blast software for our notifications to the field in order to reduce paper waste.

With the move to a new building Sentinel found that we had an overabundance of office furnishings. The furnishings were donated to the International Rescue Committee to support the refugees in our community.

Through our research and analyses, we have realized what a difference small steps can make. We are excited to be stepping up to our Corporate Social Responsibility in caring for our environment and our community.

To learn more about Sentinel Security Life’s new location and Going Green efforts, please contact them 855-478-4037 or click here.

Blog written by: Jenniffer Pearce, Executive Assistant for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Our Community

At Sentinel, we pride ourselves on being active and engaging citizens of our community. Once a quarter, an employee committee organizes a fundraising or volunteer opportunity that all departments are encouraged to participate in. Sentinel realizes that community involvement is not only vital to upholding our corporate values but also an excellent way to give back to non-profit organizations that do so much good for the underprivileged populations of people in our area.

Most recently, Sentinel hosted a bake sale and raised $700 for Edison Elementary, a Title I school located close to our corporate office. Our management matched what the employees raised and we were able to donate $1400 to this special school. The extra money allowed them to purchase supplies and educational materials desperately needed, yet otherwise unavailable, for their at-risk and low-income students.

In addition to the Edison project, Sentinel worked with Prevent Child Abuse Utah last year and donated over $2,500 worth of goods to three little girls displaced from their home because of abuse. Their Christmas lists were very modest and consisted of things like shoes, winter coats, pants, shirts, socks and underwear. We were able to provide all of these items to them plus fun presents like jewelry, make up, art sets, dolls and other presents little girls love to get.

We feel that both of these projects were incredibly successful especially since Sentinel’s corporate office consists of only 42 employees. Sentinel realizes that even small donations can make a huge difference for someone who is struggling.

Sentinel looks forward to the rest of 2013 with excitement as we plan additional events including a blood drive and a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald house of Salt Lake City.

To learn more about Sentinel Security Life’s community involvement, please click here.

Blog written by: Amy Mullen, Human Resources Director for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Sentinel Plan Summit Bonus Index

It is extremely exciting that Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company is launching a new annuity product called the Summit Bonus Index℠ Annuity. This is a fixed index, single premium, deferred annuity contract with a premium bonus. This is the perfect product to add to our Annuity line of business.

The Summit Bonus Index℠ Annuity has four indexing strategies where the interest is calculated by using an equity index. This is a great way to obtain the benefits of the market growth without exposure to market loss. The four strategies that are offered are the Point-to-Point, Monthly Average, Daily Average, and Monthly Sum. There is also a Fixed Account that annuity owners can allocate money to guarantee a fixed interest rate.

One of the key features of this new annuity is the premium bonus. Sentinel Security immediately adds a bonus to the value of the annuity at the time of issue. The bonus is calculated based on a percentage of the initial premium. This is money that is immediately deposited into the account in addition to the funds provided and will earn interest right from the beginning. The premium bonus is subject to a vesting schedule. So as long as you don’t take any withdrawals in excess of the penalty free withdrawals, this is yours to keep!

In addition to the premium bonus, this new product also offers an optional Income Rider. The Income Rider can provide a guaranteed stream of income for the rest of the owner’s life even if the income payments reduce the value of the annuity to zero. What is the difference of an Income Rider versus an annuitization or SPIA (Single Premium Immediate Annuity)? One of the big differences is that there is still a death benefit even after the income payments begin. Another difference is that withdrawals in addition to the income payment can be taken. Excess withdrawals may reduce future income payments, but are available if needs require.

The Summit Bonus Index℠ Annuity is available to purchase starting March 27, 2013. For additional information on the product, please visit or call 800-247-1423.

Blog written by: Janelle Boudrero, New Business Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

Annuity Processing: Not Just Paper Pushing

I began my career at Sentinel in 2011; a month after the Personal Choice Annuity was launched. Annuity New Business is a tight-knit and dedicated team who eats, sleeps, and breathes our fixed rate annuity. Therefore, when I tell someone what I do for a living with great passion and excitement, and their eyes glaze over in preparation for boredom, I don’t understand. And when I tell our team about it they react as if the person said we had an ugly baby. There is nothing boring about financial planning and security. There is nothing dull about growing your savings tax-deferred or rolling funds over from an investment that no longer serves your needs into one that can. Well…Unless you find achieving your financial goals boring.  I guess that would depend on how much you enjoy playing golf.  See? Annuities aren’t boring at all.

The Personal Choice annuity is best for individuals who have funds that aren’t currently needed for living expenses, that they would like to invest tax-deferred for a guarantee period of 5, 7, or 10 years. It’s called a “guarantee period” for a reason, your principal is safe and the interest rate is guaranteed during that period.

In my role as a new business processor I spend much of my day reviewing applications and most of them say the client’s reason for purchasing the annuity is safety and the opportunity to grow their wealth tax-deferred. We all have to pay the taxman. But our clients enjoy putting it off for several years while they accumulate interest.

Annuities are purchased by many different people for many different reasons. Some of our clients are young and still in the meat of their working years and are interested in moving an IRA or 401k for a better interest rate. But on the other hand applications cross my desk daily completed by seniors whose agents have advised them to invest in a fixed annuity instead of variable accounts, providing them the opportunity to grow their savings whether their goal is a long and secure retirement or the inheritance of their loved ones.

I hope you can see why the Annuity New Business team is so excited about what we do. We don’t just push paper and enter numbers into computers. We get to do our small part to help people we’ll never meet achieve their financial goals.

For additional information on the Personal Choice Annuity, please visit us at or call 800.247.1423.

Blog written by: Deanna Martin, Annuity New Business Processor for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.