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April Is National Financial Literacy Month

In 2007, Julianne Hertel, LACP, was looking for a new career. She talked with several professionals to explore her options but found the perfect fit with New York Life. Now, she helps protect Main Street Americans with comprehensive insurance and financial planning. 

Making a Difference

Hertel's typical clients are women and couples planning for retirement and people who inspire her—more so the better when they overlap. She loves working with directors of foundations, board members of charities, and individuals who volunteer for causes they are passionate about. “The people I get excited about are the ones who wake up every day and want to make the world a better place,” she says. “I want my clients to knock my socks off—and they do.” She values the trust her clients give to her, saying, “I'm humbled every single day by the role my clients let me play in their lives.”

The most important qualities for an agent or advisor, says Hertel, are empathy and optimism. Despite economic uncertainty, she knows that the work she and her clients have done together will help them weather an economic downturn. “It's not hard [to stay optimistic] because what we do is prevent our clients from having a change in lifestyle, despite all these outside influences,” she says. 

With over 15 years in the industry, Hertel has many stories of making a difference in her clients’ lives. She recalls one such experience. She helped a couple develop a full financial plan, adding more life insurance to their existing coverage and laying out a strategy to help them retire early. Just one month after their new life insurance policies were placed in force, she received a call from the husband. He had been on a friend’s boat over the weekend and began slurring his words. When he went to the hospital, his doctors discovered a malignant brain tumor and scheduled him for emergency surgery. He called Hertel for reassurance, saying “I need you to tell me my family will be ok.” Because of the plan they put in place, she could confidently answer ‘yes.’ Her client survived the surgery, but his cancer was terminal. Hertel helped him understand what role disability insurance and health insurance would play and assured him that his life insurance policy would pay out. Eighteen months after his diagnosis, her client passed, but his family was protected. 

The Value of NAIFA Membership

Hertel is passionate about advocating for the best interests of her clients and actively participates in NAIFA’s advocacy efforts. She’s met with state and federal lawmakers and testified in the Massachusetts State House. She says, “I think it's our duty to advocate for our clients—to go out and represent our clients in the best possible light to the people who make the laws that directly impact [them].”

Another benefit of NAIFA membership, says Hertel, is the opportunity to network with other industry professionals. She says the friendships she’s made with fellow NAIFA members have been instrumental in her career, and the free flow of ideas between colleagues across the country with different specialties and experiences has helped her become a better resource for her clients. 

Hertel is also a graduate of NAIFA’s Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) and recently earned her Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) designation through NAIFA. “When I think about where my career would be without NAIFA, it would have gone down a completely different path,” she says. 

Since joining NAIFA in 2009, Hertel has served in several leadership roles for NAIFA-Massachusetts, including Board Member, PAC Chair, and Secretary. In 2011, she received the NAIFA Quality Award (NQA) in recognition of her professional success, quality client service, and adherence to NAIFA’s Code of Ethics.

Outside of the Office

When she's not working, there are two things Hertel loves best—animals and traveling. Often, she gets to combine the two and experience the wealth of wildlife diversity in exotic locales. Last year, she visited the Galapagos Islands and she’s planning a trip to Antarctica in 2023. She also has a passion for rescuing animals. She seeks out “unadoptable” animals who are old or have special needs. In the past 10 years, she’s fostered over 150 dogs, as well as a few cats, guinea pigs, and bunnies. 

For her service to our industry and association, we’re #NAIFAproud to call Julianne Hertel one of our own.



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