I don't know about you, but I found 2022 to be one heck of a wild ride! From big stock market losses, to the "great resignation" that most employers (including us) had to deal with, to all sorts of Colorado insurance changes, and two new babies from EJC team members - there was PLENTY to keep us on our toes at the office last year!

Please welcome Mateo and Charli to the world! These future EJC team members belong to Kaysia (Mateo) and Kirsten (Charli). Both moms and kids are all doing great and Kaysia and Kirsten are both back to work. This was my first time to have two team members out for maternity leave. Not that I didn't realize it already, but having two team members out for an extended period of time REALLY reminds you of how valuable your team members are!

We saw a lot of changes at the EJC office last year, in addition to the new babies. For one, we officially became EJC! In case you missed it, Edgin Insurance & Financial, Johnson Financial Services and Cruz Insurance & Financial all merged together to form EJC Insurance & Financial so we could bring more tools, experts, and help to our clients! We're so excited that the merger is finally complete!

On a personal note, I learned a few things about family vacations in 2022 when Kylah and I took our kids (age 27 and 23) to Jamaica:

I get worried every year that our family time won't happen - that we won't see our kids or have time together. Every year I say to Kylah, "this is probably the last trip, just the four of us." Kylah's been telling me for years not to worry, and then she told me why - If you're willing to pay for your kid's to go on vacation, they're probably never going to say no, regardless of their age. She was right, as she usually is!

I also learned that resorts are a really great place to get new family photos! For less than $200, we had a resort photographer all to ourselves for an hour. We chose to do sunset pictures, and the photographer knew all of the best spots along the beach to stop for the perfect family photos!

And I was reminded that if you put your family in cool situations, they're willing to do cool things that they might not usually do - like swimming in the middle of the ocean at night! I booked an adventure to go swimming in the "Luminous Lagoon" and my wife and daughter both said they'd probably stay in the boat. But once they saw the water glowing, they were swimming around splashing blue before I was even ready to get in!

As challenging as 2022 was, it was also a really great year. We were named one of Colorado Springs best insurance offices AND best financial planning offices in the Gazette's "Best Of." I also finished my Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation with the American College, after a few years of study and coursework, to round out my professional designations. It looks funny when I see it printed, but I am now a ChFC, LACP, RICP! Whatever 2022 brought you and your family, I hope it was a good year, and I hope that 2023 brings you and yours all that you are hoping for! Personally, I'd like to have a year with less going on, but we 'll see how that goes. We're all looking forward to working with you through this year, so please call us if there is anything we can do to help!


1. When I started in the insurance business, everyone had a $500 home insurance deductible. When I talked to clients about a $1,000 deductible to save money on their insurance premiums, they looked at me like I was crazy! Today,
everyone has a $1,000 deductible (or higher), and it's time for people to look at me like I'm crazy again, because it's time for $1,000 deductibles to go away! Here's why:

2. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, about 7% of Coloradans file a home claim each year and, on average, you file a claim every 14 years. Colorado home insurance premiums are among the most expensive in the country, and prices are on the rise...again!

3. A lot of insurance companies are no longer offering home insurance to people who have had ANY home insurance claims. It is VERY difficult to find home insurance if you have more than one claim in the last 6 years.

4. Switching from a $1,000 deductible to a high deductible could save you 25% per year on your insurance premiums. That's about $726 per year, on average, or about $60.50 per month on your mortgage payment!

If the average person files a claim every 14 years, and they have a high deductible, they could save around $10,000 dollars on home insurance premiums over those years. Even if your home insurance deductible is $5,000, the average homeowner would still be $5,000 ahead AFTER paying the deductible!

None of us want to get stuck paying $5,000 out of pocket for a home insurance claim, but if you have an emergency fund built up to cover it, raising your deductible is the easiest way to lower your monthly insurance payment, which
equals a lower mortgage payment! There is another benefit of raising your home insurance deductible, it helps raise your insurance score.

Insurance scores have been around in the state of Colorado for about 15 years, and they
have a big impact on what you pay for your insurance. Insurance scores are the insurance
company's attempt to use actuarial data to predict how long it will be before someone files
a claim. The longer they predict it will be, the better your insurance score. The better your
insurance score, the lower your premiums are. Every insurance company in the state uses
their own version of an insurance score, and every client is assigned a score.

The methodology in determining an individuals insurance score is complicated, and it
varies from company to company, but one of the factors that most companies use is the
size of your deductible, because a larger deductible shows you are financially stable
enough to take care of small incidents on your own without involving the insurance
company (filing a claim).

If you're unsure of what your deductible is, what it should be, or how much you could save
by changing to a higher deductible, call us! Any of our Client Service Specialists can take a
look and give you all of the info you need to make a good decision for your situation!



There are so many GREAT things to see and do outdoors in Colorado all year long - including the winter. Skiing, snow-shoeing, tubing, ice castles, snow sculptures...but sometimes you need to find something fun to do inside, where
it's warm! Fortunately, Denver and Colorado Springs have plenty of options for some indoor fun too!

Have you checked out Meow Wolf Denver - Convergence Station? What a strange and unusual world to explore! According to the Meow Wolf website, "Convergence Station is unforgettable, transformational, and not to be missed. Discover immersive psychedelic, mind-bending art and an underlying rich narrative as you take a journey of discovery into a surreal, science-fictional epic. " According to two people in their 40's (me and my wife), it's a pretty cool way to spend a few hours indoors...especially if you want to feel like you're in a space station, and outside on another planet, and in caves, or if you want to feel like you're on another world or in another time. Pro-tip: we had heard that it can get quite crowded with lots of little kids running around. This is a great place to take your kids, but if you're looking for it to be a little more adult-filled, visit mid-afternoon on a weekday. We had the whole place almost to ourselves!

The Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs is another really great way to get out of the cold for a few hours and transport you to...well, the Olympics! This is a very interactive museum where you can test your skills in a lot of Olympic
events! It's one of the most beautiful museum buildings I've been in, and was quite nostalgic - there's a lot to see from your favorite Olympic stars! I definitely learned more at the museum, compared to Meow Wolf, like how Bob
Beamon still holds the record for the long jump - 29 ft, 2.39 inches, set in 1968! I also learned that my wife is faster on the skeleton than me!


One other thing we learned in 2022 was that we needed to get more creative with where we looked for new employees. We needed more team members throughout most of 2022, but every time we found one through Indeed, Linked In, Zip Recruiter, etc., we realized that what we found were people who only wanted to do enough to satisfy the requirements needed to stay on unemployment. The "great resignation" of 2022 hit us pretty hard, but then two things happened that helped us shift our thinking on hiring new employees.

First - although we already worked out of 3 locations, all team members were working in one of our offices...until they weren't! Over a very short timeframe, four of our team members needed to make a change and start working remotely. Kaysia and Kirsten were having babies, Kaitlin was switching to part-time in order to attend college, and Kayla was relocating to Idaho (I know, that's a lot of employees with K names). We had to figure out the remote work environment in order keep all four of our great people employed!

Second - after a few months of working successfully with remote team members, we ran into a long-time friend who owns an insurance agency. He was also using remote employees - but his were from overseas! He had found a company that specializes in remote insurance workers and was having a lot of success with his new international team. After much deliberating, we gave in and hired our first 2 international team members and, WOW, did it go great! So great, in fact, that we now have 3 international team members.

All international team members grew up speaking English, and have college degrees. They all have an immense understanding of US culture, and a real desire to take care of people. The connections we've all made in the office with our international team has been awesome, and has taught all of us how similar we are, no matter where in the world we lay our heads down at night. Fareeha, Bilal and Abeeha (pictured from left to right) are making things at the office better than ever, and we're excited to have them helping us make our client's lives better too! If you've ever considered hiring internationally and you'd like to talk to someone who's already done it, give us a call! We're happy to answer any questions.

ChatGPT - AI To Help You Work...Or To Someday Take Over The World?

Have you checked out ChatGPT yet? It's the new AI chatbot that can write emails and essays, poetry, answer questions, or generate lines of code based on a prompt. It's kind of like Google, except it's learning how to respond and have conversations like a human AND adapt it's answers as your conversation with it changes!

For now, ChatGPT is free for everyone (try it out at www.chat.openai.com and start asking some questions) while the system learns how to be more human. A few weekends ago, I asked ChatGPT for some ideas of things to do for a couple in their 40's. I started getting a list of answers that were going to have me outdoors for a few hours, but it was too cold out, so I responded with, "it's too cold out, I need something warmer. Without missing a beat, ChatGPT said, "then try these inside ideas" and started a whole new list of things to do inside!

ChatGPT can help with gift and party ideas, menus for the family's dinner, exercise plans...it can even help you craft the best email to send off to an airline to help you get a refund after a flight delay.

Oh yeah, it does WORK and school stuff for you too! While schools are starting to BAN the AI for help with homework, it might prove useful for those of us who could use some help writing for work. I asked ChatGPT to write me a 4
paragraph article on why people in their 50's still need life insurance, and here's what the AI came up with:

"Life insurance is a critical aspect of financial planning and it is important to have it in place throughout your life, regardless of your age. While many people assume that they do not need life insurance when they are in their 50s, this could not be further from the truth. Here are some reasons why life insurance is still important in your 50s.

Firstly, life insurance provides financial protection for your family in the event of your sudden death. If you die unexpectedly, your loved ones may be left with large debts or final expenses that they cannot afford to pay on their own. Life insurance can provide a lump sum of money to your beneficiaries to help them cover these costs, allowing them to focus on grieving and moving forward without financial stress.

Secondly, life insurance can serve as a source of savings and investment. Depending on the type of life insurance you have, the death benefit can be used to save for retirement or to provide a tax-free source of income for your beneficiaries. This can be particularly important for those who are self-employed or who have limited retirement savings.

Finally, life insurance can provide peace of mind. Knowing that your family will be taken care of financially if something were to happen to you can bring a great deal of comfort and security. Additionally, by having life insurance in place, you can ensure that your loved ones are not burdened with difficult financial decisions during a time of emotional distress.

In conclusion, life insurance is still an important aspect of financial planning in your 50s. It can provide financial protection for your family, serve as a source of savings and investment, and bring peace of mind. It is never too late to
purchase life insurance and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death.

Can you tell it was written by a robot? What will you use AI for in your life? Work, home, fun? Give it a try and let us know your thoughts about the future of AI!

The EJC Team is standing by, ready to help!

By Phone:

By Email: Info@EJCteam.com
Online and Social:

Facebook: EJCinsuranceandfinancial
Instagram: EJCteam.com

2022 - A Year In Review For EJC
February 27, 2023

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