My Fitness

Versatility Key To Rugby And Life

May 10, 2018

By Jack Breen – President, Maui Rugby Organization

I started my rugby career in 1972 and have been involved in the game ever since. Playing for clubs in the Philadelphia area and at St. Joseph’s University, I fell in love with the sport. I was a two sport athlete in college, playing soccer and rugby. The soccer coach planned to give me a scholarship, but it was contingent on me stepping down as captain of the rugby team. While it was not the most prudent financial decision, I elected to continue playing rugby and never regretted my decision.

Thankfully, though, in the future I made better financial decisions. My father recommended that I purchase whole life Insurance and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The policies helped me during some challenging times in very different ways.

After college, I went on to law school and started my own law practice. After 10 years, my wife and I decided we wanted to move to Hawaii. Thankfully, I was able to start my law practice from scratch by using cash value from my whole life insurance.

Years later, after a family member got sick, we moved back to the Philadelphia area and I was once again able to use the cash value to get my business up and running. When I moved back to the mainland, my playing days were over but I was able to get involved in the youth rugby scene. It is such a great community, and in times of hardship, there is no better group of supporters than your friends in this community.

While in Philadelphia, I got the shocking news that I had cancer. The doctors told me I had 2-3 months to live. My daughter was in high school. Knowing that my family was protected if I did end up passing away was a huge relief to me and the main reason for me purchasing a policy. I fought like any rugby player would, however, and overcame the disease twice.

I was able to move back to Hawaii after recovering and decided that I wanted to retire early and get involved in rugby full time. However, I could not access my 401(k) until I was 59 ½ without incurring tax penalties. Thanks to my whole life insurance, I was able to supplement my retirement income with income from cash value and do something I was really passionate about.

In my retirement, I have spent my days developing the Maui Rugby Organization. Serving as the President, we have grown the club and youth rugby on Maui. A number of our players have gone on to represent the U.S. National team or play in the NFL.

What I am most proud of, however, is our work with the local youth through the Global Rugby Collaborative. We offer free programs to participants and serve a sector of our community that is composed of many economically underprivileged and at risk youth. Team sports are very expensive to participate in and with rugby we provide these young kids with an opportunity to play a great sport – a sport that teaches you values and characteristics that will benefit you later in life. This past year, for the first time, we were able to send both a youth boys and girls team to compete at the Las Vegas Invitational. I am proud of the work we are doing and look forward to continuing to grow the sport here in Maui.

I am passionate about rugby and have seen first-hand the benefits of permanent life insurance. I appreciate that Penn Mutual stepped up to the plate to support rugby and hope they are able to continue to spread their message about the importance of life insurance.

Accessing cash values may result in surrender fees and charges, and may require additional premium payments to maintain coverage. Loans and other policy withdrawals may be taxable under certain circumstances.


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