ABOUT SUSAN RUPE INSURANCE EDITING AND WRITING PRO
Susan Rupe is an insurance editing and writing professional. She is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She develops content for InsuranceNewsNet Magazine and writes about a number of insurance-related topics, including health insurance, employee benefits and annuities. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents’ association and was an award-winning newspaper editor and reporter.
We are pleased to share the childhood money memories of Susan Rupe!
REPORTING ON INSURANCE
Team Sammy: Share with us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Susan Rupe: I am managing editor of InsuranceNewsNet, which is a leading provider of news and information for the insurance and financial services industry.
Our magazine is read by 50,000 licensed life/health insurance advisors and financial/retirement planners every month. I am not a financial expert. But I know where to find financial experts and how to talk with them.
Prior to my work at InsuranceNewsNet, I spent 13 years as communications director with NAIFA-Pennsylvania, so I have been working with insurance professionals for 20 years.
Prior to that, I spent 15 years in the newspaper business.
My husband and I live in a small town in Central Pennsylvania. My husband is retired. We have a 33-year-old son who lives in Philadelphia.
I am an avid reader and I love music of all kinds. I have been playing the piano since I was 5. I also love going to live theater.
GROWING UP FAMILIES DID WHAT THEY HAD TO DO
Team Sammy: Tell us about what it was like growing up – your family and community?
Susan: I grew up in a coal-mining town in Western Pennsylvania. My parents were schoolteachers. We had a large extended family in our town, so I was surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My hometown was rather poor as were most coal-mining towns. There were many low-income families in our town. The good thing about living in a low-income community is that there is no such thing as keeping up with the Joneses. There were no status symbols. People did what they had to do to support their families and keep a roof over their heads.
A PINK ELEPHANT
Team Sammy: What was one of your first money memories?
Susan: I remember putting coins into a china bank shaped like a pink elephant (I still have it). When the bank was full, my dad would roll the coins and we would deposit them in the “big bank” downtown. My parents started a savings account for my sister and me when we were born. It was understood that if we received monetary gifts for birthdays, etc., the money would go into the savings account. My parents also bought my sister and me life insurance when we were born. When we were older, we took over the premiums. I used the cash value that built up in the policy to add to the down payment on the house we live in today.
FROM BABYSITTING TO PROFESSIONAL REPORTER
TEAM SAMMY: What was your first job (formal or informal)? How much did you earn and what you did with the money?
Susan: I babysat as a teen and made a few bucks here and there. But my first real job was as a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa. I started there right after high school and worked there during the summers until after I graduated from college. I was there five summers in all because they let me come back for the summer when I graduated from college. My first summer, I earned $2/hour and I worked a 40-hour week for 12 weeks. I earned enough money to pay for half of my tuition and expenses at Shippensburg State College. My parents paid the rest. It gave me a great feeling of accomplishment to make that kind of a contribution toward college.
SEEK OPPORTUNITIES TO EARN
Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and/or teach you about money / personal finance growing up? What do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Susan: My parents grew up during the Great Depression and that experience stuck with them all their lives. My parents talked about the importance of saving money. They also believed that there is a time to spend money and a time to save money, and that it’s important to know the difference. My parents didn’t make a lot of money teaching school, but we lived in a nice house, took a nice vacation every summer. My parents also taught us not to ask for things but instead to look for opportunities to earn the money to buy them.
Team Sammy: Who was your primary or one your main money mentors as a child or teen?
Susan: My parents.
EARLY MONEY AWARENESS
Team Sammy: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Susan: I’m sure I was very young, but I don’t remember exactly when.
GOOD AND BAD MONEY CHOICES
Team Sammy: What was one mistake and one smart money choice you made as a child or teen?
Susan: Mistake – I had a tough time keeping track of money. I didn’t track my spending and I also had a tendency to stash cash and coins all over the house and then forget about them.
Smart choice – I always was a smart shopper. I could sniff out a bargain at any store!
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Team Sammy: What if anything peaked your interest in personal finance?
Susan: Working at NAIFA-Pennsylvania, we became active with the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy. Insurance and financial professionals desperately want to educate the public about financial matters and I took my cue from them.
SAVING MONEY IS A GREAT HABIT
Team Sammy: One question I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Susan: Save money! Don’t spend it all!
WHEN THEY START BEGGING MOM AND DAD
Team Sammy: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Susan: I think parents should start teaching kids about money as soon as kids recognize what money is and as soon as they start begging Mom and Dad to buy them the latest thing.
FINANCIAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
Team Sammy: Should personal finance be taught in schools?
QUICK THOUGHT ON A FEW MONEY TOPICS FROM SUSAN RUPE, INSURANCE EDITING AND WRITING PRO
Team Sammy: Do you have any thoughts on the following topics:
Financial Pet Peeves: People who spend big bucks on designer goods. What a waste of money!
Favorite Money Quote: Money can’t buy you happiness but it gives you options.
Favorite Magazines, Websites, Resources: InsuranceNewsNet, of course! I also read the Bloomberg News website every day.
Team Sammy: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
LEARN MORE ABOUT SUSAN RUPE
Susan: If we could get every family in the US on a firm financial footing, it would solve so many other societal problems. Also, since I write about insurance, I want to say that my dad told me a long time ago that the most important thing you can do for your family is protect them financially. Life insurance is crucial.
To learn more about Insurance writing and editing professional Susan Rupe, visit her at InsuranceNewsNet.com
Sammy Rabbit loves championing and raising awareness on the importance of early age, youth and family financial literacy education.
One of his favorite methods to raise awareness is to share the stories of people and enterprises who want to make a difference in the lives of others, like financial services and insurance editing and writing professional Susan Rupe.
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