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A Woman of Courage, Sue Haffley

Raising the Bar at 75+

Sue Haffley, A Woman of Courage

What courage does it take to get a divorce at the age of 70, knowing that you will not have enough money to provide for yourself? Sue Haffley, now 80 years of age, after 29 years of marriage, recognized that she had a right to be happy, no matter her age. This acceptance of a life that might be less filled with the finer things, or as she says,” the life to which I had become accustomed”, did not discourage her. She moved out of her home with very little, but she had the confidence to move forward.

Where did Sue get this confidence? She answers, “It was through therapy that I learned to ask myself what I really wanted and to go for it. I've also had friendships (mostly women) throughout life that have helped build my esteem and who encouraged risk-taking.

Having worked in the medical insurance field for Kaiser Permanente, she recognized that her background was pointing her to become an independent insurance agent., specializing in Medicare. For the last eleven years, Sue has supported herself in the lifestyle she wishes. She states that she will continue to do this work as long as she can.

For me, there is great satisfaction in helping people. I bring a product into their lives which will make their lives healthier and safer and that they can afford. Plus, I help them understand how this product works and how it will work for them considering their particular life situation. Most of these people are so grateful for my help; it is truly satisfying.

Sue started out as a secretary at Kaiser Permanente. She recognized that she would always be seen as a secretary and not considered for her dream job.

There was a department at Kaiser called Enrollment & Group Relations and the staff in that department acted as liaisons between Kaiser and the organizations that offered Kaiser’s services to their employees. I saw the job as primarily a function of communication between the two entities. The job included a company car and an expense account. That was the job I wanted, no question.

So she left and started working her way up in selling healthcare plans at other smaller companies. Four years later, Kaiser asked her to return as a senior health plan representative, her dream job.

I asked Sue what is so important to her that keeps her going at this work. “Each sale brings a ‘rush’ - a feeling of excitement combined with satisfaction—not to mention a monetary reward.”

Sue Haffley is very proud of starting a new career albeit with roots in her previous career. “I am now 80 years old and still going strong. Yes, I am very proud of myself.

Sue is a model for all of us who are past the age of 75 to live our lives with courage, positive thinking, and the importance of being true to who we want to be. Divorce is a major transformation in a person’s life, and it is those who believe in their own worth who will see their life fulfilled.

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