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Author Experiences Firsthand the Difference Insurance Can Make

Grace Vandecruze’s book is designed to help others reach financial security, including having adequate protection.
  • Meg Green
  • May 2021
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Homeless to Millionaire—Six Keys to Uplift Your Financial Abundance

Grace Vandecruze spent 20 years on Wall Street and has advised on over $25 billion of transactions. But it was her grandmother's words and an experience when she was 21 that prompted Vandecruze to write a book to help others achieve financial wellness. Insurance is a critical component of this process, she said. Following is an edited transcript of an interview with AM Best TV.

Grace Vandecruze

Grace Vandecruze

What motivated you to write your book?

My grandmother. She imparted many wise words to me, but her most treasured were, “Believe beyond your limits.” I think of those words every day as I live, work and service clients in the insurance industry and financial services industry.

I wanted to write a book that would be a step-by-step approach that my grandma and mother can read and understand and help in uplifting financial wellness and impairment.

You had many challenges growing up. Could you tell us about that?

When I was 21, I went home to Brooklyn one summer afternoon to find that the brownstone our family shared was up in flames. The only option we had as a family of nine, in order to stay together, was to go to a homeless shelter. That's where my grandmother's words became so real to me. Your current circumstances have nothing to do with the potential of your human accomplishments.

I'm an advocate for financial services … because I believe in families staying together, healthy and safe. I believe in families enhancing their financial security.

What do you hope people will take away from the book?

I'm a mountain climber, having climbed over 25 mountain peaks on three different continents. Just as with climbing a mountain, it's a step-by-step approach. I included tools, techniques, apps, websites and other resources people can use to start taking control, bit by bit, step by step, of their finances. … It's my goal that this book inspire people to look at their assets, look at where they're underinsured.

Could I ask if your family had insurance on the brownstone that caught fire?

My family did not have insurance on the brownstone. It's one reason why my story's so powerful, because insurance would have made a difference. Had my family been insured, that homeless shelter would have been a brand new furnished apartment.


Meg Green is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at meg.green@ambest.com.


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