Time to Take Control

Chanika & Edward Turner
Mesquite, TX
Former Occupation: School Counselor

In the summer of 2012, Chanika & Edward Turner of Mesquite, TX, were both working toward escaping from careers that they felt didn’t care about them or their futures. “Edward was the first to make a move,” remembers Chanika. “He’d left his job working as a lead mechanic for a bus company and opened a mobile mechanic business with a partner. Edward had always wanted to own his own business and that was his plan.”


For Chanika’s part, she’d been an educator and school counselor for 14 years and felt like it was time for something different. “The school district was dealing with budget cuts,” she remembers. “I knew good teachers who were getting laid off. These were people who had sacrificed for the profession and put in their best efforts every day. But that didn’t matter. They were losing their jobs. I had just finished my Licensed Professional Counselor courses with the goal of opening my own counseling business. That was going to be my escape route.”


One day, out of the blue, Chanika got a call from Primerica Representative Tarea Doty. “She just told me that a friend of mine had referred me to her and asked if I would be interested in getting together to talk about our personal finances. I guess it was just like the old saying ‘right place, right time,’ because I said ‘sure.’ There would easily have been times when I wouldn’t have agreed to that because Edward and I both thought we knew what we were doing when it came to our money.”1,2,3,4

A Turning Point
A few days later, Tarea came by the Turners’ home and discussed with them what Primerica does for families. “We were really impressed by the concepts,” says Chanika. “We’d never heard of the ‘Rule of 72’ – and I don’t think very many people have unless they’ve run across a Primerica Representative. We also didn’t have any personal life insurance or investments. Everything we had was through the school district. We had it all, but we didn’t know how any of it worked.”


That night Tarea gathered information from the Turners so she could do a Financial Needs Analysis (FNA). The FNA is a customized, complimentary service that provides a “snapshot” of someone’s financial situation. It analyzes how much debt, retirement savings, income protection, and education funding a family has, as well as their financial goals. Tarea re-visited the Turners a few days later with their FNA results. They bought life insurance, opened investment accounts, and purchased a legal protection plan. “It was at this second appointment when I told Tarea that Edward and I knew a lot of people who were just like us, and I thought we could help them,” Chanika recalls. “I loved her approach, her presentation, and how she made everything so clear. I told her that I wanted to learn how to do this. I was looking for something new and this seemed like a good fit.”


Tarea gave Chanika a brochure that featured women who are building Primerica businesses and said, “Why don’t you read this and call me tomorrow?” Chanika read the brochure as soon as the meeting with Tarea ended. “I called her that night and said ‘I want to do this business. Can we meet tomorrow?’”

Making the Move
The Turners started building their Primerica business immediately, at first on a part-time basis. Chanika was teaching summer school at the time and Edward was busy with his mobile mechanic business, but both studied whenever they had a few minutes of downtime and quickly earned their life insurance licenses.5


“I was pretty excited by this time,” remembers Edward. “I’m a numbers guy and I saw that Primerica is a numbers business. If you put in the effort and work those numbers, over time you are going to get the results based on what you’ve put in. I could see that with Chanika’s background in education, her natural people skills, and my attention to detail, we could make this work. We wouldn’t have to maintain expensive equipment, tools, and inventory as we did with the mechanic business. I also knew that I’d be working indoors with air conditioning and not outside dealing with cars and trucks. Dallas gets hot!”


A big part of Edward and Chanika’s early success was their division of labor. Edward did everything he could to take life’s daily activities off Chanika’s shoulders so she could concentrate on getting the business off to a fast start. “The housework, the shopping, the cooking and whatever else, I took that on so that Chanika could concentrate completely on learning the business and growing the team,” he recalls. “That’s what helped us out in the early days. Even though we started part-time, we never saw this as part-time. Primerica was always going to be our business and where we were going to make our mark.”


By August 2013, Chanika was ready to send her resignation letter to the school district. “We knew by that time that Primerica was where we wanted to be and that this was going to work,” she says. “We followed the game plan that Tarea had set out for us. We plugged in to the training and education that Primerica offers and that was invaluable to us. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in this business because so many people have done it before.”

Serving the Community Together as a Family
The Turners have always been active in their community, church, and other groups. They reached out to those connections because, at its core, Primerica is a business built on relationships and education. “It’s really rewarding and an honor to serve our community,” Chanika shares proudly. “The African American community has traditionally been very underserved by the financial services industry. People may have life insurance, but it is often the wrong kind for them. Concepts like Buy Term and Invest the Difference or The Power of Compound Interest are often new to people. Money issues can be at the root of all kinds of problems. They can spill over into the rest of life. Edward and I know we’re helping people better their lives, their families’ lives, and the well-being of their communities. We listen, communicate, and make it fun.”


Chanika and Edward are particularly proud that their daughter, Crineshia and her husband, Tracie, have joined them in the business. Chanika smiles, “Crineshia and Tracie are growing their own team, and that is a source of immense pride for us. All of us get such a reward from helping people change their financial trajectories – team members and clients alike.”

  1. Life-licensed Primerica representatives are agents of the Primerica insurance companies: In the U.S. (except in New York), term life insurance products are underwritten by Primerica Life Insurance Company, Executive Offices: Duluth, Georgia. In New York, term life insurance products are underwritten by National Benefit Life Insurance Company, Home Office: Long Island City, New York.
  2. In the U.S., securities and advisory services are offered by PFS Investments Inc., 1 Primerica Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30099-0001, member FINRA [www.finra.org]. Primerica and PFS Investments Inc. are affiliated companies. PFS Investments Inc. conducts its advisory business under the name Primerica Advisors.
  3. The Rule of 72 concept works from a mathematical standpoint and is not intended to represent an investment. It uses constant rates of return, unlike actual investments which will fluctuate in value. It also does not include fees or taxes, which would lower performance. It is unlikely that an investment would grow 10% or more on a consistent basis.
  4. Primerica Representatives are independent contractors and are not employees of Primerica. Representatives earn income through the sale of products and are not paid to recruit.
  5. Representatives must obtain all appropriate licenses and appointments prior to making a sale or receiving a commission.