Case Clients: Andrew & Elizabeth
Age: 35 and 33
Occupation: Engineer and Pharmacist
Primary goal: Get a financial plan in place, prepare to have kids, look at moving to one income
Andrew and Elizabeth have had successful careers that they've truly loved. They're both 10+ years into their careers and have saved very well, but are unsure what they want to do in the future.
They've been married for a while now and have spent most this time working, but now want to focus on building a family.
Their challenge is that they want to make sure they start using their money efficiently to plan for their future. The last 10 years have been fun but they haven’t spent much time making sure they optimize their finances, rather just saving what's leftover.
Plus, with a growing family comes new challenges. They want to see if one of them could work part time or even take a few years off to take care of their kids when they are young. They know they could easily live off one income as they both have high income jobs, but they want to know if they could provide for their kids, their kids’ college, and still retire when they want to while traveling and not giving up everything they enjoy in life.
They've done a great job of utilizing their company retirement programs plus they own a nice home, but other than that, the rest of their money is sitting in their savings account as they have been unsure of where and what to invest in.
Andrew and Elizabeth only know what they know. As they approach this new stage of life, they want an expert to help them make the right decisions for their family so they don’t have to worry about it. They are going to be busy enough building a family and managing their jobs.
Andrew and Elizabeth weren't sure where to start, so they wanted to hire a financial planner who has done this many times before for people just like them.
They wanted to be involved in the process and empowered to choose what is best for their family, and they wanted peace of mind knowing that the decisions were being made with professional guidance, knowing that they aren't going at it alone.
Andrew and Elizabeth were excited to get started with a financial planner who did more than just help with investments.
They received a comprehensive plan that incorporated:
• A low cost tax-efficient investment strategy for retirement
• Cash flow planning to help figure out how to use their surplus for college, retirement, and everything in between
• Life insurance analysis to make sure their family was protected against events that could drastically hurt their financial picture
• College savings plan utilizing the best accounts for flexibility and taxes
• Automation for their investments and savings so they don’t have to spend time manually doing this every month
• A plan to show what life would look life if one salary was at 50% and 0% so they could determine what the best strategy would be for them moving forward
Now Andrew and Elizabeth have a clear picture of where they are and where they're going. They're on track for all of their goals and feel empowered in their decisions.
The best part about it all is that they finally have peace of mind around their finances and feel ready to have a family knowing that one of them can stay at home with the kids and raise them themselves.
Case Client: Nick
Occupation: Freelancer & creator
Primary goal: Plan for business and personal taxes, open retirement accounts, insurance review
Nick's been building his freelance writing and creator business as a side hustle for the past few years while working a 9-5 and he's ready to take the leap and go all in on his passions. He knows taxes and available retirement accounts will be different as he transitions into self-employment and wants help getting everything straight. He will also be losing company-provided insurance so he would like to review insurance coverages and costs.
First, a big congratulations for taking the leap into self-employment 🎉
Then, we walk through how taxes change for self-employed individuals and how to plan ahead. We go over retirement accounts options, weigh the pros and cons, and help open and fund the correct accounts.
Since we're fee-only, we do not produce insurance policies or receive commissions from them, but we review their situation and refer to our trusted insurance partner to implement the recommendations.
Nick was able to successfully and painlessly make the transition into self-employment, has an automated system to save a portion of income each month for taxes as well as retirement savings, and he now has the necessary insurance coverage so he can focus his energy towards growing his business.
Case Client: Olivia
Occupation: Sales Director
Primary goal: Buy a downtown condo, pay off student loans, get a plan in place to manage her cash flow, regulate her irregular income from commission
Olivia has been killing it in sales for the last 6 years, a job she never thought she would love. She expected this to be her job out of college for a year or two, but with all her success she has stuck with it and doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.
Olivia understands she hasn’t handled her money as well as she wanted to. She bought a new car pretty early and loves online shopping (something we can all relate to).
She also is paid entirely through commission and finds it hard for her to save because she never knows what she'll make next month.
Olivia knows she needs an advisor to help hold her accountable, but also to help her understand her finances better. She really hasn’t had anyone in her life take the time to teach her what to do with her money.
She feels so much anxiety around her decisions of how she spends her money. She knows she needs an advisor who will help automate her savings, regulate her income, pay off her remaining student loans, save for a downpayment, and invest for the future.
The plan Olivia got was exactly what she was looking for:
• It helped her figure out a method to put her income into an account that she used to pay herself a regular salary every month
• We created a reverse budget for her that automated her savings and investments first, then let her spend what is left. This helps ensure she doesn’t overspend .
• Came up with a plan to refinance her private student loans since they were high interest and showed her how much to pay towards them every month
• Helped her understand how much and what she should be investing in with her retirement accounts inside and outside of work
• How and how much to save for the condo on a monthly basis and when she would be at the point to afford what she wants
It also showed Olivia what her net worth was and how on track she was for her retirement goals .
Olivia has always felt anxious about money and guilt for how she has spent it. But now… after seeing her plan she finally feels good about where she is at. She realized she was actually doing a lot of things right, she just needed some help to do the things she never learned about.
Now within the next 3 years she will have her student loans paid off and the ability to put a down payment on a condo.
Case Client: Chris
Occupation: UI Designer
Primary goal: Plan for equity compensation, buy a home in 5 years, reach financial independence by age 50
Chris has been in tech since his first year in college where he landed an internship at a newly-launched firm. He loved how much of an impact he could have right away, and he also saw the potential to build wealth quickly through the equity he would receive by being early.
For the last 15 years, his salary has allowed him to travel, have a nice car and apartment, and live a relatively worry-free daily life. He's now maxing out his retirement plan at work and always made sure to get the match. This has set him up very well. The problem is he doesn’t have much money available to buy a home he has always dreamed of. Plus, with all of his money in retirement accounts, retiring at 50 could be a challenge.
He knows that he's receiving much of his compensation through equity in his new employer, but he doesn't know much about it or how it can be used to accomplish his financial goals. He wants to put a plan in place that best utilizes all of these accounts to accomplish his goals while minimizing the taxes he will have to pay.
Chris has been doing everything he was told by his friends, he has maximized his retirement accounts, built an emergency fund, and held onto his equity from his company, but he is not sure if that is going to ensure he accomplishes all his goals or how all of those things work together.
He really wants to have a house so he can have a yard for his dog and so he can stop moving every couple of years.
He also wants the freedom to not have to work as hard by 50 and chase a passion of his, coaching basketball.
The plan Chris received helped him in various ways:
• It came up with a strategy to sell some of his equity over a few years to minimize taxes but get him enough cash to put 20% down for a home
• It has a cash flow strategy that gave purpose to every dollar so he could travel and do the things he loves without feeling guilt
• It showed him the risks and tradeoffs he would have to make so he could choose to not work by 50. After reviewing this he pushed the goal to be 53.
• It helped him understand what accounts to start using to create the flexibility he wanted so not every dollar was in accounts that could only be used after age 59.5
Chris now understands how all his finances work together in a way he never did. He is glad he followed the advice of his peers, but it feels good to have a plan that is unique to his situation and goals. He understand his life might completely change, he might take a new job, decide to not buy a house, maybe even start a business in the future, but the plan he has is adaptable and will allow him to pursue the things that matter most to him, and that makes him feel way better about his life than he ever has.
He has always felt like he couldn’t deviate from his plans, but now he can if he wants to.