Jane was referred to us when her husband of 35 years passed away suddenly. Jane was an elementary school teacher nearing retirement, had two children in college and one recently graduated. Her oldest daughter was engaged to be married in six months’ time.
Jane’s husband had been the manager of an electrical contracting business. He was the primary decisionmaker when it came to handling household finances. When Jane came to us, she didn’t know where to start, how much money they had, or where it was. Her and her husband had committed to pay for her daughter’s wedding and she had more tuition bills coming due soon for their two youngest. On top of that, she had a mortgage on her home and cabin. The amount available in their joint checking/savings accounts would have been depleted in about three months.
Jane’s number one priority was to make sure her kids weren’t financially impacted with their father passing. We needed to track things down to first figure out how to manage cash flow in the near-term. By reviewing past tax returns, bank statements, and by contacting her husband’s past employer we were able to track down multiple retirement plans and insurance policies. These helped solve the immediate cash flow needs.
After Jane’s daughter was married, we re-grouped. Jane’s life had been completely derailed with the passing of her husband. Future goals up until then had always been based on what they wanted, but now she had to focus on what she wanted. After taking some time to figure out what Jane’s goals were, we were able to build an investment strategy with her to accomplish those goals while creating an income stream to continue supplementing her teaching income.
Fast forward three years. Jane is now living in a three-bedroom lake home near her daughter. The home is fully paid for with money received from selling both her home and the cabin. Now being retired, her grandson is dropped off three days per week to look after. Other days she spends kayaking, traveling with friends and family, and has recently enrolled in a gardening class. Jane now knows exactly where her money is, what it is for, and has the confidence that her needs will be met regardless of what life throws at her next.