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Stories of Financial Optimization

Are We Going to Be Okay? Thumbnail

Are We Going to Be Okay?

Stacey and Ben*, a warm and ambitious couple, with three school-aged children, had made many smart financial decisions over the years, but they didn't feel like they were getting ahead. The feeling I got at from their body language at our first meeting was one of uncertainty, as if to ask, “Are we going to be okay?”

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Too Busy with the Business Thumbnail

Too Busy with the Business

When I first met Gerald*, a successful, middle aged business owner, I could tell that his life was consumed by his work, or "too busy with the business," as he used to say. Like many business owners, Gerald was so busy working in his business that he couldn't find the time to work ON his business.

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Following Through on a Commitment Thumbnail

Following Through on a Commitment

When we started working together, Frank and Kathy* were already enjoying their retirement. Frank was always far more engaged in our planning conversations than his wife, who was younger than him. Kathy would say she just wasn't interested, as she excused herself from most of our portfolio review meetings. Many times, when she wasn't with us, Frank said to me things like "It's very important that we set these investments up to be as simple as possible for Kathy when I'm gone.

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Drowning in Paper

When William arrived at my office, he was struggling to carry the box that he always brought with him to our meetings. The box was full of file folders being held together with elastic bands that were unable to keep the papers inside from overflowing.

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Permission to Retire

Around 10 years ago, I was meeting with my 67-year-old client - let’s call him Jim – for his annual financial review. I asked him about his retirement plans since he had been eligible to retire and receive a full pension with his employer for the past couple of years. He told me that he didn’t mind continuing to work, but I could tell there was something bothering him, so I asked him to tell me more. His voice started to crack as he explained that he had serious concerns about his wife, Heather’s failing health and that was keeping him up at night.

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