“I want to let you know that meeting was very helpful and enlightening to me. You helped me settle in my mind what I have been contemplating for a long time; as a result, I had a heart to heart talk with my daughter, and together we decided to help one another by me moving in with her, paying rent to her rather than someone else, in turn being close to family while helping with her mortgage payments. We are confident that it will not be too hard for me to get a job in the area. I will be meeting with a realtor on Sunday to discuss the work toward selling my house. I will keep you in the loop.”
Last Friday I met with a very nice grandmother (we’ll call her Margaret) who found her way to us by way of another client. The genesis of the meeting was some ‘interesting’ advice she’d received from her tax preparer. On the initial phone call, it was obvious there were other thoughts weighing heavily so she asked for a meeting. We always oblige meeting requests and simply ask that folks come prepared by completing a basic financial checklist and gathering important documents ahead of time.
Margaret was 15 minutes early (always a good sign) and had her financial documents in a folder and a pad of paper with handwritten notes. After some brief pleasantries we dug into her papers and started asking questions. It was quickly apparent that Margaret was a hard worker but didn’t have enough to retire just yet.
Then we got into the meat of the issues that were weighing on her heart. First, she spends two to three hours a day commuting to a job she likes but doesn’t love. Second, she would really like to live closer to her daughter and grandchildren (about a 70-mile move). Finally, she feels she gives too much money to her church and that the church uses questionable methods to entice her to give more. (For the record, I spent 3 years as Stewardship Chair at our former church and am in favor of giving. However, giving beyond your means is not recommended.)
At the end of the day, Margaret was looking for permission to follow her heart. We quickly outlined her financial situation on the whiteboard and drew up a four-step plan to meet her goals. I simply gave her permission to quit her job, sell her house, move closer to her daughter, and begin a new phase in her life. She had all the information in front of her but didn’t quite know how to organize it. It just took a little help, some frank talk, and the picture became clear (I’d like to think my multi-colored drawings helped).
It’s Monday night and I’m sitting on my back porch writing this after receiving the email quoted above (from Margaret). I’m proud of her follow through and I’m glad we helped her see through the daily noise and embark on the path she knew she should take. Sometimes it just takes talking to the right person to steer you in the proper direction.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Case studies may not be representative of the results of all clients and are not indicative of further performance or success.