Getting Your Finances in Order

Case Study #2

Getting Organized and On Track

The Challenge

Our clients, ages 37 and 40, are married and have two children.  She is a nurse and he is a sales person for a global supplier of industrial products.  Over the years, every time either of them changed jobs, they would leave their 401(k) and 403(b) accounts with their previous employer.  As a result they now had six retirement accounts in six different places.  The rest of their finances were equally disorganized, which created stress in their lives.

They came to us wanting to get their financial house in order but didn’t know where to start.  They had goals of putting away money for their children’s college accounts, investing appropriately for retirement, paying down the mortgage and making sure their family was protected in the event one of them were to die or become disabled.

With their busy schedules, they didn’t have time to drive to an advisor’s office and preferred online communication.  They researched a few other Houston financial advisors and planners on the internet and decided to schedule a free phone consultation with Guided Wealth Management.

Our Strategy

To start, we scheduled a conference call at a time when they were both available to talk.  We listened to their goals and concerns, both short term and long term.  We gathered their basic information, sent them links to our secure eMx Wealth Management Portal, and provided instructions for consolidating their account information online.  A few days later, after they linked their accounts, we scheduled another call to review the information and develop a strategy.

During the follow up call, we used screen sharing to review their current financial picture including income, spending, investments, real estate, bank accounts, and debts.  We looked at their investment across all their accounts and evaluated their holdings.  Most were primarily in low-yielding cash investments.  We discussed the problem with taking too little, or too much risk and then discussed their actual risk tolerance and preferences.  We looked at an appropriate investment allocation, then stress tested various strategies to determine the potential outcomes under a wide range of scenarios.

Later, we helped the couple open IRA accounts into which we consolidated their old retirement accounts from previous employers.  We also opened taxable accounts that were earmarked for their specific goals of saving for a new home and building a safety net.  To fund these accounts, we set automatic monthly deposits that would help them reach their goals without having to think about it.

Beyond the accounts being managed directly by Guided, we also helped them reallocate their retirement plans held with their current employers.  We also provided instructions for paying down the mortgage and opening 529 accounts for their children’s future college expenses.  Since we had identified that they needed additional insurance, we referred them to a trusted insurance agent to get quotes on long-term disability and 15-year term life policies to supplement the coverage they had through their employers.

Between our regularly scheduled virtual meetings, we heard from the couple when they needed us to coordinate with their CPA and when they had to update their elections within their respective benefit packages.  They appreciated the ability to reach us easily for help with general financial questions.

The End Result

Our clients now feel peace of mind that their financial lives are organized on track.   When they have questions, they know they can get help without having to drive to our office and they are comfortable knowing they are prepared for anything the future may hold.  With an automated savings plan and regular virtual meetings, we’re always addressing what’s next and adjusting the financial road map as necessary.




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Before:

  • Feeling disorganized
  • Feeling unprepared and unprotected should something bad happen

After:

  • Peace of mind that their financial lives are now organized
  • Confidence that they are on their way to achieving their financial goals