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How We Helped

The Contractor: A Tale of Resilience and Financial Transformation

Many years ago, following a recession, a local CPA referred a contractor. This individual, a sole proprietor with one part-time employee, had struggled during the economic downturn. The CPA sought my assistance in crafting a comprehensive plan for his retirement and preparing for potential future downturns. Although a skilled contractor, he needed to gain experience in financial planning.

We embarked on creating a financial strategy, starting with setting up a small account to build his emergency fund. Concurrently, we established a Roth IRA and a retirement plan, gradually funding both each year. During prosperous times, he contributed to his emergency fund and retirement plan. When the significant financial downturn hit in 2007-2009, leaving him with no business, he reached out, expressing the challenge of a three-month work hiatus while still needing to cover bills.

Fortunately, his emergency fund had grown into a substantial safety net. We provided him with enough funds to meet all his financial obligations and maintain a cushion. As business improved, we resumed replenishing his emergency fund and continued contributions to his retirement plan. A decade later, when he faced a six-month work hiatus due to a back injury, his emergency fund had been rebuilt, allowing him to navigate the period without working comfortably.

This story underscores the importance of planning. Today, he is retired, occasionally engaging in side work and relishing his life, including regular trips to Cape Cod during the season. It exemplifies the transformative power of building a comprehensive financial plan with a planner as your guide.


Many years ago, a client and his wife faced financial constraints, especially after a previous business venture had not panned out. Despite starting a new job at the time, they found themselves with limited funds. Recognizing the importance of securing their financial future, they aspired to establish an investment account. However, many investment firms required a minimum deposit of $500, which they couldn't afford.

Fortunately, we connected them with a reputable company that allowed them to start an account with just $250, providing them with a monthly contribution of $25. Over the years, they adhered to this plan diligently. As their income grew, they increased his contributions annually. Additionally, with a new job, he gained access to a 401k. Even as he continued working into his 70s, he had amassed over $1,500,000.

This success story underscores the significance of having a well-thought-out plan and the discipline to adhere to it. Despite humble beginnings, a commitment to consistent contributions and strategic financial planning can pave the way for substantial long-term growth.

It starts with a plan, and it's never too early to start; even if you start small like our client, the $250 is about consistency.

The Doctor

A doctor friend faced a dilemma with a building he had purchased many years ago, having outgrown its capacity for his expanding practice. In the need to sell and construct a new, more expensive building, he encountered the challenge of a significant down payment requirement and potential tax liabilities upon selling his existing property. Introducing him to the concept of a 1031 real estate exchange, I guided him through the process, enabling him to sell the building, transfer all proceeds to the new one, and avoid taxes. This provided him with a substantial down payment, and he successfully operated his practice from the new facility for two decades. He still owns the building and leases it to a local hospital.

Client Referred

One of our clients referred a friend who was 61 years old and contemplating early retirement at 62 to start collecting Social Security. Despite being a conservative individual with a reasonably well-invested 401k, she also had a significant amount of money in a savings account, earning less than half a percent per year. After a thorough review of her financial situation, including her plan for part-time work, we advised against the early collection of Social Security, emphasizing that such a decision at a relatively young age could have long-term implications.

Upon assessing her budget and retirement needs, we suggested a plan that involved utilizing the lower-yielding assets in her savings account to cover expenses initially. This approach allowed her Social Security to grow at 8% annually, along with cost-of-living adjustments. As she approached full retirement age, the decision proved to be financially savvy, resulting in a lifetime income that increased significantly compared to the minimal growth of her savings account.

She made a strategic financial decision by opting for an 8% annual increase in income over the meager less-than-1% growth in her savings account. This highlights the importance of seeking external advice to evaluate one's situation and make informed decisions, ultimately contributing to a more comfortable and worry-free retirement.

Increase Rents

Several of our clients are owners of rental properties who have refrained from adjusting their rental rates for an extended period. Their hesitation stems from concerns about tenant retention and a desire to avoid the perception of being overly profit-driven landlords. However, as their operational expenses steadily mount—including taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, repairs, and future capital expenditures like roof or furnace replacements—we emphasize the detrimental effect of this stagnation on their financial progress.

We guide them through a strategic approach, illustrating how their current stance hinders their property ownership objectives. Encouragingly, we advise incremental rent increases annually. This allows tenants to anticipate and budget adjustments while enabling our clients to keep pace with inflationary pressures and rising costs. By implementing this proactive measure, our clients can maintain sustainable profitability while providing fair and reasonable accommodations for their tenants.

The Ph.D.

Years ago, we had an individual looking for financial coaching. He was an interesting and intelligent person. He had an undergraduate degree in rocket science and a PhD in Psychology. However, none of that transferred to managing money and his business. That was all his financial credentials, but he needed to be better off and was not on a good path. After a few months of coaching, Including getting him to raise his fees for his projects as he was undercharging. He also had to borrow money to pay his yearly taxes and didn't own a house. He was concerned that he would lose clients if he raised his prices.

The story had a great ending. He increased the prices of his services, but much to his surprise, no one left, and he was busier. Within two years, he qualified for a mortgage and bought a house, never having to borrow to pay his taxes again; since then, his home has paid off. He's still practicing and enjoying life and financial freedom.

People think they need a lot of money to have a financial planner. No, they get a lot of money when they get a financial planner or someone to point them in the right direction, keep them moving forward and understand both them, their needs, their wants, and their wishes, and help them formulate that into a plan no keep them going. Most people have heard this old saying, but it remains true: most people don't plan to fail; they fail to plan. This is a quote by John J. Beckley, the first librarian at the Library of Congress and friend of George Washington.