Saturday, November 3, 2012
We never know how our lives may be impacted. Right now I am awaiting the arrival of Sandy and wondering what havoc the storm will wreak. I also feel powerless with my daughter, 8 1/2 months pregnant, over 200 miles away wondering how she will fare with the storm's low pressure and a full moon!
Life sometimes throws us lemons; it's up to us to make lemonade.
Please read the personal stories of a few people whose lives I have been privileged to guide:
One wintry, snow filled night Louise R. and her husband, Stan were returning from a friend's home in the next town. The roads were icy and Stan could not control the car. Stan did not survive the accident and Louise was hospitalized for two months. No sooner was she home than the insurance agent arrived with the check for the life insurance policy on her late husband. Before he left, he had sold Louise an annuity using the insurance proceeds. Fortunately, Louise had a good friend who called me for assistance. I was able to review the annuity, determine it was not appropriate for Louise and had her money returned to her. Louise understood she was grieving the loss of her husband and was not able to make important decisions at this time. She hired me to assist her with all financial decisions for one year.
Margaret L. came to me devastated on learning that her doctor husband of 28 years had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had less than a year to live. Margaret was an artist and never bothered with money leaving all the decisions and bill-paying to Hal. Over the next six months Margaret met with me for one hour a week learning financial terms and taking money-tasks home to perform. She arrived for her appointment one day very excited about a visit to their estate attorney the previous day; she actually understood what the attorney had presented!
Cathy C. had a trust fund left to her by her grandparents. She gave me a call to learn if she should refinance her mortgage. After reviewing Cathy's substantial portfolio we were able to determine she had more than enough assets to pay off the loan and live mortgage-free. We also reviewed the charities to which she contributed 10% annually based on her family tradition. We found new organizations that spoke to those things about which Cathy felt strongly.
Larry T. had suffered an injury while working as a carpenter apprentice for which he received a reasonable settlement. We reviewed Larry's job prospects and financial goals. Larry opened a savings account and paid off his credit cards and medical bills. Once those items were satisfied Larry had enough money to put a downpayment on a small wood-working shop of his own.
Sally P. had been a nurse for almost 30 years. She was single and frugal. Toying with the idea of retiring in a few years, Sally wanted to start enjoying the fruits of her labors while she was still physically able. Her dream was to take one BIG trip a year until she retired. On reviewing Sally's savings, pension and social security we determined Sally would certainly have sufficient money to satisfy her wanderlust without jeopardizing her future.