Denise - Early 50’s divorced mother of two college-aged children wanting a simplified, clear plan for retirement.
(These hypothetical examples and other information presented regarding the likelihood of various conclusions, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual clients or outcomes and are not guarantees of future results.)
Denise lives outside of Rockingham Co., but visits the Shenandoah Valley often to visit family, and was referred to the team at Larson Wealth Management by her wise uncle Ben. Ben and his wife Clara were one of Dave’s first clients nearly two decades ago. Denise has never seriously worked with a financial advisor before, for two reasons. First, she had a bad experience in the past with an advisor who just wanted to sell her products. She hated that encounter and did not want to go through that again. Second, she was unsure that she had enough to invest to work with a fiduciary who would put her needs ahead of their own.
Denise is divorced, in her early 50s and her two children are now out of the house. Even though they are no longer living at home, they are still on the payroll, and she is navigating how best to help them with their college expenses. One is a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill, and the other is in her third year at the University of South Carolina.
Household expenses for Denise have changed a lot in the last few years, and she expects them to change even more as the kids go through school and out on their own. When the kids were little, retirement seemed so far off, but now it appears much closer. She wants to make sure that she’s doing everything possible to have a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Denise wonders:
- Am I saving enough?
- How much risk should I be taking?
- I really have no idea what fees I am paying now, and I’ve heard that investment fees can be hidden.
- How should I help my kids manage their student loans?
A Google search might be able to help her answer some of these questions, but Google does not know her personally, and it also does not understand how everything fits together. Knowing the right questions to ask was also an area of insecurity. She needed to find someone she could trust to help her prioritize, organize, and execute her plan.
During the initial meeting, Denise asked thoughtful questions to the team at LWM. The team gave her several good ideas and answered 100% of her questions clearly and concisely. After assessing the complexity of her planning, Denise was quoted a flat fee of $2,000 to create a custom, written financial plan.
Over the course of the next several weeks, meetings were scheduled to gather additional information, analyze the information, and revise the plan. After each meeting, she was given “homework” assignments and then reported back to the LWM team between meetings.
A few months later, Denise was presented with a concise six page document that outlines every major financial decision she should make now and in the next few years. It also included realistic strategies to help her move closer to her goals. The plan also included concrete recommendations and a checklist of next steps, so she knew exactly what needed to be done next.
During the process, Denise realized her accounts were much more conservative than they should be for her age. She gained clarity about her student loan options and chose the best one for her family. Lastly, she discovered that she could actually save much more than she previously thought.
She also discovered that the $2,000 fee she paid for the plan was easily saved through recommendations and strategies that were uncovered during the planning process. She also enjoyed working with the team and desired engaging in an ongoing professional relationship.
Now that she has her plan, her life is much simpler, but she still needs to meet with her advisors at least annually, knowing unexpected life events still come up from time-to-time. Denise needed to have a team in her corner to answer all of her questions, and now she has that - along with great peace of mind.
When her all-in fees were fully explained to her, she realized that her total fees with the new accounts were very comparable to her previous fees with her old company. She transitioned all her accounts over to take advantage of the comprehensive planning that came with the lower fee for service.
For the fee Denise is paying the team at LWM, she receives an annual “deep-dive” review meeting. During this meeting, her written financial plan is discussed and amended with her advisors. She can also track all of her accounts and financial life on her own personal financial website, and can call the team at LWM anytime questions arise. She has the clarity and confidence she has been looking for, and knows that her plan is in place.
Now she can rest assured knowing that her retirement funds are managed properly by the team of Larson Wealth Management. She breathes more deeply when these competent professionals meet with her at least annually to review and update the written financial plan completed at the start of the relationship.