Results of Working Together
Learn how these Define Financial clients leveraged our expertise to get results.
Case Study 1:
A SECOND OPINION
A 45-year-old entrepreneur in San Diego, CA and his family — his wife and two children — approached us for help with their financial plan. Prior to meeting our team, his family worked with a financial advisor at a large brokerage firm for over 10 years.
Their investment portfolio wasn’t making much progress. They didn’t feel like their advisor communicated frequently enough with them. They felt out of the loop and disappointed in the service they received.
In an effort to ensure their family’s financial future was still in the best hands, they set out to obtain a second opinion.
It was important for us to gain a clear understanding of their situation prior to working on a solution. After learning more about the client, our team provided a comprehensive analysis to show:
- The allocation of their investments
- The fees they were paying and how their advisor was compensated
- The potential pitfalls they were exposed to
Our approach helped identify the challenges they faced financially. We also allowed them to see their situation and their options for moving forward clearly.
This client’s financial situation was complex and came with a lot of moving parts — but no comprehensive plan to guide them.
We developed and implemented a customized financial plan that helped organize their life and provide a road map to reaching their goals. We provided solutions for the pitfalls they were exposed to, re-allocated their investments, and helped lower their costs.
The Define team meets with this entrepreneur and his family on a regular basis and frequently communicates with them. We always review their plan, their progress, and where they are on the path to reaching their goals.
Case Study 2:
A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL
After working her way through the corporate world for 12 years, this client started to generate a healthy six figure income. For the first time in her life, she had money to invest in her future but didn’t have the time to develop a plan. She did not meet the account minimums of the large brokerage firms she spoke to so she set out to find a financial planning firm that would value her as a client.
The problem? She didn’t have the time to do it herself. Her busy professional life tied up time and energy, which meant she needed an expert she could trust and delegate to.
Even though she made good income and was on the right track to financial success, she didn’t meet the account minimums of the large brokerage firms she spoke to first. So she set out to find a financial planning firm that would value her as a client.
After spending some time listening to her goals and objectives, it was clear that she was committed to building a successful, long-term plan — which we worked together to create, including a plan to meet her desire to buy a home in the next 5 years. We then set her up on our secure client portal where she could aggregate all her financial accounts, which provided greater clarity and organization in her financial life. We also updated her investment portfolio so her asset allocation was appropriate for her specific needs and goals, and reduced her investment expenses to help improve future expected returns. Finally, she created an emergency fund after we helped identify a savings account with an interest rate 100 times greater than what she earned at her local bank.
We understood that she was ready to maximize the money she made and start growing her wealth for the long-term. Along with building a customized plan to help organize her financial life, our team:
- Provided guidance on the investments in her company 401(k)
- Reviewed and analyzed her employer benefits
- Identified additional tax-efficient saving and investment opportunities
Our client worked hard to rise through the professional ranks — and she worked to increase her salary along the way. She received a solution that would help her maximize the money she made. With our approach, she now gets to rest assured knowing that she has a plan in place to protect and grow those hard-earned dollars over time.
Case Study 3:
After dedicating 30 long years to his company, this client decided it was time to hang it up and start enjoying life. His retirement picture was complete with a pension, 401(k), and stock options. Needless to say, he was in need of a financial team to help make some sense out of everything and design a plan that would protect his lifelong savings.
His retirement picture was complete with a pension, 401(k), and stock options. He had the means to enjoy life after work. But he wasn’t sure how to actually access the funds and put them to the best use for the entire length of his retirement.
He was in need of a financial team to help make some sense out of everything and design a plan that would protect his life’s savings.
Our goal was to make the retirement process as simple as possible so he could enjoy his newfound free time. After learning more about his situation, we immediately identified some of the tax challenges he would soon be faced with. We partnered with his CPA and helped him:
- Gather all the information from his benefits department
- Understand the different options available to him and the tax ramifications
- Open the appropriate accounts and design a withdrawal plan
Our efforts took the burden off his shoulders and provided him with relief and confidence.
We designed and implemented a plan that helped mitigate his tax consequences, preserve his retirement savings, and create an income stream that he would not outlive.
Today, our client is living comfortably in his beach house, playing golf, traveling, and spending time with his family. He knows his financial plan — and his financial team — are there to ensure he can afford the retirement lifestyle he wants.
We meet with the client and his CPA regularly to keep up with the ever-changing tax laws and ensure his plan is updated accordingly.
Case Study 4:
A BUSINESS OWNER
When we met this client, he wanted to take on a big challenge that came with a lot of complexity. He was ready to sell his medical practice and retire.
Married with three adult children, this was the biggest financial event of his life since starting his business 35 years ago. He worked too hard to risk making any mistakes, and he wanted to ensure he was considering every aspect of this big move.
Our first word of advice: “breathe.” We see too many clients make emotional decisions without thinking everything through. After coming up for air, our team constructed several “what if” scenarios to help him understand what the sale of his business might actually look like. We wanted him to visualize how it could affect him and his financial needs and priorities. We also worked with his tax professional to outline different outcomes for the after-tax proceeds of the sale.
We helped mitigate tax consequences and allocated the after-tax proceeds to the appropriate vehicles after the sale of the business. The financial plan we then created protected his savings and created an income stream he won’t outlive.
When he’s not traveling the world with his family, we meet with the client regularly to update the plan and review our progress.
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