Empowerment

“Jane was not only concerned with the responsibility of running a business and managing her personal finances, but also mourning her husband.”

Jane came to us at a suggestion of her accountant. She had been married to Steve for over 40 years. When Steve passed away suddenly, Jane was at a loss of what to do. Steve owned a successful real estate business and Jane worked as a teacher before she retired to care for her young grandson. Steve had handled all their finances, including running their investment portfolio. He had talked about retiring, even identified a potential buyer for the business, but nothing had been solidified. Most of their day-to-day income came from the business and now with Steve gone, Jane was unsure what was going to happen.

We met with Jane at her home a few weeks after the funeral. Understanding that Jane was not only concerned with the responsibility of running a business and managing her personal finances, but also mourning her husband, we set out to make the post-funeral tasks less daunting by assisting her in gathering the financial documents and information needed for the preliminary meeting with her attorney. Together, we developed a checklist of steps that Jane needed to complete in the coming days and weeks to provide clarity to her financial future. During this process Jane discovered that Steve had named her the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and that these funds would enable Jane to meet her near-term income needs which provided substantial relief to her worries.

During the following months, Jane worked with us to consolidate her assets into one institution to enable her to handle the settlement process more effectively. We also reviewed Jane’s expenses and income sources. The initial goal was the development of a portfolio to invest her assets in a manner which would provide growth, with limited risk, to provide future income to Jane if the real estate business could not be sold. Understanding that Jane had very little investment experience, we made sure that Jane understood the impact of her actions and was an active participant in the investment process. Step-by-step we addressed all the various aspects of financial planning to provide Jane with knowledge and comfort.

Within months of Steve’s passing, one of his key employees expressed interest in purchasing the business. Feeling confident that her financial future was secure, Jane was now able to entertain an arrangement where the key employee purchased the business via an installment sale. This income has provided additional security to Jane, and she is now working with FIA on ways to extend her wealth to the next generation and beyond.