Client Success Stories
Reading through these client success stories will help you better understand how we work with clients, what their real-life issues are, and the results they’ve achieved through working with us. You may recognize some of your own goals or challenges in one or more of these case studies.
Case Study #1: Financial Independence
When this socially and environmentally conscious independent professional came to us, she owned a portfolio of stocks she had inherited from her parents. She was upset that she owned stocks in pharmaceutical, oil and chemical companies that placed profits above people and the planet. Selling the stocks all at once would have generated significant capital gains tax for her. She wanted to reallocate her portfolio and at the same time avoid a large tax bill.
By guiding her through the Live Your Dream™ program she was able to clarify her vision and values. As a sales rep, she had a sales territory that spread from Arizona to Montana. She spent most of her time driving and lugging heavy samples with her. The business was taking its toll on her body and she wanted to stop.
With no retirement plan in place, we set up a SEP-IRA for her business. We were able to sell her stocks over a few years, reallocating her portfolio into bonds, mutual funds and ETFs that were in alignment with her values. We were also able to offset any capital gains tax on the sales by having her make annual contributions to her SEP.
Not only were we able to reallocate her portfolio to be in alignment with her values, but also as a result of setting up the SEP-IRA and diversifying her portfolio, we were also able to grow her assets to the place where she no longer needed to work. She was delighted that she was able to reallocate her portfolio so that it was in alignment with her values without being hit with a huge tax bill, as well as be in a position where she could stop working at any time.
Case Study #2: Living The Dream
This 59-year-old Systems Analyst and his RN wife came to us because they were concerned about retirement. Through the Live Your Dream™ program we found that they had a life vision of traveling the country and doing volunteer work. They were avid hikers and wanted to spend more time communing with nature. They were concerned that they did not have the income to live their life vision and were afraid they would have to continue working at jobs they were not passionate about.
We were able to reallocate their portfolio, taking into account their values and their income needs. We developed a strategy for maximizing their social security benefits. As a result they were able to leave their jobs within a few years of working with us. We continued to work together by telephone and Internet as they traveled the country in their RV, volunteering and spending time hiking in our national parks. They were thrilled that they could live the life of their dreams.
Case Study #3: Precious Family Experiences
When this 45-year-old university professor and his wife came to us, they were just getting ready to inherit a substantial investment portfolio from her aunt. The focus of his work was improving decision-making and management issues of land use, pollution and global change. Through the Live Your Dream™ program we discovered that they wanted to invest the inheritance in a way that had a positive social and environmental impact. They also had two sons who were approaching college age and part of their life vision was to travel together as a family experiencing other cultures.
We were able to reallocate their portfolio in a way that had a positive social and environmental impact. We were also able to insure that the portfolio generated enough income to allow the family to travel together on a regular basis. As a result of the work we did together, he was able to take a one-year sabbatical and they were able to travel the world together as a family. We advised them on how to make the travel tax deductible, which greatly reduced the cost of the trip. They were so grateful for the support we provided in helping them to realize their life vision.
Case Study #4: A Summer’s Dream
This executive and his wife came to us right after he had retired. The market had just crashed and they had pulled all of their money out and put it into cash. Through the Live Your Dream™ program we discovered that they had a dream of traveling the country in their RV for 3 months during the summer visiting friends and family.
We worked with them to determine how much money they would need to live their ideal life. We then did a risk analysis and designed an asset allocation and asset location strategy. We dollar cost averaged into low cost tax efficient funds over the next year. We also build a 15-year bond ladder with zero coupon treasuries in their Traditional and Roth IRAs. We determined the most tax-efficient way to pull money from their IRAs to meet their annual income needs. Our strategy ended up saving them approximately $9000 per year in taxes, which allowed them to not only purchase a new RV, but also live the life of their dreams traveling the country for 3 months each summer visiting with friends and family.
Case Study #5: A Dream Home
When we did Live Your Dream™ with this 60-year old college professor and his wife we found that they had a shared dream of retiring in 6 years, relocating to Arizona and building their dream home. When we ran the numbers we found that this was not possible given their current investment assets and living expenses.
We did not give up. Through his consulting business we were able to set up a defined benefit plan that allowed our client to put away an additional $84,000 per year tax deferred for the next six years. This not only allowed them to reach their retirement goals, it also saved them approximately $36,000 per year on their taxes ($216,000 over 6 years). As a result, they were able to start building their dream home while he was still working. In six years they were happily living in their dream home enjoying their new life in sunny Arizona.
Just as these clients have discovered, you too can live your dream now.