Case Study #1: Growing Our Family

Family case study

Jim: Aerospace Engineer, 41 years old
Janet: Teacher, 38 years old

Jim and Janet are a successful mid-career couple in the wealth building stage of their lives.  Both are invested in their careers and have big dreams for their family, but little time to organize their financial lives. To make their vision a reality, they needed a solid financial plan.

The Challenge:

With the kids excelling in school and activities, Janet’s teaching career, and Jim continuing to advance as an Aerospace Engineer, they had a lot of things going for them. What they weren’t sure of was was their financial life. Between family life and managing their careers, Jim and Janet have accumulated some assets for retirement without much planning to date. They have a few accounts at a discount brokerage firm, a pair of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), a 401(k) through Jim’s work, and Janet’s 403(b)-retirement account. They aren’t really monitoring these investments and don’t have a sense of how they are performing or what they are paying in fees. They need a Financial Planner to help develop a cohesive approach to manage their somewhat “messy” financial life. Jim and Janet wanted to know about:


  • Optimizing their budget
  • Saving and paying for college
  • How much life insurance they needed, if any
  • What they needed to do for their estate planning
  • How to balance their investments between multiple retirement accounts (401(k), 403(b), IRA, taxable)
  • Any blind spots in their financial lives that they simply weren’t aware of


The Solution:
To get a handle on their finances we showed them how best to account for their spending and available resources and the best ways to set aside money for their children’s future. They also gained a clear picture of the potential opportunities and pitfalls of their different retirement accounts. They decided they wanted a more hands-on approach to their investments and asked us to help them manage their IRAs and brokerage account using our professionally managed portfolios. Finally, Jim and Janet learned which insurance coverages made the most sense for their family. Now Jim and Janet have a clear picture of their finances and a path to achieving their version of retirement!