Case Study #1
Professionals- Paying off Debt/Building for the Future
Profession: Associate Attorney
Profession: Physical Therapist
Children: Tyson (10), Cameron (8)
This is a representation of a typical client situation. This is not an actual client.
Pay off student and consumer debt, save more for the future, find balance between work and family.
Sean is an associate attorney that has spent the last 8 years working toward a partnership at his firm.
Like most professionals, he started his career under a high amount of student debt with the prospect that his high earning potential would allow him to pay off loans quickly.
Sean's wife, Lisa, is a physical therapist. With two professional incomes, they make good money. However, with a young family, they also spend everything that comes in. Without a financial plan, they have mismanaged their spending and found themselves with an extremely high credit card balance.
Lisa is secure in her job and has a great path for advancement. Sean, however, is finding that long hours at the firm might not be what he wants for the long term. They would like more financial freedom to choose a career that allows Sean to be present with his family.
Cash Flow Analysis, Debt Payoff Plan, Savings Action Plan
Discovery and Organization Process:
We had an in-depth conversation about what got Lisa and Sean to this stage. During this conversation, we learned:
Sean hasn't been involved in family finances and has left most decisions up to Lisa.
Lisa, has had a career, two children, and all of the money decisions to take on and feels overwhelmed.
They got into a habit during college of living on credit and have never paid attention to a budget.
They have always made minimum payments on their student loans.
Lisa has great benefits through her company.
Sean has great bonus opportunities and is working 80+ hours per week.
We performed a thorough cash flow analysis to determine income patterns, essential expenses, and lifestyle expenses.
We organized debt and analyzed the best payment approach to pay the debt down quickly.
We set goals for target cash savings and future expenses like college and retirement.
We analyzed bonus compensation and potential future benefits like profit and partner-distributions.
An action plan for moving forward
This process provided Lisa and Sean with the plan they needed to make educated decisions and get on track for their goals.
By analyzing cash flow Lisa and Sean were able to understand their minimum required income. They were also able to understand what expenses to pay first or automate to determine a monthly lifestyle budget.
Organizing debt created a clear picture of when they would become debt free. They also had a plan of how to balance their bonus money between debt and lifestyle.
Their plan explained how much to save for their goals and what benchmarks they should target for liquid cash and future goals.
With a clear picture of how much they spend and what their income requirements are for their goals, they felt confident in exploring career opportunities that would enhance the quality of their family life.
This whole process allowed Lisa and Sean to confront their individual and joint approach to money. They were able to understand how to work together and move forward with a better commitment to their family's financial success.