Clients Stories

– Scott & Kathy
Inherited Wealth

Scott and Kathy had worked their entire career in the field of education. Each of them had advanced degrees in their particular fields and had taught at both the primary and secondary grade levels. They had raised a family and their children were out on their own with families and careers of their own. Scott and Kathy had lived a modest life style with few luxuries, but were able to travel during the summer months and enjoyed numerous volunteer activities that combined their passions of service to others and their own personal interests.

As they approached their pre-retirement years, they began to investigate their retirement options and discovered that by the time they were in their mid-sixties they could look forward to a retirement lifestyle that was similar to their current status. We at Northwest Wealth Advisors assisted them with cash flow projections, asset diversification strategies and guidance with their existing employer provided retirement plans.

About this time Scott’s father passed away naming Scott and his sister as beneficiaries of his estate. At the onset of the probate process it was not known the extent of the estate because his father had lived a very frugal life and had kept his personal affairs relatively private. As the process unfolded, Scott learned from his father’s attorney that the actual estate while not huge represented a significant mix of real estate, conservative investments and company stock that had been held for many years.

This information prompted a review of the clients’ plans and a change in not only their timetable but also their lifestyle. For starters their retirement date was pushed up by several years and a comprehensive discussion of their estate plan was initiated. Existing wills were supplanted with trusts, a relationship with a CPA was established to assist them in the preparation of their tax returns, which quickly became more complex and their investment portfolio was re-evaluated in light of the influx of the new asset classes.

As Scott and Kathy reviewed their risk profiles with us, they felt that his father’s overriding concern about safety had caused him to place his investments in under-performing assets. Apparently Scott’s father had drastically compromised his lifestyle in order to provide a huge safety net for his medical care.

Together with Scott and Kathy we revisited their investment mix and talked extensively about what they wanted their retirement years to look like. They definitely wanted to leave a legacy much like Scott’s father had done, but found that there were many ways to accomplish that without compromising their lifestyle and investment returns. Their wealth plan was adjusted to reflect those views and at present time, Scott and Kathy are enjoying a very fulfilling retirement while knowing their plan is working out as they had hoped.

– Bob & Jan
Retirement Transition

Bob had worked for the same hospital organization for nearly 40 years. His tenure and position with the firm had put him into a situation where he felt maybe he could actually retire in the next few months and be able to live off his pension and retirement savings.

During their lifetime Bob had been the sole income earner for their household and his wife Jan had learned to manage the family budget very well. They were both looking forward to the opportunity to travel and visit family. Bob also figured he would have plenty of time to pursue his passion for golf.

The Olson’s came to Northwest Wealth Advisors through their son who worked with one of our clients. As is the case with many retirement plans, the options presented to this potential retiree were complicated and involved a great deal of discussion. Once made these retirement decisions are often irrevocable.

After a lengthy discussion of retirement plans and a gathering of data from their pension provider a plan was presented to Bob and Jan. The plan included an Investment Policy Statement outlining objectives, risk parameters, sample portfolios, cash flow projections and risk assessments.

The output and subsequent discussions demonstrated to Bob and Jan that not only could they retire at their desired date, but they also would be realizing an after tax income including social security that would be twice what they currently were taking home. Bob was a little skeptical at first but after in-depth review of the assumptions, cash flows and investment performance simulation they were happy with the recommendations and implemented the plan.

Today after nearly 2 years the plan is working out as described and not only is their income holding they are getting increased amounts each year based on the Cost of Living assumptions built in to the plan. They have moved out of the house they raised their family in and Bob is able to make it to the golf course on a regular basis.

– Ron & Connie
Building Wealth

Ron and Connie Picante were very frustrated when they first met with Northwest Wealth Advisors. Ron was a successful executive with a high tech company and enjoyed a substantial salary as well as significant grants of stock options. Connie kept busy managing an active family of teenagers and occasionally traveling with Ron on extended business trips overseas.

The Picante’s had a relationship with a financial advisor but they felt they were not receiving assistance that was tailored to their particular needs. Too much of their information and guidance was coming out of canned software programs that resulted in off-the-shelf financial plans that gave them little confidence in their advisor’s ability to meet their needs.

After meeting with Ron and Connie, we came to the conclusion that they had many issues with money that were best met by a discussion of what was important to them about their wealth and how their wealth could help bring meaning and purpose to their lives.

Connie had a very strong need to be of service to others but wasn’t sure how to accomplish that in their current circumstances. Ron was aware of the tremendous wealth opportunity his stock options afforded him but had many reservations on how to best tap them. His position as an “insider” in his company made the sale of his shares somewhat sensitive. He too shared many of Connie’s concerns with their wealth and was looking for a different approach from an advisor that would move them ahead on their life journey.

We spent many hours in conversation with Ron and Connie and uncovered a number of attitudes and beliefs about money which they held that were keeping them from achieving their true potential. We assisted them in identifying what their life intention was and began to list specific actions that would bring them closer to their short and long term goals. A plan was developed to systematically liquidate Ron’s stock options and move the proceeds into a well-diversified investment plan that would quickly become a significant portion of their overall wealth. Target dates and monetary goals were developed to bring their early retirement into focus and multiple customized scenarios were offered to them.

As of this date Ron and Connie are well on the path to achieving their life intention. Throughout the discovery process they embarked on with Northwest Wealth Advisors, they could see how their money beliefs and values were being translated into concrete actions and how those actions were bringing financial balance to their lives.

– Tom & Suzanne
Retirement Preserving Wealth

Suzanne Morris could hardly believe her good fortune. The business she had started over 20 years ago was a raging success. While she had worked extremely hard during those years she knew instinctively that the window of opportunity could close very quickly and she may never have another chance to cash in on her labors.

Suzanne had started a small mail order catalog business and began by opening orders at her kitchen table and processing them out of a spare bedroom. Her husband Tom, who was working as a school teacher, wasn’t sure if anything would come of the venture, but he continued to support Suzanne with his spare hours and savings from his salary. About five years before the Internet craze really took hold, Tom had quit teaching and devoted his efforts to Suzanne’s business on a full-time basis.

They expanded their product offering, hired employees, and moved into warehouse space in a business park. When online purchasing caught on Suzanne’s business was poised to take advantage of the phenomenon and their business grew exponentially.

A large mail order business approached Suzanne in 2000 with an interest in buying her firm and she decided to hire a local firm with an excellent reputation in business transactions of this type. When the offer for the business came in Suzanne could simply not believe the amount of money they were putting on the table.

After much discussion and reflection, Tom and Suzanne decided to accept the generous offer and begin a new phase in their life. They signed the papers and were given nearly 30 million dollars in stock of the acquiring company.

Northwest Wealth Advisors worked closely with the Morris’s advisors and developed a strategy to sell the restricted stock to bring much-needed diversification to their investment portfolio. Negotiations were begun with several prominent wall street firms to maximize the value to the Morris’s while minimizing the expense of the transaction. They ultimately settled on utilizing a complicated but effective strategy using customized derivative vehicles that minimized the downside risk of the stock while still allowing them to participate on the upside.

The strategy was implemented and over the course of several weeks a significant portion of the restricted stock was sold and the proceeds were reinvested into a balanced, income generating portfolio.

Tom and Suzanne continued on with the acquiring company during a transition phase and currently are enjoying the fruits of their labors and their future is secure because of a well planned and meaningful retirement lifestyle.

The most important financial achievement individuals can reach for is to grow their net worth. By focusing on this
simple metric a person can measure their progress year by year, and in the process greatly increase their
probability of reaching financial independence..