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Case Studies

young family smiling with child

Mike & Ashley, the Young Family

Age

35 & 32

Primary Goals

Saving for kid’s college, saving for retirement, budgeting for lifestyle changes, paying down student debt

The Problem/Challenge

Becoming parents was a momentous occasion for Mike and Ashley but it also made them come to terms with their finances. They both realized that there were many lifestyle changes ahead of them and expenses that they had never considered before like paying for their son’s future education and moving into a new house in a nicer neighborhood. 

Mike also had a friend of his pass away in a tragic car accident, leaving behind 2 children and a wife. Consequently, Mike was concerned about providing for his wife and their new son if he weren’t around.

Mike and Ashley knew they needed some professional advice so they reached out to us to help them put together a plan.

The Solution/Approach

We began the planning process by taking account of where Mike and Ashley were from a financial standpoint. We also got to know their values and goals around finances. 

With this as our starting point, we created a few scenarios for Mike and Ashley, that allowed them to visualize what their cash flow might look like in the future considering different savings strategies and options to pay for their son’s college. Then we had a collaborative discussion with them both, where we mapped out what their best path forward was.

We eventually arrived at the following strategies...

  • Utilizing the post tax option on Mike’s employer retirement plan gave him the ability to put more money away in a tax advantaged manner that would protect him from future tax rate changes.
  • We also visualized how opening a 529 account for their son would help them pay for his college expenses once he got to that age.
  • Combining both employer provided life insurance and personal life insurance to give Mike’s family an adequate amount of coverage.
  • Finally, we took a look at what impact adjusting their living expenses both up and down had on their cash flow throughout their life.

The Reward/Results

Seeing that their decision to fund Mike’s 401k up to the maximum would give them about $3.3 Million dollars when he retired, gave them a sense of confidence and commitment to make that a reality.

Mike and Ashley were motivated from the visualization of their goals and reassured that they could achieve them if they committed to the plan. 

After going through the planning process, Mike and Ashley continue to tweak their financial plan during their annual review meetings. As new life changes come up they utilize us as a sounding board to keep them on track towards their goals.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. 28411 Northwestern Highway, Suite 1300, Southfield, MI 48034. (248) 663-4700. 22706519-20210308


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