While what I'm about to share happened several years ago, it's still relevant. It's a special story about how one financial Alteration made a significant difference. Hopefully it will stir your thought process.
One of my clients was forced to retire early due to some health concerns. For a while those concerns were life-threatening. As you might guess, this changed the direction of our financial planning discussions.
It was clear that Shelley (not her real name) loved spending time with her kids and grandkids. Family had always been the most important thing in her life, and when she would talk about time with the grandkids, Shelley's face would light up. She expressed interest in leaving a chunk of her money to her grandkids to help pay for their college educations. A worthy use of her money, but I sensed there might be a better use for it. And that led me to an idea and a series of questions. The conversation went something like this:
"Leaving money for their college education would be great. And they will be grateful. But what if you could leave them something more than just money?"
"What do you mean?"
"You love spending time with them. And from what you've shared with me, they love spending time with you. What if you could create some lifetime memories with them? What would that be worth?
"I'm not sure. Tell me more about what you're thinking."
"You have five grandkids. If you gave them money for college, that would certainly help them. But what if, instead, during the summer months you were to take each of your grandchildren on a special trip? A trip that could make memories that would last a lifetime. How would you feel about making that type of investment?"
As Shelley began to think about it, I could see her entire countenance change. A light returned into her eyes that had been absent, and we began to flesh out how this might work. It gave her something to work on. Something to look forward to. And it gave her Purpose.
Result: Shelley spent two weeks in Maine with one of her granddaughters. On the beach. Making incredible memories. We met several months after the trip took place to update a few things. Shelley glowed as she described what took place. And other trips have now taken place as well. Yes, those trips have cost a fair amount of money. But what have the memories been worth to Shelley? They've been priceless.
And that, folks, is what financial tailoring is all about.