I have a brilliant new female client. She is single and in her mid-50s and told me she needs to work until she is 65. She wanted me to do a financial plan for her that would help her navigate to retirement. The problem? She hates her job. Hoping to steer the conversation in a more positive direction, I asked her what retirement looks like for her. She instantly lit up. She told me that the women in her family lived long, healthy lives and that she is going to start an exciting “2ndchapter” the day she can leave her job. She has long had a “side gig” that is her true passion. The joy on her face as she talked about her “hobby” truly transformed her. Interestingly, she is making real money on the side, but can only take jobs during her vacation time due to various constraints. We promised to meet again in a week after I had worked up a plan for her. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Reading emails…I’d think of her. Analyzing financial statements…I’d think of her. Reading the Wall Street Journal…I’d think of her. I felt so called to help her grab onto her joy which seemed so distant.
Isn’t the internet grand? I have a very understanding husband who doesn’t mind eating frozen pizza by himself, so I spent some late nights at the office. Using my client’s own information on how much she was getting paid for her side business projects, I did a ton of digging on marketing and costs and revenue in her industry of choice. Instead of doing just the financial plan she asked of me, I also did a second financial plan showcasing the income that she told me she could begin making once she was free to pursue her dream. The results of the second plan drove the initial plan results out of the water!
When we met later that week, I showed her both plans. She had a huge smile on her face, but tears were running down her cheeks. “Is there crying in financial planning?” she asked. “Only if they’re happy tears,” I responded. Before she left that night, she told me that she’s going to take 2018 to get her ducks in a row and then “make the leap”. She also told me I’d changed her life. Wow! And some folks wonder why I love my job so much?!?