Heather and Brian are young professionals in their early 30s, an engineer and a project manager. They came to us with the following goals:
They have modest savings that they are adding to monthly, as well as student loans that they are committed to paying off as soon as possible. They came to us to help them balance loan payoff with home purchase with retirement savings. They just finished paying for their wedding. Now knowing how expensive such life milestones can be, they want to feel “on track” before considering what type of home they can realistically afford and when they start a family. They are concerned about their own family, while at the same time recognizing that at some point, they will need to be available to help Heather’s mom, who is living nearby and of modest means.
We met with Heather and Brian over the course of several months. We started by examining their cash flow and projecting loan payoffs for all their liabilities: student loans, car loans, credit card balances. At the same time, we determined an optimal amount of salary deferrals they could afford through their employer plans to maximize the employer match while not depleting their savings. We considered Roth vs. Traditional savings for these deferrals. Finally, we trimmed monthly expenses and luxuries where possible, keeping the eye on the prize: a comfortable rainy-day fund and an appropriate down payment. We established an investment account to house these long-term goals. We invested according to their timeline and risk tolerance discussed. Finally, we talked about the type of home they could reasonably afford now, and in the future should they have children. We also started the estate planning discussion: putting wills and life insurance in the appropriate place in their plan with the appropriate coverage.
Actual performance and results will vary. These case studies do not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation.