Several years ago, Bill and Gina inherited a sizable sum of money. The inheritance had changed their financial condition considerably, and even though they were doing well financially from their two-income household, they chose to indulge a bit.
Though it would be an overstatement to say that they lived extravagantly, all of their “needs” and most of their “wants” during this time went fulfilled. New cars, boats and multiple vacations each year to exotic locations became the norm.
It wasn’t long before they realized that their portfolio wasn’t going up in value, but was going down, and what once seemed like a lot of money, now seemed like disappointingly little. And with college tuition on the horizon for their twin boys, they were getting worried.
Fortunately for Bill and Gina, they had not accumulated a tremendous amount of debt as they enjoyed their spending spree. In fact, the opposite was the case as they had paid down all of their debts, with the notable exception of a very large mortgage payment on a nice home in the city.
Their real problems resided in the fact that they didn’t have a well structured portfolio of investments, designed to for them what they needed, but more importantly, no one had ever helped them understand what their portfolio was capable of doing for them. They had never been told what their spending limit should be, to ensure their portfolio would have a good chance of lasting a lifetime.
Nobody likes to hear that they have to cut back, but given a choice between spending today and working in your golden years, or being frugal today and having security tomorrow, most people choose the latter. With a few meetings to help them understand what their spending habits meant, and a rebalancing of their investments to create a portfolio more suited to their needs, Bill and Gina now have a “streamlined” lifestyle, as they describe it, “with a greater focus on living reasonably and simply, but also with less worry.”