Machine shop foreman became tree
farmer – Randall and Juliet
Randall was 47 and worked as the lead shop foreman in a large machine shop. Randall and Juliet are caring and dedicated people and go out of their way to help others whether family or not. Randall ran his father in-law’s grocery store as his health failed – there was no other way to help pay the bills for that family. When a neighbor’s health declined severely it was Randall who became the care givers: The same happened with Randall’s brother, mother and other family and non-family members alike. “Good Samaritan” barely describes the goodwill these two people have spread to others.
Randall and Juliet have a son, daughter in law and two grandchildren; we became acquainted with them when Randall and Juliet started a college savings plan for their first grandchild. Their son and daughter in law became clients along the way they too learned the discipline to spend less than they make and saves the rest.
Life changing events: Randall developed a medical condition. A diagnosis as to cause was not forthcoming but there was a suspicion that it may have to do with stress, Randall was 50 years old at the time. From a planning perspective we had never encountered a situation quite like this and over a time Randall’s episodes were becoming more frequent and intense. Something had to change for Randall; continuing in the same environment was likely to cause irreparable harm to him. At the time many of the alternatives seemed undesirable: retiring was not feasible and a change of jobs would have meant a different skill set and most likely reduced income.
Outcomes: As we discussed possible solutions for Randall we looked to the information we had collected in order to formulate a retirement and investment plan and discovered that he had mentioned a disability policy. We asked Randall to contact the policy provider and his employer to determine the feasibility of declaring his medical condition as a disability. As it turns out his disability was accepted and this allowed Randall and Juliet to change careers and begin the process of becoming a tree farmer: In Randall’s case a much lower stress level situation and his condition became controllable, finally.
Throughout the years Randall and Juliet turned the tree farm into a revenue producing enterprise to such a degree that they have not needed to make withdrawals from their retirement resource. Additionally, by taking into account the variability of the tree farm income, their regular IRAs have been converted slowly but consistently every year to Roth IRAs substantially eliminating the tax burden from these retirement resources and making the legacy transition more forgiving for the family.
This wealth management case study is a hypothetical demonstration of our financial planning process and is for illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to infer any particular client outcome.