Category: Reader Case Studies

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Reader Case Study: Stay Married on Paper or Finalize the Divorce?

Adrianna is a 40-year-old mom to two teenage boys who lives in Richmond, VA. She and her husband recently separated and she’s in the process of figuring out if it’ll make more sense to stay married on paper or finalize their divorce. Along with this question, she’s wondering about beefing up her retirement investments and transitioning to earning a full-time income on her own. She enjoys her part-time, work-from-home position as an administrative assistant, but...

112

Reader Case Study: Stuck in Chicago, Longing for Life in The Basque Country

Katie and her husband Jon live in Chicago, IL with their two-year-old daughter Amaia. But Chicago is not where their hearts are. Jon is originally from the Basque Country and the family longs to return. After a brief stint of living there in 2019, they were forced back to the States in order to find better jobs. Now, they’re on a three to five-year trajectory to retire early in Spain. They’ve asked for our help...

144

Reader Case Study: Astronomer and Actor Turns 60 at a Turning Point

Erik is a true Renaissance man who turns 60 this year and finds himself at a turning point. He has a PhD in Dramatic Art, a Master’s in astronomy and an MFA in acting. Erik lives outside of Boston and currently works at a world-class scientific institution focusing on a large data archive for astronomy and astrophysics. In his free time, he builds telescopes, writes poetry, listens to jazz music and spends quality time with...

98

Reader Case Study: Breaking the Cycle of Financial Instability

Kayla and her partner Lauren live in Charlotte, NC with their two dogs and one cat. They both work in banking–at the same bank, in fact–and are feeling settled in the home they bought in 2019. Very soon, they plan to have children, which has them reflecting on their financial priorities. While they still have some debt, they’ve done a fantastic job of paying it down over the years. Now, they’re ready to get serious...

127

Reader Case Study: Military Family Prepares for Civilian Life

Kate and her husband Will lived the military life for the last decade. Will, who is currently an Army Officer, begins his transition to civilian life this summer. The couple–along with their cat Oliver–live in the Seattle metro area, where Kate works in higher education. With this huge change on the horizon, they’d like our help determining where they should move, what types of jobs Will should pursue, if they should buy a house and...

209

Reader Case Study: Three Kids, Two Engineers and One Dog

Matt lives in a suburb of Boston with his wife Laura, their three kids, and their yellow lab Waffles. Matt and Laura both work as engineers and share a love of outdoor recreation–skiing, hiking, kayaking and camping. Their oldest child is a freshman in college and his siblings–ages 16 and 14–will each be headed off to college in a few short years. Matt is concerned about their ability to afford college, plan for retirement and...

117

Reader Case Study: Looking to Leave LA?

Kate is 30 and lives in LA with her kitten Cashew. She works in payroll at a university, which is a stable job with great benefits and low stress. As she approaches the five-year mark in her current position, she’d like to examine her options for moving to a lower cost of living area and a smaller town. Kate also hopes to have children one day and she’d like our help with determining a financial...

110

Reader Case Study: Young Professionals Plan for a Wedding, Gender Confirmation Surgery and Financial Independence

June and Daniel are young professionals living the DINK (dual income; no kids) life in Chicago. While they’re grateful for the higher salaries the city offers, they’re not loving the urban hustle. They have a number of near-terms goals, including celebrating their wedding, gender confirmation surgery for Daniel, buying their own home and eventually, achieving financial independence. But given the pandemic and their uncertainty about staying in Chicago, they’re not sure when any of these...

112

Reader Case Study: Mustang-Driving Journalist Looks to the Future

Nici lives on the West Coast with her cat and works as a journalist. She loves her job–and her 20-year-old Mustang–but doesn’t make a lot of money. She prefers renting an apartment over owning a house, but is concerned about future rent increases and what they might do to her retirement plans. She’d like our help today assessing her financial position as well as our advice on whether or not it’s time to put her...

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Reader Case Study: Furloughed Behavioral Therapists Wait Out The Pandemic

Anne and her husband Michael live in rural Colorado where, until the pandemic, they worked as behavioral therapists for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now, they’re on voluntary unpaid furlough and requesting our help deciding what to do next. They recently sold their behavioral therapy practice, have a five-acre homestead with dogs and farm animals and are wondering if now’s the time to transition to full-time homesteading. What’s a Reader Case Study? Case Studies...