Case Study 3

Will I be able to send my kids to college?

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Rick, an engineer with 3 children in grade school, was at a stage where he was focused on saving, planning for his family, and planning for college expenses. Rick was concerned for his family’s long-term well-being, and wanted to get (and stay) on top of his finances.


Rick wanted to set his growing family up for success. He’d been trying to do his own financial planning, but saw that it would take a lot of effort, thought and planning to get it right.

He knew that having an expert to talk to would be invaluable.

But, he was wary of advisors who sold products, and also wanted to find an advisor who was fee-only and unbiased in their recommendations.


Rick’s first concern was not having enough savings for his kids’ college, and later on, for his own retirement. He didn’t know where to start, or what options would be best out of the wide variety he was presented with.

He worried about waking up at some point and realizing, too late, that he should have started planning much earlier.

He just wanted to be extremely careful about which financial professional he chose to work with.


After scouring Google, Rick finally came across the website of a financial advisor who was both local and fee-only. Rick decided to interview him, and scheduled an appointment.

During his first few conversations with him, Rick was impressed with Shannon’s logical, analytical approach to systematic financial planning.

As an engineer, it was similar to the way he was used to approaching problems, and it resonated with him.

Shannon showed him his options and laid each one out for him step by step so that he would have a clear understanding of the possibilities that were open to him.

Aside from his data-oriented approach, Rick liked that Shannon was approachable, low-key and easy to talk to.


Rick has now been working with Shannon over a decade.

Shannon’s expertise and use of statistical data have helped Rick make informed decisions, structure his investments and save on taxes so he can allocate more to his family’s future.

The first of Rick’s children is going through college, and his accounts are set for his eventual retirement from his corporate career.

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