Or two, or three.

After three years of experiencing the unexpected, I came across a newspaper article about a new foundation in town featuring a smiling picture of the founder. I read that they were providing FREE investment advice and classes for those who might not otherwise have access to a financial advisor.

I had never seen a financial advisor before; I assumed were intended for millionaires, not people struggling with finances like us.

After much thought and discussion, my husband and I decided to give it a go. We called and made an appointment to meet with someone from the foundation.

As we nervously approached the building entrance I remember being greeted with a welcome smile and a hot cup of coffee. We sat in a large conference room with floor to ceiling windows. Slowly, we told our story… and our advisor listened.

We told her of our son’s sudden medical diagnosis that would forever change our lives, of our daughter’s near death experience of being trapped under a car, of my caregiving experience with my mom’s dementia and her eventual death, and of my husband’s recent heart surgery.

I quit my job to take care of the family and we had blown through a lot of cash in order to survive it. We needed help and not just in a financial way.

Our first assignment was to create a budget. We were provided with an Excel spreadsheet to complete prior to our next meeting. The numbers added up quickly and it was clear why we were going through so much of our savings. Amazingly our advisor did not judge but simply stated, there’s only one item you need to reconsider and that was to give up our gym/club membership. Although our advisor was right, that expense had been our lifeline to making it through the recent events, and we decided to keep it. There was no judgement, just an evaluation of the figures before us.

It was clear I needed to get back to work and I needed to find a job. A few months after our meeting with our advisor, I received an email letting me know of some job opportunities.

Fast forward four years. Although starting over is never easy, and the challenges can be great, I am happily employed and we are financially stable. We only have one more year of college tuition left for two of our three children and we did give up the gym membership.

And the financial advisor who helped us? I see Laura Walton on a frequent basis, as I am part of the TCI family now. The man smiling in the newspaper photo was Bob Swift, our founder, who I see almost daily.

Was it hard to start over in a new career and face the reality of your finances? You bet.
But like anything in life, once you make you mind up to change, anything is possible.