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Client Stories:

How we've helped

These are true stories of clients we have worked with. Let us help you take control of your own financial future and set you on a path for security and success.

A married couple in their mid-sixties: The husband was still working but expected to need to work at least a couple more years, while the wife had retired recently.


They had two main questions:


First, they wanted to know if they would be able to maintain their current standard of living while in retirement and still have money for extras like traveling and helping their grandchild with college expenses.


Second, they had several income sources to draw from, each with its own rules and decisions to make. How could they best obtain the income they would need in the next several years?


What we did together:


  • Determined what would need to happen for the husband to retire as soon as possible. We carefully estimated their living expenses and income sources for the next three years, projected how much they would probably need to take from investments or savings each year, and advised them on where to obtain this money.

  • Recommended which payout option for the husband’s pension was likely to be best for them in light of their other income sources and the history of life expectancy in both their families.

  • Recommended which filing strategy for Social Security was likely to be best for them.

  • Provided specific investment recommendations for each of their existing investment accounts and created a plan specifically designed for their requirements, using low-cost, tax-efficient investment options.

  • Provided suggestions for reducing their future tax burden through a series of small steps they can take over the next few years.

  • Evaluated the likelihood that their investments and savings will last throughout their lives. As a result, we concluded that the husband could retire about a year sooner than he had hoped.


A woman in her early 70s, recently widowed: she had a number of different accounts held at various financial companies. She wanted to simplify her life and gain peace of mind regarding her finances. She also wanted to travel more and to purchase a new home.

What we did together:


  • Evaluated the likelihood that her investments and savings would last throughout her life, and how much she could reasonably be able to spend on things like travel and home improvements.

  • Provided a detailed set of low-cost investment recommendations. Our recommendations significantly reduced her investment expenses, a savings of over $12,000 per year in her situation.

  • Helped her to consolidate some of her accounts and move them to a single financial institution, vastly simplifying her overall financial affairs. As part of this, we helped her make phone calls to set up new accounts and move the money.

  • Best of all, she has gained a lot of peace of mind, knowledge, and self-confidence about her finances.

A married couple in their thirties with four young children came to us seeking advice. They had a good income. Still, they needed help to invest wisely for long-term goals like retirement while saving for several shorter-term goals they wanted to accomplish while their children are still at home.

What we did together:

  • Developed a long-term plan for the couple’s retirement and their children’s education.

  • Set up a spending plan that ensured everyday expenses were covered, but provided for plenty of flexibility as the family’s needs changed.

  • Developed priorities for several shorter-term goals and provided advice on how to save for each.

  • Determined how much life insurance each would need.

  • Analyzed whether long-term disability insurance was appropriate for them.

  • Provided specific investment recommendations for each of their existing investment accounts, using low-cost, tax-efficient investment options.

  • They know that they are making real progress in getting where they want to be and that their family is protected should something happen.

Contact Dogwood Financial Planning today to get more information and to schedule your free Get-Acquainted meeting.

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