Case Studies

At Seneschal Advisors, we are a team of advisors who work with our clients to accomplish their financial goals through a foundation based on trust, stewardship and transitions.

Walker’s Retirement

Walker had low confidence, no direction, was overwhelmed with the retirement options available. He continued to put off what was an ongoing nagging problem and challenge that he needed to solve.  He wanted to retire and didn’t know how or when this would eventually happen.  He was in transition and looking forward to the next phase in his life; enjoying life to the fullest with family and pursuing personal interests. He couldn’t fathom how he would get there and it seemed all too complex and challenging.

After 3 years of contemplating his retirement, and having multiple discussions with a myriad of financial professionals, Walker had collected a legal file full ‘sales pitches’ or ‘product focused’ solutions.  They were all so different and costs seemed exceptionally high to him.  There was no consistency among them, trust was absent, and the lack of professionalism he encountered did nothing to help solve his problem.  So he continued to work, pushing back his retirement year after year, while worrying even more about his and his wife’s future.

Eventually, a, estate planning attorney who is a trusted partner of Seneschal, referred Walker to meet with our team. We listened to him, spent a great deal of time evaluating his goals, beliefs, values, and concerns.  We began the steps to evaluate the data, discover the objectives and build what was needed for him to regain his confidence, trust and vision of his future retirement.  We built a plan to overcome his problem, and challenges for this type of transition.  We didn’t go after the assets, yet focused on what was important to him.  Now, Walker is retired and had began to enjoy life to the fullest, and is even able to dedicate his time time to non-profits he supports. He lives a happier life with his wife and his mind is at ease which allows for him to live the life and retirement he dreamed of.

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The Jones Family

Larry Jones was at the top of his game when he became a client of Seneschal’s. He was a very successful heart surgeon and entrepreneur. His medical practice had grown from one office to three and his net income topped $2.5 million per year. Larry’s net worth was approaching $8 million. Four years later, at the age of 53, Larry suffered a stroke that ended his career. Overnight the Jones family’s financial situation had drastically changed.

Larry’s wife, Jennifer, did not have the skills nor the time to manage the family’s finances. At the time of Larry’s stroke Jennifer had her hands full raising three teenagers. Between caring for Larry as he recovered and raising their children, she would have little time for anything else. Understandably, Larry and Jennifer were worried about losing the wealth that they had worked so hard to accumulate at a time they needed it the most.

Fortunately, having worked with Larry and Jennifer for several years, we were able to provide a financial management framework. We created a “virtual” family office to coordinate and integrate the management of the Jones family’s finances. We helped them find and hire a bookkeeper to pay bills and keep track of cash flow. We also developed a long-term plan for managing their real estate and other investments and coordinated the implementation of the plan, including hiring professionals, analyzing and advising on the structure of real estate transactions, and working with the Jones’ bankers to arrange financing.

Today the Jones’ financial picture looks very different than it did when Larry suffered his stroke. We helped them restructure their balance sheet to reduce risk, simplify management, and reduce management costs. As a result, the Jones family has a much greater sense of long-term financial security and more time to spend as a family doing the things they like to do together. Larry enjoys his role as CEO of the family “business” and looks forward to bringing his children into the business when they graduate from college.

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Jane’s Story

Jane was in the process of divorcing her husband of 24 years.  Like so many women in similar circumstances, she was stressed and fearful, concerned for her children and worried about her future.  The possibility that she could end up alone and penniless in old age after the divorce was very real to her.  Jane liked her attorney, but she simply didn’t trust that her attorney would fight hard enough for the financial settlement she felt she deserved.

Jane’s attorney explained to her that, because their salaries were “similar,” she should not expect spousal support, even after a long term marriage.  Her husband actually made 50% more in hourly wages than she did, which didn’t sound comparable to her.  Jane knew she had one shot to secure her future by negotiating a fair settlement, so she took the advice of a friend to work with a divorce financial planner.  As a CFP and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), we compiled her data, compared spousal income projections, prepared reports and modeled different settlement scenarios.

Both Jane and her attorney walked into mediation armed with the data they needed to negotiate with more confidence.  Jane felt thrilled and relieved once the long, stressful day of mediation concluded.  She could now take back control of her life.  Jane continues to work with Seneschal, planning for the future, and now has the freedom to discover what’s truly important in her life.

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