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Case Study: How We Helped One Client Navigate Her Mother’s Estate & Buy Her Dream Home

By Jake Withnell, CFP®

At JGP Wealth Management, we specialize in providing wealth management solutions to high-net-worth families, including business owners, Nike executives, and pre-retirees. We help our clients address their financial concerns and build upon their unique strengths so they can confidently live the life they want—because helping you live your dreams is what we do best.

Here’s a case study of a client we’ve recently helped. 

Client Background

Ellinor Johnson is in her early 50s and has been working with us for three years now. She’s the director of a management consulting firm and is about eight years away from retirement. She’s married with three adult kids and three young grandchildren. She started seeking financial help after her mother passed away and left her as the trustee of the family estate. 

Here’s her story.

An Overview Of Ellinor’s Challenges & How We Helped Address Them

Like many pre-retirees, Ellinor came to us because she had several financial challenges she needed help with. Here’s an overview of each of those challenges and how we helped her plan for them. 

Planning For Retirement

Ellinor was concerned about being on track for retirement. To help her prepare, we created multiple scenarios and potential retirement dates. We then used a Monte Carlo simulation to stress-test certain market conditions to see how much money she’d have at retirement based on different variables. 

We helped Ellinor weigh her options between retiring early or working a few more years, showing her how much money she’d potentially have at various retirement dates. We used a Monte Carlo simulation again to set savings goals and provide Ellinor with a target number to aim for.

Handling Her Family’s Estate

Ellinor’s mother passed away recently and we were able to help navigate the estate transfer. Ellinor inherited a wide range of investment assets, so we performed a risk analysis of her investment portfolio. We then gave her an opinion on how to rebalance the investments to match her current goals, keeping tax implications in mind. 

A death of a parent can be a stressful and emotionally challenging period in a client’s life. Having a professional resource to help navigate the process and give advice on next steps helped Ellinor feel confident she was making the best decisions for her family.

Building A Network Of Trusted Professional Partners

We connected Ellinor with a local estate attorney and CPA. We hosted a summit meeting in our office, with all professional resources present, to make sure Ellinor’s estate plan, tax coordination, and investment portfolio were in line with her goals. We included Ellinor’s grown children in the conversation so they had an understanding of how the family’s assets will transfer to them upon her death. 

One of Ellinor’s top priorities is being able to provide financial support for her children and grandchildren after she’s gone. We worked this goal into her financial plan and still communicate regularly to make sure her estate plan will be executed successfully when it’s time. 

Buying Her Dream Home

Ellinor had a dream of owning a ranch-style home and property in Central Oregon. When we first had a conversation about a 10-acre ranch, she wasn’t confident she could afford it and stay on schedule with her retirement goals. 

We were able to show her multiple scenarios at different price ranges and give her the confidence to shop for her dream home—without stress. When she found the perfect home, we provided her with multiple options to meet her liquidity needs. 

We ended up using an asset line of credit to help bridge the gap between purchasing the new ranch and selling her previous home in Portland. By using an asset line of credit, Ellinor was able to stay invested in the market while her previous home sold, and then use the equity from her home sale to pay off her asset line of credit.

Helping You

At JGP Wealth Management, we’re dedicated to helping you accomplish your wealth management goals—whether that’s planning for an early retirement, navigating a loved one’s estate, or buying a ranch-style home in Oregon. 

No matter where you are on your financial journey, we’re here to help provide clarity and a clear path toward your goals. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you manage your finances, reach out to me at 503-446-6450, email jwithnell@jgpwealth.com, or schedule an introductory phone call online.

About Jake

Jake Withnell is a financial advisor at JGP Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in Portland, Oregon. Jake is known for going the extra mile for his clients and for his passion for working tirelessly to help his clients find solutions to their financial concerns so they can confidently live out the life they want. He prioritizes listening and understanding as the foundation of his relationships with his clients, and his highest hope is that they can spend more of their time and energy on their passions knowing he is watching over their financial future. Jake specializes in serving business owners, Nike executives, and retirees, and plays a key role in JGP’s portfolio management process, building and analyzing financial models, and conducting client cash flow analyses. 

Jake graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in professional accounting and finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) professional. Jake’s claim to fame is his time playing tight end for the Eastern Washington University Eagles, all while earning four-time Big Sky Conference First Team All-Academic honors! Jake values giving back to his community and does this by volunteering with the Children’s Cancer Association, Family Building Blocks, and New Avenues for Youth. In his free time, Jake takes advantage of the many outdoor activities the Northwest has to offer, such as trail running, mountain biking, and hiking. He loves traveling and spending long weekends at his family beach house in Seaside, OR. To learn more about Jake, connect with him on LinkedIn.