I was running on Thursday morning and listening to another favorite podcast of mine, Martinis and Your Money. The host’s name is Shannon McLay and she was talking about how her choices in life led her to creating the Financial Gym. She used to work for Merrill Lynch where the financial advisors wouldn’t take you on as a client unless you had something like $250,000 in savings. Um, I’m 44, and I STILL don’t have that in savings, and I know I’m ahead of a lot of other folks my age! (Sad, isn’t it? But that’s a story or a post for another day.)
Anyway, she said that after she spent an hour with a young couple who had over $1,000,000 saved and who each made six figures, and they were complaining about their portfolio being down by 3%, she just felt like she had sold her soul, and she knew she couldn’t get that hour of her life back. And a few weeks later, she was working with one of her pro bono clients, and at the end of their session together, the lady said to her, “You know you’re saving my life, right?”
This made me think of the person who took me and my former husband on as clients when we didn’t have much in savings (he had a little, and I had pretty much nothing), but we had a lot of debt (mainly, my student loans). So today, my thank you letter is written for Jessica C., or “Jess” as I sometimes called her.
I think what I’m most grateful for is that you never laughed at me and my dreams, no matter how silly or ludicrous they must have sounded to you. So many people tried to instill fear in me (or was it their projection of their own fears?) but you never did. Instead, you said, “Let’s make a plan.” And you’d put all of my figures in your spreadsheets so I could see how things might be possible, at least financially-speaking.
You’d meet with me as often as I asked just so I could have someone to be accountable to, and you were like a cheerleader of sorts, encouraging me, and reminding me of how I had turned my life around in a few years since my divorce. How I’d gone from having to take a loan out on my 403(b) to pay off my credit cards, and having zero in savings to having a good nest egg to buffer my fall when I made a life-changing move.
There are two other things for which I need to thank you. After my divorce, you didn’t just drop me as a client. I’d already been “dropped” suddenly by so many people, I just kind of assumed that might be the case with you too, as you moved on to bigger and better clients who had way more in assets than me. One of the scariest things when considering a divorce is how much your life will change after. How people may just drop you from their lives (and they do, as they did.)
The final thing for which I say thanks is for your helping me when you knew eventually I wouldn’t be able to afford your services. You were basically working your way out of a job with me as a client. You knew I’d be taking such a huge pay cut I wouldn’t be able to keep working with you. But you kept cheering me on.
Yet, you still answer my emails, even when it’s to mention I need to change my address (again), and I know you still monitor the funds I transferred over to you. I know you will say you’re just doing your job and you have a duty to do so, and maybe you do. But it doesn’t mean I can’t thank you for helping me to ensure I have a nest egg and won’t have to work until the day I die.
Thank you for giving me that small peace of mind. And thank you for being a decent human being.
So that’s my thank you letter for today. If you’d like to thank someone and write up a guest post, please let me know. I’d be extremely happy to spread that positive feeling around. You never know what life will bring you, so don’t wait to thank someone who’s made a positive influence on you or your life.
Thanks for reading. And if you want Jess’ contact info, just drop me a comment below and I’ll gladly send it to you.