In November of 2012, the airline I worked for declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and as many other companies have done previously, the employees were not spared in the process.

The last blog post on the Prato Capital website described financial fears and doubts. There was no shortage of fears and doubts in my household at that time. More than halfway through my career as an airline pilot and my retirement was now in doubt. With 19-year-old twins in college, there were fears of how to continue paying tuition. There were also fears of just paying our monthly bills with the realization of a significant pay cut in my future.

Interestingly enough, my story toward financial stability and a peace of mind about our financial future started with these fears and doubts.

Looking for some advice, I called the best-man from our wedding and a long time US Air Force friend who was working in the financial industry and managing IRA accounts for both myself and my wife. Gregory Prato suggested a comprehensive financial plan as a good starting point and since I was out of ideas at the time, that is where we began. After going through our financial situation, Gregory gave us an update on what we could expect in our financial future, including retirement. Just knowing where we stood relieved lots of stress. The fears gave way to an understanding of our financial situation. Turns out, we were in a better situation than we thought possible. We just didn’t know it until the financial plan was completed.

Over the next few years, as some of our financial and life goals changed, they were incorporated into our financial plan. Regular updates from Gregory included how our financial plan was doing. Discussions of portfolio performance were replaced with discussions of financial plan performance – “Were we still on track with our plan?”.

Having a financial plan has changed the way I look at our financial future. I no longer worry about the direction of the stock market; my Financial Life Plan takes into account the normal ups and downs of the stock market. I no longer worry about short term percentage gains or losses of my portfolio; I ask if I am still on track to reach my future financial goals. I have tuned out the noise of the buy and sell arguments from the financial media organizations. My fears and doubts have been replaced with a clarity of our financial future and it has changed our outlook in a very good way. I wish I had done it sooner.

I am very fortunate to now work at Prato Capital Management with Gregory and I am always willing to talk about my experiences as a client over the years. I am just one example of how a good financial plan can change a perspective from fears and doubts to peace of mind.

I recommend a financial plan for everyone, all stages of life, not just those coming up to retirement. My email address is on the Meet the Team page of our website, and I would be very happy to discuss the benefits of a financial plan with anyone.

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