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Frequently I am asked, “what does a Financial Advisor do?” and I find myself offering those three or four sentences that give a basic explanation of financial advising. Recently I started to offer the usual basic information to someone, when he stopped me and said, “What does that mean”? I tried to explain that I help clients pursue their dreams, when he looked at me as if to say, “I am totally lost”. So I decided to share the stories of three clients and the process we went through to help them work toward their goals. After this discussion my friend asked, “Why didn’t you say that in the first place, now I understand”.I began thinking it might be a good idea to take a moment to share with you the same three stories, because my job is all about helping people determine their best options for achieving their goals. So here are three successes that not only are typical of the demands and challenges that face my clients, but also are similar to those that many of us will face in our lives. The names of the clients in these stories are fictitious but the stories and experiences are happily very real.Story #1 A client, let’s call her Jane, came into my office one day and was very upset. Her husband of many years decided he no longer wanted to be married. Jane was left totally in shock and to make matters worse her husband had handled everything financially in the household so she was quite lost. Suddenly Jane was forced to handle all of her personal financial affairs. Not surprisingly, she was very scared, upset and stressed because of this sudden plunge into the unknown. Jane and I began by discussing in detail what she wanted to achieve financially at this point in her life and in the light of a major change in life direction. We were able to clarify and identify her goals, objectives, and even her dreams for the future. We also talked about risk and where she was comfortable. Next we developed a complete written game plan to make sure she kept on track. We structured a portfolio to generate income to cover her expenses, and even planned for Jane to begin traveling the way she had always dreamed. By clearly defining her goals, developing a written financial roadmap while structuring an income oriented portfolio, she was able to reduce her fear and stress and found sometimes an ending is actually a new and happy beginning.Story #2 This is the story of Bob. Bob had been happily employed by Texas Instruments for many years, but recently decided to retire. When Bob came to my office he brought with him a large company rollover of about 1 million dollars. Nevertheless, Bob was very anxious because he had never managed that kind of money before. He was also concerned about outliving his resources as he was counting on his handsome nest egg to generate income for the rest of his life. As usual Bob and I began by discussing his goals and objectives. But this time in addition we needed to focus on taxes that can have an impact when rolling over an IRA. Once again we developed a written financial roadmap that addressed these areas and ended up with the solution. The bottom line? We created a clearly defined financial roadmap designed to reduce his fear and boosted his financial confidence. We structured a conservative portfolio designed to preserve his nest egg and generate income. That was over 10 years ago and Bob’s portfolio continues to generate income while his nest egg is still invested conservatively.Story # 3 My client of many years approached me one day; we will call him John, and said to me “Terry I want to see if I can retire in 6 years. I sure would like to do some traveling and do more hunting and fishing.” I told John he came at just the right time. I had some new tools that would assist us with developing a plan for his retirement goals and a target date. When we sat down to discuss the details, I recommended we create 3 plans to allow for different types of market conditions. As I developed the plans I included risk elements, income needs at retirement and tax issues. After a careful assessment we realized that John did not have to wait 6 years to retire he could retire immediately. Needless to say John was ecstatic and is utilizing his financial resources to enjoy his new life of leisure, spending a lot more time on the golf course.Well there you have it. I hope I have helped to illustrate and answer the question “what is that you do?” But the best part is the sense of joy, satisfaction and accomplishment I get through solving problems for others and all the while helping them pursue their dreams.This article is not intended to provide specific investment or tax advice for any individual.