The purpose of this assignment is to provide a “hands on” experience to synthesize the personal finance concepts that you have learned throughout the semester by applying them to a “real life” individual or family. Here’s what you need to do:
- Read the Personal Financial Case assigned to you.
- Each financial planning case encompasses a variety of ages, situations, and financial challenges to analyze. Feel free to add additional assumptions to the case as long as they are realistic for the situation and described in your report.
- Review the Financial Case Study Scoring Sheet to learn the criteria for grading this assignment.
- Prepare a written report of no more than five pages (double-spaced, double between paragraphs) about the case study and your analysis and recommendations.
Your financial case analysis should include the following items, as appropriate:
- A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual or family’s financial situation
- Correction of any misinformation that the individual or family has about financial topics
- Comments about the individual or family’s cash flow
- Comments about emotional issues related to the individual or family’s financial situation
- Calculations of the savings required to reach financial goals
- 3 to 5 recommended action steps to improve the individual or family’s financial situation
- Recommended financial products such as bank accounts, insurance policies, and mutual funds (real products found through research).
- Available resources that can assist the individual or family to improve their finances
- Any other information that you feel is useful and germane to the case
- References for source materials used to analyze the case (feel free to use your textbooks, class notes, Web sites, financial publications, and other resources to assist in your analysis). APA format throughout, including a cover page with your name and section on it.
Financial Case Study Scoring Sheet
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Name: Case #
Identification of the Family’s Financial Problems:
Maximum Points to be Awarded
Evidence of logical structure and organization in the analysis of the financial case study.
Thoroughness, correctness, and depth of understanding of the personal finance issues in the case.
Understanding of the relationship of the immediate problems in the case to the family’s short-, medium-, and long-term financial security.
Solution to the Family’s Financial Problems:
Creativity, innovativeness, and feasibility of the proposed solution(s).
Clarity of the proposed short-, medium-, and long-term courses of action.
Completeness of the documentation of research and information sources.
Overall Quality of the Paper
Logical organization and structure of the paper
Professionalism and style of paper, including additional research and attachments to the paper
Overall effectiveness and persuasiveness of the analysis
Total Points Awarded
100 total points
Personal Finance Case #13
Joe and Pat Ise, 56 and 55, are rethinking their retirement plans. Originally they had planned to retire this fall and move two hours west to Pennsylvania, where the cost of living is cheaper. Both presently commute over an hour a day to Bergen County and New York City, respectively, and their long commutes are taking their toll. They get up at 4:30 every workday to arrive at work on time. The couple has one adult child, age 27, who is married and living on his own.
The problem is that the value of the Ise’s retirement investment portfolio has been substantially reduced during the past two years. Three years ago, they had $520,000 saved and today their portfolio is worth $395,000, despite steady deposits over the last two years.
The Ises admit to making all the classic investment mistakes: investing too much in the technology sector and employer stock in Joe’s 401(k) plan, not carefully researching investments by reading annual reports and prospectuses, relying on “water cooler tips,” and selling in a panic when the stock market tumbled. “We should have stayed in bonds or CDs,” says Joe, “but we got greedy.”
Even with their recent losses, the Ises have an impressive $758,000 net worth. Their assets include $50,000 in CDs, $30,000 in a bank money market deposit account; $120,000 in eleven growth mutual funds; $117,000 in Pat’s 401(k); $105,000 in Joe’s 401(k); $53,000 in IRAs; two cars worth $28,000; a $300,000 house; and $50,000 of personal property. Their debts include $8,000 owed on five credit cards; a $72,000 mortgage balance; and a $15,000 home equity loan.
Neither spouse has any other retirement benefits (e.g., company pension). Joe’s company has just stopped matching 401(k) deposits due to a downturn in business and halted all health coverage for retirees. Pat’s company matches up to 3% of her pay in her 401(k) plan and charges retirees $500 per month for health coverage.
Together, the Ises earn $147,000. Joe is skilled in antique auto restoration and has been itching to start a small business after retirement. To date, he has simply been too busy. He currently has a client, however, who will pay him $15,000 this year to restore a car and is willing to wait for as long as it takes to finish.
The couple has adequate property insurance, a $1 million umbrella liability policy, $500,000 of term life insurance apiece, and disability insurance that provides each with a $3,000 monthly income benefit. They are currently considering the purchase of long-term care insurance.
The Ises also have a will that names their son as beneficiary and Joe’s brother as executor. Joe’s brother is very ill, however, with advanced stage prostate cancer so they are considering other options. No contingent executor or beneficiary is presently named.