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Case Studies

At our firm, there are two types of people who find themselves in transitional phases of life that we help: Divorcees and widows. Below are two case studies that show how our firm covers all financial areas needed to navigate these difficult situations.   


Get to Know Matthew

Matthew, a stay-at-home dad and father of a teenage daughter, was going through a divorce and unsure about his financial future.  He came to Heller Wealth Management to get clarity on what would happen to the family’s respective assets after the divorce including the home they owned and lived in. Matthew had very little experience investing as his spouse took care of that in the past.

  • Would he have to go back to work?
  • Could he and daughter, Tessa, afford to stay in the family home?
  • What would the eventual taxes look like on the sale?
  • What will he do when the spousal support stops?
  • How should he invest his share of the money?

Here’s How We Helped

After the initial review of the potential settlement, we began working with Matthew in a more formal capacity. Six months after the divorce settlement was agreed upon, we began going through everything that he would need to make sure he wasn’t missing anything and that he would be able to maintain the lifestyle he and his daughter had come to enjoy. To accomplish this, we took Matthew through our Heller Wealth Management 10 Step Process for Divorcees.

We helped Matthew by:  

  • Developing a game plan so he could stay in the home until Tessa graduated college
  • Finding a solution for once the child support and spousal maintenance ends
  • Creating an investment portfolio that should work well for him now and into retirement
  • Implementing tax minimization strategies for his income and the home
  • Recommending and coordinating with a new Estate Tax Attorney and Certified Public Accountant
  • Providing the reassurance that this plan will sustain him through current challenges and long-term concerns

Looking Ahead

While the divorce process can be difficult and painful, a clear, step-by-step process to get your finances in order can make new divorcees feel more in control of their future.  After meeting with Heller Wealth Management, Matthew was able to clarify that he would be able to keep the family home, not go back to work, and remain financially sound between his retirement accounts and invested assets. We have continued to work with Matthew, making sure his financial plan stays on track, and guiding him when changes present themselves.

Access our easy-to-use check list: 10 Critical Financial Steps to Take Once Your Divorce Agreement is in Place.   >Download<



When working with new widows (or widowers) there is usually a phase where emotions are high when it comes to their finances and financial plan. Their life has been dramatically changed forever, and so it takes time to process and determine their new life goals. 

Here’s How We Help

We listen to what the client is saying to us and their non-verbal language to determine the appropriate time to address each issue. We may need to address cash flow issues and expense paying issues now. However, it may be better to discuss other big decisions, such as staying in their current home, at a later time. We recently met with a 60-year-old widow whose husband was 72. Her husband was collecting social security. Although she was entitled to social security benefits, we determined she was better off waiting to collect because she was still working. She would lose some of the benefits if she collected now. Not collecting Social Security now meant we had to determine where to take the additional money to meet her expenses until she did collect social security. We also needed to explain all the investments that she owned, the tax ramification on the qualified accounts, and how to change her husband’s IRA into her name. 

Looking Ahead

We set up a time frame to address each of the financial issues during the next calendar year. This helped to make decisions on critical issues in the near future, but not to overwhelm her so soon after suffering a loss.