Maria and Joseph Martinez are married and have a daughter, Isabella. Up to this time, they have enjoyed a very comfortable middle-class lifestyle, as both Maria and Joseph are well paid professionals. Unfortunately, due to the economic crisis, Maria has recently become unemployed and has reached out for help in budgeting for the current situation and re-adjustment after becoming re-employed. As Joseph was working out of state, all communications were with Maria.
“I have never had a break in employment in 22 years,” said Maria. “It is really unusual to be unemployed, almost surreal, but the realization that hits home is that being unemployed is like being in prison.”
Although her unemployment has not caused any drastic lifestyle changes thus far, Maria is aware that they have not prepared for emergencies or long-term goals. She now wishes to incorporate recovery with planning for the future.
For Maria and Joseph, a major hurdle to becoming financially secure is a large debt burden, including credit cards, car loans and a student loan, all of which carry an average of more than 10 percent interest rate. When asked about goals, Maria was very clear on what they desired, and also clear that she hasn’t been taking the actions necessary to accomplish them.
Summary of Goals
- Providing a good college education for Isabella.
- Building some sort of net worth.
- Feeling financially secure post-retirement.
- Clearing out the mountain of debt and never getting so far extended again.
- Leaving an inheritance for their daughter.
- Having more equity in their home.
We asked a team of students from FPA of Virginia Commonwealth University to analyze Maria and Joseph’s situation and recommend a plan to reach their goals.