Success Story: Surviving a Financial Cliff

a quote from Jack in Montana that says, '[Our coach] gave us reassurance, equipped us, calmed us, encouraged us, and praised us. [W]e received a clear and accurate understanding of our circumstances, our options, and of how to move towards financial health and stability.' on a blue overlay covering people's faces in the background

When one thing after another goes wrong and your finances take a devastating hit, your MSA Money Coach can help you pick up the pieces and get back on track.  See how Jack and his wife worked with their Money Coach, Patrick, to regain financial stability.

Financial Problems and Health Issues

Financial challenges not only prove difficult in and of themselves but aggravate other parts of our lives, including our health.  In fact, 32% of Americans say they are unable to live a healthy lifestyle because of poor finances.1

That statistic rang true for Jack and his wife.  At the age of sixty-three, Jack’s wife was retired and dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.  They were also struggling with a $3,800 state tax bill, a $1,200 medical bill, $3,000 in credit card bills, and an $11,000 cost for their cars.

They explained to their Money Coach how their poor health led to poor finances and how poor finances turned around and made their health even worse.  Jack said, “My wife lost her job due to illness.  We were no longer able to meet our bill payments.  We had already attempted to relinquish one of our leased vehicles and to renegotiate our mortgage.  Neither was a viable option.  I was experiencing anxiety and depression from dealing with these problems and my own long-term illness.”

When faced with a personal financial cliff, it’s imperative that you strive to improve your finances not only for your financial well-being but for the sake of your overall health as well.

Financial Solutions and Healthy Habits

Patrick took a holistic approach to assisting Jack and his wife: providing financial guidance, focusing on options to improve their health, and suggesting legal resources.

Jack and his wife had several loans in default and were paying over a thousand dollars each month, which meant over 30% of their monthly income was going toward debts.  (For some perspective, guidelines for a healthy budget suggest that your debt-to-income ratio should be closer to 15%.)  Needless to say, they needed a new plan of attack, so Patrick helped them take steps that led to consolidating five accounts for easier debt management.

Patrick also instilled best financial practices that would help them avoid such dire money problems in the future: “Patrick worked closely with us, as we established a spending plan, and [he] taught us a great deal about credit reporting agencies, credit scores, and identity theft prevention/recovery.”

Implementing a budget and maintaining good credit are key habits for a solid financial foundation.  Here’s how you can work on it in your own life:

  • Start working on a spending plan by reviewing your income, debt, and living expenses.  Getting a sense of your cash flow can help you spot areas where you overspend or have the opportunity to save more.  Your MSA Money Coach can provide helpful budget worksheets that make the calculations easy.
  • Start improving your credit by requesting your credit reports through and check them for errors.  You can work with a MSA Money Coach who is a Certified Credit Report Reviewer and who can help you properly rectify the errors with the credit bureaus in order to improve your credit score(s).

In order to help with the emotional turmoil of financial struggles and health issues, Patrick also connected Jack and his wife to counseling services, so they could improve their mental and emotional well-being too.  Taking it a step further, he even helped them take advantage of the legal services available through MSA:  “He referred us to a counseling service and to a local tax attorney for a consultation concerning past-due state income taxes, whose counsel was very helpful….  We updated our wills, composed living wills, and assigned durable powers of attorney using our membership access to the [legal] library.”  Patrick made sure no stone was left unturned.

Perfect Support for a Better Tomorrow

Jack said this about their experience:

“We found Patrick to be a competent, professional coach who provided the information we needed.  We expected as much.  His friendly manner and genuine interest in our well-being exceeded our expectations and made our conversations and the action items/homework a pleasure, rather than a chore.

Patrick gave us reassurance, equipped us, calmed us, encouraged us, and praised us.  From Patrick we received a clear and accurate understanding of our circumstances, our options, and of how to move toward financial health and stability.”

When Jack and his wife faced a personal financial cliff, they found their coach to be the perfect guide for leading them back to stable ground.  They took a survey to measure their level of financial wellness when they started the MSA Financial Wellness program, and scored a 3.25 out of 10, indicating incredibly low financial wellness and high financial stress.  After working with Coach Patrick for several months, they retook the financial wellness survey.  Jack and his wife improved their well-being by 146%, scoring 8 out of 10!

Whether you’re facing your own financial crisis or you want to avoid one, a Money Coach can help you too.  Make sure your financial future is secure.  Call 888-724-2326 today.


1Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health.  APA, 4 Feb. 2015.  Web.  16 Feb. 2015.  PDF.