Success Story: A Better Quality of Life

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Past due bills, credit card debt and a home facing foreclosure seemed like an impossible challenge for Veronica and her husband.  Fortunately, Veronica’s employee assistance program provided access to the My Secure Advantage (MSA) Financial Wellness program, where they received the utmost care and guidance from Tiffany, an MSA Money Coach and Investment and Retirement Specialist.

The Challenge

An in-depth look revealed that prior to working with MSA, Veronica and her husband were having trouble meeting current expenses with $2,550 in past due bills and over $80,000 in credit card debt.  On top of that, they couldn’t afford their mortgage payment and were three months behind on their HELOC payments.

They even took out a loan against Veronica’s retirement savings, diminishing future financial security to regain some stability, but their troubles persisted.  After six months of trying, Veronica and her husband still couldn’t sell their house, and they received notice that HELOC would soon begin foreclosure proceedings.

The Process

When Veronica entered the MSA program, she took a survey that measured her financial well-being.  She scored a 3.4 out of 10, indicating high financial stress.  With that in mind, Money Coach Tiffany helped Veronica and her husband assess their financial situation so they would better understand their current cash flow and what kind of changes would need to be made in order to have a more stable financial future.

Coach Tiffany immediately discussed a budget worksheet and introduced Wallet, MSA’s online money management tool, which allowed Veronica and her husband to see all of their financial accounts and transactions in one place.  They could set up a realistic budget to better manage spending and set up alerts for monthly bills.

Tiffany also shared a current MSA webinar, Help, I Need More Income, and supplemental resources, to give Veronica ideas of how to boost her income without further damage to her retirement savings.  One of the suggestions that interested Veronica was investments.

Because of MSA’s team approach with money coaching, Veronica was referred to another Money Coach, Rick, who is an Enrolled Agent (IRS certification) and Tax Specialist.  Together, Rick and Veronica discussed risk tolerance and asset allocation.  Rick made sure to walk through any extra costs that would come with selling stock investments, so Veronica could plan ahead for covering any taxes or fees and still have enough left over to go towards the original reason for cashing in: paying off past due bills.

The Outcome

With a spending plan and her Money Coach’s accountability, Veronica saw huge changes in cash flow:

“MSA has helped me and my husband become more in tune with our finances and to keep regular track of what [dollar] amount comes in and what goes out.  We have saved $200 per month in food expenses, made adjustments to insurance to lower the costs and increased our income by selling off some things we no longer need.”

A budget tailored to Veronica’s needs led to other successes.  She was able to pay off $90,000 in credit card debt, and she paid off her 401(k) loan.  Because her financial situation finally had better footing, she was also able to strengthen her future finances by allocating regular contributions to retirement savings.

And the good news kept on coming.  Veronica and her husband were finally able to sell their house and avoid foreclosure!

Veronica was happy to share about the positive impact on her life:

“We have been helped by answers to mortgage and tax questions in addition to the budget and expense tracking, and we intend to keep using MSA to further our improvements for a better quality of life.  Thank you, MSA!!!!  Tiffany is our Money Coach, and we cannot be happier with her.  She is so knowledgeable, kind, and insightful, and truly seems to have our best interest at heart.  For having to deal with such a serious topic as finances, she knows how to put us at ease, rid us of guilt, and make the entire experience more fun.  She has referred us to several resources within MSA for answers to various questions we have had, and that has been most helpful too.  I feel we are on a good track to a better financial life, and I believe we could not have come this far without our Money Coach.  Thank you, Tiffany, for all your help and all the laughter!  You are a good soul.”

Veronica retook the survey that measures her financial well-being and scored 7.4 out of 10, reflecting a 118% improvement in financial wellness.  Because of her experience with My Secure Advantage, Veronica lowered her financial stress and improved her overall well-being.

Statistics show that people who are stressed about finances are more likely to miss work or have health problems because of their financial issues, and they are more likely to save less for retirement and have difficulty paying credit card bills – compared to their stress-free peers.1  Veronica is a true example of that statistic.  She’s also a perfect example of how such challenges can be defeated with the right kind of support and guidance.

Are you hoping for the same kind of transformation?  Talk to a Money Coach today to get started.  Call 888-724-2326.


12017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.  PwC, n.d.  Web.  14 Jun. 2017.