Jane was referred to volunteer pro bono financial planner Tom Farrer, CFP® of An Exceptional Life Financial and member of the FPA of Greater Indiana. Tom met with Jane to get a better understanding of her current financial situation and goals. Tom discovered that Jane had taken significant withdrawals from her retirement accounts and was concerned she may be a victim of a "romance scam.”

Over several months, Tom worked with on basic financial planning activities, including  budgeting, insurance and investment reviews of her remaining holdings. As they continued to work together, Tom grew more convinced she was a victim of a romance scam and elder fraud, but Jane held out hope.

Eventually, Jane received a call from the fraud department at her local bank who informed her that a recent transaction had been fraudulent. Now convinced she was the victim of a scam, Jane sought help but the damage was done. She gave the scammer her life-savings who opened a shell business with an SBA loan and racked up over $50,000 in credit card debt. Tom continued to encourage Jane to work with local authorities and continues to help Jane on a pro bono basis to:

  • Analyze her financial situation and address some hard realities.
  • Work with creditors to identify opportunities to relieve debt burdens.
  • Identify a reputable attorney to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • Provide support and encouragement to discuss and share the situation with her adult children.
  • Start the financial planning process over with a new set of “base facts.”
  • Boost her morale by suggesting she gives back to the community as a VASIA volunteer so she can share her story with others.
  • Work with a CPA about a pending tax bill related to IRA distributions that she may not be able to afford in 2021.