Going back to work was always the plan for us. Sharon and I are consummate planners: we
analyze purchases and vacations spots, reading deeply into reviews. We lay out the pros and
cons of everything. We rank the choices. We debate. And then, we make final decisions. When
we got the positive pregnancy test in the middle of 2021, we debated and discussed, and we
decided that both of us would take our respective parental leaves and head back to work. There
was no question in our mind that we would figure out childcare and continue on the path of our
careers as they were before the arrival of our son.
A late night in August as our baby boy was sleeping, we were discussing our plans on getting
Hudson to daycare, and it hit us: we didn’t want him to go to daycare. We wanted him to have
the same experience that we both did with a stay-at-home parent for the first few years of his
life. Sharon wanted to leave her job and stay home with our son.
As we started to think through it, our well discussed and debated plan came crashing down
around us. We needed to figure out if we could afford to take this time off. We needed to
understand what our benefits situation would need to look like. We needed to solve how to
keep Sharon and Hudson engaged with the outside world.
All these moving pieces made solving the jigsaw puzzle difficult. We knew what our feelings
about the subject were. After a bit of time, I put on my financial planner hat, and we crunched
the numbers. We figured out that we could do it, but we were still paralyzed by this change in
heart. We needed someone outside of the minutia, the details, and frankly, the spit up and
diapers to give a clear-headed assessment of the puzzle in front of us. So, we went to our
sensing networks: we talked to friends and family, and, because I work in an office with a bunch
of financial planners, we talked to my colleagues, specifically Warren.
Warren and I sat down in our conference room, across the table instead of on the same side. I
was getting a taste of the “planner/client” relationship here. We ended up talking for nearly
two hours, and the amazing thing is that the math and calculations that I had pulled together to
prove to myself that we could afford this were put by the wayside within the first ten minutes
of the discussion. What was more important was our thoughts and feelings on the subject. We
decided the math could work, and we moved on from it. Warren helped us organize what our
principles and expectations were and what our goals were for our son and our family. He
helped us get clarity on what we wanted, and we made the decision, Sharon is going to be a
full-time mom for a few years.
I hadn’t really experienced it from the other side of the table, but this is what we truly do for
clients. While yes, “financial” is in our title and the “math” of decision is important, we really
help people reflect back to them what their morals and principles are. We help them think
through the complex emotions of life’s biggest decisions and make the optimized choice based
on more than just what the numbers show us. We look at a problem impartially (frankly though
this is a bad choice of words, as we care so deeply about our clients that we can’t be fully impartial)
and provide grounding for our clients when they are so deep in the details of a problem.
This is all to say, include your financial advisor in your life’s biggest decisions. You’ll be glad you
Patrick Andrews (He/Him/His)firstname.lastname@example.org O: 812-379-1120 C: 812-657-0211Associate Planner 427 Washington St. Columbus, IN E: