• Planning WiseThe Dallas Chapter of FSP and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter are involved in a pilot project entitled "Planning Wise". "Planning Wise" will help people living with MS evaluate and plan their career path and financial future. (Planning Wise Postcard). The Dallas team of financial professionals expects a full launch of the service in March, 2008. Here is some detailed progress of their efforts:
    • One of the clients needed financial assistance to maintain COBRA benefits, while she seeks retraining and a new career path. Approximately $1,200 for COBRA premiums will assure the client over $6,000 of benefit and treatment.
    • Two clients didn't need the immediate financial assistance, but our volunteer team has been able to advise them regarding important benefit choices, thereby avoiding pre-existing conditions in new policies. Our team of CFP®, CLU®, CPA and attorneys will be working over the next 60 days to implement estate plans, guardianships, and tax planning on a pro-bono basis for each client.

  • An MS patient in Kentucky who suffered from a heart attack and a stroke was victimized by a predatory lender into refinancing his house through a finance company with a quarterly adjustable rate.  An FEP volunteer paved the way for a favorable meeting with a banker in a nearby community who helped him obtain a 30 year fixed loan.  His loan payments were reduced from $1,400 to $675 ... primarily interest savings.  This has a substantial effect on his limited income.

  • An MS patient in California living on Social Security and the rental of a cottage in back of her house was struggling financially, despite refinancing of her house.  An FEP volunteer determined that her low income would likely qualify her to postpone her property taxes until the house was sold.  This will save her $3,200 in property taxes annually which is a significant percentage of her $22,000 annual income.

  • An MS patient in Missouri was concerned that retirement monies would not be enough to support her and her husband, especially if she needed long term care.  She wanted to review her portfolio with an objective financial planner who was not trying to sell her anything.  An FEP volunteer from a nearby town met with them, did an asset allocation model for them, and made some suggestions for their overall investments.   They are both more comfortable with their financial position.

  • The National MS Society asked FEP to put on a series of four one-hour audio conferences for participants in their “Relationships Matter” program.  FEP volunteer put together programs addressing the following topics: “Getting Out of Credit Card Debt,” “Building Your Savings,” “Managing Your Debt,” and “Legal Planning Fundamentals.”  National MS Society and the participants were very pleased with the response from the listeners and the Q & A sessions that followed the audio conferences.  Each audio conference attracted more participants than the previous ones.