Business Owners

How we helped Joe and Sue, Their Family, and Their Company

Joe cut his teeth at a large local construction firm. He learned his trade from the ground up. The decision to strike out on his own and start his business was a scary one. Joe was nervous. His wife, Sue, was really nervous, but she trusted him. They put it all on the line. Joe had his doubts, but he knew this was something they had to do. They landed their first job, then their second, then their third. Cash flow was tight. Bidding jobs low enough to get them while still maintaining enough margin to pay the bills and grow is tough! Finding employees who want to work hard and show up every day is even tougher! Joe hustled. He took some lumps when people stiffed him on jobs he completed, but he made it through. Today, the company is growing and it is profitable. Joe and Sue have a business they are proud of. But Joe has been around long enough to know about the boom and bust cycles in construction. Over the course of his career, it seems like they are either crazy busy or stressed because they have no backlog. And Joe has a bunch of advisors: a CPA to do the taxes, an attorney for business contracts, a banker, a financial advisor, and an insurance agent or three. Between the health insurance rate increases and the workers' comp hassles, he wishes desperately he could be out of the insurance business! And none of these advisors really talk to one another, so it’s all on Joe to coordinate. And it’s a lot.

Joe had two spheres in life that he operated in—his business life and his personal life—and there wasn’t much to separate one from the other. He focused hard on accomplishing his business goals. Joe knows that his business is the engine that drives everything else. So he focused on that. But he and Sue have personal goals too: to educate their kids and future grandkids, keep their taxes paid, save enough to retire with lifelong security, help their children get a better start in life than they had, and buy a second place away from the grind where they can retreat from the stresses of work and relax with the people they love. That’s when they came to Milestone. Joe and Sue wanted a plan.

We understand how complex Joe and Sue’s lives are. We helped them start with the big picture—laying out their goals for the future. We helped them identify the things that are most critical to focus on and the things that just aren’t all that important. Once we really got to know Joe and Sue, we worked with them to map out a plan.


In their business, we:

  • Analyzed their existing retirement plan, restructuring the investment menu to reduce costs and enhance potential returns
  • Revamped the design of their retirement plan so Joe and Sue could save more and receive a larger tax deduction
  • Identified key employees, learned what those employees value, and built customized retention plans with competitive current pay and incentives to stay and perform long term, with non-competition agreements to protect the business
  • Created accessible investment reserves, managed for growth, to provide a backstop to the booms and busts in construction and to bolster bonding capacity
  • Began working to develop next-generation leadership to maximize firm value and providing an exit plan for owners

Personally, we:

  • Developed a plan for college education and a solid retirement roadmap for Joe and Sue
  • Identified a cash reserve and developed a sound investment strategy that will help Joe and Sue’s wealth build over time
  • Opened lines of communication with Joe and Sue’s advisors, fostering a team approach, working together for Joe and Sue’s best interests
  • Coordinated with their insurance professionals to make sure their assets are protected
  • Collaborated with their CPA to make sure their investment, retirement, and business strategies aligned with their tax plan
  • Worked with their attorney to make sure their wills, trusts, and powers of attorney aligned with their beneficiary designations and property ownership structure and that the type of business entity they utilize ensures that their wishes will be carried out in the future
  • Continually monitor and update Joe and Sue’s plan as their lives change and as the market and external environment changes

We partner with Joe and Sue. If you might have circumstances similar to Joe or Sue, give us a call today! We’d love to start a conversation.

Actual performance and results will vary. These case studies do not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation.