Editor's Note: This article is part of the Financial Advisor series "How I Solved It." Advisors describe a client with a problem and what they did to help.

Most people dream that having great wealth will solve all their financial woes, but financial advisor Ron Weiner works with a couple that developed a cash flow problem despite having a net worth of more than $11 million.

“This is a perfect example of an incredibly smart man not paying attention to what was incredibly obvious,” said Weiner, noting that the husband has an Ivy League degree in economics and financial acumen honed during his decades of running a manufacturing company.

The couple’s CPA introduced them to Weiner, the managing director of RDM Financial Group at HighTower in Westport, Conn., about five years ago after spotting the problem. The husband, then 74, had passed ownership of his company to his sons. Without receiving income from the business, the couple could no longer afford to maintain their lifestyle or their generosity to family members.

Their $3.5 million apartment in Manhattan has steep maintenance fees. They were also paying about $110,000 a year to maintain their multimillion-dollar shoreline property on Long Island. That year, they paid a combined $147,000 to send their four grandchildren to private school, which they had promised their sons they’d fund for 10 more years.

The couple was also shelling out more than $100,000 for the annual family vacation and $30,000 a year for the premium on their $6 million second-to-die life insurance policy.

According to Weiner, the couple was running a negative cash flow of about $300,000 a year. He and his team projected that at their current level of spending they’d run out of working capital at around age 89 or 90. This assumed 4% inflation on their spending, a 3% after-tax return on their regular money and a 5% before-tax return on their IRAs. Weiner plans for people to live to 100.

“Like most clients, they were trying not to deal with the problem,” he said. “They couldn’t emotionally bring themselves” to talk to their sons. The typical response when clients are told they can’t continue to spend money like they have in the past is “What can I do? It’s my kids,” he said.

Weiner and his team spoke to the couple about reducing their budget by cutting back on vacation spending and having their sons pay for part of their chidren’s schooling. They were also able to help the clients take out a $1 million mortgage on their shoreline property, which had been paid off and placed in an irrevocable trust years earlier.

The proceeds of the $1 million mortgage were placed in an account that’s majority invested in fixed income. Every year, the funds invested in the account are used to pay the expenses of running the lakeshore property and to pay down some of the debt associated with this mortgage. When the parents die, the kids will inherit the home with a $1 million mortgage liability.

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