Last month, our COO, Tony Hixon, was featured on MarketWatch in an article on how financial advisors have dealt with personal tragedy. As you can imagine, this is not his favorite story to share, but at the same time, it is an important one.

In 2010, his mother sought his advice. Then 60, she was ready to retire from her 40-year health care career, and wondered if she could pull it off. She had started as a registered nurse, advancing in her career and spent the last 10 before retirement running a hospice agency.

He crunched the numbers and gave her the go-ahead. His mother promptly retired. “She thrived in that leadership role,” said Hixon. “But it took an emotional toll, and she burned out.”

In planning her retirement, he focused on quantitative computations. Would her savings last? What about her projected expenses? But where he should’ve spent more time, he realizes — and he now emphasizes to clients — was on “softer,” nonfinancial, questions: How, for example, would his mother respond to her new life?

Burdened by a feeling of hopelessness, his mother soon lapsed into a deep depression — despite having no previous history of it. Having enjoyed both a fruitful career and her time as grandmother to his two young daughters, he never expected what happened next.

Click here to read the full article, and how Tony’s family tragedy has changed the way he helps clients, family, and friends transition into retirement.

If you, or a loved one, are struggling with feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide, we encourage you to talk to someone and seek professional help. Your life matters, and you matter to us.