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Scary Money Moments: How 5 People Survived Their Financial Nightmares

by Peter J. Creedon

Gather around, friends, and listen closely to how five people encountered frightening fiscal situations — and lived to tell their tales. U.S. News asked readers to weigh in on the scariest financial moments they’ve encountered. Here are their responses. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

“Rosemary’s Baby … Has No College Fund”
Peter J. Creedon, certified financial planner, Crystal Brook Advisors, New York City

“I [had a client who] came to me for retirement planning and revealed [that] she had put her child through the last two years of college by putting expenses on a credit card. [We] designed a plan to pay off debt, renegotiated interest rates, looked at alternatives to credit cards. [She] paid off debt with [a] carefully designed plan while defining and keeping [a] realistic retirement plan. [The] client retired debt-free. … Moral of the story: Before incurring [a] major expense, develop a plan on how you are going to afford the item.”

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