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When a client is a performer, athlete
or anyone else with a variable
income, a planner needs a special
strategy. By Suzanne Sataline
Four years ago, Peter Cobb gave up practicing law and moved to New York City to follow his dream. With no
job and no apartment, Cobb thought
he’d teach and play freelance gigs on
his saxophone until he could support
himself as a jazz musician.
“I hit 30 and said, practicality be
damned,” Cobb says.
Despite the seemingly quixotic venture, Cobb did have some grounding.
His father, Steven Cobb, a Scottsdale,
Ariz., ophthalmologist and now-retired
financial planner, advised his son on
every aspect of living with a precarious
income — from shedding credit card
debt to saving on reeds for his instrument. Together, they plotted a budget
based around a month-to-month apartment lease, so Cobb knew he would
have a few months to start earning
before he was forced to live in his parents’ basement.
Four years after moving to New
York, Cobb is now a part-time gradu-
ate student of music at New York Uni-
versity and lives in a group house with
other artists. He supports himself as a
program officer at the New York Foun-
dation for the Arts, where he helps
set up financial boot camp for artists
— including an upcoming seminar run
by his father on planning for artists.
SUSTAINABLE LIFEST YLES
Planners who specialize in working
with writers, artists, athletes and entre-
preneurs preach a consistent mantra of
savings, savings, savings. They also help
their clients make lifestyle choices that
can be maintained for decades and man-
age client expectations to help avoid the
unwise decision that a big paycheck can
support a new way of life.
December 2012 Financial Planning 79