Orlando Jimenez got his shot when he was 27 when a homebuilder in the Houston area approached him with an opportunity.

“It just fell in front of me. He told me, ‘I want to give you an opportunity. I see you growing, and I want to help you grow,’” he remembers. Jimenez had experience working with his wife Jackie’s family business, but this was their chance to go out on their own. So, Jackie and Orlando (they’re high school sweethearts) dove in head first and started their company, HTM, in 2017.

HTM primarily installs HVAC systems in new homes that are being built in and around Houston, and the company has grown quickly. “We have 10 employees today, and we’ve become very successful with it,” Orlando says. That was the good news, but with success came a more complex financial picture. While Jackie and Orlando were absorbed in growing the business, their accountant noticed their personal finances could use some help.

“We were never taught about saving money, retirement accounts or anything like that,” Jackie says. Luckily, their accountant introduced the couple to Stewart Keltner, a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual.

THE GOAL: BUILD A DREAM HOME

Like anyone, Jackie and Orlando had goals and dreams for their lives. But they’d been so busy with the business, they had lost focus on those aspirations. Their meeting with Keltner (they call him Stew) changed that. “Stew opened up our eyes to so many things we always dreamed of but didn’t think were possible,” Jackie says. For example, Keltner helped them build a vision for their lives.

As Jackie recalls, “He’d ask, ‘When do you want to do that?’ and then he’d put together a roadmap to get there.”

Goal number one? Build a dream home. While the couple had enjoyed great business success, they’d been renting their entire lives. That was about to change.

Keltner helped Jackie and Orlando build a financial plan that included life and disability income insurance to protect the family (they have a 3-year-old daughter and another child on the way) and the business. Their plan also includes investments to grow their wealth over time and eventually retire. “We also immediately opened an account that allowed Orlando and Jackie to save a fair amount of money each month, with the first goal being for their dream home,” Keltner says.

After a few years saving diligently every month, they’re finally building that dream home. Being in the business, they’ve seen enough to know exactly what they want. “We talked to a lot of our contacts, and they gave us great advice — ‘Do this, don’t do this,’” Orlando says.

There's a huge patio for entertaining. A pool is in the plan but will come later. The couple is also putting in two fireplaces (one inside and another outside). There’s a porte-cochère and their three-car garage, which is ready for another dream (well, Orlando’s dream): a new Porsche. Jackie’s favorite part of the house is the closet. Orlando claims it’s as big as their main bedroom.

BUILDING SOMETHING ELSE: FINANCIAL TRUST

Jackie and Orlando are quick to sing Keltner’s praises, as he helped them shift focus onto their personal goals in addition to their thriving business.

“We can trust Stew with any decision he helps us make,” Orlando says. “We’ve come a long way, and we’re so appreciative of what Stew has helped us accomplish.”

The couple now recommends Keltner to other friends who own businesses. “We know he wants to help us, and that’s what we want for other people who are in the same place we were several years ago,” Jackie says.

The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of other clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.

Recommended Reading