Ryan Jordan was on track to have a record year in 2020. Her company, Educated Nannies, which uses a personalized process to place elite nannies in homes in the Los Angeles area, was growing quickly.

Then COVID-19 hit. “Sixty percent of my nannies got laid off. State mandates meant that only essential workers could have childcare,” Jordan says. And because she wasn’t considered an essential worker herself, Jordan was trying to juggle taking care of her own two children while navigating her business.

Almost overnight, Jordan went from being optimistic about 2020 to survival mode. At work, she realized she had to furlough her employees. At home, she was now unsure of her ability to financially support her family. Her husband, Lee, had just been laid off from his job due to the coronavirus, so Jordan immediately felt a huge burden.

“I had not only myself and my family to take care of, but I had my entire office team to take care of — and one of them is a single mom,” Jordan says. “I bawled my eyes out when I had to furlough my employees. None of them had ever been furloughed in their life and they felt like they had done something wrong. I said, ‘Listen, I promise you, this is going to work out.’ ”

REALIZING SHE WAS STILL ON SOLID GROUND

As everything was happening, Jordan posted about what she was going through on social media. Her Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, David Clausen, saw the post. “I saw she was expressing some concern about what her business was going to be like. So, I called her up and said, ‘Let’s set a meeting and review your plan.’ ”

Jordan had originally met Clausen through clients of his that attend the same church. About six years ago, when she got pregnant with her first child, she and her husband reached out to Clausen about putting together a financial plan. Her father died unexpectedly when he was 58, so she wanted to make sure they had life insurance. Clausen also talked about other aspects of planning, including setting aside funds for something unexpected. The two developed a close relationship, “I think of Dave as a confidant,” Jordan says.

At their meeting earlier this year, Clausen reminded the Jordans that they had set aside enough savings to cover their expenses for six months. As for the rest of their financial plan, “I pointed that nothing had changed,” Clausen says. “You could see a big inhale and exhale.”

The review of the plan made a big difference for Jordan. “I was feeling anxious, and I think that was the result of not knowing if I was safe or not. Immediately after talking to him, I felt safe,” she says.

GETTING BACK TO BUSINESS

Once they were comfortable that their financial plan was still on track and that they had money to keep them going in the short term, the conversation turned to some additional financial steps the Jordans could consider. One step was for them to take advantage of low interest rates to refinance their house, which would lower their monthly payment and help free up monthly cash. Another was for Jordan to apply for the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which would help her pay her employees while revenue was down.

As they talked through the couple’s plan, Clausen could see Jordan’s mindset begin to shift. “All of a sudden she started to see this as almost a blessing, where she was able to spend more time with her family, her kids,” Clausen says. “And she was able to get very strategic about how she was going to reopen her business.”

Educated Nannies initially took a hit, but the demand for nannies is coming back stronger than ever as working parents struggle with virtual schooling and remain concerned about sending kids back to school. In fact, Clausen may become Jordan’s next client. “I have two kids who are doing their work at home. My wife is the general counsel of a large nationwide company. I’m in here doing my job and we’re stressed out. We’re going to use Ryan to help my wife and I find someone to care for our children.”

Jordan’s staff is working again, although remotely, and she is continuing to build her business. As she looks toward the future, Jordan is so thankful for the planning she and her husband are doing, and for the relationship they have with Clausen. “I feel empowered, knowledgeable and confident about my financial choices because of Dave.”

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

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