Featuring Carolyn G., an Ariva Financial Counseling Client

“I’m of a certain age and coming up to social security. I had my head in the sand for many years and didn’t really look at where I stood. This is a first start to get a handle on where I am, and what I can and can’t do.” – Carolyn G., Ariva Financial Counseling Client.

If you fear it’s too late to take control of your financial future, we encourage you to take inspiration from Carolyn’s story. After a fulfilling career freelancing for advertising agencies, Carolyn pivoted to fundraising and development for nonprofit organizations—a choice that she’s happy about, but that resulted in a major pay cut, making her budget tighter than before. Despite these financial constraints, Carolyn remained positive and took advice from a friend who encouraged her to seek financial counseling resources. After some research, Carolyn eventually found her way to our free financial help!

Through the guidance of one of our certified financial counselors, Carolyn says she is now looking at her “personal bigger picture” and thinking about decisions to better her financial future. In an increasingly expensive city like New York, she understands that planning ahead is the key:

 “It really made me start thinking of where I want to be in 5, 10 years. I don’t think I can continue living in New York long-term economically. So then, where do I go – where do I want to go? It’s put me on the path to think about this and make determinations,” Carolyn shares.

Since utilizing our services, Carolyn has learned to budget her income and find the right debt consolidation resources to alleviate her financial stressors. She is also exploring ways to cut costs, such as finding reasonable pet care support for her dog, switching internet and mobile services, changing shopping habits, and potentially relocating to a more affordable city. Though none of these choices are easy, we’re hopeful this will lead her on the right path to financial wellness and provide her with the clarity she needs for a stress-free retirement.

“I’m not only in a new chapter but also in a totally different place now after meeting with Ariva. Expenditures come up out of the blue, but I can now look around and think about what can and can’t be done,” shares Carolyn.

We’ve had many clients in similar predicaments and feel inspired by their resilience and commitment to becoming financially empowered. Carolyn’s story is a reminder that in uncertain economic times, everyone should have a financial plan. Unexpected expenses can hit at any age, and if you’re unprepared, you can fall into an overwhelming financial pit.

If you relate to Carolyn and find yourself in limbo as you near retirement, we’re here for you. We believe in financial equity for all, so we work with organizations like the Parkchester Enhancement Program (PEP) to help us expand our free tax filing in NYC and debt counseling NYC resources to the senior community. Our partnership provides people aged 60+ with free tax preparation, free financial help, and the ability to apply for affordable housing. Learn more about our partnership with PEP and our shared commitment to the financial health of the Bronx senior community.

“Ariva was the most open-ended and not specific to any need or career base. It was broad enough that I could cover all the bases in terms of basic information and that I would get resources for other things, which I did,” Carolyn tells us.

Sign up for free financial counseling in NYC here and learn more about our tax services in NYC, too. No matter where you are in your financial journey, we are here for you every step of the way.