Helping Hospice Clients Led To New Career

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After 30 years with Motorola's legal and financial department, Bruce Davidson found himself drawn down a different path.

A relative was a social worker with Hospice of the Valley and told him many of their clients had a lot of difficulty getting their finances in order and could really use some affordable help. The clients' financial problems also created a stumbling block to the services hospice could provide, Davidson said. The hospice clients could not leave their homes, so they needed someone who could come to them.

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Bruce Davidson

"I said I could do that, and so I started visiting the homes of hospice clients to help with trusts and wills," Davidson said.

That was about two years ago, and the service to hospice has blossomed into a full-time business for Davidson -- Davidson Financial Services, LLC.

He is based in Sun Lakes, but also has a home in Pine and opened a branch of his business in the Rim country last month.

He does not have formal offices -- instead, he continues to go to the homes of clients.

"One of the major problems with the hospice clients was waiting to the last minute. A lot of them were afraid if they took care of this financial business, that would be the end for them. For some it was, they'd sign their papers and be gone. But that was not usually the case," Davidson said.

The way he likes to work, Davidson visits with clients, doing an interview to find out about their finances, and learning what they want to do. He then prepares the documents, has them signed, then, helps the client decide how to pay for what they want.

"My wife goes with me when I take the papers to be signed. She is a notary public.

"I treat my clients with dignity and respect. I wanted the hospice clients to have the same comfort and care with their financial concerns as they received from (hospice) with their physical needs." Davidson said.

Working with the hospice clients, he only charged $360 for his services. Davidson says he also asks flat fees for services to other clients.

"There are no hidden costs," he said. "My objective is to provide my clients with the knowledge and tools to manage their finances without having to pay others a share of their earnings. I keep my costs very low because I have no office to rent or staff to pay."

Davidson's services include:

  • Tax preparation and planning;
  • Successor trustee -- creating documents that make a neutral third party the trustee of an estate where the beneficiaries are less than amicable;
  • Accounting services;
  • Living trusts, wills and durable powers of attorney;
  • Financial planning;
  • Budgeting.

He can come in and help anyone with financial planning, including bill paying, not just the elderly, though many of them need special assistance in going through their medical bills.

"(Medical bills) can be confusing to those of us who are sharp, imagine how frightening they would be to someone who is having bouts of dementia," Davidson said.

As part of his financial planning and budgeting services, Davidson also does debt counseling.

"Most people don't know about the Fair Debt Collection Act. There are lots of rights people have they don't know about and I try to help them understand them."

Davidson said a lot of people his age find the word "budgeting" very annoying, and complain they have had to budget all their lives. "But a lot of people don't know what they're spending."

Working in this area of financial services, Davidson said it takes about 20 to 30 hours of work to create a comprehensive financial plan. He uses models to help clients see the amount of money they will need to live if they retire at 55, 60 or 65.

"I don't sell any securities, annuities or insurance. I just provide exceptional guidance and service," Davidson said.

He sees the importance of financial planning quite often.

"I'm finding that when husbands die, the widows are very lost. Everyone needs to realize if they don't make a plan, a will and a living trust and keep their money in the family, the state is going to get it," he said. "Not making a plan is robbing kids of what their parents have put away. A trust is so simple and easy to do. A lot of people think if they have a will, that's enough. But wills have to be probated in Arizona if there are assets over $50,000. And anyone who owns a house has assets over $50,000. Wills go into the trust. Trusts are simple, inexpensive and ease problems heirs would otherwise encounter. Why give $20,000 to $30,000 of your money away?"

Don't expect Davidson to expand his business, he plans only to handle the number of clients he is comfortable dealing with on his own.

"I take pride in the high level of personal service I bring to my clients. I am not a high-volume mill operation, but a hands-on, service-focused operation. I look for clients who want this close, personal kind of service and we create a long-term partnership. It sounds expensive, but it isn't. I deliver exceptional service at very reasonable prices," Davidson said.

Davidson and his wife, Sandy, have had a home in Pine for seven years. They have five children and six grandchildren between them.

To contact Davidson, call 476-4138 or (480) 883-1506 or (480) 390-4269. He is also available via e-mail at hezzy@dancris.com.

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