facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast blog external search

"Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations"

A fee only financial planning and investment management firm helping those experiencing grief in the Central Florida area and beyond navigate financial matters.


LEARN MORE

LET US BE YOUR GUIDE

You’ve been through a lot, but there are people who share your struggles. Although everyone’s grief is unique, know that there are caring hands who want to help. One of the most difficult parts about grief is dealing with money.  There are few financial decisions that need to be made immediately after a loved one has passed on. Know that it is ok to feel FINE—Frightened, Insecure, Neurotic and Exhausted all at the same time. We welcome your story and we want to help you through this journey.

HOW WE CAN HELP

We are here to help you put the pieces of your life back together and regain joy. We have training in the needs of grieving people and are experienced in how to be sensitive to those needs. By providing you with objective, impartial and confidential advice we are here to help you find answers at your pace and empower you.

Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.

Anne Roiphe

Meet Our Expert

Christopher Dale, CFP® Photo

Christopher Dale, CFP®

Hello, my name is Chris and I have had a very interesting life since graduating from high school. My life forever changed in the spring of 1994 when my mother, Carmen, developed breast cancer. I was graduating from high school and set to begin college at the University of Florida that year. The next four years would be very trying as I was leaving home for the first time.

My parents were apart during this time as well due to my mother's various cancer treatments outside of Orlando. She endured radiation, chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and a mastectomy during my first two years in college. I witnessed the emotional toll it took on my father as I experienced him cry for the first time. The physical treatments took their toll on my mother and it was immense. She was just a shell of the strong, dominating woman I once knew. It was extremely hard dealing with the reality that my mother could die. This was also my first realization of the strong support system I had. Just as college graduation came, my mother's cancer went into remission and continued that way for the next several years.

Read More

In 2000, my mother had a series of neurotic episodes, one of which caused her to be Baker Acted. Other episodes resulted in a series of cognitive evaluations. She was eventually diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. My father, Clorse, then became my mother's primary caregiver and this was a serious change to how we all used to live. My mother had to have a caregiver 24/7. With no formal planning, I was relied upon to guide my mother and father through the next eight years of their lives. 

Being a caregiver took its toll on my father’s health. My father experienced renal failure and went on dialysis during this time. He also experienced a series of cardiac events stemming from the stress of caring for my mom. I had many obstacles to overcome from 2000 until 2008 and during this time, I became a power of attorney for my mom. I had to secure financing in the event that my parents ran out of money because of healthcare costs. I sought and had no success with professionals whom I deemed as experts in the field of elder care. I also sought and was denied Medicaid on my mother’s behalf on three separate occasions. My wife, Annmarie, and I purchased my parents’ home to preplan for healthcare funding later in case my parents exhausted all their financial means. 

My parents did eventually run out of money and we had a family meeting to solicit and learn of my parents’ final healthcare wishes. This was done because my parents had no formal estate planning. In the year of both of my parents’ death, I had to secure and fund a nursing home for my mother for several months. I also had to make the gut wrenching decision to get Hospice involved to make my mother as comfortable as possible. I had to be a realistic because medical treatment only did as much as it could. I also had to honor my mother’s final wishes of not sustaining her life artificially. Although this was the same decision my father wanted for his own life, he could not come to let his wife go. My mother died in August of 2008.

In order to help my dad, I tabled my emotions with grief and focused on the reality of life without my mother. I cared for my father as if he was my very own child. This was also the point I realized that I had been a caregiver for both parents and would continue to be a caregiver for my father. The death of my mother became too much for my father and he lost his will to live, eventually succumbing to a fatal heart attack in November 2008. I had to handle all final arrangements just as I did for my mother. This time, I had to decide what to do with the contents of my parents’ home and how to deal with the property. Although I knew it was important not to make financial decisions out of emotion, it was still very hard. I decided to have an estate sale, remodel and rent the home, partially due to the fact that we were in the midst of a deep recession.

After the financial obligations reached finality, I had to pick up the emotional pieces and regroup for the next trials to come in my life. After relentlessly and unsuccessfully attempting to employ professionals to aid in the ongoing care of my parents, I decided to become a certified expert through formal education and mentorship. One year and a half later, my paternal grandmother fell ill due to a stroke. She would later be placed in a nursing home, only to develop a severe infection that would ultimately claim her life. The same due diligence applied to my grandmother’s care, with the exception that she was out of state. At one point, my wife and I began the process of moving my grandmother across the country to ensure she had the best care.

I dealt with the reality of these situations with seclusion and alcohol. I probably drank more than I should have, but the grief was so deep and it was the only way I knew how find relief. It was shortly after loathing in self-pity for several months that I decided I needed to employ a higher power, my spiritual adviser and priest.  I realized I had hit rock bottom emotionally and my priest recommended that I seek the help of a bereavement group.

I had been yearning to interact with people who had very similar experiences to mine and it was important for me to share my story with others. Joining this group would be the turning point of my life, as it would help me lay a foundation to endure future storms ahead. The group was comprised of widows, widowers and parents of children whom had all experienced this journey called grief. They allowed me to comfortably display all of my emotions in a nonthreatening environment. They also gave me a positive mechanism in which to channel my grief. They were very accepting and uplifted my soul by reinforcing the exemplary man I had become. They also allowed me to find and share similar experiences with folks who had been in the same predicament. 

After many, many sessions with this group, I began my life of healing. It was during this time that my wife and I decided to go on a medical missionary trip to Ghana. I learned that giving back to others was a significant source of healing. During this time, I also renewed my faith by investing time in a spiritual retreat with my church. My faith wavered at times during the process, but in the end, I was guided to a point in which I needed to heal properly.

Two years later, Annmarie and I would experience the most dramatic and traumatic loss yet. In the summer of 2012, we were expecting twin boys. After 16 weeks, Annmarie’s water broke, which put both babies in danger. Baby A, formally named Christopher Clorse Dale, would have little hope of survival because most of the fluid loss was from his amniotic sac. Two weeks later, Christopher Clorse was born but did not survive. 

As we mourned the passing of our first son, we prayed that all would be well with our second son. The chances of survival would increase dramatically if he did not come in the first 24 hours after Christopher Clorse was born. With a little medical intervention and a ton of support of friends, family and God, our second son stayed put and was born after 41 weeks. He was named Elias. This was the turning point for Life After Grief for the Dales. 

Two years later, Annmarie and I once again experienced Life After Grief with the successful birth of our third son, Gideon. Both of the boys’ names have religious symbolism. Elias, meaning the Lord is my God, symbolized our realization that a higher power controlled our ultimate destiny. Gideon, meaning warrior, symbolizes our demeanor to weather hard times.  

During these times, I had unrelenting spiritual guidance, as well as support of family and friends. Constant group counseling helped me focus on Life After Grief.  My strong support system made me realize how strong I really was in the face of adversity. It also made me realize how resilient I had become. These experiences have given me poise to help over 400 families navigate many financial issues and life circumstances. I truly look at my experiences in life as GIFTS that I can use to help others.  

I have an Elementary of Education degree from the University of Florida. I also minored in Business Administration, as well as specialized in both Psychology and Business Administration.  I have been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ for over six years and have been in private client management for over fifteen years.

I am happily married to my wife Annmarie and we currently reside in Orlando, FL with our two sons, Elias and Gideon.

OUR VALUES


Our goal is to be your financial coach, and enable you to focus on healing and finding joy in life again. We take a holistic approach, focusing on helping you navigate financial matters during the hardest times. Our seven values reflect our tailored approach.

communication icon


Communication

You can expect clear, proactive communication. We interpret language from other professionals and act as a liaison to communicate with other professionals on your behalf. 


confidentiality icon


Confidentiality

It goes without saying that your privacy is very important to us.  Our process and anything discussed are completely confidential.


Objectivity icon


Objectivity

Our advice and recommendations are always brought to you in the most objective manner and we are available to consult with you at key moments of decision-making. We'll also provide you with all of the information you need to help you avoid making any emotionally charged decisions, especially those that are irrevocable. We are able to provide a buffer to others who may be pressuring you to make immediate decisions.   


education icon


Education

When providing advice and recommendations, we work to ensure that our clients thoroughly understand each decision, including the risks associated with each choice. We'll provide the necessary resources to help facilitate the decision-making process, and explore the specific knowledge that will be needed to succeed.

partnership icon


Partnership

We like to work in conjunction with you and hold each other accountable. We aim to help you achieve the best life possible by taking the time to clearly understand your background, philosophy, needs and objectives. We work collaboratively with you and on your behalf to achieve your goals.

organization icon


Organization

We help by bringing order to your financial life by assisting you in getting your financial house in order. This includes big-picture items such as investments, insurance, taxes, estate planning, etc., but also the everyday financial hurdles, such as your household budget and cash flow.


compassion icon


Compassion

We act as a sounding board for all of your needs and want to be your trusted advisor to address any money fears you may have. Our environment is non-judgmental and encourages healing. We want to know what is going on beyond your finances and to celebrate positive transitions in your life, while gently reflecting on positive memories of the past. We’ll assure you that you are not alone in this journey and there are others who have shared your experience. 


Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

Marcel Proust

Services


Quick Start Plan

This plan covers one of the financial planning topics listed below.


Starter Plan

This plan covers two of the financial planning topics listed below.


Foundation Plan

Our Foundation Plan is a complete financial plan that includes all of the elements below.

Life Plan

The Life Plan consists of the same elements as The Foundation Plan, but includes ongoing execution of implemented strategies. We will continue to monitor and adapt our strategies based on the fluctuations of the market and your unique needs.


FINANCIAL PLANNING TOPICS:



Ask Me Anything


We realize you may only have a need for a conversation on a few financial topics. From broad, personal questions to very refined, financial inquiries - I invite you to ask me anything at a flat hourly rate. This one to two-hour meeting will review your most pressing questions one by one. The result? We'll provide you with as much financial guidance as possible to lead you in the right direction.


Investment Management


Investment Management is offered for clients who want help implementing the investment recommendations laid out in the financial plan that they have chosen (Quick Start, The Foundation or Life Plan). We’ll build, implement, and monitor a portfolio that's right for you. We’ll also maintain a cost-effective investment strategy.

It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life and let it pull you forward.

Patti Davis

Resources



FAQ


Who is your typical client?

Widows, widowers, adult children who have cared for and lost a parent and parents who have lost children. We also welcome working with clients with whom we have had great partnerships in the past.

Who would not be a good fit?

Grievers not ready to put the pieces of their life back together and regain joy again.  We loosely follow a 6 month time frame in which no major financial decisions will be made with the exception of administrative tasks.  We have found that the grief is too profound during the first six months after a loss to focus on finances.

Grievers who are not ready or willing to utilize a financial quarterback to help coordinate the many moving parts of the financial process along with the number of outside professionals.

If you’re not ready to engage in the next phase of your life toward healing and enjoying life again, this will not be a good fit for you.

Additionally, if you are averse to technology and unwilling to meet virtually, we would not be a good fit.  If you are someone who believes they can beat the market, simply wanting the latest hot stock tip or to talk about daily stock returns, then we will not be a good fit. We believe this process should be a partnership.

Am I required to meet with you in person?
Do I have to pay for an introductory meeting?
How do you approach working with clients?

We listen, relate and provide a handheld roadmap to help clients bring joy back into their lives. We also identify which style of griever you are. We identify the unique needs of each style and provide a financial plan accordingly. We provide objective advice to help clients prioritize major decisions in a clear, concise and rationally way. In fact, there are very few decisions that need to be made immediately. We continue to follow up consistently during the process. This is especially important when other support seems to fade away.

We begin by talking about what is important to you, your experiences, your circumstances, your goals, and your expectations for our relationship. Some people need an accountability coach, others just somebody to verify and/or provide a second opinion. Others have no interest in, nor knowledge about, finances. I customize my work with you based on your needs, not mine. 

As for me, you can expect me to help keep you focused on the big picture and to try to simplify the complex wherever possible. I tend to be pretty straightforward and try to speak plainly and to the point. I will be your biggest cheerleader, but I’m also ready to have difficult conversations when necessary. I also welcome interaction with your other professionals.

What is a CFP® professional?

The CFP® certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies to the public that those individuals who have been authorized to use the CFP® certification marks in the U.S. have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients. Find out more HERE.

What does “fee-only mean”?
Do you manage investments?
This all sounds great, what is the next step?
Do you help anyone outside of the central Florida area?

Yes. Although we are located in the central Florida area, we are a virtual practice and able to serve nationwide.

The only cure for grief is action.

George Henry Lewes

Have Questions? Want to Learn More?

Schedule a “Put the pieces of your life back together” consultation with Chris today!


SCHEDULE A MEETING





ADDRESS

650 N. Alafaya Trail Suite 101 #782043
Orlando, FL 32878

CONTACT

hello@lifeaftergrieffp.com
407.917.1913