CFP® Certificants in the News: Rick’s Story

CFP® Certificant in the News


People Helping People

 It was the way I was raised - you help people out who need help. That is why I got into this business as a financial planner. It is meaningful to me to help people make changes in their lives.”

Rick Fingerman, CFP®

When a cancer diagnosis hits, the added stress of worrying about paying the bills or bankrupting the family can make a distressing situation even worse. Fortunately for the patients of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, Rick Fingerman, CFP® and other volunteers in the pro bono program provide “financial coaching to patients who need help navigating the financial complexities and stress that a cancer diagnosis brings.”


According to the Foundation for Financial Planning website,  Since the [pro bono] program started in 2008, members of the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts have helped over 500 patients and families in need, serving on average 50-70 patients a year. The families face a variety of concerns, with the most common questions relating to prioritizing and paying off debt, accessing Social Security disability, and budgeting. Because income often declines with a cancer diagnosis, many families are forced to examine expenses, which increase not only from the cancer treatment, but also from incidentals such as parking/travel to the hospital, take-out meals, and daycare. For some families that Rick has worked with, expenses got so bad that selling their homes was the only option to stay afloat. [According to Rick] ‘There is a whole domino effect that can wreak havoc on a family’s finances.’”


Rick goes on to describe a natural alignment between his day job and helping those at Dana Farber.  These people have real problems. As financial planners, we are in the problem-fixing business.” Rick describes the stress that families go through and how that affects their ability to get things done from a financial perspective. Working with patients at Dana Farber, “I see what people are going through and it really puts things in perspective this program has made me more grateful for things in my own life.

Outcomes attributed to Rick’s efforts include the following, taken directly from the Foundation for Financial Planning website:


  • Managed the pro bono financial planning program at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA for over 10 years
  • Helped cancer patients and their families navigate issues ranging from prioritizing and paying off debt to accessing Social Security disability to budgeting, and more
  • Acted as a neutral sounding board for patients and their families, listening to them, and providing peace of mind


We congratulate Rick and the other volunteers from the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts as they continue blessing cancer patients and their families.