When Sheryl Clark's nine-year-old daughter, Katie, died in an automobile accident, everything changed. "I understood the importance of balance in life-it's not just about working." She adopted an infant daughter, Galina, from Russia and a year later, in 2000, opened her own planning practice, Sunrise Financial, in Tucson, Ariz. As a self-employed planner, she could cut back her hours. Now 52, she works three days a week from home as a member of the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors.

The Alliance provides its members with a quarterly newsletter, a directed portfolio and software, leaving Clark free for comprehensive planning, including taxes and insurance. Clark has 50 middle-class clients-teachers, psychologists and small business owners-who pay her an average yearly retainer fee of $3,800, and another 50 clients for whom she prepares only tax returns. And she's happy. "The key to financial independence is knowing how much is enough," she says. "I'm just working with people I enjoy.

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