Autism Interview #211: Dave Bochichio on Financial Advice for Families

Dave Bochichio is an Autistic financial advisor serving neurodivergent individuals, their families, and professionals supporting them. His mission is to help clients reduce uncertainty, stress, and time spent worrying about their finances. Aside from partnering on financial goals, Dave also serves to be a behavioral coach around money, a financial educator, and a family coordinator on sensitive money matters. Dave and his wife live in New Hampshire in the Lakes Region with their two cats and enjoy eating out at restaurants, spending time with family, and watching romantic comedies. This week he shared financial advice for families.

When/how did you first become aware you were Autistic? Describe what that was like.

Even when I was young in school, I never fit in with the other kids. Rather than playing with kids my age, I was preoccupied with special interests such as astronomy, video games, and learning. I was doing high school math in elementary school and reading my mother’s college textbooks on science. Mind you, I didn’t understand everything I was reading, but I was interested.

I was formally diagnosed autistic/ADHD when I was 15, but I didn’t understand what that meant. Having had such a difficult time growing up, I just felt angry and I didn’t seek treatment for a long time. I did my best to hide my diagnosis.

It wasn’t until 4 years ago when I was 38, that I really started talking about being autistic and being open about it. I feel being autistic gives me a perspective that the average person doesn’t have.

How did you become interested in financial planning? Explain your career path (how you got to where you are today professionally).

I went to school for computer science, math, and minored in psychology. This led me to an early career of being a software developer. In that time, I found myself playing video games a lot of the time, and in those games, regardless of what the objective of the game was, if there was a way to make virtual money in the game, I focused on making as much as I could. I, in a way, made a mini-game out of earning money in video games.

This got me interested in investing and making money in real life. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out so well because, during much of my 20s and 30s, my wife and I had very little money due to me ending my career path as a software developer – I couldn’t handle the day-to-day.

I remember being so poor that we couldn’t afford $60 in gas to do a roundtrip from NH to NY to visit family for a holiday, and we were too ashamed to ask for the money.

It made me mad, and I realized if I could not only fix this situation, but help other people make more money and keep their finances in order, then I would be doing a good thing.

I began studying personal finance in 2017 and started a blog in 2020 on personal finance. I wrote over 100 articles and then created a YouTube channel, newsletter, built a Twitter following, and wrote a book.

I wanted to make a bigger impact, so I stopped all of that and turned to becoming a financial advisor to work more personally with people.

As a financial advisor, I don’t just work with wealthy people or people who want to retire one day. I work with people who might simply want to save to put their kids through college, for a rainy day fund, to pay off debt, to buy a house, or pretty much any other financial goal.

Your LinkedIn profile says that your consulting work focuses “primarily with neurodivergent individuals, their families, and professionals who support them.” How are you uniquely positioned to serve those clients?

As a neurodivergent individual, I understand some of the unique struggles individuals with disabilities and special needs families go through in the money world. Some of this includes “shiny object syndrome” where someone is constantly jumping from one thing to another. This could be spending money on these things, like hobbies, for example.

Individuals with disabilities and special needs families can also be overloaded more easily and trying to figure out the best way to do things with their money by reading things on the internet can be challenging. What’s the best way out of debt? How to invest? How to budget? What apps should I use? Should I use an app in the first place? It can be very overwhelming.

There is also anxiety around money in general that some neurodivergent folks feel. Then, speaking to someone about it can cause more overwhelming emotions.

I also have a background in crisis counseling, and once worked with over 500 individuals in crisis over 18 months at Crisis Text Line. This experience allowed me to learn how to help people through challenges that they may struggle to go through alone.

How do you support/work alongside of neurodivergent adults to help them gain financial independence?

I partner with my clients, whether neurodivergent or neurotypical, by getting to know them, finding out the things that are most important to them, then partnering with them using an established process to help them get from where they are today to where they want to be.

I personally meet with my clients on a regular basis to check in and provide services around their goals. I receive support and guidance from Edward Jones, one of the country’s largest financial services firms that understands everyone’s financial situation is unique and helps me cater financial advice to each individual client.  

Getting to know each client personally, and understanding their goals, whatever they may be, allows me to partner to help them gain the financial independence they desire. It’s about getting to know them on a personal level so I can be a true partner on their financial journey.

What challenges (if any) did you face as you learned to be financially independent?

It’s difficult. Truly. Breaking old habits are hard. My wife, who is also neurodivergent, and I, were spenders. We spent more than we earned, and we didn’t earn a lot.

Living a more frugal lifestyle was an adjustment that took a long time to do. Social media shows us that our friends, family, and people we look up to are buying things–this makes us want to buy them too. Resisting that urge and being okay with what we have is a struggle many people face.

We simplified a lot of our entertainment money. What we mostly do now is go out to eat and watch shows and movies on a streaming service, which is a lot more affordable than things we used to do 15 years ago when we were newly married

How can families of teens and young adults start their Autistic loved ones on the road to financial independence?

Autistic loved ones may need emotional support. It can be really challenging to work a typical job. Entrepreneurship has its own set of unique struggles. I’d say to always be supportive and have an open ear to an autistic loved one as they figure out their way in the career world.

Some families may provide financial support to the autistic loved one. This helps, but if possible, I’d encourage the autistic adult to do their best to thrive on their own. The trouble with relying too much on someone else for income is that when they pass away, the income may end and the autistic adult might face new issues.

No matter the situation, I’m happy to partner with families to learn more about saving. My advice is it’s never too early to start learning about finances.

If you’re interested in chatting with Dave about partnering together on what’s most important to you, you can reach him at

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