Intelligent Retirement Planning and Investing Strategies for Discerning Women and Couples Nationwide Age 50+
PRIVATE CLIENT SERVICES

Case Studies

Case Studies

PRE-RETIREES

Case Study: When Savers Retire

A couple in their late 50s came to us intending to retire within a year. With over $2 million accumulated in numerous retirement accounts, their portfolio had gotten too large and too complex for them to be comfortable handling it on their own. They were concerned about market volatility, preserving their assets and income for the long term, and—knowing women are statistically likely to live longer than men—establishing the professional relationships and financial resources to support them both for the rest of their lives.

We began our process by asking them questions about their dreams, concerns, goals and desires. We took inventory of their assets, liabilities and financial statements, in addition to completing a unique behavioral finance risk profile and a cash-flow analysis.

It was clear they had done a great job accumulating money, but had no coordination strategy in place to protect or maximize those assets.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

With a deep understanding of their concerns and wishes, we concluded that their investment approach required greater diversification to mitigate risk, stable growth to offset inflation, and a more streamlined structure. Our core, active and alpha portfolios, which correlate fees with the potential for added value, would save them thousands per year in expenses, and an income strategy based on the latest research would help prevent them from outliving their money. We also made arrangements to consolidate and roll over their various 403(b) plans into IRAs so we could reduce the number of accounts. Altogether this long-term investment strategy would help reduce risk, tax and expenses, with the potential for enhanced performance.

We brought their accountant in on our discussions about tax reduction strategies and arranged meetings with an estate planning attorney to update their wills and estate documentation. We also connected them with our long-term care strategist and coordinated with their attorney to help them protect and control their assets in the event of a medical or home-care issue.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

The couple gained an appropriate total portfolio that eliminated duplication, reduced paperwork, and established a predictable stream of investment income. By regularly transferring interest and dividends to a cash account, we are able to replicate their former biweekly paychecks.

In conversation with our clients, who are now in their retirement, they’ve told us they feel less stress. They are at ease with the risk/reward balance of their current portfolio and they are more confident in their decision-making ability knowing they have a long-term professional partner who is looking out for their best interests.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

RETIREES

Case Study: Retirement Re-Education

A couple in their mid-60s recently retired without pensions. Former college professors, they were collecting Social Security and withdrawing money from their savings, but they were unsure how best to create predictable, sustainable and increasing investment income that would help replicate their former paychecks.

They came to us looking for advice on managing the transition, optimizing cash flow, mitigating tax and risk, and preserving their assets for the long term.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

After our initial discovery and analysis, our first priority was to consolidate and simplify their various savings and investment accounts. This would help eliminate paperwork and unnecessary fees.

We then educated them on the risks and potential rewards of their holdings, and agreed upon a more diversified portfolio strategy. We also designed an income plan based on the latest research and arranged for the couple to meet with a long-term care strategist. We worked with their attorney and accountant to implement a cost-effective preservation plan focused on potential health care costs.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

Our Safe Money Benchmark Strategy resulted in a bi-weekly payment that supplemented the couple’s Social Security benefits significantly. This process, combined with their protection plan, would increase the likelihood they would never run out of money, even in the event of a change in health status or care needs.

Our clients have been able to enjoy their retirement knowing they have a plan in place for the longevity of their wealth and they can rely on ongoing monitoring and guidance to keep it on track.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

WIDOW

Case Study: Losing a Beloved Spouse

A 62-year-old woman’s life was turned upside down when her husband of 38 years passed away. Her home was paid off and her children grown, but her husband had been the primary wage earner and enjoyed managing the finances, so she was completely overwhelmed with the myriad decisions and avalanche of paperwork that quickly piled up around her.

Her first priority was to make sure she would be able to maintain her current standard of living and pay her bills on time. Before she put a new long-term financial strategy in place, she needed to know that she would be OK.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

We began with the items that were most pressing for her. We verified her checking account balance ($5,000) and immediately had her transfer another $10,000 to it from her bank savings account to cover her expenses for the next few months. We organized her outstanding bills, developed a schedule of recurring payments and offered to help her pay her bills and balance her checkbook for as long as she needed.

Our next priority was to review her tax returns, as well as all the information from her husband’s employer, which included paperwork for his employee benefits, retirement plan, deferred compensation, health care plan and life insurance.

She gave us authorization to make inquiries on her behalf, so after doing our due diligence, we were able to complete the forms necessary to have $120,000 in life insurance proceeds mailed to her within two weeks, and to roll over the $190,000 taxable portion of the retirement plan into an IRA, maintaining its tax-free status. We also instructed the former employer to have a $50,000 non-taxable group term life insurance benefit paid directly to our client, and we arranged for her to pick up a check for $5,000 for her husband’s unpaid earnings, unused vacation time, and the balance from his flexible spending account.

We helped her decide how best to maintain her health insurance coverage, and we had her initiate contact with the Social Security Administration to begin her monthly payout.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

It was a huge relief to our client that we would coordinate and complete the necessary paperwork. By helping her claim all the funds to which she was entitled, we were able to ensure she had ample assets and recurring income to support her lifestyle.

She recognized that she didn’t have the time, talent or temperament to handle her financial affairs on her own, so we maintained a relationship to provide ongoing perspective, direction and fee-based investment management services.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

PROFESSIONALS

Case Study: Strategies for a Growing Family

A pediatrician and his wife, a real estate agent, were facing some new financial decisions after considering changes to their lives and careers.

As talented young professionals they were building wealth quickly, but they realized they would need a better strategy for managing the money coming in, especially with so much on the horizon: building their dream home, having another child, funding their children’s college education and investing for their own retirement.

They had experienced sales-oriented financial services in the past, and decided they wanted objective advice in formulating financial and investment strategies for their future.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

We suggested they begin by building a solid financial foundation. They set aside 3–6 months worth of living expenses in a tax-free money market fund to act as their emergency fund, and the pediatrician procured disability insurance coverage that would replace up to 60% of his gross earnings, subject to certain limits. At our suggestion they both increased their life insurance coverage as well.

We projected the cost of a college education for the three children in 12–18 years and advised them to start funding a separate college account for each child, through monthly contributions to a diversified portfolio of stock and bond funds.

At our urging, the couple met with an estate planning attorney to have wills drawn up and appoint guardians, and to arrange powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies. They allowed us to be present in these meetings so that we could gain a broader understanding of their wishes and desires.

We then suggested they put a 20% down payment on their dream home to avoid PMI, and we contributed to the process of establishing a retirement plan for the medical practice.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

The young professionals are well on their way to financial independence. The strategies we implemented will help prevent a financial collapse in the event of a sudden illness or death. Their college savings plan will not only help them fund their children’s education, it will also automatically decrease the proportion of stock to bonds and cash as the kids approach college age, thereby reducing risk and providing greater liquidity.

With proper retirement savings plans and investment strategies, they will also lower their tax liability and accumulate their wealth more efficiently over time.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

INHERITOR

Case Study: Inheriting Financial Complexity

A young college graduate was working for a music distribution company when her life suddenly changed course. Her mother passed away, leaving her an investment account and a house in upstate New York.

The investment account was worth $150,000, but the stockbroker managing it was not interested in giving her the attention or communication she needed. Similarly, the property was valued at about the same amount and was paid for free and clear, but the impending sale had a lot of moving parts and the young graduate was not confident in the decisions she was making.

She knew her inheritance had the potential to help her become financially independent, but there were too many details to consider and too many opinions to manage—especially while she was dealing with the loss of her mother.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

We started at square one, discussing her goals, dreams, cash flow needs and tolerance for risk. We helped her set up an appropriate emergency fund, reviewed her employee benefits and began coordinating with her other advisors to get a clearer picture of the estate transition process.

We discovered that her investment account had only one stock fund, which had high internal expenses and low output. She also had unrealized losses that could be used to lower her tax liability. So we came up with a more suitable asset allocation and agreed on an overall investment strategy.

While helping her navigate the sale of her mother’s home and the reorganization of her own finances, we took time to educate her on financial topics that were new to her and we made sure she was well informed every step of the way.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

Our client experienced an immediate sense of relief that we could act as her point person. She relies on our availability, service and attention to detail to maintain her financial clarity. With her customized investment solution, she was also able to reduce her risk exposure, achieve broad diversification, lower expenses and supplement her employment income.

The relationship began as an estate settlement, but it took us down a path that ultimately enhanced her overall financial picture and self-confidence.

To protect client confidentiality, names have been omitted and some details have been changed.

The 10 Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them

Uncertain about your retirement?

After 30+ years, the biggest retirement missteps seem to be as common as they are avoidable. So we wrote them down.

Download: The 10 Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them
Top

Search

The 10 Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them

The 10 Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them

Retirement Readiness Kit

If you would also like a free Retirement Readiness kit mailed to you, please submit the form below.

Retirement Readiness Kit