Wendy and Scott have had a good life. They’ve raised two sons and a daughter who are all doing well. Now, it’s their turn.
Wendy left work to stay at home with their kids 25 years ago so the responsibility of saving for retirement has been primarily fallen on Scott.
He’s worked a few corporate jobs and finally ended up with one he’s stayed with for the past 15 years which has give him a very comfortable six-figure salary, great benefits, and additional flexibility which has freed him to spend more time at home with the family.
Scott’s saved over one-million dollars for retirement between his IRA, 401(k), and investment accounts, and he has a small pension that he’ll be able to take when he retires as well.
Recently he’s started using various calculators and software programs to help give him an idea about how they’re progressing and when they might be able to retire. But between trying to decipher varying opinions around “safe withdrawal rates”, rate of return assumptions, and tax projections, he’s found himself with more questions than answers.
He feels it’s time to engage some professional guidance.
Scott and Wendy were turned off by the idea of meeting with another financial professional. They’d engaged with a couple of different insurance agents and “advisors” over the years, but have always ended up feeling that they were pushed into a product or investment strategy that they didn’t really understand, so they had a healthy distrust of financial service industry.
After conducting their own research they determined that they wanted to find a fiduciary advisor, and someone who carried the Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation so that they could establish a real plan for their future.
Finally, Scott was still routinely working 50 hour weeks, so time was a precious commodity. He wanted a comprehensive plan, but didn’t want to be bogged down with hours and hours of paperwork and questionnaires. To help balance their busy schedule they wanted a streamlined experience that allowed them to progress through the process from home after an initial couple of face to face meetings.
The process of engaging with Scott and Wendy began with setting an educational foundation. It’s apparent Scott’s due diligence had led to more confusion than clarity. They needed to be walked through the research that’s been conducted, and he became much more comfortable with the assumptions used as they proceeded through the planning process.
Scott and Wendy’s biggest concern was how they could replace their working income, and when they could realistically retire. What was important to Scott and Wendy, how did they want to spend their time, and what things were they most concerned about?
With more clarity in place, they now have the foundation of their plan for income replacement. They’ve walked through a Social Security review to help them understand their claiming options, and discussed how that might coordinate with the rest of their retirement income. Their investment reviewed helped to uncover areas of potential improvement and cut down on some of the hidden expenses in their portfolio. They also learned how additional diversification could help them reduce their overall risk.
They now better understand retirement specific risks, like inflation, healthcare, and taxes and understand the strategies to help better manage those risks.
Scott was able to step away from work with a six-figure retirement income at age 68 with his pensions, social security, and his investment income strategy. They managed taxes through a strategic withdrawal plan and used insurance to replenish their assets for their legacy.