Dan and Michelle
67 and 65
Improve Investments, minimize taxes, and leave a legacy to kids and grandkids.
Dan and Michelle recently retired after long careers in corporate America and teaching. They are very excited about their future plans in retirement. They want to ensure they can maintain their current standard of living in retirement, while also leaving money to their kids and grandkids in the future.
Dan spent almost 40 years with his employer before deciding it was time to embark on the next chapter of his life. His retirement package included a 401(k) and stock options. Michelle spent 35 years teaching at the local high school, taking some time early in her career to help raise their three children. She has a pension and a 403(b) account through the school district.
Dan and Michelle have three adult children, one of which has Special Needs, and four grandchildren. They have always lived modestly, never chasing the biggest home, newest car, or the most lavish vacations. They have no debt. Their primary plans in retirement include traveling to their favorite National Parks, going to the beach, and spending more time with family.
Dan and Michelle know they have done a good job saving, but with one child, Ray, still living at home and dependent on them, they’re concerned about their assets surviving both their lifetime and his. After a recent health scare further prompted Dan to reconsider the thought of Retirement, he also wants to make sure Michelle is taken care of if something were to happen to him.
They had several other questions:
- How do we develop an investment strategy that better aligns with our goals and values?
- Which pension option should Michelle select?
- How do we put a plan in place to make sure Ray is taken care of, both personally and financially, while not disqualifying him for eligible government benefit programs?
- What are ways we can reduce our tax liability in retirement?
- How do we make sure we can leave a legacy to our kids and grandkids?
While Dan and Michelle feel they were always able to do a good enough job managing their families finances, they know they have several gaps in their financial plan that a professional could help address.
It was important to make sure everyone, including their two independent children, were on the same page as it relates to Ray’s care if something were to happen to Dan and Michelle. It was also important to work together with Dan and Michelle’s CPA, and a local estate planning Attorney, to identify the potential gaps in their current plan and come up with a customized action plan to address these concerns.
After several meetings and ongoing discussions with their team of advisors, the solutions adopted by Dan and Michelle helped them in many ways:
- They were able to set money aside in a Trust for Ray, making sure he wouldn’t lose any future government program benefits
- They were able to reduce taxes now, and in the future
- They were able to create a predictable steam of income they feel confident they won’t outlive, while also setting aside money for their kids and grandkids to inherit in the future
- They now feel they actually have a strategy with their investment accounts, and are no longer just “winging it”
Today, Dan and Michelle spend time between their primary residence and their beach condo, enjoying as much time at the beach as possible in the summer months with the kids and grandkids. They have confidence knowing their financial plan is sustainable, and all previously identified gaps have been closed.
Dan and Michelle’s retirement plan is revisited regularly with their advisor, ensuring any new legislation changes are being monitored and any planning opportunities available to them are being taken advantage of.