Pain Point: Unclear and uncertain if they can live their remarkable life throughout all of retirement
Our Solution: Clarify the vision and map the cashflow resources to it for all of retirement
When we first met this family they fit the picture of success. One spouse was looking at wrapping up a long professional career and was in a SVP position for a mid-size manufacturing company. The other still loving their work as an independent copywriter with no plans to stop working. Their kids had both finished up undergraduate work and were starting their own careers.
They traveled a few times each year and had hobbies and communities they enjoyed. From the surface this is a family that shouldn’t have had any worries about anything. Behind the scenes was a bit of a different story. They told us that finances had been a constant stresser throughout their marriage and that they truly had no idea if they could afford to retire.
They had taken out a second mortgage on their home to pay for college for both of their kids and were just covering interest payments on that loan. They had used the employed spouses retirement plan at work but didn’t know what investments they had chosen or how they had done. He also had some company stock awards but those had accumulated and they didn’t know how much tax they would owe so they didn’t feel confident they would ever get the full value from them.
They both had Social Security benefits but didn’t know when they should file or if both should do that at the same time. In short, they had been focused on raising a family and working hard in their careers, not on their finances.
Once we dug into the details and mapped out all of their assets they cleared the multi-millionaire threshold comfortably. Their home actually had significant equity in it, even with the second mortgage and we were able to help them refinance and consolidate the debt into a lower interest rate first mortgage only. The company 401k and 457 plans held well over $1M and the investment mix had been target-date funds that had generally kept their assets growing over time.
The stock awards did carry some tax implications but we were able to build a multi-year liquidation strategy to reduce their exposure to that single asset and diversify into a broader investment portfolio. We were also able to help the self-employed spouse put together a strategy to take better advantage of the tax opportunities with her LLC and set aside some additional money in a retirement plan specific to that business income. We reviewed their Social Security options and developed a claiming strategy to maximize their lifetime income and integrate with their ongoing income as they worked.
Those were just the individual pieces around their wealth. We also helped them clarify what they wanted most including an annual international trip, lots of shorter domestic trips, and two weddings they expected in the next five to ten years. They were able to see what it would take to reach all of these goals along with meeting their living expenses, health expenses, and preparing for the unknown over an almost 40 year retirement period.
They copywriter spouse planned to keep working for another decade because they loved the work and could do it from anywhere, even a hotel balcony in Europe! The spouse with the manufacturing position decided to open a consulting practice as well and work a maximum of 20 hours per week on projects they found interesting.
They now feel confident that they are on the path to the own remarkable retirement and that as life changes, they have a planning process and team to help them make informed choices. They still worry about the unknown from time to time but now they are able to reach out to their team at Destiny Capital and ask those questions and get answers.
Even if you feel like you have missed so many opportunities or are behind where you should be, our team is here to help you understand how all the pieces can fit together. Our job is to help you live your remarkable life and keep you on track as you live it.