Case Study Part 2 – On the Brink of Retirement

Easing the Nerves of a Couple on the Brink of Retirement

Ed and Mary both come from a middle-class background and had both worked in skilled technical positions for the phone company for their entire careers. Though they had fostered good saving habits, they felt nervous and anxious on the doorstep of retirement. There wasn’t much time to make adjustments, but they were able to implement a plan that eased their concerns and paved the wave for a more enjoyable retirement planning process.

As part of their plan, we: 

  • Changed their retirement savings strategy so they had a more tax-balanced portfolio in retirement.
  • Reviewed their insurance coverage so they understood how to transition into retirement without leaving gaps in coverage, or incurring significantly higher premiums.
  • Examined their current spending to understand what lifestyle their assets would support and how much money they would need to continue that lifestyle in retirement.
  • Explored how they could work in “encore careers” to stay occupied and have fun, and how to balance this with having more free time to explore their passions.
  • Discussed the approaches they could take with their investments given the fact they may not need all of the money, and how they may want to manage these funds.
  • Made a “bucket-list” of things they wanted to achieve in retirement.
  • Discussed potential changes to their estate plan and account titling, as they wanted to gift some of their money to charity and grandchildren.

Things you have to know for a successful retirement – bears repeating:

  1. What are you going to need to draw from your investments in the first year of retirement?
  2. What is the total value of your current investments?
  3. How many years until you retire?
  4. What amount of money can you commit to add to your investments each month until you retire?
  5. Current cost of living (Easy way to calculate: What you make minus what you save)
  6. Retirement income you can count on – we mean pensions, social security and other guaranteed sources – income that will be there for you no matter what the stock market does
  7. Annual return you need from now until you retire
  8. Overall stock market allocation
  9. Amount of risk in your portfolio now