Melinda was a client of our firm for several years before she became unable to manage her own finances. One of her goals had been to make sure that her estate plan accurately reflected her wishes. We connected her with an attorney who started the process that was later finished with the help of Melinda’s children.
Melinda’s previous advisor had used complicated investment products that limited her ability to make specific adjustments to her portfolio. Unfortunately, Melinda was not aware of these limitations when the products were purchased.
When Melinda passed away, we helped carry out her wishes by distributing the proceeds of her estate to her children and grandchildren and provide ongoing investment advice and guidance to help her resources continue to provide for the benefit of her family. We also introduced Melinda’s family to a realtor who helped them sell her home so the estate could be closed.
Coordination of Financial Matters
Rob and Jen were new clients who approached us looking for coordination and simplification of their financial life. They had done a good job of saving money, but over the years had accumulated multiple retirement accounts and didn’t have a good handle on how it all fit together. They have two kids, and weren’t sure of the best way to prepare for their college expenses. They had also made some bad investment choices and wanted to know how to correct those and improve their overall standing.
Our first objective was to understand what Rob and Jen wanted to accomplish and identify their specific goals and needs. We gathered a large amount of information, including account statements, tax returns, even property insurance information. Through a very comprehensive look at their resources, we were able to identify opportunities to consolidate and reduce the number of accounts. We also helped them understand how to reorient their retirement plans to better fit their long-term goals. We looked at a few different scenarios for college funding that helped satisfy their desire to help their kids without hurting their own retirement preparation. We agreed to meet and revisit their plan periodically, and are providing ongoing accountability for tasks like estate planning
Accelerated Retirement Savings
Paul and Raquel first came to see us in their early 50s. Both of them had worked in different fields before finding their current, lucrative vocations. As a result, they felt like they needed to make up for lost time as they prepared for retirement. We spent some time assessing how to balance that need with the right amount of risk for their specific situation.
We suggested they maximize their retirement account contributions, which reduced their current tax burden. We also helped establish a joint investment account for additional savings. Balancing pre-tax and taxable accounts can help reduce the overall tax burden during retirement.
When she first came to see us, Jane had recently finished a surgical fellowship and accepted her first well-paid position as a physician. This was the culmination of many years of school and training, and she wasn’t sure how to balance various concerns including paying off student loans and preparing for retirement. She also knew she had to protect against risks such as disability, which could hamper her ability to have the future she had spent so much time working toward.
We gathered information about her loans. We identified an appropriate amount to save for a down payment for a home and helped her begin putting money aside for that purpose.
As a high-income earner, reducing tax liability was important for Jane. We made sure that she started contributing to her retirement account. In Jane’s case, and many others, paying down debt is important. We helped her see how she could reduce her high-rate loan debt AND contribute toward retirement and how the tax savings of the latter were worth taking advantage of sooner rather than later.
*These examples are not indicative of any future performance, your experience may vary.