Bob has been a successful blue-collar business owner for the last 25 years. He runs a prospering one-person mechanic shop generating high income.
During his time as a mechanic, he has bought some commercial properties. His wife Nancy built her career around caring for children. After taking time off work to raise their four children, her passion continues as a daycare provider for young children of working families.
Financially, they are very responsible. Live by the "Pay yourself first" mentality, pay off credit cards each month, and are a few years from paying off their mortgage. They have accumulated millions of dollars over the years in their 401ks, IRAs (both Traditional and Roth), and other investment accounts beyond their commercial properties.
They love traveling both domestically and internationally. However, a recent trip for 50th birthdays prompted Nancy to ask Bob, "Is this what retirement will be like?" That one question led to a more extensive discussion about how frequently they could travel, how soon they could retire and having enough money to last as long as they lived. That was when they both realized that they needed some guidance and decided to give us a call for a meeting.
In our first meeting, to properly help them pursue their goals, it was imperative to learn more about them. We needed to know and understand their unique situation and grasp what is essential. Once we know that, then we can employ a proper strategy.
In that first meeting, they expressed five main areas of concern.
- They weren't sure if they accumulated investments enough to get them through their retirement years. They had a good feeling they didn't have enough but weren't sure how much they should be saving.
- Upon retirement, they want to focus on income and capital preserving strategies rather than speculating at all costs.
- Based on the current tax law, they wanted to mitigate taxes now and in retirement.
- They wanted to take care of their kids by efficiently setting the inherence around taxes.
- They wanted to support their favorite charities without negatively impacting their lifestyle.
Leaving that first meeting, we all understood what Bob and Nancy wanted to accomplish, and we got to work for them.
We provided them a customized plan that went over their cash flow, both pre and post-retirement, that spelled out how much they should put away pre-retirement and when and where to withdraw funds from post-retirement. They knew that in retirement they were now on the right track to not outlive their money. They were comfortable knowing that when retirement kicked their strategy would be in line with not only their needs but their comfort level. They knew regardless of market fluctuation they could count on their income to be there.
They hadn't employed a strategy for taxes before and Bob was very pleased having a proactive tax strategy that they could carry into retirement. All of the strategies we employed for Bob and Nancy gave them hope that their money would outlive them and be passed to their children and hopefully their grandchildren. They could do all this and still give to their favorite charities which made them very happy.
Bob and Nancy always thought they were "on the right track," but it wasn't until working with us that they genuinely felt they could retire on their terms. Taking the time to focus on each part of their plan had put them in a situation that they hadn't felt before. Instead of just hoping they were on the right track, they knew they were.
This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results may vary.