Preparing To Retire

MY PROCESS: Once we decide to work together I will take you through The 7 Pillar Power Plan – This process happens at your pace on your schedule. We will chip away at this gradually until we have covered all of the essential areas to ensure you have a complete game plan. All of these steps together are used to form your comprehensive RETIREMENT INCOME PLAN.

  • Intake Meeting: I will focus on understanding your financial situation but also your personal situation at a very deep level. We will discuss your investment history, goals, etc. Most importantly, I want to know who is most dear to you and what you need the money to do for you and your loved ones.

  • Comprehensive investment analysis: Once I have a genuine feel for your situation and what you are trying to accomplish, I will go through your current holdings with a fine toothed comb. I will be looking for redundancies, I will do an assessment of your potential tax liability so that we can make tax-smart investment decisions. I will also do a complete cost analysis so that I can identify the “all-in” fees associated with your current portfolio including hidden expenses that you may not be aware of. In addition, I will do a detailed review of your plan at WORK to ensure that you are leveraging and maximizing those benefits as much as possible.

  • Lifestyle Analysis: This is where we figure out how much money you will need each month to maintain your lifestyle. This can seem like a daunting task but we can start with what you are living on now and make a few adjustments in order to get your baseline plan in place. As we work together I will continue to collect more details until we both have a reasonable feel for what your numbers look like. From there I do something called MILESTONE PLANNING. This means I will project these numbers into the future, while accounting for inflation and taxes. I also will monitor what you need to withdraw from your portfolio during different phases of your life. For example, you may need to withdraw more from the portfolio until you hit the milestone of receiving Social Security payments. We then adjust your plan accordingly. This is an ongoing process and we will revisit this conversation each time we meet so that we can continue to adjust our plan accordingly.

  • 360 degree Risk assessment: I try to identify every conceivable risk that may compromise your retirement. This goes well beyond market volatility. We will look at the portfolio risk of course, but we will examine the risk of you living longer than expected, unexpected health expenses, real estate costs, helping family members, etc. We will then preemptively discuss contingency plans so that we have a sound plan of action for your retirement.

  • Income Optimization: Efficient income, the focus will be on generating as much income as possible, independent of what the market does. We will emphasize tax efficient investment income, maximizing your Social Security payments, making good decisions regarding any pensions that might be in place. We will even consider the appropriate use of annuities if necessary. We typically review these strategies with your tax professional or one that is recommended by our firm.

  • HealthCare Analysis: This is one of the most underestimated and largest expenses during retirement. We will discuss your health insurance strategy prior to and post Medicare. I will help you make the right selections for Medicare at the appropriate time. We will look at Long Term Care for you and other family members and help you decide on whether insurance is appropriate, or if you should fund these expenses yourself. If you will self-fund your Long Term Care, we will earmark the appropriate funds for this time period.

  • Legacy Planning: The final step is to phase in a strategy for all of your legacy issues. We need to have a game plan in place for your loved ones if you become sick or incapacitated. We also need to consider titling, beneficiary decisions and other items to ensure that we “dis-inherit” the IRS and make sure that your assets pass to your loved ones in the most complete and tax-efficient manner possible. These meetings are typically held in conjunction with your Estate Planning attorney or one that is recommended by our firm.

As you transition to retirement, you will be making some of the most important financial decisions of your life. You need to get these decisions right as any mistakes you make now may not manifest until you are way too old to do anything about it. As you prepare to retire, there is a lot of research to do. You may not have everything in place, but you know that you need to do something. I have a check list that may help. Download The 15 Things That You Must Do Before You Even Think About Retiring.