The Challenge:

A married couple in their mid-60 are contemplating retirement, but are unsure if they have the resources to support their lifestyle. The client was fearful of losing that consistent paycheck and the security it brings with it—especially when thinking about having to now rely on the “stock market.” In addition, the client's vision for retirement looked very different for each spouse. Where would they live, would they relocate, when is the right time to take the leap? The client's primary goal was to develop, together, a retirement picture they were both happy with as well as feel secure they had enough resources to retire.

The Analysis:

Through financial life planning exercises with the client, we were able to develop a clear vision statement for their future. With their vision for retirement established, we were able to work with the client to quantify their goals and begin to examine their cash flow in a more meaningful way. We analyzed several strategies for collecting Social Security and selecting a pension option to maximize benefits and optimize income. In putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together, we were able to run financial projections to illustrate the client's probability of accomplishing their financial goals.

The Recommendation:

Through the financial planning process, we concluded the client would be able to retire in the next 18 months and fully achieve all of their goals. It was recommended the client begin to take extended vacations in different areas of Florida to identify an area they would purchase a condo to travel to in the cold months. A tax-efficient income strategy was designed, coordinating distributions from their investment portfolio, maximizing Social Security benefits over their lifetime, and selecting the optimal pension option for their situation. 

Through an investment education process, we were able to put the client at ease that the volatility in the stock market would not impact their monthly “paycheck” from their portfolio. The client is now enjoying retirement, splitting time between Florida and New Jersey and not worrying about the stock market.