FAI was founded with the mission of having a significant, positive impact on people’s lives. We assist a variety of individuals, families, and age groups. Our typical client is approaching retirement and has accumulated investable assets between $500,000-$5Million. Our approach is unique for each client. The following stories are fictional and represent some common concerns.
Seeking Complete Solutions for a Worry-Free Future
John & Elaine's Story: How Can We Kow We Are Financially Independent?
John and Elaine first came to us with one question. They wanted to know when they could stop working.
While we took a close look at the numbers, we could tell their question was a lead-in to a much deeper anxiety about the future.
Despite the fact they had set funds aside for retirement, they were worried their nest egg could be wiped out prematurely from obligations to pay for their children’s school tuition or to care for aging parents. Elaine confessed that, “given the state of the economy,” they had stopped putting money into their investment vehicles in exchange for the “safety” of a regular savings account at their bank.
Like many clients who come to us for financial planning, John and Elaine needed to see evidence that they would be okay. But even more importantly, they needed to feel in control.
We were able to help them objectively examine their options and agree on a plan that would enable them to realize their dream of extensive travel while still providing for the contingencies of increasing tuition bills and long-term care for aging parents. For the first time, their discussions on planning were focused on achieving financial independence rather than mere survival.
Many of our clients approaching retirement have questions and stress about:
- Having enough money to retire
- Supporting family members
- Distributing money to their children
- When to take distributions from their retirement accounts
- Outliving their nest egg
If these concerns sound like yours, give us a call at 410-715-9200 and let’s discuss how we can help you plan for a successful retirement.
Tom and Mary’s Story: Can We Retire Earlier Than Planned ?
Can we retire earlier than planned to pursue our new goals while still having enough to cover all of our expenses for the remainder of our lives?
Tom and Mary were a few years from retirement. Their three children were financially independent; two were married and starting families of their own. Both enjoyed their jobs but were in demanding careers which left little time for pursuing their hobbies and outside interests. Tom looked forward to the day when he could start enjoying his bucket list. Mary wanted to spend more time with family and lend her professional expertise consulting with local nonprofits. Their desire to enjoy life while they were still active, in good health and financially secure had them contemplating early retirement or the possibility of working part-time to gain more flexibility with their schedules. They had concerns about outliving their savings knowing future income would be significantly reduced with early retirement.
FAI helped Tom and Mary to specifically define their retirement and legacy goals and identify potential risks in pursuing these goals. In collaboration with the clients, FAI created a strategy for them to achieve their goals with minimal risk, employing a long-term tax minimization plan, a social security maximization strategy, and an investment plan to satisfy their cash flow needs.
FAI created a financial plan based on the assumptions that Tom and Mary would be leaving their full-time jobs for part-time work to spend more time engaged in the activities they enjoyed most and were fulfilling for them. FAI was able to show them that despite a reduced cash flow from earned income, the returns on their investments and adjustments to some expenses would allow them to realize their dreams. Tom and Mary’s advisor managed their investments to meet their new goals and made sure a portion of their portfolio continued to grow so their money would last through their projected lifetimes. In the end, FAI was able to provide them with the confidence they needed to move forward with their plans of semi-retirement and begin reaping the rewards of their hard work.
Rich and Joan's Story: The Financial Decisions That Come With A Mid-Life Marriage Are Overwhelming, Can You Help Us?
Rich and Joan are both divorced, in their late 50s and had been single for some time before meeting each other. Each had two children from their previous marriages, all of whom are either in college or living independently. Rich and Joan both have well-paying jobs and are living in the neighborhoods where their children went to school. Though they are ready to marry and combine households, they are uncertain about the financial decisions that come with this move. They are not sure how to make the right choices in light of what is best for each partner individually, for their new lives as a couple and for their families.
Whether you are marrying for the first time, after a divorce, or after becoming a widow(er), mid-life marriages can require addressing a host of topics related to financial planning and wealth management that are unique to this demographic. These can include:
- The need to understand the financial resources each brings to the union
- Combining individual financial goals and risk tolerances and addressing them as a couple
- Not wanting to lose a sense of financial responsibility
- Not wanting to be dependent on the other spouse for financial stability
- The financial impact of joining two families if dependent children are involved
- Identifying important legacy issues for heirs while still providing for the new spouse
- Relinquishing total control of financial decisions, instead having to consult, collaborate and compromise
- Decisions regarding a primary residence if more than one home is involved
These are just a few of the more common issues couples face when making the decision to marry again in late life or for the first time at an older age.
FAI understands the emotions that come with having these difficult discussions. One of our specialties is working with clients who have entered into mid-life marriages for a variety of reasons. FAI will work with you to develop a strategy for combining your wealth while allowing you to maintain your own personal, financial goals.
If you need assistance in navigating these important issues, please give us a call at 410-715-9200 to discuss your options with one of our advisors.
Experiencing a Transition or Crisis
Teresa's Story: Now That My Husband Is No Longer With Me, I Need A Financial Advisor I Can Trust.
Teresa had been married for 38 years when her husband, Mike, died. While she had been left with a substantial nest egg, she’d never handled the family finances herself and, in her grief, felt confused about what she should do. Her children had flown in to help, but they were soon leaving.
Teresa was receiving advice from multiple advisors her deceased husband had worked with, and they had yet to speak to each other. She came to us as a referral from another client who saw that Teresa was saying yes to recommendations without understanding the details.
Taking over as her wealth manager, we wanted to make sure Teresa’s confusion and grief hadn’t sent her down the wrong path, financially. We met with her other advisors and began to put the pieces of her financial puzzle together. We focused on building her confidence in her financial future, demonstrating that, although her husband was no longer alive, she was not alone in making decisions.
Our widowed or divorcing clients typically have questions and stress about:
- Being solely responsible for their family wealth for the first time in many years – possibly for the first time ever
- Advisors who don’t take the time to educate their clients or provide explanations for recommendations they are providing
- Tax issues that, if not handled correctly, can impact their holdings or cost them more in the long run
- Legal issues impacting their estate and preservation of assets
If you are struggling with these concerns, need clarity or a second opinion, give us a call at 410-715-9200 and let us help you make the best financial decisions for you.