Planning for retirement is a complex process. Traditionally, retirement resources have been described as a “three legged stool.” Briefly, the three legs in the U.S. experience include: (1) Social Security, (2) savings, and (if available) (3) pension plans. We evaluate each client’s unique situation, fully explain the possibilities based on that evaluation and then plan individualized strategies to help our clients move more confidently toward retirement.
Why Retirement Planning is Important
Each client is a unique individual, with experiences that vary widely regarding the relative strength of each of the three retirement legs. Accordingly, analysis and retirement planning education must be quite rigorous and highly individualized in order to be effective. With this careful analysis and planning, we can help you move more confidently toward retirement and continue to remain comfortable throughout it.
What We Can Do for You
- Social Security: We demystify Social Security - how it is calculated, the rules, the options, scheduling benefits, and taxation, all tailored to an individual’s unique circumstances.
- Saving: this is a broad category that includes the alphabet soup of legislated acronyms: the tax-advantaged 401(k)’s, 403(a+b)’s, 457’s, IRA’s, Survivor (beneficial) IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, as well as the non-tax advantaged savings, investment accounts and more. We fully explain and help our clients assess multiple options, the tax implications of each, and a partnered path toward retirement.
- Pension Plans: Also referred to as “defined benefit” plans, these retirement benefits are disappearing from the American scene. In the past 12 years hospital systems have frozen these plans. The Federal government plans (CSRS & FERS) and state-based plan (i.e PERS tiers 1,2, and OPSRP, CalPers, etc.) have experienced diminished benefits. We fully explain to each client the extent of, and access to, benefits and the timing for each client’s unique circumstances.
During the decades leading up to that momentous retirement day (and the retirement party with co-workers), our clients are in the “accumulation stage”.
- We partner with each of our clients to assess the relative strength of each leg
- We help coordinate timing/taxation
- We plan ahead for that momentous day!
Once retired, our clients embark on the "distribution stage".
- We partner with clients to schedule income distribution, coordinated amongst the three legs.
- We manage savings and investments with a focus on the sustainability of income distribution and availability.
- We compare the availability of financial resources with a client’s cost-escalated (inflated) planned budget.
- Finally, we help plan for retirement savings as part of a client’s estate. A key component of this planning is (optional) family meetings. We have found that the introduction of an unbiased third party (a trusted financial planner) can help mitigate an otherwise awkward intra-family conversation.
Our retirement planning process is thorough, comprehensive, and collaborative.