Lucy and Gerry came to us in their mid-50s. Prior to working with Theus Wealth Advisors, they were working with an investment advisor at a large brokerage firm. They came to their first meeting with a brokerage statement that was quite confusing – hundreds of investments and managers, lengthy footnotes and printed on over thirty double sided pages. They were looking for someone to help them understand how they should be investing and to help them navigate the next phase of life. They needed clarity and to uncomplicate the complicated.

Lucy and Gerry were both hardworking people and had done an excellent job accumulating assets for their retirement. Their main concerns revolved around answering questions that are common for individuals entering retirement:

  • How would they replace their paychecks when they’re no longer working?
  • Could they maintain the lifestyle they’d become accustomed to?
  • If one of them died unexpectedly, would the surviving spouse be financially secure?

How we helped

The first meeting was primarily about getting to know them, and discovering what and who they care about most. It gives us a chance to understand what’s really important to the people we work with. Then we analyze portfolios and current plans.

We discovered a lot of “overlap”; they had the same types of investments across the brokerage firms and amongst the many mutual funds, so they were duplicating investments and fees. Neither firm considered what the other was doing. This resulted in being ‘tilted’ toward more risk than they were comfortable with at their stage in life. Additionally, it appeared that the holdings weren’t rewarding them for taking on that level of risk. After our analysis, we created a plan to fix these issues and build the financial plan in line with their current financial goals. The plan involved three components:

  1. Cash-flow planning: We compared different cash-flow strategies, quantified the income they wanted during retirement and designed a new lower-risk strategy to meet their goals. The plan was tax-efficient for retirement income, considered required minimum distributions (RMDs), and included a Social Security claiming strategy.
  2. Investment management: We adjusted Gerry’s holdings so his portfolio would eliminate duplication and generate income at a much lower risk level. Based on their preferences, and investment objectives, the focus became preserving wealth.
  3. Estate planning: Gerry and Lucy met with one of our legal partners to draft an estate plan. We also reviewed all of their asset and insurance policies to make sure Lucy would be taken care of should Gerome pass away first.

Upon understanding the overall plan and having clarity over how the investments were integrated to the plan, Gerry and Lucy had the confidence to officially retire and begin enjoying their next phase of life. Lucy now spends her time volunteering with her church and at the Humane Society. Gerry can usually be found on the golf course.

A few years later, we received a call that they are now expecting their first grandchild. Intergenerational planning takes on new significance when grandchildren come along. We are thrilled to help plan for the future with tax efficient strategies, as well as assisting with “the money talk” for young families.