No two client situations are exactly the same. So, instead of presenting actual client experiences, we offer these hypothetical “what if” scenarios to address common questions and challenges that many of our clients face.
If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’ve done the right things to put yourself in a good place to retire. You may not feel that way now. That’s normal. Many of our clients don’t feel that way either at first. But after working with us to envision and create a well-planned retirement, they feel confident about their futures. (Well-planned does not mean this is going to be hard. I don’t think it will be.)
My life has been turned upside down. How do I make the best choices for my future retirement and security?
Sharon (62) – Recently Widowed
In this example, our client is facing the prospect of moving forward on her own after the death of her husband. She’s not a gambler and doesn’t want to rely on the performance of the stock market for her near-term retirement income.
Sharon, 62, had dreamed of the day she and her husband Sam would retire. Last fall, Sam died unexpectedly. Sharon is a music teacher and has been an educator for over 30 years. She has her husband’s life insurance of around $600,000, a retirement account of $450,000, and other savings of $75,000. She knows she will also have Social Security and a small pension from her husband’s employer. Sharon’s plans for retirement have changed dramatically in the last year. With all the upheaval and financial matters to coordinate, she wonders where to start and whether she will be able to retire confidently, knowing her parents have both lived well into their 90s. She also wonders if it makes sense to pay off the mortgage on her house. She’s also considering downsizing to a smaller home.
After getting to know her, Hunt Country Wealth Management will design a plan with the following goals:
- Determine if she should pay off her mortgage.
- Understand her spousal benefits for Social Security and the pension.
- Minimize the risk of a bad stock market derailing her retirement date.
- Plan to protect her for a 30-year retirement and beyond.
- Plan to preserve the principal.
- Plan to know how much income she can expect from her resources.
- Plan to make the best choice as to which retirement savings accounts to use first, when, and how.
- Plan for health insurance costs until she reaches age 65 and qualifies for Medicare.
- Plan for a rising income to maintain a standard of living for a 30-year retirement.
- Set up her retirement accounts so distributions are directly deposited into her bank account and taxes are withheld.
Expected Results for Sharon
- She’ll know she can live independently without relying on anyone for her financial security.
- She’ll know how much income she can expect.
- She’ll know whether or not she should pay off her mortgage.
- With HCWM by her side, planning was easier than she thought it would be.