We were introduced to a potential client by a local CPA. This woman, in her mid forties, is a successful business professional and inherited a significant sum of assets from a family member. These assets were spread out across twelve different accounts (real estate, brokerage, life insurance, annuities…) and the client was overwhelmed with what needed to be done to get the assets in her name, take the appropriate required minimum withdrawals, and re-allocating the portfolio in an appropriate manner.
We provided ongoing, in-person and phone consultations for a period of nine months, teaching her step-by-step, what needed to be done, what paperwork needed to be filled out, and what titling and changes needed to occur. We discussed which assets received a step-up-in-basis for a favorable tax outcome and could be sold immediately. We also identified which assets needed to be rolled into a beneficiary IRA and required minimum withdrawals each year. Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) had not been completed for the decedent, so we made sure to avoid an IRS penalty by taking the previous year and current year required minimum withdrawal for our new client. All-in-all, we analyzed all of the client’s needs, made certain improvements to her tax diversification, asset allocation, and overall financial plan, implemented a required withdrawal plan.
We were introduced to a potential client by a local attorney. This woman, in her late 50s, had recently lost her husband to an unexpected illness. She was frightened and concerned, having let her husband always take care of the financial affairs for the family and him being the higher earner of the two. He had acquired some retirement and real estate assets totaling just over $1million, but he was still working, and saving more for a retirement they could enjoy together. She was now alone to decide how to best preserve the nest egg and had no experience where to even begin.
We spent months helping her gather all of the investment, pension, tax, retirement, investment property and life insurance information in order to transfer everything in her name. When that was complete, we helped her create a monthly budget to identify how much would need to be withdrawn from the inherited accounts each month to fill the substantial income gap that existed now that her husband's income had ended. With that information we were able to create a tax-diversified, income distribution plan that would take her through both her next 6-8 working years and her future retirement. We also introduced her to a local attorney, who helped update her estate plan according to her wishes, and a local accountant, who educated her on the value of good tax planning. Through our thoughtful and patient approach, we were able to help our client navigate through the hardest challenge she faced in her life.
* These are case studies and are for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance and results will vary. These case studies do not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted.
1. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets, and diversification cannot guarantee that any objective or goal will be achieved.
2.The fees, expenses, and features of 529 plans can vary from state to state. 529 plans involve investment risk, including the possible loss of funds. There is no guarantee that a college-funding goal will be met. In order to be federally tax-free, earnings must be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. The earnings portion of a nonqualified withdrawal will be subject to ordinary income tax at the recipient’s marginal rate and subject to a 10-percent penalty. By investing in a plan outside your state of residence, you may lose any state tax benefits. 529 plans are subject to enrollment, maintenance, and administration/management fees and expenses.
3. Investments in target date or target retirement funds are subject to the risks of their underlying holdings. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative investments based on its respective target date. The performance of an investment in a target date or target retirement fund is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date, and investors may incur a loss. Target date and target retirement funds are based on an estimated retirement age of approximately 65. Investors who choose to retire earlier or later than the target date may wish to consider a fund with an asset allocation more appropriate to their time horizon and risk tolerance.