Read below for a few of our real-life financial planning case studies:
In developing a financial plan for a married couple (second marriage for both), we determined that the existing estate plan was set up to transfer a large portion of assets to their respective adult children, bypassing the surviving spouse. Highlighting this potential transfer of assets in their retirement cash flow projection showed the vulnerability associated with the surviving spouse’s ability to maintain their desired standard of living in retirement. The success of the projection hinged on all of their combined assets being available for both spouses to use for a specific period of time. We recommended a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust and term life insurance to provide workable solutions for their concerns.
Student Loan Evaluation
As part of our retainer program, we evaluated a young couple’s budget, including student loan debt payments. At the time, interest rates were near historic lows and student loan payments were in forbearance. We recommended consolidation and refinance to lock in a lower fixed rate. Our analysis showed that refinancing could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loans. Also, having a fixed rate and payment would allow for more consistent budget planning. Given the uncertainty over the future of student loan debt, and the clients’ other personal lifestyle changes, they chose not to implement the recommended strategy. However, as their financial situation evolves, we will continue to review and update these recommendations.
Sale of a Small Business
An entrepreneur was trying to sell his business. His prospects looked good and it appeared that the sale proceeds could be substantial. We recommended gifting shares of his company stock to his children, prior to any sale. When the business sold, this strategy saved on income taxes, as well as potential estate taxes, since all future growth in those shares was transferred to his children.
Concentrated Stock Position
An executive client had over half of her net worth attributable to her employer’s company stock and stock options. Additionally, she was required to hold a certain number of shares of company stock. To increase the diversification of her investments, we recommended adequate insurance, an enhanced savings and investment program, and a systematic program for selling stock and exercising options.
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.