When Bill and Darlene came to MAP they had decided to stop working and were contemplating when to start Social Security. Actually, one had started Social Security but they weren’t certain if this was the best choice. They also wondered if their accumulated assets would provide enough income to sustain their preferred lifestyle. They were naturally frugal, but at times had spent on elective items like travel, and helping family members when they were struggling. They also had identified other items like maintenance and updating on their housing and cars that seemed a drain on their resources which caused some anxiety.
Bill and Darlene had not experienced coordinated tax planning that includes what and how investments and Social Security is taxed, or how to position tax obligations over years of retirement to stretch resources. Their insurance coverage had not been thoroughly assessed for years to confirm what benefits were still needed or were missing (at appropriate cost). Their Wills were done, but associated documents addressing incapacitation and how senior-care costs would be covered, and who would assist, were not clearly addressed. Their investments, while relatively safe, were producing less growth than possible with the amount of risk they’d assumed.
With MAP assistance and a complete financial plan, Bill and Darlene were able to achieve a higher long-term income with coordinated tax and investment planning, leaving more for their heirs. They developed a shared vision of their important goals for future spending and lifestyle, and decided how to share surplus wealth while alive, and pass on the remaining wealth at death. They state that having a trusted advisor to coordinate and discuss ongoing financial decisions provides great comfort and an enduring feeling of security.