Case Study

Mark & Jennifer

Work Optional

  • Age:
    53 & 49

Primary Goal:

Make strategic decisions with their money so their nest egg can support them when and if they choose to retire.


The Challenge

Mark and Jennifer don’t have a set date for retirement — not because they can’t retire, but because they’re not sure they ever want to stop working completely.

Mark is a tenured professor who can’t imagine no longer making such a big impact the lives of the people he teaches. He loves being able to contribute to something he sees as so important and vital: setting his students up for success in their chosen fields.

Jennifer is a doctor who feels the same about her own important work. She feels energized by the ability to literally heal the people around her, and the ability to keep her patients happy and healthy is something she sees as a blessing — not as something she wants to quit just because she’s getting closer to “retirement age.”

Mark and Jennifer built careers they love and care a lot about — and as they’ve worked to excel in their respective professional roles, they’ve also worked hard in their financial lives.

In fact, their challenge isn’t in overcoming any mistakes or limitations because they’ve been doing all the right things:

They make good incomes.

They’ve always maxed out their retirement plans and have consistently contributed to other investment accounts.

They have sizeable equity in their primary home.

They’ve been smart about protecting themselves with the right type of insurance.

So what’s the problem?

Well, Mark and Jennifer have been checking all the boxes they know that they should be checking…

…but they’re not sure if they’re missing anything.

They feel uncertain and lack confidence that they’re doing everything they should — and they’re not sure that what they are doing is optimized.

They know they’ve done well to save and invest. But they know they could be smarter about how they invest, and more strategic about how they’re setting themselves up for taxes now and into the future.

And while Mark and Jennifer aren’t in a hurry to retire, they know they want the option.

It’s important that retirement is something they choose, not just something that happens to them — and they definitely don’t want financial limitations to be the reason they can’t do what they want.

The Approach

Mark and Jennifer knew they didn’t know where to begin. They’re smart, self-aware people, which is why the first step they took when they realized they faced a lot of uncertainty was to reach out to a professional.

Plus, they’re incredibly busy with careers and lives that keep them happy and engaged. They didn’t want to get bogged down in trying to figure everything out on their own.

We knew we’d need to focus in on a few key things to give Mark and Jennifer the answers, clarity, and confidence they wanted. We set out to:

  • Optimize their investments
  • Reduce their tax burden
  • Create a retirement plan that allows them to retire when they want, without fear of running out of money
  • Maximize their insurance policies while minimizing costs and protect their assets and family members with an updated estate plan

The Results

When Mark and Jennifer contacted us, they wanted to know whether or not they were on the right track to have the freedom to choose the retirement they wanted. They wanted to make sure they weren’t just doing the “right” thing with their investments — they wanted to do the best things.

After we began working on their financial plan and recommendations, we were able to:

  • Provide a tailored investment strategy backed by decades of academic research and empirical evidence
  • At the same time, we also reduced their investment fees, improved their asset allocation, and created a systematic rebalancing strategy to use over time
  • Implement charitable giving strategies to reduce Mark and Jennifer’s tax liabilities, and utilized a creative IRA funding strategy to create even more tax efficiencies
  • Develop a plan for their nest egg that they can’t outlive

We also gave Mark and Jennifer access to industry-leading technology that provided them with even more gain clarity around all aspects of their financial life. With the ability to understand and see everything at a glance, their situation started to feel simpler — and much more within their control.

Mark and Jennifer now enjoy the peace of mind that comes from the clear plan they have around their money. They have more energy and mental space to dedicate toward the jobs they love so much, knowing they can retire when — and if — they want to.

Want to Learn How We Can Help You Make Work Optional in Retirement?

The first step in our S.T.A.R.T. Here process is a 15-minute phone consultation. This is a chance for both of us to make sure your situation matches our expertise. Quickly schedule your appointment here:


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