By all estimations, life is good.
Both Ken and Emily always wondered what life would be like as the children started to transition away from being home with Mom and Dad and on to lives of their own. They also had wondered what life would be like when money wasn't really a concern any longer. Both of them have been successful in their careers. And almost without exception it's been a steady progression up through the ranks in each of their respective jobs. There's been regular salary increases and bonus increases. From time to time, they've been tempted to look for other employment or were almost spirited away from their current employer by the prospects of a new start someplace else. Tempted as they might've been, they both remain in the jobs that they've had for most of the last twenty years or so.
Ken and Emily's accountant had to prepare financial statement for them in connection with the refinance that they were doing on a vacation property just a few months ago. When the accountant forwarded the statement for them to review prior to closing, they were both amazed when they looked at the bottom line number and saw how large their net worth had grown to over the course of just the last 10 years. It wasn't something that either of them actually had paid much attention to along the way. This transitional stage in their lives presents them with a host of choices many of which can be funded in large part by the money that shows up at the bottom of that net worth statement.
But along with a larger net worth number and more money, the financial lives of Ken and Emily have become increasingly complex and confusing. They've heard recent rumors and conversations among friends at dinner parties that the changes to the tax laws might erode a fair amount of their accumulated net worth. They have changed investment strategies and advisers several times just over the last ten years or so. Anxious to avoid any losses on their money, Ken and Emily have spent a lifetime trying to time the market, moving money in and out of their investments. Now they understand that all the movement of their money both in and out of the market has probably cost them more than it would have had a just stayed put in the first place. In the end, it had little to do with any effective strategy given how much their portfolio declined in 2008 and 2009 during the drop in the stock and bond markets.
And, there are a myriad of investment and related accounts. There are 401(k) plans at work and a deferred compensation plan for Ken, there are 529 plans for two of the grandchildren and several IRA accounts. In addition, both Ken and Emily did a Roth conversion with part of their IRA's several years ago when the tax laws favored it. Work with an insurance agent, a former colleague of Ken's that had retired from Ken's employer; resulted in two cash value life insurance policies that now are becoming a problem paying for.
If there's one thing that both Ken and Emily could get where they to ask for it it wouldn't be any more money at this point. There's plenty of money, there's just no strategy. There's no cohesive game plan, no way to tie the whole thing together. The clock on retirement is quickly ticking away and yet, neither of them has ever really sat down and decided what they wanted their life to be after the kids and after work. They're uncertain about what to do with their retirement time. Will they continue to work in another capacity? Will they remain in the house that they bought 25 years ago and raised their children in? Or has it's size and expense made it obsolete as they move into the final stages of their lives together?
Our Coach program sets the strategic direction for those chapters. It helps you to tie together the financial and life goals in a neatly packaged bundle so that there's a cohesive overlay and strategy to meet life's long-term goals.
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