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Ready To Retire Case Study

Couple case study

Mark: Retired Military Officer / Department of Defense Civilian (GS-15), 56 years old

Meagan: Nurse Practitioner, 54 years old

Mark, a retired Military Officer / Department of Defense Civilian (GS-15), is 56 years old, while Meagan, a Nurse Practitioner, is 54 years old. As they approached retirement, they recognized the need to prioritize their financial planning efforts. After relying on do-it-yourself investing and advice from colleagues for many years, they decided it was time to seek personalized financial guidance and shape their retirement on their own terms.

The Challenge: 

For a significant period, Mark and Meagan had felt comfortable with their do-it-yourself financial planning approach. Meagan extensively read personal finance blogs and books, while Mark ensured they saved for the future and adhered to a sensible budget. However, as retirement decisions loomed ahead, they became eager to explore fiduciary financial advice while retaining control of their investment accounts, without fully surrendering them to a relatively unknown financial firm. Mark appreciated the low-cost and diversified nature of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and believed it had served him well thus far.

During their search for a financial planner, they remained skeptical whenever advised to transfer their TSP to a new firm. However, Mark and Meagan wondered if they were overlooking something crucial. They admitted their lack of knowledge regarding what they didn’t know and desired expert guidance in making strategic decisions with their finances as they entered the next phase of life. Additionally, they sought assistance in navigating taxes during retirement. Although they weren’t in a hurry to retire, they desired the assurance of having that option.

The Approach: 

Mark and Meagan were immediately drawn to Lodestar Financial Planning due to their transparent financial planning approach, which resonated with them. They chose us because we provided satisfactory answers to their inquiries regarding:

  • Strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits
  • Planning for pre and post-Medicare health care costs
  • Optimal investment approaches for their retirement accounts and implementing a smart rebalancing strategies
  • Essential estate planning documents and legacy planning
  • Guidance on Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
  • Planning for potential Long Term Care (LTC) events
  • Incorporating charitable giving into their retirement plans
  • Tax strategies, including Roth IRA conversions
  • Identifying any blind spots that could jeopardize their retirement plans

The Results: 

We assisted Mark and Meagan in understanding the most effective approach to Social Security, accounting for Mark’s Government Pensions, and coordinating their healthcare costs. They realized they had been invested more aggressively than necessary and were relieved to discover they could continue self-managing their accounts with professional guidance and recommendations. Additionally, Mark and Meagan became aware of several financial blind spots they could address before embarking on retirement. Most importantly, they were delighted to have a knowledgeable partner on their side, providing them with confidence and a clear path to a well-deserved retirement!