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

As Mark and Meagan approached retirement, they realized it was time to get serious about financial planning. After years of do-it-yourself investing and advice from colleagues, it was time to get customized financial advice and start crafting retirement on their terms.

The Challenge: 

For years and years, Mark and Meagan felt most comfortable with do-it-yourself financial planning. Meagan read many personal finance blogs and books and Mark was smart about making sure they saved for the future and stuck to a reasonable budget. With retirement decisions on the horizon though, they were thrilled to realize they could enjoy fiduciary financial advice without having to “hand over” all their investment accounts to a financial firm they barely knew.  Mark was happy with the low-cost and diversified nature of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and believed it had served him well up to this point.  


During their interviewing process for a financial planner, they were always skeptical when they were advised to roll over their TSP to the new firm.  But Mark and Meagan wondered if they’re missing something. Was their current plan right for them? They admit…they don’t know what they don’t know.  As they approach the next stage of life, they wanted an expert to help them make strategic decisions with their money. They also want help navigating taxes in retirement.  While Mark and Meagan aren’t in a hurry to retire, they want to know they have the option. 


The Approach: 

They immediately felt understood and refreshed by the transparent financial planning approach offered by Lodestar Financial

Planning. Mark and Meagan chose us because we answered their questions about: 


  • Strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits 
  • Planning for health care costs before and after Medicare 
  • How to invest their various retirement accounts and execute a smart rebalancing strategy 
  • What estate planning documents were necessary and how best to plan for their legacy
  • What to do about their Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) 
  • A plan for a Long Term Care (LTC) event 
  • How to continue their charitable giving in retirement 
  • Tax strategies, such as Roth IRA conversions 
  • Any blind spots they were missing that could derail their retirement plans 


The Results: 

We showed them how to best approach Social Security and account for Mark’s Government Pensions as well as how to coordinate their health care costs. They learned they were invested more aggressively than they needed to be and were relieved they could continue to self-manage their accounts but with professional guidance and recommendations.  Finally, Mark and Meagan learned several financial blind spots they could remedy before pulling the trigger on retirement. Most importantly they thrilled to have a thinking partner on their side of the table and a confident path to achieving a well-earned retirement!