Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors

Making Work Optional

Professional couple taking care of business

Age: 53
Age: 49
Larry and Gayle could probably retire today.
But they’re not thinking about retirement. They both enjoy their professions and they’re not sure when (or even if) they want to stop working.
Larry is a respected physician at a local university hospital. Gayle runs a successful marketing consulting firm which serves many well-known, local tech companies.
They both love their careers and find real meaning in their jobs as their professional callings allow them to help others.
They’ve diligently worked in their respective careers, and they aren’t looking to leave their passions simply because they are nearing a “traditional” retirement age.
However, they do want to achieve financial independence – which they feel allow them to relax and better smell the roses.

Primary Goal:

Review and update their overall financial plan so they can achieve real financial independence – reducing taxes and optimizing their investment plan so that work becomes truly optional.

The Challenge:

So why are they interested in hiring a financial advisor?

Larry and Gayle wonder how they are really doing. Although they feel they are being responsible, is their current path on course? Are they paying too much in taxes? They know they have been saving diligently, but when would they be financially independent? They realize they don’t have the answers to these questions and wonder what other critical questions they may not even know to ask.

As they approach middle age, they realized they wanted confirmation that they are doing everything possible to meet their goals. And they’re not just concerned about their investments – they want help with their entire financial picture. However, they’re busy and don’t want to be burdened with trying to figure out everything themselves. They aren’t sure where to begin, which is why they pursued professional help from Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors, a wealth management firm with deep experience answering their specific questions.

The Approach:

Larry and Gayle have been doing all the right things. There are no big mistakes to be corrected or limitations in their financial lives.

Together, they are:

  • Creating annual income in the high six-figures.
  • Maxing out their current retirement plans as well as saving after-tax.
  • Building equity in their primary residence, making additional principal payments each month
  • Protecting themselves with the right types of insurance
  • Protecting their family with a solid estate plan, including a revocable trust

Larry & Gayle wanted a comprehensive and holistic plan centered around their key goals. They worked with us to do just that and more including:

  • Development of a stochastic financial model which demonstrated when they are likely to be financially independent, based on their desired post-work lifestyle.
  • Implementing a disciplined investment strategy that allowed them to invest prudently and in line with their values around environmental sustainability, including:
    • A globally diversified approach that also significantly reduced exposure to greenhouse gas emissions.
    • A tax-efficient strategy that reduces risk and improves returns.
    • An improved asset allocation for their portfolio.
    • Significantly lowered investment costs.
    • A smart, sustainable rebalancing strategy.
  • Gayle was maximizing her elective salary deferrals through her individual 401(k). But because her income was so high, she could implement a defined benefit plan to defer taxes on several hundred thousand dollars worth of income. After the plan is established for 3-5 years, it can later be rolled into an IRA.
  • Reduction of tax liabilities through a current charitable giving and an integrated plan for optimally taking Social Security benefits, retirement plan distributions, and well-timed Roth IRA conversions.
  • Full review of their insurance, including adjustments to professional liability policies.
  • Working with their attorney, their estate plan was reviewed to verify that it continues to meet their needs, and to discern if any changes might be considered.

The Results:

Larry & Gayle now enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a clear financial plan.

They have more energy and mental space to focus on what they enjoy — knowing they have the choice to retire when the time is right.

They have more enthusiasm and the space to dedicate to family, recreational pursuits, and career – living life fully every day!


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