Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors

Aging Independently

Recently widowed and without children, she is intent on graceful, supported aging

Age: 67
After a loving and long-term marriage, Marina’s husband unexpectedly passed away.
Since they had never had children, Marina & Phil had often wondered how they would manage as they aged – without that natural backstop. Now that Marina is on her own, this issue is especially important and urgent for her.
As a Solo Ager, Marina is not sure she wants to remain in the home she and Phil shared for many years. Marina understood this and decided to engage Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors – a smaller, boutique firm having deep expertise with Independent Agers.

Primary Goal:

Update her retirement plan to ensure that the nest egg that she and Phil created will allow her to continue her current lifestyle – ensuring that she will never run out of money.

Develop a solid team of advisors, trusted friends, and others that will be there if she ever needs help later in life.

Understand her living options. Marina was not sure she wanted to move. She was sure she wanted an advisor that understands the unique challenges of Solo Agers, including the full range of living options available to her.

The Challenge:

Marina is a Solo Ager, generally someone age 50 or older, currently single (widowed, divorced, never married, or otherwise without a life partner), and not having adult children who can provide support as they age.

Although Solo Agers have many of the same financial concerns as others, they also have unique concerns that not all Wealth Management firms have expertise in providing. Marina understood this and decided engage to engage Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors, a smaller, boutique firm having deep expertise with Solo Agers.

The Approach:

Working with Marina’s tax professional, we agreed upon a tax efficient approach to making distributions from her trust and retirement accounts.

We reviewed Marina’s Social Security benefits and portfolio investments. Using financial modelling we were able to maximize her long-term spending potential by selecting an optimal Social Security benefits strategy and asset allocation for her nest egg.

Marina was able to simplify her financial situation by combining some retirement accounts and enjoyed viewing a consolidated view of her entire financial picture in an easy-to-use client portal. We also implemented a simple ongoing structure for her to receive funds to pay her bills.

Additionally, we worked with Marina and her estate attorney to fully review her estate plan, ensuring that she had the right people in the right support roles when she needed them later in life. Because she does not have children and felt that her two nephews were not up to the task, we helped her interview and select a professional fiduciary for her plan’s roles of health care and financial agents. As part of our service, we will work that that professional to help support Marina if she needs it.

Finally, we also helped Marina evaluate multiple long-term residential living arrangements with built-in community and support options. Ultimately, she chose to transition to a new living situation near hiking trails that also provides many options for meeting new people and building community – while also providing built in options for support if she later requires them.

The Results:

The solutions adopted by Marina helped her in multiple ways.

Financially, she was concerned about more than just the sustainability of her income. She wanted to make sure that she has all bases covered to handle her unique challenges as a Solo Ager.

Marina is now much more comfortable about her long-term picture without Phil. She has the peace of mind and mental space to do more hiking and engage in other things she really enjoys, knowing that her comprehensive plan ensures:

  • She will have the retirement income she needs for the rest of her life.
  • She has simplified her financial life and made its management far easier.
  • She can maintain her lifestyle, keeping her old friends and making new ones.
  • She will be safe and have the support she needs as she ages gracefully.

For her, this is living fully!


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