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Wealth-Changing Question: Will You Be Able to Maintain Your Lifestyle in Retirement?

Creative Planning
Last Updated
September 13, 2021

A Case Study

In this case study, we get to know John and Jane Sample, ages 63 and 61, who are in their prime earning years and have their eyes set on retirement. Join us as we follow the Samples through their introductory experience with Creative Planning.

John and Jane Sample are ready to retire. They’ve each had wonderfully fulfilling careers, John as a business owner at ABC, Inc., and Jane as an executive at Acme, Inc., but they’ve realized that it’s time to start the next chapter of their lives.

They have a healthy mix of investments across savings vehicles such as profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans, business interests, Roth IRAs, and standard brokerage accounts. They’ve been great savers, but they’re unsure if their savings will be enough to maintain their lifestyle throughout 30 years of retirement.

Switching from Mega-Saver to Savvy Spender is Tough

John and Jane face a common problem for wealthy retirees. They’re fantastic at saving money, but they admittedly don’t know a lot about how to draw down on their assets. In fact, the whole idea of living off their savings—healthy as they may be—makes them nervous.

Without a steady paycheck, they wonder, how are they supposed to ensure they’re living within their means? Which accounts should they withdraw funds from, and how should they be invested now that they’ll be living off these funds for the next few decades without replenishment? How can they minimize the tax hit they’ll experience once they begin to draw down on their investment accounts?

John and Jane agree: It’s time to consult a professional about their plans for retirement and beyond. The stakes are simply too high to mess this up. They don’t want any surprises in retirement. They want to be sure their hard-earned money is working as hard as it possibly can for them.

Getting Clear Answers Can Build Your Confidence

The Samples come to Creative Planning with questions in two key areas:

  1. Financial Independence: They’ve grown accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle that sees them requiring about $200,000 of income per year. Are they on track to be able to maintain this lifestyle in retirement?
  2. Risk Management: They are both in good health, but they’d like to ensure they have enough insurance coverage to support a continuation of their lifestyle in the event of an unexpected death. What protection do they need to maintain our lifestyle if one of them passes away?

Their Wealth Manager, Barbara, collects information from John and Jane about their current savings and investments. With John and Jane’s input, Barbara creates the Samples’ plan in Creative Planning’s VisionBuilder tool, which allows them to see the impact of their decisions on potential outcomes in real-time.

They see that as they modify their goals, their plan changes accordingly. The three of them collaborate, using the tool as a guide, until all are satisfied that the plan accurately reflects their long-term objectives. And once Barbara begins making recommendations, that’s when the Samples really see the value in working with a team of professionals on their plan for retirement.

Interested to see what the Samples learned from their introductory meeting?

Download the Complete Case Study

This case study is intended to demonstrate Creative Planning’s methodology. It is an example for illustrative purposes only and does not depict actual results of any one specific client nor is it intended to imply or guarantee that the reader would have a similar experience.

Any performance data, including inflation rates, rates of return, etc., are not to be construed as guarantees of future performance.

This is not investment, tax or legal advice, nor is it a recommendation of any particular strategies, portfolios, or plans. Please consult a credentialed wealth manager to obtain recommendations tailored to your needs.

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This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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