• Nearing Retirement
  • Busy Professionals
  • Retirement
  • Loss of a Spouse
  • Divorce
  • Selling a Business

Nearing Retirement—John and Joann’s Story

Most people nearing retirement need help understanding when then they can retire, and how to manage their retirement and other assets to last a lifetime. We want to help our clients gain a better understanding of their financial state and prepare for the steps ahead, like planning for Social Security and understanding required minimum distributions from retirement accounts.

Your life is complex—we bring you financial clarity.

John, age 62, just announced his retirement from the law firm he joined right out of law school. For the entirety of his career, John has been the sole breadwinner in the household, while his wife, Joann, age 50, focused on raising the couples’ two children, both of whom are now grown and graduated from college. With retirement looming, John has some immediate choices to make, including what to do with his pension – and it’s also important to him that Joann become more involved in the financial decision-making, especially given their age difference.

How DHG Wealth Advisors Helps those Nearing Retirement

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The first priority is to analyze John’s pension options and determine the best option – whether taking a lump sum distribution or an annuitized payment with a survivor benefit. Because John and Joann have been working with their DHGWA advisor for several years, they already have a financial plan in place, which provides a framework for making this critical decision.

Next, we roll over John’s 401(k) from the law firm and consolidate it with his other retirement accounts at DHGWA, and we have conversations about John and Joann’s risk profile and allocations now that John is retiring.

Although John and Joann have been working with us for several years, Joann has not attended many meetings or been very involved in the planning process, so we schedule a one-on-one meeting with Joann where we can spend time with her to fully answer all her questions and educate her about their investments.

Philanthropy is important to both John and Joann. DHGWA was able to recommend a donor advised fund and explain the tax advantages. They are planning to increase their charitable giving now that John’s retired and the donor advised fund will give them flexibility in their grants – plus provide an opportunity to involve their children.

DHGWA believes that developing a financial plan is essential to a decision to retire. DHGWA will spend time with John and Joann to review an updated plan annually to keep themselves on track with their goals.

Busy Professionals—Liz & Tom’s Story

When you’re in the middle of a demanding career and active personal life, you don’t have time to worry about your investments. We believe the best way to provide a great client experience for busy professionals like you is to focus on three things:

  • An organized and personalized financial plan that maps out an investment strategy tailored to your risk profile
  • Easy-to-use financial tools that allow you to access what you need quickly in your own time; and
  • Trust that we are leading a team of professionals to coordinate your varying financial needs over time.

We focus on planning for the future so you can take care of the day-to-day.

Liz recently joined a large global corporation as a senior-level executive. Tom is a therapist at a local hospital. The couple, both in their mid-40s, has three children and lead busy lives both inside and outside of work.

Liz’s employment offer not only includes a large signing bonus, but also a complex compensation structure with deferred compensation and stock options. She and Tom aren’t sure what to do with the bonus – do they save it? Should they use it to pay down their mortgage? Or renovate the kitchen instead?

While Liz loves what she does, the pace is grinding, she doesn’t know if she can continue in this role until she’s 65, and she dreams of an early retirement. Tom sees himself working indefinitely – although at some point, he might cut back on his hours.

How DHG Wealth Advisors Helps Busy Professionals

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To see the financial implications if Liz were to retire early, we prioritize preparing a financial plan that evaluates where Liz and Tom are today, looks at where they want to be in the future and maps out a savings plan to keep them on track for both their short-term goals and long-term dreams. The financial plan helps them prioritize their various savings needs, including saving for retirement, planning for education costs and paying down debt. The plan also gives Liz a path to retire from her current job before age 65. Like many early retirees she may choose to stay in the workforce with a less demanding job to earn post-retirement income. Working with Liz and Tom we are able to help them plan for multiple options.

Part of organizing the financial lives of busy professionals typically involves consolidating their investment accounts, including old 401(k)s from previous jobs. Having all their accounts in one place gives Liz and Tom a much better sense of what they have accumulated throughout their careers thus far. The majority of Liz and Tom’s investments are in retirement accounts, so we recommend that they establish a joint taxable investment account to create more tax diversity in retirement. This will also provide a critical financial bridge in the event of early retirement.

As part of the holistic planning process, we identify several crucial areas where Liz and Tom need additional support and bring in the right team of professionals to help: a CPA to advise on tax considerations associated with Liz’s new compensation structure, an estate planning attorney to update their wills and other key documents and an insurance agent to review Liz and Tom’s current policies so they have adequate coverage given their needs.

Retirement Plan Services for Business Owners—Cynthia’s Story

A business owner gets pulled in many directions and we know how easy it can be to put your business’s retirement plan on the back burner. To best serve our busy business owner clients, our Retirement Plan Services team aims to deliver plans that are easy to set up and maintain and align with your business goals. Just as your business plan helps you stay competitive in your market, your retirement plan gives your business a competitive advantage – and we can help you get there.

We help owners and employees stay financially fit.

Cynthia is a surgeon who owns a small physician group. She started her practice when she was in her early 40s and it is still going strong more than 10 years later. The medical field is constantly evolving, and Cynthia prioritizes staying abreast of treatment options to best care for her patients. However, from a business perspective, she hasn’t had as much time to dedicate to her practice’s retirement plan.

How DHG Wealth Advisors Helps Business Owners with Retirement Plans

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We help Cynthia move from an outdated, pooled retirement account—where all employees were invested the same way despite age and risk tolerance—to an up-to-date and participant-directed retirement plan.

First, we meet with Cynthia to discuss the features she likes about her current plan and those she doesn’t like. Being able to choose from a diverse selection of investment options is a priority for Cynthia, and so we help her find the best platform given the size of the plan. DHGWA was able to show her how a fee-only advisor can save her a substantial amount of money in the first year of running the new plan. Fee only advisors do not receive any commissions or transaction-based compensation. DHG Retirement Plan Services works on plan design, helping Cynthia augment her own retirement benefit while still providing a great benefit to her employees. The new plan also gives her employees access to increased services, like an online platform where they can see their performance and progress on a regular basis.

We educate Cynthia’s employees on the transition from the old plan to the new plan and how to allocate funds to help meet their retirement goals. Through monthly calls, quarterly investment reviews and annual “big-picture” summary meetings, we help keep Cynthia and her practice on track for a strong financial future.

Loss of a Spouse—Rosalyn’s Story

For clients who experience a death in the family, usually a widow or widower, we know the importance of being empathetic to their situation and understanding the many emotions they may be feeling. Education for the surviving spouse is a big part of what we provide for these clients – helping them understand their overall financial picture, how their spending aligns with their assets and what financial options are available for themselves and their families in the future.

We stay by your side through tough times.

Rosalyn is a retired teacher in her mid-60s. Recently widowed, she and her husband Doug had accumulated a nest egg for retirement from their years of working and saving, which was largely managed by Doug. But now that Doug is gone, Rosalyn knows she needs to have a better understanding of her financial situation and a practical spending plan moving forward.

How DHG Wealth Advisors Helps After a Death in the Family

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After Doug’s passing, we help Rosalyn with both the technical side and the emotional side. From a technical standpoint, we open accounts in Rosalyn’s name, correctly retitle Doug’s accounts into Rosalyn’s name, and we consolidate all accounts in one location. We notice that Doug, who had been a bank executive for many years, has most of his retirement assets in company stock, and we help Rosalyn diversify her portfolio so that her overall net worth is not so heavily weighted in a single company. By diversifying the portfolio, Rosalyn is better prepared to withstand economic downturns and unexpected events.

We take Rosalyn through the strategic life planning process which helps her better understand her overall financial picture, and we work with her to align her spending needs with her assets. After conversations about her desired goals and outcomes, we set up “retirement paychecks” that are sent to her bank account on a monthly basis. Over time and continual conversations, we can adjust the amount of these paychecks depending on needs or special circumstances.

We also introduce Rosalyn to an attorney who can help with her estate planning – which needs to be updated since her husband has passed.

Rosalyn is not used to making big financial decisions on her own, so we serve as her advocate and advisor on big financial decisions such as the purchase of a car. Rosalyn also consults us for advice on lending money to one of her children.

Going Through a Divorce—Samantha’s Story

When we see clients in our offices who are going through a divorce, we know this is an emotional and stressful time. They are often seeking guidance from us in areas they haven’t had to think about before. They need to be able to trust us and know that we can help them create a plan for their financial future.

We are here to help you chart a new path after an unexpected life event.

Samantha’s world has been turned upside down. She is in her 50s and her youngest child just left for college. Her husband of more than 20 years has filed for divorce. He has always handled anything finance-related throughout their marriage, and Samantha now feels not only heartbroken but overwhelmed at the tasks that lie ahead of her.

How DHG Wealth Advisors Helps After Divorce

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Our primary goal during this traumatic time is to help Samantha achieve peace of mind—and the first step is to work with Samantha and her attorney to run planning projections to help determine the right settlement that would best serve Samantha in the long-run financially. Once they agree to alimony and a distribution of assets, DHGWA acts efficiently to open new accounts in Samantha’s name and get her portion of the assets transferred promptly.

Samantha always paid the household bills, but she has never been on a fixed budget before; so, we take a lot of time to discuss Samantha’s new budget in the context of her plan and alimony, and help her build in additional savings goals.

We educate Samantha about sticking to a budget and understanding her investments. We assist with other financial stressors impacting her life, including issues with car and homeowner’s insurance and setting aside money for her daughter’s graduate education. DHGWA brings in professionals from DHG’s deep pool of resources to assist Samantha when matters like long-term care insurance decisions arise. All parties work together to help meet her needs and achieve her goals. Most importantly, we truly listen to both her financial and emotional concerns during this time of turmoil.

We provide ongoing advice and support for Samantha in managing her accounts moving forward in this new chapter of her life.

Selling a Business—Donald’s Story

Selling a business is a major life decision that requires significant upfront planning to be successful. We help our business owner clients design the optimal exit plan on the sale of their business. We also help with transition planning and developing a strategy to take care of employees after a sale.

We can see you through to the next phase of life.

Donald runs a business that has been in his family since the early 1900s. As times have changed and the nature of the industry has grown more complex, it is more and more difficult to operate the business the way his grandparents envisioned. After careful consideration, Donald decides the best course of action is to sell the business.

How DHG Helps when Selling a Business

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Selling a family business is an emotional and oftentimes complicated process. Various DHG teams work together to help make this a smooth process for Donald despite the stressful circumstances. DHG professionals initially conduct a valuation for Donald to help determine his business’s present value. DHG tax planning teams work with him as he is considering different options for the sale to determine the most tax-advantageous approach for his circumstances. And DHGWA takes Donald and his wife through the strategic life planning process which helps them understand their financial goals in this new chapter, as well as explore different sales scenarios – and how much they need from the sale of their business to support those goals.

Once the funds from the sale of the business are made available, we help invest their money to plan for the family’s future.

During this time, DHGWA focuses on helping our clients avoid “Sudden Wealth Syndrome”—people who are in possession of newfound wealth often experience stress, which can then lead them to make uncharacteristically unwise decisions with their finances. We take a holistic approach to wealth management for these clients and put the right team in place to help keep them on track with their financial plan and enhance their financial security for years to come.

We meet with Donald and his wife regularly to check in and confirm that prior financial planning still meets their needs as they enjoy retirement and pursue their many outside interests.

The examples above do not reflect the experience of actual clients. The examples are a combination of actual and hypothetical scenarios that we believe are representative of the types of issues faced by clients. These examples are provided for illustrative purposes only to provide a sample of the type of services we provide to clients. The results portrayed in these case studies are not representative of all of the firm’s clients or the clients’ experiences. No portion of these examples is to be interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of the firm’s investment advisory services and it is not known whether any clients on which the examples are based would approve of the firm or its services. Your individual circumstances may differ materially from the examples presented and you should not assume that any service or activity proposed in the examples would be appropriate in your circumstances. You should not assume that the results of any specific actions, investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by the firm) will be profitable or suitable for you. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and actual results may vary materially than those portrayed herein. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.