Success Stories


(Note: These personas are hypothetical, do not involve Cedar Financial Advisors clients, and should not be construed as a guarantee.)

Case Study #3: Retiree Legacy Planning

Debbie and Dave Schneider are retired, and they recently moved to the Pacific Northwest to be near their grandchildren.

Family Stats:

  • Debbie is 67 years old and retired 10 years ago.
  • Dave is 69 and is a retired doctor.
  • They have 2 adult children, Aaron and Paula, and 6 grandchildren.

Financial Stats:

  • They have $2 million in investment assets across multiple custodians.
  • Their prior home is now a rental property.

Worrisome Questions:

  • Grandchildren: They’re interested in opening college accounts for their grandchildren, but concerned that might impact their ability to get financial aid.
  • Retirement Income: They are nervous about the economy and how to make sure their nest egg will last. “Should we keep the rental or sell it?”
  • Tax Planning: They know they’ll have to take RMDs when they're 72, and aren’t sure how to best minimize the overall tax impact.
  • Family Fairness: Aaron is struggling financially, while Paula is thriving. Should they make gifts to Aaron now, and how would that impact their estate plan?
  • Long-Term Care: “Our worst nightmare is having to go to a nursing home. How can we age in place successfully?”

Establishing Priorities Through Legacy Planning

The Schneiders’ goals are two-fold: Safeguarding their robust retirement, while making a difference and leaving their mark on their family and the world. They would benefit from our Life Planning Process, with a focus on minimizing any regrets related to wealth transfer. Through this process, they could confidently describe their top priorities today, such as:

  • Aging well: For today and tomorrow, they want to prepare for their own potential in-home health care and end-of-life planning.
  • Gifting: They want to establish a formal process to help support Aaron, while taking care of Paula through long-term legacy planning. Their grandchildren’s education is important to them too; setting up 529 accounts for their grandchildren would give them joy.
  • Family connection: They also want more interaction with their children and their families, perhaps part of their gifting could include springing for larger family vacations.

Connecting Legacy Goals with Financial Life Planning

With the Schneiders’ priorities set, we could begin tailoring financial solutions for maximizing their lifetime goals. To safeguard their personal and financial well-being, we could explore appropriate combinations of long-term care insurance, powers of attorney, real estate management, and other essential “safety net” solutions. We could help them create a budget for their lifetime gifting, and estate planning for legacy goals. We could also help them structure a tax-efficient investment portfolio, balanced to provide dependable income for lifetime giving, and long-term market returns for legacy goals.

Putting the Pieces in Place

Once the Schneiders have their plans in order and resources structured accordingly, they can more readily relax, directing their wealth according to their most heartfelt values. Over time, we might also facilitate meaningful conversations among the Schneider family, to ensure Debbie and Dave’s well-built plans stand the best chance of staying on track across the generations.

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