Success Stories


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

Case Study #2: Retirement Transition

Mary and Todd Jones want to retire in two years. Online calculators suggest they can, but they want to be sure.

Family Stats:

  • Mary is a 57-year-old executive director for a local non-profit.
  • Todd is 62 and works for a local city government.
  • They have three adult children. Mark is married and lives in Seattle; Claire is in grad school in California; and their youngest, Trevor, is back home, working part-time.
  • This is Todd’s second marriage. Mark is his son, and Claire and Trevor are theirs.

Financial Stats:

  • The Jones have lived frugally and saved well.
  • Mary has maxed out her 403(b) and 457 plans for the past decade.
  • Todd has Tier One PERS, and a substantial IAP.

Worrisome Questions:

  • Dependents: They are concerned they may have to help support Trevor long-term. How will this affect their own retirement?
  • Retirement Income: How do they convert their nest egg into an income stream that doesn’t run out?
  • Healthcare costs: They are worried about healthcare care costs prior to Medicare and don’t understand Medicare.
  • Social Security: They are confused about the best strategy for taking Social Security for each of them. How do they decide?
  • Lifestyle: “What are our next steps? How will we be connected and fulfilled in retirement?”
  • Long-Term Care: Is long-term care insurance coverage worth the cost?

Establishing Priorities Through Retirement Planning

The Jones are ideal candidates for our Retirement Transition Process, to zero in on the critical details. What do they value? What will bring meaning to this next life stage? What will it take? Perhaps they’ll discover they are excited about buying an RV, to travel the country and visit Mark and Claire. They may realize Trevor could watch their home while they were away, providing the best of both worlds.

Connecting Retirement Goals with Financial Planning

Once we understood the Jones’s vision and values, we could use our financial planning software to match their goals to their savings, and establish a realistic retirement schedule. Our “What-If?” Meeting would help them imagine how their retirement might play out. We could explore various Social Security, long-term care, health insurance, and Medicare scenarios, and weigh how each might impact various outcomes. Over time, they could continue to use our interactive planning tool as fresh questions or ideas arise.

Putting the Pieces in Place

Having a collaborative partner to work with during their initial retirement years, Mary and Todd could make a confident and informed transition into retirement. By also establishing a degree of control over their personal finances, they could relax and enjoy their retirement, make new friends around the country, and remain connected with their children as well. Maybe some grandkids someday too?

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