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From Head in the Sand to Toes in the Sand: How to Control Your Finances for a Perfect Retirement


Denver Wealth Management-1Mark and Tracy were raised in working-class families that never talked about money. At ages of 63 and 56, the two college-educated software engineers were enjoying the life they had worked hard for. But even without kids, the first-generation success stories had not saved as much as they had hoped.

They blamed bad advice and their lack of financial education.

After accepting poor financial advice and getting sold on annuities, loaded mutual funds, and other ill-fitting products from their advisor, the couple disengaged with their money - something they would come to regret.

Untangling a Messy web of Accounts

Both Mark and Tracy spent years working for a variety of companies in the tech industry. As a result, both had 401(k)s from previous employers at multiple financial institutions, with different sets of investments and no way to measure progress.

On top of their scattered retirement funds, Mark and Tracy also had to organize and address purchased annuities and other expensive financial products that were not providing a return.

After taking a step back, Mark and Tracy realized that as organized and detailed as they were with retail banking, they let their investment accounts fall into disarray.

Their ability to track and rebalance their statements was completely lacking. They also knew they needed an investment philosophy, but were unaware of necessary adjustments like updating their property casualty insurance to match their current needs, creating a coordinated tax mitigation strategy, or updating their estate planning documents.

In their current state, Mark and Tracy were unsure what retirement would look like for them, or if they were even close to being prepared. They knew they needed help.

Getting Help to Enter Retirement Confidently

Mark and Tracy were referred to Wealth Legacy Institute through a respected co-worker. But, having been burned in the past, they vowed to be more selective. Mark and Tracy conducted in-depth research to ensure their advisor could be trusted to act as a fiduciary at all times and had a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation. They also looked for an advisor who could help with financial planning in conjunction with investment management.

Wealth Legacy Institute passed the test.

Mark and Tracy entered into an agreement with Wealth Legacy Institute and started the unique proprietary Planning for LIFE Experience™, integrating financial planning with investment management. Wealth Legacy Institute built a financial plan and consolidated the couple's investments to align with their risk capacity and tolerance.

Upon completion of the financial plan, Mark and Tracy began implementing Wealth Legacy Institute’s recommendations and started meeting quarterly in one-hour structured meetings to smooth their transition into retirement.

Creating a Retirement Plan Based on Values

One of the first questions Wealth Legacy Institute asked Mark and Tracy, was what their retirement values were.

The answer was easy.

Mark and Tracy were avid travelers. Their home had trinkets from around the world, symbolizing the life and places they have been. They wanted to continue to travel and focus on adventure. They also wanted to experience a location abroad, with a warmer climate, affordable health care, and a cyclist-friendly culture.

Wealth Legacy Institute implemented the Planning for LIFE Experience™ framework to illustrate different scenarios showing tradeoffs between monthly lifestyle and retirement age so Mark and Tracy could accomplish their goals.

After a transparent look into their situation, Mark and Tracy weighed their options and made strategic decisions. After they agreed on their retirement age, they solidified a plan that helped them prioritize and work together at their monthly spending plan and lifestyle choices.

And, they began to explore different locations for their lives in retirement. Wealth Legacy Institute helped them sort through some of their dream locations and what tradeoffs they would have to make to accommodate necessities like healthcare, cost of living, and travel back to the U.S. so they could make the most informed decision.

Denver Fiduciary Guide

Where In the World Are Mark and Tracy Now?

Mark and Tracy are retired, living in Portugal, and loving it.

Their apartment is a few minutes’ walk from the ocean, where they can ride their bike out the front door and in their neighborhood, arts and music abound.

How did they do it?

Before leaving, they committed to making a lifestyle change.

In their own words, “We had too much stuff that just satisfied an urge for retail therapy. We were living in a 3400 square foot home with a two-car garage. We had rooms we hadn't entered in months. Clothes on hangers with tags still on them. Paintings that hadn't been framed and stuffed in closets for years. Two luxury cars. We sold it all. We moved to Portugal with five duffel bags of clothes, computers as carry-on, and a tandem bike.”

They also had a solid plan:

  • They consolidated and simplified investments
  • They created an investment strategy they stuck to, in good and bad markets
  • Reduced fees and expenses so more money went toward their goals
  • Minimized or eliminated taxes for tax efficiency
  • They began approaching finances as a team
  • They knew their retirement number of how much they can live off monthly and kept their assets working for them

Lastly, they gained peace of mind, and are able to live and have fun.

Tracy commented, “I haven’t needed to really change my style of clothes in months, I wear yoga pants and sweatshirts and walk to the market each day to pick up dinner. Life is great!”

Money is no longer “on top” of Mark and Tracy crushing them. Instead, it is “below” acting as foundational support, lifting them up to live the life of their dreams.

It didn’t take a miracle for Mark and Tracy to accomplish their dreams. Rather, it took awareness of their current financial situation, diligence to make a change, and dedication to stick to a plan.

You too can have a weightless retirement.

And, Wealth Legacy Institute wants to help. Contact one of our fiduciary advisors to create your own customized plan that sets you on the path toward a comfortable retirement.

Want to create a retirement you will look forward to?


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