When Can We Retire?

Case Study #3

The Challenge

Our clients, ages 59 and 54, are a married couple.  Both work for the Federal Government and don’t have children.  They both dream about retiring and travelling more, but have always assumed they would have to work until at least age 68.  They are both healthy and fear running out of money in their later years.

They are organized with their finances but not very confident about investing.  They had a bad experience with a stockbroker many years ago and since have been investing on their own.  They, along with most people they know, got hurt in the 2008 crisis and fear that any future losses could further hinder their retirement prospects.  After reading a bit about fee-only fiduciary advisors like Guided Wealth, and having a free consultation with us, they signed up as a client.

Our Strategy

To start, we scheduled a phone meeting to learn about their goals and concerns and to formulate an action plan.  We talked in detail about the type of lifestyle they wanted to have in retirement.  We sent them links to our secure emX platform where they could link their accounts.

Once we had all of their information, we scheduled a virtual conference as the next step.  During this call, we evaluated their current situation.  We then created a model that reallocated their investments to reduce risk.  By running numerous simulations, we determined that the couple could actually retire immediately and achieve their goals.  Between savings, pensions, and future Social Security payments, they could generate more than enough income to accomplish everything they wanted without working until age 68.

We walked them through the retirement process, rolled out assets from their TSPs into IRAs, developed automatic withdrawal strategies that minimized taxation and created a stream of income that would serve as their paycheck in retirement.  We planned to modify the distributions when Social Security kicked in along with the required minimum distributions at age 70.5.

The End Result

The couple found that just by getting organized, and changing their investments to reduce risk going forward, they were able to achieve their goal of retiring early.  More importantly, they felt peace of mind and are now less worried about day-to-day account fluctuations.  They are now able to travel and enjoy retirement knowing someone was helping them watch over their nest egg. 

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  • Uncertainty about when they can retire
  • Fear of another 2008-style crash hurting their future


  • Being able to retire much sooner than planned
  • Feeling confident and in control of their finances while enjoying their lives