Clients most often come to us when they get serious about planning for retirement. Over the years, we have found that our clients—while unique and diverse—have similar needs and traits at their core.
Our clients tend to be a lot like we are—ambitious, friendly, generous, and optimistic. They (like we do) value time, transparency, and financial independence; they love their families and have purpose to their lives; they are successful, smart, and wise enough to seek advice from subject-matter experts. They also prefer to stay informed but delegate financial management duties to free up their time and ensure things are done right.
Whether you are at the end of a successful career, or at the early stages of a new one, we can effectively serve you with an appropriate level of services and expertise. Our goal is to help make the most of what you have so that you can gain the financial peace of mind you seek.
Below are three stories that illustrate the most common scenarios of who we help and what we offer to meet their needs.*
Meet The Successful Smiths (At Retirement)
John and Jane Smith are a loving and hard-working couple that raised two well-adjusted, financially-independent children. John worked his way up the corporate ladder and achieved a senior-level position. Jane was a school teacher for 25 years, taking a break for a few years when their kids were very young. They always saved but were able to save more as John climbed the ladder.
They worked into their early 60s and ended up accumulating more wealth than they dreamed possible. Most was in their IRAs but a considerable amount in a trust account. Both had sizable pensions from their employers, and John had his Social Security benefit. John also participated in the executive benefit programs at his company, earning stock options and accumulating wealth in a deferred compensation plan.
The Smiths could see that the pensions and Social Security alone would provide most of what they needed to support their lifestyle in retirement. They figured that they would need to dip into their assets when they wanted to buy a car, take a special trip, or make a gift to their kids or church that was larger than normal, but other than that, they planned to leave those accounts alone. Unless, of course, they decided to buy that winter home in Florida.
The Smiths were happy with the financial security they had. But John said to their advisor, “I know we’ve done well, but I feel like we’re missing some things.” They didn’t feel that everything they had was tied into a cohesive financial strategy. They weren’t certain how to elect their pensions, claim Social Security benefits, or when to exercise John’s stock options. John was also concerned about their investment allocations and what would happen tax-wise once they got into their 70s and started taking required minimum distributions from their IRAs. “There have also been years when these mutual funds send me a big 1099 tax bill for the trust account,” John said. “But other years, it’s not much. I’m not certain if there things I’m doing wrong, or if we’re doing the best we can.”
John went on to say, “We have been seeking a competent and trustworthy advisor to help guide us and make the most of what we have. That, and I want to make sure that someone I trust is there to take care of Jane if I go first.”
Meet the Modest Millers (Ten Years before Retirement)
Jim and Sue Miller were in their early 50s and had three kids—one in college and two close behind. Jim worked as an engineer, and Sue worked at home, running their household and taking care of their three kids. They lived below their means, worked hard, and invested as much as they could. They had accumulated $500,000 in Jim’s 401k and Roth IRAs, but they didn’t have much financial peace of mind.
They felt they were getting squeezed with college expenses, trying to save for retirement, paying down their mortgage, and, well, just meeting daily living expenses and having a little bit of fun. Sue was also concerned about helping to care for her elderly parents, which she saw not only as a potential time commitment, but a financial one as well.
Meet the Drs. Jones (During the Working Years)
Dr. Ryan Jones and Dr. Rachel Jones were married soon after medical school while in residency. Ryan was an orthopedic surgeon and Rachel was in family medicine. Once they entered into their 30s, they had their first child and were planning to have more in the very near future.
Their lives are busy and their finances were getting short shrift. They both had substantial student loan debt, but they wanted to buy a bigger house for their growing family. They knew they should establish a college savings plan and do something more intentional about retirement, although it seemed like a far off distant dream.
Common Client Employers
Below is a partial list of our clients’ employers whose benefit programs we have worked with.
Babcock & Wilcox
Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Signet / Sterling Jewelers
Akron Children’s Hospital
Crystal Clinic (partners &employees)
Mercy Medical Center
Summa Health System
Western Reserve Hospital
Government / Education
Case Western University
Kent State University
University of Akron
* Above scenarios, while representative of many client cases, are hypothetical in nature.