For HR Professionals
Whether your employees are retiring or navigating a life-changing event, learning from others’ experiences can help answer questions or spark new ones. Below are real-world examples of our work with clients determining the most appropriate course forward.
Advanced Retirement Planning:
Coordinating Assets for a Secure Retirement
A married individual who had been working with the same company for 33 years was nearing retirement and uncertain about income aligning with budget and living expenses.
In this particular case, the individual had accumulated two defined benefit pensions and a nest egg in his 401(k). As a married individual, he was unsure about the benefit amount he should take for the pensions in the event he passed early, and he was also uncertain about how much he could take from his 401(k) to supplement income. His wife had some retirement accounts and a small brokerage account, and the couple had life insurance benefits provided by their employer.
TL Financial Group hosted a Lunch and Learn session featuring our “Advanced Retirement Planning” course. The course offers a broad array of topics directly related to retirement planning with a strong emphasis on cash flow planning. Cash flow planning takes into account an individual’s (or married couple’s) entire financial picture and stress tests their unique needs under different scenarios to ensure that income, spending, and other measures are well aligned.
The couple chose to consult with TL Financial Group after the Lunch and Learn, and to better understand their situation, we contacted their benefits coordinator. After speaking with the coordinator, we were able to come to a full understanding of his pension -- which was different than he initially thought. We were able to help organize the pension income, the couple’s post-retirement life insurance benefits (which differ while employed), 401(k) assets with after-tax investments, Social Security income and health insurance benefits.
Using the information gathered, we constructed three different cash flow scenarios and determined the couple’s after-tax income. By coordinating their assets, TL Financial Group provided a clear expectation of how their income and budget aligned.
Social Security for Widowed Spouses:
How One Widow Almost Made a Significant Mistake
A widow was preparing to remarry but was uncertain if it would negate her widow benefit.
A 59-year-old widow who was planning to remarry in the near term wanted to know if she would still be able to collect her widow benefit. The answer: no – if she remarried at age 59.
TL Financial Group was invited by a local company to host an on-site Lunch and Learn. As part of the session, we provided our course, “Advanced Social Security Planning,” to help attendees learn about claiming strategies, widow benefit planning, divorce planning, how to calculate benefits and many other aspects of Social Security benefits.
Question and answer periods are always part of our Lunch and Learn sessions, but as is often the case, some questions pertain to a personal situation or circumstance that cannot be answered as part of the course. This is why TL Financial Group always allocates time after the sessions to address specific inquiries.
This individual chose to consult with TL Financial Group further. After our analysis, it was determined that she could continue to collect her widow benefit if she remarried at age 60, which in this case was only a few months after her planned wedding date.
She decided to wait. This allowed the individual to collect her widow benefit, which amounted to $700 a month! Had she not had the information provided through consultation with TL Financial Group, she may have re-married at age 59, prohibiting her from receiving the benefit. This individual continued her widow benefit until age 66 and 2 months and then began to collect her own Social Security benefit. Using this technique allowed her to collect approximately $51,800 in additional benefit that otherwise would have not been available.