Kay's Story

Stories are a great way to share so I want to share a story about Kay. She is similar to some of the women we work with.

Kay recently lost her husband Mike; he was only 62 years old. In addition to the grief and overwhelm from a sudden loss, Kay now had to deal with all of the financial issues associated with death. To compound the situation, Kay had never been involved in the financial decision making. She was capable and managed most of the day to day spending, but she had no real knowledge of investments and her long-term needs.

When we are working with widows like Kay, we know that our process needs to be a bit slower as well as more involved than it might be when working with a couple or someone not in the grieving process. Additionally, if the widow has not been the primary financial decision maker, we need to provide sufficient education to allow for better decision making.

Based on Kays needs and her overall situation, we might take the following steps over the first several months.

  1. Create a cash flow plan to understand what her spending needs are both now and in the future.
  2. Make joint calls to the investment companies so that the accounts are properly moved into Kay’s name. Since 401k’s or IRA’s could transfer directly into her account, we would want to make sure the investment company does not create a beneficiary account instead.
  3. We might work together with the corporate benefits department so that the executive benefits like stock options and restricted stock units vested appropriately.
  4. We would create a full financial plan and a strategy for income so that Kay would know how much of the investments and life insurance proceeds she would have available over the years to fund her living needs.
  5. We might create an investment plan according to the growth she needs over the next 30 years as well as for her risk tolerance. Part of this process would include educating her in investments and their risk/reward.
  6. We could evaluate her options on whether she should take Mikes pension benefit as a lump sum or as a stream of income over the years
  7. We would complete a Social Security analysis to determine the timing strategy of when to take her benefit vs. her survivor benefit.
  8. As tax time came, we might work closely with her tax preparer to help reconcile all of the tax events that might have occurred especially if she had stock options and RSU vesting.

Over the years, we would continue to work with Kay to deal with many of the ongoing financial needs she might have. However, Kay would have a solid strategy and plan for moving forward with more confidence and clarity within her first year.

Let's Talk

The example above is provided for illustrative purposes only to provide an example of the Firm’s process and methodology. It does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. An individual’s experience will vary based on his or her individual circumstances, and there are no assurances that the techniques and strategies discussed herein are suitable for all investors or that the predicted results will occur. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and actual results will vary from those portrayed herein. Therefore, it should not be assumed that the future results of any specific investment or investment strategy will be profitable. No portion of this hypothetical scenario is to be interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of the Firm’s investment advisory services. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice. Please contact us for additional information with respect to the strategies and/or investments described herein.