Joe Beckford

Couple retire early during a pandemic

Disclosure: The below case study is intended to provide an narrated example of the services and solutions provided by Goodwin Investment Advisory to its clients. The story line illustrates examples of issues our clients face and how we can serve as your investment and planning guide. 

1. Jack and Diane Miller (a fictitious name) were in their 50s when they began to look for a financial advisor. Jack was stressed out from his job which was causing health problems and he really just didn’t like his job. Diane was worried about Jack’s health and they wanted help with their finances so that Jack could quit his job. Jack had saved as much as he could in addition to maxing out his 401k. He also had equity from his job that he kept in a separate brokerage account. Other than these two things they were not active in investing outside of their 401k and Jack and Diane were concerned that they weren’t prepared for retirement. They lacked confidence in their financial plan and wanted help having peace of mind so that Jack could retire and recover his health. Plus, Jack was just not able to manage his own money — it was too time consuming in addition to his work.

2. Jack and Diane were looking for someone with expertise that could help them with these specific pain points. An important factor to Jack and Diane in deciding to hire a financial advisor was time. They felt like they were not being active enough in what they were doing on their own and wanted someone whose job was to do this for them. Jack and Diane interviewed other advisors and ultimately decided to hire Goodwin Investment Advisory.

We set out to give them confidence, and not tell them what they wanted to hear, but to help them get to a place where they could retire and Jack could quit his job – retirement for them was discovering increased options to pursue more meaningful work. Anxiety and stress related issues from Jack’s job left them with worry. Jack’s big concern was retiring and paying for an expensive medication he was taking. Diane was hopeful that when he quit he wouldn’t need the meds anyway.

Their comprehensive financial plan gave them the confidence and peace of mind. Jack was able to quit his job. And, they decided to downsize their home which was not necessary, but they just became empty nesters and wanted a smaller house to maintain. They didn’t have to do this, but they decided to do that to give them more confidence in their plan.

Jack found a new job he loves. He didn’t have to go back to work, but now he is working because he wants to and not because he has to. Now he is doing meaningful work. Their comprehensive plan had the same results even with COVID. Retiring during COVID might have been scary for some, but it was the best decision for the Miller’s.

3. Getting to a place where Jack and Diane felt comfortable that they were on track to retire comfortably was a priority. Because trust was such a factor to Jack, he turned his money over to GIA in phases. As the trust was built he continued to take our advice. He admitted that sometimes he actually wanted to do the exact opposite that his advisor was recommending. He was concerned about the 2007-2008 market decline and that it would happen again, because as he said, “that really put a crater in his finances.” Diane was on board with our recommendations and wanted to move forward, but she and Jack had to come together and agree on how they wanted to proceed together. Jack and Diane incrementally took our advice. Jack was able to retire.

4. Currently Jack is retired and much healthier. Jack and Diane are living mortgage and debt free, and their investment strategy has helped them to stay on track even in the midst of a pandemic and unsure times.

5. Listening to Jack and Diane’s needs, we were able to help them make a comprehensive financial plan which allowed them to make decisions to reach their goals. Others in their position may have waited longer to retire, or been more comfortable putting that off, but Diane wanted Jack to be able to do something he loved with his time and not continue to be stressed which was causing his health to decline.