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Case Studies

Mary and Joe - A Couple At Retirement's Doorstep

Mary (58) and Joe (62) have raised and educated their three children and are looking forward to retirement. Mary is a teacher and Joe is an engineer. They have financial assets of about $1.5 million, which includes individual savings accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, IRAs, a 403(b), and a 401(k). Mary will have a pension in retirement, but Joe will not. Their current joint income is about $170,000. 

Reason for seeking financial advice: Mary and Joe want to prepare for retirement and want guidance related to all issues that will have a bearing on their financial peace of mind.

Examples of what Mary and Joe can expect by engaging Schiavi + Dattani: 

  • An initial review of all significant financial matters, to see if anything needs to be addressed in a timely manner. This review will be followed by the preparation of a more thorough financial plan.
  •  Recommendations to eliminate, consolidate, refinance, or decrease the carrying cost of any debt.
  •  A sophisticated look at all the factors related to retirement planning success to help Mary and Joe decide on an acceptable spending level in retirement, as well as a target date for retirement.  
  • Guidance related to when and how to enroll for Social Security, with the goal of maximizing family lifetime benefits.  This is an area ripe with pitfalls and opportunities.  
  • Assistance with rollovers of retirement plans into IRAs, Roth conversion opportunities, and beneficiary elections that maximize family benefits.   



  • A review of current and post employment health care coverage. 
  • Recommendations that will simplify and consolidate their savings and investment accounts at various institutions.  
  • Recommendations related to the management and eventual distribution of retirement account assets.  
  •  A discussion of pension benefit elections and a recommendation based upon the facts of Mary and Joe’s particular situation. 
  • Specific recommendations related to the tax efficient management of all financial assets, including allocation and rebalancing decisions. 
  • Discussions related to making beneficiary elections that reflect their current wishes.  
  • A discussion of estate planning objectives and how to go about achieving those goals, prior to meeting with an estate planning attorney. Schiavi + Dattani will accompany Joe and Mary to the initial meeting with the attorney if that will facilitate communication and understanding. Schiavi + Dattani will review drafts of estate documents and make suggestions as needed.  
  • Help Mary and Joe make tax favored gifts to help fund college for grandchildren.  
  • Help Mary and Joe make tax favored gifts to the charities of their choice.  
  • Act as a sounding board for financial issues that arise related to Mary and Joe’s children and grandchildren (A greatly appreciated service, we might add). 
This case study is presented to illustrate the type of financial planning assistance that the advisors at Schiavi + Dattani provide. It is not meant to be all inclusive or to represent the facts and circumstances of any actual client of Schiavi + Dattani. Clients of the firm receive reviews and recommendations unique to their own objectives, resources, and constraints.  


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