Case Study: How We Helped One Retired Couple Gain Confidence in Their Future

Building wealth to provide for and pass on to your family or cherished causes can take decades of hard work and sacrifice. No matter how much you want to leave, having a solid financial plan is necessary to balance your own retirement needs with your desire to leave a legacy. 

At FMF&E Wealth Management, we know just how important this is to our clients. That’s why we offer comprehensive wealth management strategies. Read on to learn more about how our services have been used to help other clients leave an inheritance and how we can help you too.

The Client

These clients came to us back in 2017. A married couple, the husband had recently retired from a large international company and the wife had recently retired from a regional finance company. 

The Goal

They had several retirement assets, including two taxable brokerage accounts, three different 401(k) plans, and an IRA that held an annuity. Each of these accounts were held by different custodians. Despite having these assets, the couple wasn’t sure exactly how their funds were invested or whether they were taking too much or too little risk in their portfolio. The husband also had a pension plan, and he was concerned about its solvency.

The couple had two pressing questions: “What lifestyle can we afford?” and “What happens to those whom we love when we are no longer around?” Essentially, they had never done any sort of formal retirement planning and were worried about how that would affect their future. 

With a small mortgage balance and one adult son who would inherit their assets, they were concerned about running out of money down the road. They came to us for help balancing living a comfortable lifestyle and also being able to leave an inheritance for their son. 

The Process

We determined the best course of action for these clients was to build a comprehensive wealth plan to address their various concerns, including investment planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

To start the process, we spent time getting to know them, digging down to explore their values, beliefs, fears, and concerns. We discovered what was important to them about their wealth, which helped us create a high-level purpose for their funds. From there, we were able to frame the entire plan and suggested strategies around their unique and personal circumstances. 

We tackled several different aspects of their finances:

  • Social Security & pension: We determined the best timing for taking Social Security based on their specific circumstances.
  • Lifestyle: We ran various scenarios that included and excluded the husband’s pension (which they worried about) to determine the best course of action, allowing for retirement spending they could afford and enjoy.
  • Asset allocation: We clarified their current asset mix and projected different scenarios of how their finances would look if they stayed on the same course. We demonstrated how different mixes of stocks and bonds produced different lifestyles and end-of-plan dollar amounts.
  • Account consolidation: We helped the couple organize and consolidate all their retirement accounts, which was important because they wanted to simplify their life in retirement.
  • Legacy planning: We also demonstrated how different retirement spending scenarios affected their ability to leave an inheritance for their son.


After we completed the entire process, we were able to provide answers to many of this couple’s most anxiety-inducing questions. We discovered an asset allocation strategy that balanced their lifestyle, their legacy, and their ability to sleep at night, and it was completely unique to their situation.

We discovered that they were taking on too much risk for what they were trying to accomplish and suggested they reduce their stock holdings and increase their bond holdings. We added diversification to their investment portfolio, which had been overweighted in one part of the stock market.

We helped them determine that it made sense to pay off their small mortgage balance. And lastly, we referred them to an estate attorney so they could update their will and other estate documents, ensuring that their son and their legacy would be properly protected in the event of their death, disability, or incapacitation.

These clients are now armed with a long-term plan that gives them the confidence to live their life without constant financial worry. They know what lifestyle they can afford to live and they’re confident in their ability to leave a legacy for their son. They understand not only how they are invested, but also why they are invested in specific assets.

Their portfolio is now tailored to their risk level, giving them the capability to weather market downturns because they know that bad markets are already incorporated into their plan. And with our fee-only planning structure, these clients now have complete transparency in what they pay for advice. 

This couple came to us confused and overwhelmed, but now they have a financial “security blanket” (as the husband likes to call it) and a better understanding of the purpose of their money. Since working with FMF&E Wealth Management, they have been able to spend more time doing what they love because they believe they’re getting the best life possible with the money they have. 

How We Can Help You

Our goal at FMF&E Wealth Management is to provide every client with clarity and confidence regarding their financial future. If you, like our clients, have felt overwhelmed by all the different aspects of your finances, it doesn’t have to be that way. Get our insights on building your financial future and living the best life possible with the money you have by scheduling a conversation today or reaching out to me at

About Jeff

Jeff Campbell is a Wealth Advisor with FMF&E Wealth Management, a financial planning firm committed to providing services and advice that puts you, your family, and your values and goals first. With 25 years of experience in the financial industry, Jeff is passionate about building relationships with his clients, coaching them to make solid financial decisions and guiding them as they work toward the financial future of their dreams. He is known for being a good listener and providing clarity and confidence as he helps business owners secure their retirement and live their best life. Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Richmond. When he’s not working, Jeff loves spending time with his wife, Caitlin, his two children, Paige and Colin, and his extended family. He enjoys golfing, traveling, playing the guitar, and seeing live music. To learn more about Jeff, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also register for his latest webinar on How We Help Business Owners Retire With Confidence.

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