How We Helped A Business Owner Retire With Confidence

At FMF&E Wealth Management, we are passionate about helping people retire armed with a stable financial strategy that will enable them to get the best life possible with the money they have. How do we do this? Well, every conversation with every client is different because their individual situations vary.

Below we want to share with you how we helped one particular client, whom we’ll call Joe, design a holistic and secure wealth management strategy and achieve the retirement he deserves. 

Joe’s Background

Joe became our client in 2004. He had a good job in senior management at a very successful family-owned tech manufacturer with over 500 employees. He was not part of the family but was a minority owner of the company. 

His ownership was through a program that included stock, stock options, and phantom stock. The ownership program was complicated and he had a difficult time understanding his vesting, current valuation, and potential future valuation. Because of this, he tended to ignore it. Instead, he turned his attention toward his 401(k) and deferred compensation plans. He also had a small military pension.

Joe’s Challenges

Joe was in his second marriage and wanted to pay for private college tuition for his three young children, but he did not have a proper funding plan in place. Joe was also very generous, making charitable contributions often, but he did not incorporate the contributions into his tax planning. 

In recent years, Joe started looking toward his retirement and asking us for guidance. On top of the aforementioned issues, we also realized when reviewing his documents that his estate plan was outdated, his retirement plan was only partially developed, and he didn’t have a strategy as to when he would start taking Social Security benefits. 

Joe was also worried that the family who owned the business would sell it and his employment and benefits would not be protected. Additionally, the stock ownership program was confusing to him. The company also offered him a buyout where he would have to unwind his ownership, but given his desired goals and some financial uncertainty, Joe didn’t know if he could afford to quit. Moreover, the company did not provide him with enough information on stock ownership to allow him to determine what his valuation would be and what his exit strategy should be.

Lastly, Joe and his wife divorced. He needed help navigating the financial planning surrounding the divorce and transition into his new life comfortably. 

Our Solutions For Joe

Although Joe is a very accomplished person, his lack of financial understanding of his position and retirement made him uncomfortable. That was where we came in to help. We were able to engage an estate planning attorney to straighten out his estate plan and hammer out the details for his wealth management strategy as he eased into retirement.

First, we worked with Joe’s company’s finance and human resource directors to analyze his stock ownership. This helped us set parameters on its valuation, which we incorporated into his retirement plan. The retirement plan also included his military pension and his Social Security benefits. This plan allowed Joe to exit the company and determined a time frame when he should start collecting Social Security. 

We established a donor-advised fund to pre-fund his future charitable giving and to take advantage of several extraordinary income years. We also helped him navigate the financial aspects of his divorce and its effect on his retirement. 

When Joe retired from the company, he transferred his 401(k) plan assets into an IRA Rollover.. Several years later, Joe began a second career in his retirement and we helped him roll over his IRA into his new 401(k) plan to avoid taking the IRS mandated required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Joe’s Retirement Success Story

Next year, Joe will transition to full-time retirement with absolute confidence. His young children are almost through college and the education they received was fully funded. Joe is purchasing a new home down South and is very happy that he can retain both the family home and his retirement home. 

All in all, it has been wonderful to watch Joe’s wealth management plan development and his confidence in his financial future grow. He now looks forward to spending more time with his family and has full faith that his financial future is in good hands. 

We’re Here To Help

Planning for a stable financial future can be challenging, but that’s where we come in. If you have questions about your own wealth management plan, you deserve to hear an objective second opinion from friends you can trust.  I’m hoping you’ll know us to be those friends. Schedule a conversation today or reach 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.

Leave a Comment