Case Study: Ryan and Emily

Ryan and Emily

Ages: 66 and 65

Goal: Emily and Ryan are active professionals wanting to optimize their retirement income and mitigate taxes while they plan for their future.

Main Goals

  • Grow the nest egg to last because both are VERY ACTIVE and could live a long time in retirement.
  • Optimize their retirement income.
  • Mitigate taxes because both are still working.
  • Ryan already retired once from executive role and still has company stock options that are unvested.



Ryan has already retired and received stock options but he has started a new business venture and still has very high income. The business has a strong probability of being sold in the future for a large windfall.

Emily is a high school counselor and has been for over 30 years. She is already receiving a pension from another school system but is still working and will have another pension once she is retired.

The majority of their assets are within an IRA that came from a large 401k that was at Ryan’s previous employer.

The actual retirement date is unsure at the moment but we need to prepare for required minimum distributions, pension income, and the proper income supplementation.

Another big decision is how to take Social Security Benefits. There may be reductions that need to be evaluated. 

They own multiple homes in multiple states so the management of retirement properties is important.

Both Ryan and Emily are very active. Consistent daily exercise, healthy eating habits, and love to get outdoors and ski regularly.


Things to watch for:

  • Distribution of large amounts from tax deferred accounts.
  • Tax liability in high income years relating to company stock options and stock units.
  • Maximizing the proper pension amount from the second pension.
  • Making sure money lasts for the future and they can live the way that they want.
  • Trying to be tax efficient as possible and managing proper income strategies.


First places to start:

I need to understand specifically how much they need to live the life that they want in retirement. This is a cash flow evaluation.

Then, manage assets in a way that keeps their costs low and their tax liability as low as possible. This could include asset location.
Start to whey all income sources now and in the future when they take social security. Also, help to time the proper social security strategy.

This retirement plan can not be implemented over one year, it will take years of evaluation, adaptations, and corrective behaviors for changing market environments.


Current Outcome