Heidi - Successful single mother, 10 years out from retirement who desires the flexibility to travel and assistance with estate planning.

(These hypothetical examples and other information presented regarding the likelihood of various conclusions, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual clients or outcomes and are not guarantees of future results.)

Heidi is a single mother on the home stretch of her working career. She enjoys traveling and wants to be able to take some more lavish trips each year. Because of the nature of her career, it’s been nice to be able to work flexibly from wherever she is, and enjoys being able to work a bit while on vacation, allowing more opportunities to travel. It’s great to be able to take care of things at work, then step out onto the sand and enjoy the beach in the evening.

She’s spent many years working with a local healthcare provider and has been a diligent saver up to this point. She has two children. Her daughter is a married homemaker, and her son is finishing up physical therapy school.

She’s working towards a 10-year timeframe to retirement and has recently begun thinking about many of the major decisions that will need to be made as she gets closer to her retirement date to ensure that she makes the right decisions today. She wants to travel a lot, and she only wants to retire one time.

Her wish is to take what we determined as a “big” trip at least every other year, but maybe every year early on, and then be able to continue to take the long weekends to the beach a few times as she would like. The plan is to stay put for a while yet, but at some point, she would likely move into something with a bit less maintenance.

There were many important questions to navigate. She is asking:

  • How much can I spend in retirement?
  • How am I going to plan for healthcare as I approach retirement?
  • How likely is it that I can retire when I want to retire?
  • How will I generate income to maintain my lifestyle?
  • How much can I afford to spend on travel?
  • How best can I help my kids if they need assistance?.


The company that she works with still offers a pension, so when the time comes she will need to determine whether or not it makes sense for her to take it as monthly income or to roll it over in a lump sum.

Her largest asset is her retirement plan at work, and she was unsure if she has it invested correctly now that she is closer to retirement. She carries some debt on the house and is unsure if it should be paid down at an accelerated pace or if she should maintain the original 30-year loan.

Many of her trusted friends and family are of similar age and she is seeking guidance on how to best set up her estate planning and who should be the executor of the plan. Her ultimate wishes are to make sure she’s taken care of and to help her family in the right way.

She is very successful at her position and growing through the ranks at her company. As with most industries, things change over time and there is some uncertainty about her job as consolidation continues. As she thinks about retirement, there is a chance that if she were to need to move to another company her income would be reduced.

She wants to know if she can still plan to retire on her timeline with a reduced salary, if and when that time comes. It’s paramount that she understands how to put together a plan that is flexible to change, and will account for the worst-case scenario.

By taking the time to put together a financial plan she’s able to approach retirement with clarity and confidence. We were able to go through the many facets of her life to determine current expenses, what her retirement expenses are likely to look like, and how to most effectively plan to be able to retire in the next decade.

With much of her investable assets tied up in the plan at work and much of our planning geared towards her cash flow planning, it’s likely if everything maintains the current status quo, there won’t be many changes needed each year.  As she nears retirement, there will be a need for more ongoing planning that would be necessary, and she would like to have an advisor in her corner to help carry out the plan.

Heidi decided to engage in a flat fee financial plan relationship. For $3,000 she was able to get sound answers to all of her questions from trusted advisors who guided her through the entire process.

As we finished up the initial plan, LWM provided Heidi with a checklist of action items to complete now and in the future. The new plan has removed a great deal of stress from her life and once a major life event occurs, she has a financial planning group with whom she can seek advice to engage in an ongoing relationship.