Defining Steps

Read below to discover some of the critical financial planning considerations that come with each of these lifetime milestones and transitions. These are a few defining steps we assist our clients with each and every day:


With celebrations come new family members, merging of resources, newly designated beneficiaries, updates to estate plans and even prenuptial agreements.

Yet we celebrate signing up for the wonderful messy journey we call life. Here’s to a glorious life.

Birth of a new child or grandchild

And the lover becomes a father.

And as you grow your family, so does your determination for their care. Destinations change, special needs show up, futures adjust, beneficiaries are updated, estate plans grow, communication gets more important, time is more constrained, you can see college from here, etc..

And complexity has barely begun.

Age 40+

Teens are approaching adulthood, college is upon us, earnings begin more serious rise, income replacement is a real concern, higher taxes emphasize tax conscientiousness, managing debt gets more consequential, not to mention promotions, demotions or job loss to be ready for. And how’s your retirement trajectory doing?

Are we busy or what??


It’s easy to dream of a bigger, better home when you’re already bursting at the seams.

What’s ‘big enough’? What’s taking on ‘too much’?

If new employer is involved, will retirement plan rollovers from previous employer need updating? Will earning stability change? New benefits packages change previous plans?

Here’s hoping ‘no regrets’ planning works.

Age 50.5+

Wow, you can see retirement from here!

Eyes are wide open now.

Lifestyle’s may not be in stone, but they are setting in. Yet milestones keep coming.

  • An inheritance raises questions from how to treat ‘sacred’ assets differently, how to receive them while reducing penalties and/or tax consequences, assign them different roles, etc..
  • Elder care a parent/grandparent calls for navigating emotional and financial choices ranging from who oversees health care, who is granted powers of attorney and financial responsibilities, and those myriad emotional things in between.
  • Retirement income planning gets serious as finish lines draw closer and career transition strategies begin to develop.
  • Annuities become items of interest as you begin to consider options that ensure income never stops in retirement.
  • Estate planning; asset titling, trust planning and beneficiary planning usually needs overhaul again to account for unexpected grandchildren or spouse deciding to retire earlier than originally planned.

Age 59.5+

Approaching sixty, retirement is in full view and new planning considerations are coming urgent, including:

  • IRA/401(k) withdrawals once you have passed the age of 10% penalties for accessing these funds
  • Considering rollover of 401(k)s from previous employers into IRA accounts.
  • Provisions for your own elder care costs is pressing whether through traditional, hybrid, self-funded policies and/or investment strategies.

Age 62+

From age 62 to age 65, a number of strategic decisions approach, including:

  • What’s the difference between applying for Social Security early, at full age or delay till age 70? How does that best fit with other lifetime income plans?
  • Coordinating health/medical insurance as first spouse retires and/or reaches Medicare first, may be a period of time that a spouse needs to shop their coverage and cost options. Additionally, choosing to retire before becoming Medicare-eligible at age 65 may require shopping new health insurance coverage options. That can be a large expense to factor during early retirement years.
  • Preparing for Medicare at age 65 requires an understanding of the open enrollment periods and shopping for supplement coverage options that fit in with other benefits.

Age 66+

As you enter your mid- to late-sixties, one spouse may have crossed the retirement finish line and the other may still be transitioning from a lifelong career. Common items crop up that call for smart planning during this transition phase like:

  • Sale of real estate whether you are downsizing or relocating.
  • Coordinating retirement benefits from retirement plans, pensions, Social Security, IRAs and personal savings to provide tax-managed lifetime income.
  • Sale of a business or executing your exit-strategy and transition plan that accomplishes your financial, career and lifestyle goals.
  • Consideration of dropping and/or selling life insurance as your debts are paid off, and earnings replacement becomes less of a concern, yet policy premiums may be increasing.

Age 70.5+

Entering your seventies and beyond often includes new challenges and opportunities for your financial plans, including:

  • Social security benefits can now be maximized.
  • Required minimum distributions (RMD) from qualified retirement plans can’t wait past 72 without hefty penalties and tax consequences.
  • Elder care cost provisions are now urgent for both spouses; what combination of strategies, self-funded or otherwise makes most sense for your family?
  • Death of a spouse, expected or not, is a most emotionally consequential events in a families life. Financially, planning changes drastically as higher tax brackets apply for a single filer, often despite the loss of a Social Security benefit and/or pension. Executing of trust provisions, retitling of inherited accounts, claiming life insurance benefits, and updating pension beneficiaries all are part of executing well laid out estate plans.
  • Family succession planning whether you have specific legacy goals and charitable gifting ambitions or simply want to proactively plan for an efficient transfer of your estate

Healthcare  Event

Along the way, an unpredictable healthcare event can derail a families’ financial future. From higher than expected medical bills to the loss of income, preparing for unexpected calls for proactive coverage options and legal protections such as living wills and power of attorneys, along with a revised strategy at the time of the event to provide needed cash flow, tax planning and more.

Next Steps

Need resources to help organize, prioritize and optimize all the pieces of your financial life?

You’ve come to the right place. To learn more, schedule your Complimentary Cornerstone Vissions™ Strategy Session today.

Thank you!