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Financial Center for Women

Alex & Christine's Story

Alex and Christine were excited about retiring next year when they both turned 65 and Medicare eligible.   They came to us to prepare an income and tax strategy plan for their retirement and to determine when to start taking their social security benefits.   They were both 64.   Alex works with a small manufacturer as an engineer and Christine is a nurse.   They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. 

In our initial meeting, they shared their dreams for retirement.   They wanted to buy a lake front cottage to spend the Michigan summers entertaining their grandchildren.  They were considering renting a condo for couple of months during the winter in a warmer climate.   We sent them home to work on their retirement budget, research cottages and condo rentals.  We wanted to make sure they fully understood the cost of their dreams.  

At our next meeting, they had made some decisions.  They realized that the cottage was not affordable, and the upkeep was something they really didn’t want to take on at their age.   Plus, their grandchildren have busy lives.  They felt renting a cottage a couple weeks during the summer made more sense.  And it would free up funds to spend more time in the warmer weather during the winter.

With their budget complete, the next step was to build the plan.   We prepared several versions to determine when to start taking their Social Security.   We decided to start Christine’s at retirement and delay Alex’s until age 70.   Delaying Alex’s social security would increase his benefit by 8% each year after his full retirement age plus in case of one of their deaths, it would guarantee a higher income for the surviving spouse. 

We designed a plan to help Alex and Christine live their dreams.   Quality time with their grandchildren and sunshine for the winter.