With the potential for retirement to last as long as 30 or more years, it’s no wonder many people worry about outlasting their money. If you’re ready to retire, but don’t feel confident about whether you’re financially ready, a milestone that’s worthy of celebration can become a source of stress instead. That was the case for Steve, who turned to Savant Advisor Don Duncan for help.

Steve’s Perspective: “I didn’t want to make a bad call.”

“When I first retired, I started to spend more time on our finances. And it seemed like the more time I spent, the more I realized I was out of my league,” Steve says. Even with a background in economics and a robust retirement nest egg, Steve agonized over whether he and his wife, Jan, had enough money to live comfortably for as long as they might need.

Steve found Savant in an online search and says he was impressed with the firm’s approach to investing. “I knew about investing principles, but I wasn’t that knowledgeable about investing,” he said. “Savant’s evidence-based approach made me aware of the pitfalls that happen when investors chart their own course. I didn’t want to make a bad call.”

The Upside of Having a Plan

When Steve and Jan first started collaborating with their Savant advisor, creating a sound financial plan was Priority One. “I consider building a financial plan to be fundamental to any client relationship,” says Don Duncan, CFP®, CFA®, CPA/PFS, CSEP, MBA, a financial advisor and managing director at Savant. “I find can help create peace of mind and reduces the uncertainty of determining how much risk you need to take with your investments,” he adds.

Together with Don, Steve and Jan got to work reviewing their accounts, searching for the most tax-favorable way to structure withdrawals to preserve as much of the couple’s wealth as possible. “We needed to stay under a certain income level from a Medicare premium standpoint,” said Don, “so I think the tax planning on the withdrawal strategy was a big stress reliever.”

Steve agrees. “Finances aren’t a source of stress anymore,” he says, adding that he was even able to remain calm during periods of market volatility. “We invest for the long term, and given my education and Don’s advice, we just don’t concern ourselves anymore.”

Enjoying Retirement

With their financial plan in place, Steve and Jan are now enjoying retirement. “I had some family issues early in my retirement that required me to travel, and that was no problem,” says Steve. He has also purchased a motorcycle and enjoys riding near his Santa Fe home. So what’s next?

“We tried RVing, just to see how we liked it, because we have a lot of friends who have campers and love traveling with them. Turns out, we thoroughly enjoyed it!” Steve says. He and Jan are planning to buy an RV and start traveling more with their dogs.

They also keep in regular touch with Don. “We meet periodically throughout the year to review aspects of our financial plan and, toward the end of the year, to determine what steps we need to take from a tax perspective. At that time we have a pretty good idea of what our income will be for that and the following year,” says Steve. “And I know I can always call Don if I have a question or a concern.”

“I feel like Savant was one of the best choices we made as a couple, other than getting married,” Steve jokes. “We’re enjoying ourselves, and we feel comfortable with our plan. This was the best decision in terms of helping eliminate the stress that I think we’ve ever made in our lives. It has made a huge difference.”


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Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by Savant, or any non-investment related services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance levels, be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Please see our Important Disclosures.