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Defining Steps

Click on the pieces 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:


Whenever there is a new marriage in your family, for yourself or other family members, financial planning considerations that come with marriage can range from prenuptial agreements, merging of assets and updates to estate plans and designated beneficiaries to involve the newest family member.

Birth of a new child or grandchild

As your family continues to grow and change over time, your estate plan and designated beneficiaries will need to stay up-to-date to include all your loved ones as intended. Keep in mind planning for minors or special needs individuals will also require more advanced planning to control when and how they can receive assets. You may also wish to establish college or other savings plans that provide for their futures and need to evaluate the various benefits and tax provisions for various account options.

Age 40+

In your forties, you are often in or approaching your peak earning years of your career, which can require planning for:

  • Higher tax brackets that require new wealth management and investment strategies
  • Consideration of life insurance for income replacement and debt coverage needs
  • Planning for college savings for your children
  • In the event of job promotions, demotion or loss, adjustments to your savings goals, rolling over retirement accounts and providing for immediate income needs


In addition to moving costs and planning for your new employment (compensation packages, changes in benefits, transitions of income, etc.), any time you change to a new job, you will likely also have a retirement plan to rollover from your previous employer.

Age 50.5+

As you enter your fifties, a few lifestyle changes and milestones may occur triggering a need for financial planning care, including:

  • Receiving an inheritance can raise a number of questions from proper titling of inherited accounts to strategies to invest new funds to avoid penalties and unnecessary tax consequences
  • Caring for a parent or grandparent requires navigating emotional and financial decisions ranging from assisted living to implementing power of attorney
  • Estate planning, trust planning and beneficiary planning may need to be reviewed or implemented to provide for new grandchildren or essential planning to provide for your spouse
  • Pre-retirement planning as your retirement goals draw closer requires establishing your timelines, income needs and a transition strategy from your career to retirement
  • Purchasing annuities may become an interest as you begin to shift to preserving assets and planning for lifetime income in retirement

Age 59.5+

As you approach your sixties, retirement goals are often becoming within reach, and new planning considerations are coming into play, including:

  • IRA/401(k) withdrawals once you have passed the age of 10% penalties for accessing these funds
  • Needing to rollover 401(k)s from previous employers into IRA accounts with more investment options and income distribution abilities
  • Elder care costs whether through traditional, hybrid or self-funded policies and investment strategies

Age 62+

From age 62 to age 65, a number of timely financial decisions need to be made with strategic precision, including:

  • Applying for/considering Social Security whether you will apply early, at full age or delay till age 70 requires a personal review of your income strategy
  • Coordinating health insurance if one spouse retires or reaches Medicare first, there may be a period of time that a spouse needs to shop their coverage options. Additionally, choosing to retire before becoming Medicare-eligible at age 65 may require shopping new health insurance coverage options, which can be a large expense to factor into your early years of retirement.
  • Preparing for Medicare at age 65 requires an understanding of the open enrollment period and shopping supplement coverage options to fit your needs

Age 66+

As you enter your mid- to late-sixties, you may have crossed the retirement finish line or still transitioning from your career, and this phase of life requires financial planning needs including:

  • Sale of real estate whether you are downsizing or relocating
  • Coordinating retirement benefits from retirement plans, pensions, Social Security and personal savings to provide tax-managed income
  • Sale of a business or development of an exit-strategy and transition plan that accomplishes your financial, career and lifestyle goals
  • Consideration of dropping life insurance as your debts are decreasing or paid off, replacement income becomes less of a concern and policy premiums increase

Age 70.5+

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

  • Required minimum distribution (RMD) planning to withdraw necessary funds from qualified accounts each year to avoid hefty penalties and tax consequences
  • Elder care for spouse or self whether home healthcare, assisted living or a long-term care facility
  • Death of a spouse is one of the most emotional and financially significant events for planning due to a higher tax bracket as a single filer, lower income with the loss of a Social Security and/or pension, proper retitling of inherited accounts and updating beneficiaries and 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

One of the most costly and unpredictable events that will impact your financial future is a healthcare event for you or a loved one. From the loss of income to high medical bills, preparing for a healthcare event requires proactive planning for 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.

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