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Financial Planning Services for Retirees

You have retirement accounts in a few different places, and so does your spouse. Now that you are retired or thinking of retiring, you are closer to using the money. But you haven’t changed the allocation or risk level of any of those accounts. Moreover, you haven’t met with a financial advisor to discuss your retirement goals or accounts.

  1. We meet to talk about your goals so I can get a snapshot of your current investments. I ask each of my soon-to-be clients to take an online risk profile assessment so I can see whether your current investments match your goals and risk tolerance.
  2. If your objectives and risk tolerance are in sync with each other, we may fine-tune your current portfolio. If they are out of whack, I will design a new custom portfolio that better reflects your risks and goals. We commit to reviewing your portfolio at least once a year.
  3. We figure out whether you should keep your 401(k) or 403(b) with your previous employer or roll it into an IRA, where I will build a new portfolio for retirees or job changers.
  4. Plus, we review any pension options for which you may be eligible, review any Social Security or Medicare questions you may have, or examine any group life and disability policies you may want to convert

Read More: Are You Ready to Retire (PDF)

Financial Planning Services for Retirees
Financial Planning Services for Retirees

Financial Planning Process


You gather your data: financial questionnaire, tax forms, brokerage statements, retirement accounts statements, mutual fund, and annuity statements, insurance policies


You establish goals: comfortable retirement, retirement income needs, second home, travel, estate planning


I analyze information: mutual fund and ETF due-diligence, retirement planning, asset allocation and risk tolerance analysis, titling of assets


Make recommendations: product solutions: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, life insurance plans, tax reduction strategies


I monitor and update: annual reviews, twice a year email updates, monthly brokerage statements, CIR statements online reporting of your accounts

Financial Planning Services for Retirees
Financial Planning Services for Retirees

How the New Retirement SECURE Act Impacts You

Congress recently passed, and President Trump signed, the SECURE Act. Among other things, it pushes back from age 70 1/2 to age 72 the age when someone is required to start taking their minimum distribution from their IRA, 401k, or IRA. It also allows individuals to contribute to an IRA past age 70 1/2 and makes it easier to generate annuity income from their retirement plan.

The most significant change, though, is how it treats non-spouse beneficiaries. Previously, non-spouse beneficiaries could “stretch” their required withdrawals over their lifetime. For example, a 40-year-old successful doctor who received a substantial sum from their mother’s IRA could take their required amount over their lifetime.

Thus, they could spread out their tax liability and invest those proceeds aggressively, as the Beneficiary IRA had a 30- or 40-year time horizon.

Soon, under the new law, a non-spouse beneficiary who is ten years younger than the previous IRA owner must withdraw the account by year 10. However, they don’t need to take distributions every year.

Planning Ideas

Some beneficiaries might need to adjust their thinking, maybe taking less risk with their inherited IRA to reflect the shorter time when they need to deplete the account.

Others might want to maximize their retirement plan at work to offset the higher taxable withdrawals during those ten years. These higher potential taxes, for many, come on top of the loss of SALT tax deductions from the 2017 Tax Reform Act. So, maybe you could pay down your mortgage with the proceeds if you no longer itemize.

What About Current Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries taking RMDs based on the previous rules can continue using the old law. But the non-spouse recipient of someone who passes away post-January of 2020 will be under the new regulations — making this a good time for 401k, 403b, or IRA retirement plan owners to review their current beneficiaries as well as any trusts with your attorney.

Financial Planning Services for Retirees
Financial Planning Services for Retirees

Should You Have a Trust as Beneficiary on Your Retirement Account?

To allow non-spouse beneficiaries to withdraw over their lifetime while protecting the retirement account (401k, 403b, IRA) from creditors, many attorneys recommended people name a Trust as the primary or contingent beneficiary of a retirement plan.

That way, non-spouse beneficiaries could withdraw money from an inherited retirement plan based on their life expectancy. Doing this spread the tax liability over an extended period and protected them from creditors if the beneficiary was in a Trust.


Signed into law in December 2019, the SECURE Act calls into question the benefit of doing this, especially if the Trust provides income for children or grandchildren.

The SECURE Act does not impact spouses. They can still take money out based on their life expectancy, starting when their deceased spouse reaches their required beginning date, now at age 72. If they prefer, spouses can transfer the IRA, 403b, or 401k into their own IRA. (These options are available if the spouse is the sole primary beneficiary)

Non-spouse beneficiaries who are ten years younger than the IRA owner must now withdraw all the money within ten years. However, they are not required to withdraw each year (after they reach adulthood, minor children are required to withdraw in ten years).

Why a Trust Could Be a Problem

Some Trusts require that only the minimum amounts be distributed each year to the beneficiaries. However, from now on, for non-spouse beneficiaries, the only required distribution happens in year ten.

Therefore, distributions may not be possible until year ten, when everything is withdrawn and taxed. The Trust could end up paying higher trust tax rates on the income and dividends on the monies not distributed in years one through nine.

COVID-19 Complicates Things

The law went into effect in 2020. Because of COVID-19, some people have not met with their attorney to review the new law and change the Trust or the retirement plan’s beneficiaries. (For governmental retirement programs, 403b and 457, the law goes into effect in 2022.)

Trusts for retirement plan owners who died before 2020 can use the old law and remain useful planning tools. But unless the new law changes, there appears to be little benefit of naming a Trust as the beneficiary on a retirement account.

A simple solution is to replace the Trust as beneficiary and name new beneficiaries on the plan. You can usually download a form or get it from your financial advisor or plan administrator. If you are married, you could make your spouse the primary beneficiary and your children and grandchildren contingent beneficiaries.

Tim is a financial advisor…

  • with a keen understanding of interest rates and the bond market.
  • with the knowledge that is imperative when one talks about retirement income.
  • with access to the products necessary to help you transition from growth to income.
  • who will research your retirement accounts and let you know if leaving it with your 401k or 403b is a good option, or if you should roll it over.
  • who will work to keep your costs low – because in a low-yield world, the less you pay to someone else, the more you keep for yourself.

How will Tim help you transition into retirement?

  • Measure how well your investments match up with your risk tolerance and goals and income needs.
  • Design a strategy for minimizing your tax burden.
  • Recommend investments based on an explicit balance of growth vs. security.
  • Figure out whether you should keep your 401k or 403b with your previous employer or roll it into an IRA, where Tim will build you a new portfolio.
  • Build that portfolio using your risk tolerance to create enough retirement income, but so that you will not outlive your money.
  • Look over any pension options you may be eligible for and review any Social Security and Medicare questions you may have.
  • Examine any group life policies you may want to convert to an individual policy.

What Are the Benefits of an Independent Financial Advisor?

  • You will understand investment concepts. I talk in a familiar language, not financial jargon.
  • You can make educated investment decisions with the help of my objective, independent research.
  • I am free to collaborate with you and advise you objectively as we design a financial plan to address your concerns and establish a path to your goals and dreams.
  • You will be able to trust and confide in me, as I will understand and prioritize your financial priorities and goals. I will serve you in a relationship.
  • You will not have to explain your financial history again and again to a series of new faces; I will be here for you.

Where I Work?

From my Boston or S Dartmouth office, I will provide expert, highly personalized financial planning, retirement planning, and investment solutions when you need an independent financial advisor in Massachusetts, Boston or Greater Boston, Salem or the North Shore, Hingham, or any other town on the South Shore, Andover, the Merrimack Valley, and the MetroWest, including Framingham, or the Southcoast, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport, RI.

Read More: Independent Financial Advisor Massachusetts

2021 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The federal government has kept the annual contribution limits on some of the popular qualified retirement plans. So you won't be able to put in anymore into your workplace retirement account in 2021.
Name of PlanBasic Contribution LimitAge 50 and up Catch-UpBasic + Age Fifty
401(k) Plan$19,500$6,500$26,000
SIMPLE IRA$13,500$3,000$16,500
SEP Employer OnlyCannot exceed the lesser of: 25% of compensation, or

403b Plans$19,500$6,500$26,000
457 Plan$19,500$6,500$26,000
Public School Employees Are Eligible for Both a 403b and 457$39,000$13,000$52,000
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