Financial Planning

Nearing Retirement? A Retirement Advisor May Be Right For You

By  Brian Thorp

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It’s an exciting time when you’re approaching retirement and preparing for the next phase of your life. You’ve likely spent decades working towards this milestone and have a vision for how you’ll spend your days, perhaps enjoying more time with grandchildren, traveling, or volunteering in your community.

But retirement comes with a cost and knowing how you’ll afford to live comfortably while preserving your savings to last a lifetime is no easy task.

If you’re thinking about hiring a financial advisor who can help you make the most of your golden years, you may be best served choosing an advisor who specializes in helping people nearing retirement like you. With their experience, credentials, and knowledge of retirement planning strategies and pitfalls to avoid, you may find your life in retirement includes one less worry so you can enjoy your days more.

Let’s learn more about financial advisors who specialize in helping near-retirees to help you decide if a retirement advisor may be right for you.

🌞 Get to Know Retirement Advisors Who Specialize in Helping Near-Retirees

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A with Financial Advisors Who Specialize in Helping Near-Retirees
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Hiring a Retirement Advisor
  3. Browse Related Articles

Get to Know these Retirement Advisors:

Jeremy Keil | ✅ Alex Lynch | ✅ Nick Covyeau | ✅ Cameron Capriotti

Retirement Advisor Showcase:
– Jeremy Keil –

Three Questions with Jeremy Keil

We asked Wisconsin-based financial advisor Jeremy Keil who specializes in helping near-retirees to answer three common questions asked by people planning to retire soon.

Q: I’m approaching retirement and haven’t needed a financial advisor to make it this far. Why should I think about hiring a financial advisor now?

Jeremy: Retirement is something you’ve never faced before with a lot of one-time decisions you can never reverse. Working with a retirement-focused advisor can help you avoid mistakes during this huge transition.

Q: How can I feel confident I’m choosing a financial advisor who understands I simply want to enjoy a comfortable retirement, not outperform the stock market?

Jeremy: When you’re looking for good retirement-focused financial advisors you want to start with the basics. Make sure they have their Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation and either the Retirement Management Advisor (RMA®) or Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designations.  You should also ask them for references to other clients facing retirement, and look at their website: does it address the issues you are facing?

Q: I have a few more years before I plan to retire. Should I wait until closer to my retirement date before hiring a financial advisor?

Jeremy: You should plan for retirement well before your retirement date. Many people retire before they expected and you will fare much better if you have a plan ahead of time. There may be many decisions that affect your retirement that come up along the way such as making sure you’re maximizing your vacation pay rules (sometimes you can move this money tax-free into a Health Reimbursement Arrangement), or your pension (learning your formula and maximizing it helps).  You don’t want to miss out on benefits because you waited until just before retirement to do the research.

Retirement Advisor Showcase:
– Alex Lynch –

Three Questions with Alex Lynch

Seattle-area financial advisor Alex Lynch says his most important duty to his clients is ensuring they never run out of money. We asked Alex to answer 3 questions helpful to people approaching retirement who want to enjoy their golden years and make their money last a lifetime.

Q: Will my taxes be lower when I’m in retirement?

Alex: Oftentimes clients are surprised when we project out their retirement income that their tax bracket does not fall significantly in retirement and often increases. Between losing some of the tax deductions clients were able to enjoy while working and incurring taxes to generate the income in retirement clients need, their tax rate does not always fall (i.e. withdrawing money from 401k/403b is a taxable transaction).

At Jarvis Financial, our approach with clients is to project out their tax liabilities over both the next several years and their lifetime. With our goal being to minimize their lifetime tax bill, not just the bill from any one year.

Clients are often surprised when we suggest paying more tax before retirement (i.e. Roth conversions) and then delighted by how the numbers look over the long term. During this time, we are thoughtful about how tax rates could change in the future, how unexpected large withdrawal needs could impact their taxes, and a client’s goals for charitable/estate planning.

Q: How should I invest when I’m nearing retirement?

Alex: When those close to retirement ask us this question first, we have to determine that retirement is feasible. Then of highest importance is for clients to begin building a proverbial “war-chest.” This generally means having 5-10 years of retirement expenses set aside in a low-risk account.

While we are in our careers and actively saving and accumulating wealth, dips in the stock market are our friends and buying opportunities. The converse is true when we are required to draw income from our portfolios, and we are effectively in the de-accumulation game.

At Jarvis Financial, we have found that regularly discussing our “war-chest” and using it as a bridge during less favorable times in the markets has worked extremely well for clients.

Q: What is biggest financial surprise to new retirees?

Alex: I see recent retirees most surprised by the cost of private health insurance before Medicare and the various out of pockets costs associated with Medicare. For individuals retiring before Medicare eligibility, we encourage you to talk with your current employer about any healthcare options after retirement and go on the various health exchanges to have a planned budget for healthcare expenses.

Upon Medicare eligibility, it’s very important to understand that not all the parts of Medicare are free. Part B alone could cost $500 a month for each individual. And having a plan for the various Medicare/supplemental options before retirement is a must.

Retirement Advisor Showcase:
– Nick Covyeau –

Three Questions with Nick Covyeau

We asked financial planner Nick Covyeau to share insights based on his experience helping people over age 50 pay less in taxes throughout their retirement. Based in Costa Mesa, California, Nick works with many clients in-person locally and meets with others nationwide online.

Q: As the founder of Swell Financial Partners, you’ve chosen to specialize in working with people who are over the age of 55 and ready to retire in the next 5 to 10 years. What is a common financial planning challenge you often encounter when you begin working with new clients? And how do you help them overcome this obstacle?

Nick: I see a lot of clients struggle with being able to see the entire picture and knowing where they’re at financially and how close (or far) they are from retirement. Thus, organization and clarity are by far the two most important elements to every plan.

Before any technical work can begin, we must start first with identifying what an ideal retirement looks like and then get an inventory of where each person or family is starting from.

Our process starts with framing the intention of our work together by going into a series of intentional questions designed to zero in on what’s most important to each person. Though every plan and each client’s situation and circumstances are different, the process and outcome remain the same.

Once we’ve identified their purpose and vision, we can then begin to comb through statements, documents, and tax returns to begin organizing their picture, consolidating accounts, and simplifying the complex.

Last, we present multiple options and recommendations for clients to choose from as we believe financial planning is a collaborative process and each plan has many ways towards achieving a successful outcome.

Q: How do the services you offer distinguish Swell Financial Partners from other advisory firms people in their fifties might be considering?

Nick: Planning for retirement is all we do. It’s all we think about and all we read about.

By narrowing our focus to only work with individuals and families preparing for retirement, allows us to go much deeper in our planning work than most traditional firms that serve a wide array of clients.

We have created an entire process dedicated to centering around all the major events one would need to think about in preparing for the years leading up to retirement such as how to pay less in taxes throughout your entire lifetime, how to build an investment account so that you don’t outlive your money, creating a coordinated withdrawal strategy to the timing of Social Security and Pensions and last, understanding the impact of Medicare, taxes and new legislative changes.

Q: How do you coordinate with other professionals like accountants and estate planning attorneys to help your clients feel more confident and less stressed about their retirement plans?

Nick: Communication and teamwork are critical. It takes an entire village worth of professionals to get our clients to retirement. We help to assemble a team around our clients or partner together to work with their existing relationships to collaborate and all get on the same page for our clients.  

In working with CPA’s, we are actively communicating to work on reducing their lifetime taxable income by figuring out where the timing of various tax planning techniques like Roth Conversions, Donor Advised Funds or Charitable Trusts make sense.  

Throughout the year, we continue to be a second set of eyes on tax returns, discuss current tax thresholds and monitor how future changes to Income or Retirement dates will impact Medicare thresholds, possible deductions, or the timing of Social Security.  

With respect to Estate Planning, we are actively involved in the discussion and the implementation of Trust, Wills, and various Estate Gifting vehicles.  

Each year we review our client’s current Estate Plan to ensure accuracy and verify that their wishes were drafted correctly and that all of their assets and beneficiary continue to match.  

Q: In circumstances when older clients pass away, do you offer to provide ongoing financial planning services to their children who may not yet be in their fifties? 

Nick: Each circumstance is unique, and it all comes down to the relationship we have with the family and the children. It is our promise to always provide guidance and counsel to our client’s children, especially during a time of transition and loss.

Through our process, it is very common for us to be in contact with our client’s children and have an established relationship with them.

Thus, if there’s a mutual fit and a relationship, then yes, it’s very common for children of clients to continue working with us. We understand that not every situation makes sense, nonetheless, we always strive to make ourselves available and provide prudent advice in the process.

Retirement Advisor Showcase:
– Cameron Capriotti –

Three Questions with Cameron Capriotti

Cameron Capriotti is a financial advisor based in The Woodlands, Texas, serving clients locally, in Tomball, and the surrounding areas. As a CPA and CFP® Professional, Cameron can engage his clients deeply and offer a personalized plan and high level of service that generates tangible results in his clients’ lives. 

Q: For people nearing retirement who are unsure whether or not they should hire a financial advisor at the current point in their lives, what guidance can you provide to help them make a more informed and educated decision?

Cameron: Having a plan in place to be as efficient with a retirement income plan as possible. Meaning if you retire mid to late in the year, having a plan to build or set aside an after-tax bucket of funds to live off of can help make sure you are not stacking additional taxable income from IRA/retirement distributions on top of an already high-income year.

Also, this could be a great opportunity to adjust 401k contributions to max out a 401k through that last year of pay to get into a lower tax bracket for that year which will help with not only how much taxes are owed but also what future Medicare premiums will be based off.

Secondly, getting a second opinion on your retirement plans and getting feedback on how healthy that plan is would be a prudent decision. Often times I see people want to blindly make the decision to avoid hearing something they might not want to. Our goal as a planner is to hear clients out regarding what is important to them and helping construct a plan to make that value come to fruition.

Get to Know Cameron Capriotti:

View Cameron’s profile on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

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Q: How do the services you offer individuals and couples nearing retirement distinguish your firm, Legacy CFO, from other advisory firms?

Cameron: We offer a truly comprehensive planning/investment offering to our clients. When clients retire, Uncle Sam is entitled to 0-50+% of their portfolio typically. This means there are considerable planning opportunities to make sure Uncle Sam’s portion remains as low as legally allowable. What accounts certain investments are held in, where distributions come from, what pot of money is used for charitable giving, etc. can all be customized to create a plan that is tax efficient.

Q: For people approaching retirement age, how do you recommend they prepare to make the transition from living off their salary to relying upon other sources of income?

Cameron: Having a built-out plan that shows their sources of income pensions/S.S./Etc. and what additional funds the portfolio can provide and weighing this up to what their current standard of living is. It’s good to quantify this to make sure you fully understand where the money will come from and if that will be adequate to maintain the lifestyle you are hoping for. Also, knowing how to pay taxes on these new sources of income is important not only to avoiding tax surprises, underpayment penalties and to keeping Medicare premiums as low as possible.

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Financial Planning For Your Upcoming Retirement?

About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.