A Tale of Two Women

Julie Khazan, CFP®

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Finding financial confidence in a time of uncertainty

For older American men and women, life is a very different experience. Consider…

  • Women outnumber men. In 2020, there were 30.8 million women 65 and over, compared to just 24.8 million men. (That’s roughly five women for every four men.)1
  • Women live longer–on average, six years longer than men.2
  • More older women are unpartnered. According to Pew Research Center, almost half (49%) of women age 65 or older are unpartnered.3 The Senior List reports this is true of only 21% of men.4 The longer life expectancy of women surely helps explain this, but “gray divorce” is also on the rise.5
  • Women have about 70% of the retirement income that men have.6

For these reasons, many women find themselves during their retirement years navigating unique financial challenges.

In this case study, we’ll show you how MEDIQUS helped two retirement-aged, “unpartnered” women create more stable fiscal foundations.

Client #1: The Widow with the Generous Heart

Her Situation

Susan (not her real name) was a medical professional in Florida. In her early 50s, she approached us because she wanted to open an IRA and brokerage account to accumulate assets for retirement. At the time, she was not interested in hands-on financial guidance. 

One of our advisors got Susan set up on our basic brokerage platform. Per her wishes, we simply monitored and rebalanced her assets at regular intervals.

When Susan’s husband died, we reviewed her accounts and realized: (a) Susan had accumulated a significant sum of money; and (b) she would benefit greatly–and pay less in fees–if she were on our investment advisory platform.

Our Recommendation

We reached out to Susan and walked her through the advantages of moving from our brokerage platform to our advisory platform. 

In addition to more proactive management of her investment portfolio, we’d be able to offer her a broader range of investments and tailor an investment strategy that more closely matched her risk tolerance levels. 

As advisors, we could provide retirement planning, estate planning, and help Susan develop better gifting strategies to charities and family. Furthermore, we’d be able to do regular planning and management reviews and offer other services like exploring long-term care options.

Susan was all in. She wanted the freedom to travel and volunteer; therefore, she welcomed the kind of comprehensive financial guidance we were offering. 

The Outcome

We created a Strategic Financial Analysis once we transitioned Susan to our advisory platform. The goal was to see how much she could spend each year–after taxes and inflation-adjusted–and not be in danger of running out of money before she runs out of life–which will likely be a while. (She’s one of those people everyone pictures as still going strong at 105!) We also reviewed her current estate documents to help her understand how assets would be distributed at her death and the potential impact of estate taxes. 

Next, we helped Susan reconfigure her portfolio to match her risk tolerance and time frame. 

Then, because she’s so charitably minded, we helped Susan devise a more tax-efficient donation strategy. Previously, her giving plan had been to sell some stock, pay capital gains taxes on that profit, and donate what was left to the organizations important to her. We introduced Susan to some strategies she didn’t know about–eventually helping her set up a donor-advised fund (DAF). 

Susan also wanted to set up her grandchildren for financial success.   We helped her establish 529 plans to pay for future college expenses–and create custodial accounts through which she could gift them appreciated stock. 

Client #2: The Financially Inexperienced Divorcée

Her Situation

In her early 60s, Claire (not her real name) experienced a painful divorce. Though she emerged with significant assets, she wasn’t sure how best to manage them.

For 30+ years of marriage, Claire’s ex had handled all the couple’s financial matters. Suddenly, Claire found herself facing a murky new chapter and a host of fiscal decisions. Despite her monetary resources, she felt confused about what to do and worried that she might somehow “screw up.”

Our Recommendation

A physician friend of Claire’s referred her to MEDIQUS. She had been working with us for many years and told Claire how helpful we were during her difficult divorce. 

When Claire reached out to us, we recommended starting where we would with any new client–by conducting a Strategic Financial Analysis. 

The Outcome

We first discussed Claire’s financial goals and lifestyle preferences.

Because splitting up assets following a divorce is often complicated, we assisted with the splitting of assets per the agreement with her ex-spouse. We established accounts in Claire’s name and verified everything had been transferred appropriately. We added Claire’s desired beneficiary designations on all those accounts.

Our financial analysis clearly outlined for Claire long-term investment strategies that made sense based on her financial goals. Claire was also worried about current cash flow as she had been a homemaker. To create a roadmap for her future, we began with a comprehensive cash flow analysis.  This analysis not only helped us identify areas where adjustments could be made, but also formed the foundation for exploring income-generating strategies using a portion of her assets. The goal was to create a steady income stream and ensure she wouldn’t need to immediately access her long-term investments.

Because Claire had firm ideas about how she wished to leave her wealth to her children, we initiated a thorough estate planning process with her attorney. As a result, Claire revised her will, created a trust, and had new power of attorney documents drawn up. 

After feeling “clueless” about her finances for so long, Claire was relieved to have a better understanding of her fiscal situation and determined to be more “hands-on.” We now speak on at least a quarterly basis (something she had never participated in in the past), and Claire is a much more informed investor. 

Our work with Claire caused her to feel empowered and more confident.

The life situations faced by these two older women were different, but they had this in common: each needed a bit of outside expertise to devise and implement a detailed plan to reach their specific financial goals.

Since working with MEDIQUS, both women have repeatedly expressed appreciation for the guidance they’ve received…and reported feeling less anxious about their financial futures.

What about you?

If you’re a woman–of any age–and you feel uneasy about your financial future, you don’t have to keep living that way. Our team at MEDIQUS can help you create a smart financial plan that aligns with your goals and lifestyle. 

Simply click here, fill out the short form, and we’ll be in touch right away. Or call 800-883-8555 and speak to an advisor.

Currently, we serve more than 400 medical professionals and some 80 not-for-profit organizations–mostly in the medical field. We have clients in 40+ states and four countries. 

We’d love to serve you too. 

What does it look like to work with MEDIQUS?

It’s not complicated.

  1. We talk. You schedule an initial meeting so we can learn about your financial goals and explain our MEDIQUS philosophy and process. If we’re a fit, we gather all your pertinent financial information.
  1. We analyze and recommend. We do a careful study of your current situation. In light of your goals, we prepare a comprehensive analysis of your financial strengths and weaknesses. We then present your best options and make our recommendations.
  1. You relax! Based on your wishes, we work with your other advisors (attorneys, CPAs, etc.) to implement the strategies best able to get the results you’re seeking.

¹ 2021 PROFILE OF OLDER AMERICANS

² Why the Life Expectancy Gap between Men and Women Is Growing

³ From a study conducted in 2020.

Statistics on Senior Dating

Gray Divorce: Splitting Up in Later Life

6 Women and Retirement

This case study is for illustrative purposes only. It is not a guarantee or indicator of future results. Results can differ substantially. Some details have been hidden or changed to protect the identity of MEDIQUS clients.

This document does not constitute advice or a recommendation or offer to sell or a solicitation to deal in any security or financial product. It is provided for information purposes only and on the understanding that the recipient has sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to understand and make their own evaluation of the proposals and services described herein, any risks associated therewith and any related legal, tax, accounting or other material considerations. To the extent that the reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to their specific portfolio or situation, prospective investors are encouraged to contact MEDIQUS Asset Advisors, Inc. or consult with the professional advisor of their choosing.

Investment advisory services offered through MEDIQUS Asset Advisors, Inc. Securities offered through Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc.  Member FINRA/SIPC ∙ 5187 Utica Ridge Rd ∙ Davenport, IA 52807 ∙ 563-326-2064. MEDIQUS Asset Advisors and Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. are independently owned and operated. Investments are not FDIC-insured and are not deposits of or guaranteed by a bank. The material has been prepared or distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Investing involves risk, including risk of loss. Before investing, you should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with investment products. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s own goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. Consult your financial professional before making any investments.

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A Tale of Two Women

Finding financial confidence in a time of uncertainty For older American men and women, life is a very