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Meet Our Clients

We work with clients at different stages of their life and with different financial circumstances. Meet some of our typical clients to find out more about them and us.

Col (ret) Bull and Colleen Jones Photo

Col (ret) Bull and Colleen Jones

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Bull and Colleen became our clients* about 7 years ago. Bull was within one year of retirement from the military and they thought some financial guidance might be a good idea as they made the transition from a military family to becoming civilians again. Bull and Colleen signed up for our Financial Planning service. Over the years we’ve worked with Bull and Colleen on several issues.

Risk Management

Like a lot of military spouses, Colleen had limited career opportunities and was not employed when Bull retired. As Bull approached retirement, we helped them understand the plusses and minuses of the Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) and ultimately, they selected SBP even though Bull had heard gouge that SBP was a “rip-off”.

 Analysis of Job Offers

Bull had job offers from 3 different defense contractors. All offered different benefits packages and slightly different salaries. We analyzed the different offers, adjusted for tax differences, and gave Bull information in an apples-to-apples comparison of the offers.

Tax Planning

We helped Bull and Colleen avoid two errors common for retiring Senior Military Officers. Bull and Colleen had been contributing to Roth IRAs for most of their marriage. The contributions were set-up on autopilot. We pointed out to them that with Bull’s combined income (salary and military pension), their income was above the limit for Roth Contributions. We helped them avoid the pain of having to reverse those contributions. We also ran calculations to make sure that their tax withholding was correct. Many in Bull and Colleen’s scenario get rudely awakened to a large tax bill due when they file their tax return. We didn’t limit our advice to paying taxes though. We also helped them plan to minimize their future taxes.

Bull was planning on contributing to his Roth 401(k) to make sure he didn’t have to pay taxes on the withdrawals in retirement. We pointed out to Bull that while working in VA he would save on Federal and State taxes if he contributed to a pre-tax 401(k). Since Bull and Colleen are planning on moving to Florida in retirement, he’ll never have to pay state tax on those contributions and his Federal Taxes would have to increase by about 17% to erase that savings.

A Changing Life

When starting with us Bull and Colleen were planning on staying in Virginia and Bull would work in Business Development (BD) for a defense contractor until he reached age 65. When he retired from his second career, they would move to Florida. With Bull’s significant income, of which they were investing a large percentage, this goal was easily attainable. After about 5 years in his relatively high-stress BD career, Bull was ready to scale back a little bit. Bull had always thought that he might like to teach high school but wasn’t sure if he could and still meet their goals. We ran the scenario and determined that if Bull worked one more year in BD and worked as a teacher until 67, they could still live the lifestyle they wanted. Bull is now happily teaching Physics at a private school, and he’ll retire from teaching in 7 years. After that, they’re off to a happy retirement in Florida (they’ve already started living there part-time in the summer…which Bull now has off). They’re also thinking of moving to Florida permanently and finishing out Bull’s teaching career there.

*Not an actual client, but typical of the many clients we work with

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