Merging lives and financial goals

Molding two retirement plans into one

"We both planned on going through retirement on our own. But, now that we're married, we would like to plan for both our time together and passing our individual estates to our kids."

They had two of everything, from pots and pans to primary homes.  The difficulty they faced was in deciding what to keep separate and what to share. They wanted to contribute equally towards their month to month expenses, but when it came to passing along their estates, each wanted their assets to go only to their own children. They also wanted to make sure that whoever survived the other would have sufficient care.

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His

Rollover IRA
Several Taxable Accounts
Primary Home

Hers

Vacation Property
Traditional IRA
Primary Home

A trust was created to hold mutual assets, allowing the client choices about what to combine. During this process of consolidation, her home was chosen to live in, while his was sold to free up capital for an investment property. He also used some of his available cash to "buy in" to her home so that they could fairly share the title. The vacation home, which had been in her family for years, and a number of their other accounts were intentionally kept outside of the trust to allow for a balance between spousal care and inheritance for their kids.

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His

Rollover IRA
Taxable Accounts

Shared

Primary Home
Investment Property
A Taxable Account

Hers

Traditional IRA
Vacation Home

By the time we finished financial planning, they had accomplished a number of key goals. First, we increased their income with a few social security tweaks and by adding investment property income. Second, they saw an overall estate tax liability decrease through the integration of a well-designed trust. And third, they had ensured one another's care if and when one of them passed, while making certain their kids got the appropriate effects.

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