Client Profile: How We Helped A Couple Transition To Retirement

Client Profile: How We Helped A Couple Transition To Retirement

March 22, 2021

The Client

5 years ago we began a relationship with a couple who was in a pretty solid position career-wise, but they were unclear if their new goals made good financial sense. At the time we met, the husband was 52 and doing great as an IT manager for Netflix, and the wife was 46 and a partner at an advertising firm. Happily married and with no children, they came to Haydel, Biel & Associates to assess and evaluate their new long-term vision. 

The Goal

When they came to us, this financially stable and successful couple was not facing a crisis or emergency by any means. However, they had seen some changes in the priorities and goals they had set previously and wanted to determine if they were on a safe trajectory to move toward those goals.  

This couple originally turned to us to help them address a few specific goals and concerns:

  • The husband wanted to try to retire by 55 to pursue his love of teaching golf.
  • The wife had planned on continuing to work until 55, but wanted to have an exit strategy for selling her part of the business.
  • How should they manage their retirement savings until Social Security begins?

The bottom line is that this couple needed expert guidance to walk them through the steps to get from where they were to where they wanted to be in a few years’ time. 

How I Helped

Having a change in priorities in late middle age is not uncommon. Sometimes there is a catalyst for change, like becoming empty nesters or perhaps losing passion for your chosen career path. It could also be as simple as discovering a new passion that draws your interest in a new direction.

Whatever the reason someone may be facing change, it is important not to blindly leap onto a new path without sitting down with a financial planner and considering the pros and cons. The key for this couple was taking a step back, looking at the big picture, and seeing if the pieces would fit in their hypothetical scenario. 

Since this couple wasn’t weighed down with any debt, we started by looking at their assets. They had done an amazing job of saving heavily and investing consistently into retirement. Through their diligence, they had amassed a considerable sum and appeared to be in a strong position to consider early retirement. 

We determined together that if the wife continued to work until she was 55, this was completely feasible and workable. Her continued income would prevent any drain on the retirement investments. We began to work with her to establish an exit strategy to sell her part of the business so she would be ready when the time came. We projected that the proceeds from that sale would be able to give a big lump sum to help bridge the gap until Social Security kicked in. 

We also looked at the unique costs associated with early retirement and evaluated their retirement readiness. Since they had a good pile of cash, they did not really have any need for life insurance. We did, however, recommend long-term health insurance to help protect their retirement assets from getting decimated by any unforeseen health emergency in the future. 

One consideration that is easy for someone to overlook when thinking about early retirement is health insurance. We referred this couple to an insurance specialist to get them on track for insurance to cover the gap between retirement and medicare. 

The Outcome

This couple had done themselves a lot of favors early on and were in a great position to retire early. In the end, we successfully helped the husband to retire at 55 and begin his dream of having more time to teach golf. 

However, it turns out that getting a new dream wasn’t the only plot twist for this couple’s retirement plans. In 2020 the COVID outbreak brought them back to our office again to consider whether an early retirement for the wife would make sense. Her business had become uncomfortably unstable—enough so to make her reconsider waiting until 55 to retire. 

Once again, we are looking over their numbers and reevaluating. It very well might make sense for the wife to sell her shares now and use that lump sum to take away the question marks and give their finances some consistency. 

I Can Help You

I work with clients regularly who find themselves in need of reassessing the plan because of the nature of life’s uncertainties. Whatever changes you may find yourself wanting to make, I can help you tackle them head-on through a process that addresses your needs uniquely. Together we can assess your situation, address your concerns and changes, and progress your vision forward from the foundation of a sound and well-thought-out plan. 

If you are ready to get an expert in your corner to help you roll with the punches, contact us at (626) 529-8347 or email Ricky directly at

About Haydel, Biel & Associates

Haydel, Biel & Associates is an independent financial advisory firm serving individuals and families near Pasadena, California. The firm was founded in 2004 by Chris Haydel and Ricky Biel with a desire to provide unbiased, client-centered, community-based financial advice. Together, they have built a practice that has grown into a family of caring, smart professionals committed to blending proven investment methodologies with creative financial technologies that make it easier than ever to accomplish your goals. They strive to keep things simple and fun to give their clients peace of mind and alleviate financial stress. HBA Wealth takes care of their clients’ needs first and foremost and goes the extra mile to make their clients’ finances grow. To meet and see how the HBA Wealth team may be able to help, contact them today at (626) 529-8347 or email Ricky directly at

The commentary on this blog/website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Haydel Biel & Associates employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by  Haydel Biel & Associates or performance returns of any  Haydel Biel & Associates Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Haydel Biel & Associates manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.