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Financial Advisors and Retirement Planners for Attorneys and Couples

How We Helped A Couple Organize Their Finances & Plan To Retire With Confidence

By Darren Wurz


We at Wurz Financial Services have spent over 30 years helping people transition from their working life to a comfortable retirement with confidence. Whether it’s helping them realize the goal of retiring early, buying a new home, simply saving money on insurance, or adjusting the asset allocation of their portfolio, we believe that proactive and personalized financial planning and wealth management can make a significant impact on their future.


Our ultimate goal is to offer people peace of mind and confidence in our abilities and guidance. 

Here is an example of how I’ve worked with a client through the financial planning process.

Mark’s Story

One of the ways we provide value to our clients is by offering workshops and free webinars to help you make financial decisions that will set you up for success. Mark received a LinkedIn invitation to attend one of these workshops, and while he couldn’t fit it into his schedule, his interest was piqued. He reached out to me, thinking we could refer business to each other as he has a company that helps small and mid-size businesses that are trying to grow through financial structuring, acquisition, or business transition. 


We met for coffee at my office and I shared with him what I do and what makes Wurz Financial Services different, namely our comprehensive retirement planning process and our proactive wealth management process. 

Some Background

Mark is planning to retire in just a couple of years when he turns 65. He is self-employed and his wife is a teacher who has also spent some time working in the private sector. As someone who also has a teaching background, I knew that my specialized knowledge would benefit this couple. For example, many people don’t realize that if you have worked a job where you didn’t pay Social Security, such as teaching in the public sector, and you receive a pension from that job, your Social Security benefits are reduced. This also impacts spousal benefits. 


Mark was so impressed with my in-depth knowledge of retirement planning and the many different factors that can impact the outcomes that he asked me to conduct a review of his asset allocation and give him some advice. I offered to create a full retirement plan for him to show him the benefits of our services, and Mark was on board.


We scheduled a series of three meetings to take a deep dive into his current situation, forecast his retirement income and expenses, and make recommendations for various aspects of his financial life. Mark has had a portfolio with Morgan Stanley for many years but has never had someone create a comprehensive plan for him.

The Process

We thoroughly analyzed all of Mark’s financials. We reviewed his current portfolio, his wife’s pension benefits, his wife’s 457 plan, their current and projected retirement expenses, Social Security benefits, life insurance, and annuities.


As we gathered information, we focused on answering these three questions:

  • Is Mark’s portfolio positioned properly as he heads into retirement?
  • What should he do with his annuities?
  • What should he do about life insurance? 

Asset Allocation

I discovered that Mark was very aggressively positioned in his portfolio and I recommended that he dial back the risk. Retirees need to find an appropriate balance of risk as they seek to achieve both growth and protection. 


Our wealth management process is different than most in that we take an active approach to managing our clients’ investments. We use quantitative data and technical indicators to proactively protect our clients from major downturns and try to achieve profitability through all market environments. This is important to folks who are near or in retirement as they cannot afford a major market downturn. Experiencing a major bear market like in 2008 just before retirement or at the onset of retirement can have devastating consequences on a retirement plan and greatly increase the odds of running out of money in retirement.


After sharing our findings and presenting our recommendations, we put Mark in our Total Return Blend, which mixes a variety of different tactical investment strategies, some more aggressive and some more conservative. We believe this strategy will hold up well in good and bad markets and give Mark the highest probability of making his money last through retirement. This is our approach: we diversify by strategy type rather than simply by asset type. In this way, we have a diverse array of strategies to depend on and can reduce risk and smooth out our returns over time.

Annuities And Life Insurance

Mark owned several annuities, so we took an unbiased look to see if they were still providing benefits. We performed in-depth analyses to determine which were worth keeping and which would be worth surrendering and investing instead.


When we moved on to insurance, we found some problems. Mark had a couple of life insurance policies, some whole life, some term, and some annual renewable term. The problem with annual renewable term life insurance is that it goes up in price each year. We were able to help Mark see that he had enough life insurance to make sure his wife would be taken care of if something happened to him. We suggested he stop paying his annual renewable term policy premium, freeing up a large amount of money in his budget, money he can now invest and put to work. 

Retirement Income Planning

Additionally, we helped Mark properly budget for future expenses. He had already created his projection of retirement expenses, so we helped him refine his estimates of future healthcare costs and even included a special budget for travel and fun in retirement. Mark and his wife, Miriam, are also very charitable, so we created a special charitable budget to make sure their level of giving wouldn’t negatively impact their overall plan.

Social Security

Finally, we also helped Mark and Miriam determine the most optimal times for them to file for Social Security and how Miriam’s pension benefit would impact their overall benefits. We also helped Mark and Miriam see how those benefits would change if something happened to either of them.

The Outcome

After we dug through every area of Mark and Miriam’s finances, we ended up with a plan that gives them a solid 84% probability of success, meaning the chance of making it to life expectancy without running out of money.  In the financial planning world, we use probability to test a plan since you can’t predict the future. Anything above 75% is considered acceptable. Mark and Miriam walked away with a solid financial plan and an increased level of confidence in their future. You can’t put a price tag on that! 

Customizing A Financial Plan For You

I work with a diverse range of clients facing unique needs and situations. Whatever the situation, I aim to tackle it through a proactive process that focuses on understanding your personal circumstances, addressing your concerns or fears, and creating strategies designed to help you achieve your goals. 


If you’re experiencing a situation similar to this case study or if you’re facing an entirely different need, I encourage you to reach out to me. I’d be happy to evaluate your situation and share how I can help. Schedule a no-obligation consultation, and together, let’s find out if we’re the right people to guide you on your journey to a comfortable retirement. Contact us at 859-291-9879 or today! 


Also, we invite you to join us at our next free webinar: Social Security 101: The 3 Rules To Maximize Your Lifetime Retirement Benefits! Register here today!

About Darren

Darren Wurz is a co-owner and financial planner at Wurz Financial Services, an independent, family-owned and operated financial services firm dedicated to helping its clients transition from their working life to a comfortable retirement with confidence. Darren received his master’s of science in financial planning from Golden Gate University and also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation. He operates the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati office of Wurz Financial Services and is an active member of the Covington, KY rotary club, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and the Covington Business Council. To learn more about Darren, connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck