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CLIENTS: Charles and Karen are in their mid-70’s.

They have worked hard and saved hard for retirement. They are funding their current retirement goals through social security, Karen’s teacher’s pension, and their retirement savings accounts. Charles and Karen like to travel around the U.S. for vacations and to visit their kids and grandchildren. They would like to help fund their grandchildren’s education and would also like to set aside some money to help fund their favorite charities.


Since Charles and Karen are now retired and no longer contributing to their retirement plans, it is important to monitor their retirement goals and risk tolerance to ensure a suitable portfolio asset allocation. Brightwater also helps them with estate planning to evaluate the use of 529 college savings plans for their grandchildren as well as a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) to gift to their favorite charities.

CLIENTS: Jim and Ruth are in their late 50’s.

They are both employed and have three teenage children. Jim and Ruth are actively contributing to their employer’s retirement plans as well as college savings plans for their children. They have a mortgage on their primary home and would also like to purchase a vacation home in the next year.


Since they are both working and in their prime earning years, it is important for Ruth and Jim to maximize retirement savings. They have some large expenses on the horizon including college tuition for their three children as well as their goal to purchase a vacation home. By developing a retirement plan, Brightwater can help Jim and Ruth understand the tradeoffs between funding these near term goals versus a target retirement age (which could be 5 to 10 years from now) and spending levels in retirement to fund goals like travel or purchasing a sailboat.

CLIENTS: Lexi and Chad are in their late 30’s.

Lexi is self-employed and has built a very successful small business and Chad is a stay at home dad who is home-schooling their two young children. They have lived in their home for 10 years and would like to trade up and buy a new home with more space. They would also like to start saving for their children’s college educations.


Since Lexi owns her own business and Chad is not currently employed, it will be important to identify the best savings options for retirement, education, and their goal to buy a new home. Since Lexi is self employed and generating good cash flow, Brightwater can help them identify the most efficient retirement savings tools like a “solo” or Individual 401(k), Long Term Care planning, and a “Spousal IRA”, which will help Lexi and Chad maximize savings and tax deductions. In addition, since they are still early in their careers, Brightwater will help Chad and Lexi position their investment portfolio for long-term growth while accommodating for short term cash needs to help fund their new home and college savings accounts.

CLIENT: Catherine is 25 years old and just started her second job.

Catherine just signed up for her employer’s 401(k) plan and has also begun to save in an investment brokerage account. Catherine hopes to buy a starter home in the not-too-distant future and is committed to start saving for her retirement – but Catherine also has a large balance of outstanding student loan debt.


Since Catherine is early in her career, she is just beginning to build her asset base to fund her life goals. Brightwater will help Catherine assess her risk tolerance to establish a suitable portfolio allocation across all her accounts. The holistic approach will incorporate Catherine’s long investment horizon and the benefits of diversification. Brightwater will also help Catherine assess her choices to fund retirement savings, put a down payment on her first home, and paying down student debt.

CLIENTS: Janet and Sylvia are in their early forties and both have high paying professional jobs.

They would each like to retire by age 60 and have been diligently saving and investing for their future. After a great deal of thought, they have agreed they would like to adopt two young children over the next 5 years and possibly have Janet stay home to care for them. Janet and Sylvia want to understand how this could affect their retirement age and how much they can expect to spend in retirement.


Brightwater Advisory has been helping Sylvia and Janet optimize their retirement saving and portfolio strategy to build a large asset base to help fund their dream retirement or at least an earlier career change. Given their life-changing decision to double their family size, Brightwater will review and revise Sylvia and Janet’s retirement plan to demonstrate implications of the pending adoptions on future spending levels as well as potential retirement age. Brightwater would also introduce education funding and pre-Medicare healthcare expense to the conversation so our clients understand potential tradeoffs to be considered.

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