Currently Retired

Case Study #3

Gary & Linda Clark


70 and 68 years old


Gary is a retired engineer.

Desired Annual Income

Would like to have $150,000+ to maintain lifestyle.


Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and trust account.

Primary Goals

Maintaining their current lifestyle, preserving financial security upon the death of the first spouse, leaving a legacy to their children, donating to charity, and relocating to another state (which has higher taxes) to be closer to their grandchildren.

The Challenges


Can they maintain their lifestyle and leave a legacy?

Gary and Linda enjoy an income of ~$150,000 a year filled with traveling and time with their grandkids. But they’re unsure if they can maintain this standard of living and leave an inheritance to their loved ones.


Will one spouse be taken care of if the other passes away?

The Clarks need to know that the other will be okay financially in the event of one them passing. But they’re not sure if they have the right plan in place and they are not sure that they are invested properly to provide themselves their desired level of income throughout retirement.


How do they handle Required Minimum Distributions?

Because Gary has contributed to a traditional IRA, he’ll be required to take minimum distributions at age 73. However, he wants to avoid jumping to a higher tax bracket if possible.


How do they relocate without overpaying taxes?

Gary and Linda have substantial equity in their current home. They’ve paid it off, and have lived there for 25 years. They are planning on moving to a different state (which has higher taxes) to be closer to their grandkids but, they’re worried their home sale will result in them having to pay a large capital gains tax.

The Peterson Wealth Solution

Providing an Income Plan to Follow

We run Gary and Linda’s retirement through our Perennial Income Model™. This maps out an income distribution plan over the next 25+ years that will protect both their current lifestyle, and the legacy they want to leave behind.

Taking Care of the Surviving Spouse

The Perennial Income Model™ demonstrates how in the event of one’s passing, the surviving spouse won’t have to change their lifestyle. We also work with their attorney (or provide one of our affiliates) to create an up-to-date estate plan that will be monitored and adjusted throughout retirement.

Managing Required Minimum Distributions

Before Gary relocates and turns 73, he has an opportunity to do a Roth Conversion. This allows Gary to take advantage of being in a lower tax bracket today, and it will reduce required minimum distributions in the future. Since Gary is 70, we’ll help him make tax-free transfers from his traditional IRA to the charity of his choice by using Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD). QCDs are tax-free transfers that count towards satisfying required minimum distributions, thus reducing the Clark’s tax liability.

Avoiding Capital Gains Taxes When Moving

Working with the Clark’s CPA, we’re able to make a tax plan regarding the sale of their home. We’re able to use the primary residence tax deduction, deduct repairs and qualified improvements, and take advantage of tax-loss harvesting (within their investment portfolio) to offset some of the capital gains from the sale of their home.

The Conclusion

Gary and Linda feel confident about achieving their long-term goals. Peterson Wealth Advisors has shown them how they can protect one another, leave a legacy, build a lasting retirement, and sell their home tax-efficiently. They’re now fully ready to step into the next exciting chapter of their lives.

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