Who We Serve
Life while practicing law, accumulating a nest egg, and navigating potential career moves
Meet Garrett. After becoming a partner in his firm at age 41, he realized that he had more responsibility for his finances than when he was a senior associate. Garret now had to keep track of his own quarterly estimated tax payments, his IRA contributions, his contribution to the firm 401k plan, and keeping track of his participation in the firm’s cash balance plan.
As a partner, Garrett also had the opportunity to participate in the firm’s closed-end venture fund, which invests in a number of the firm’s clients’ securities. Garrett now wants professional assistance in creating a balanced asset class portfolio that would mitigate some of the risk created by investing in start-ups owned by the firm’s fund, as well as assistance in tax planning, evaluating his risks associated with his mobility or potential lateral move to another firm, potential clawbacks, and associated income planning. Garret is focused on accumulated a nest eff, while simplifying his life and creating more freedom in his legal career.
Semi-retired and still practicing law part-time.
Meet Nancy*. After 32 years with the firm, Nancy, at age 61, decided to transition her clients to other lawyers in her firm, and continue practicing on a time-time basis as “Of Counsel” to the firm. Her partners have committed to buying out her partnership equity based on a mutually agreed-upon schedule.
Nancy continues to work a few days a week, continues counseling some of her clients, volunteers her time on the Firm’s pro bono committee, and helps mentor young lawyers at the firm. Between her work at the firm and her service on non-profits boards, her work continues to bring her life meaning and structure, to which she has become accustomed, along with some continued income.
With earned income soon significantly diminishing, Nancy and her husband Roger had to determine how to secure the income their family needed to live throughout retirement. With their financial advisor, they evaluated their three main buckets of assets, which totaled $3,300,000: traditional pre-tax retirement savings (traditional IRA and SEP IRA), tax-free income (Roth IRA), and their taxable brokerage account.
They will look to their advisor for guidance on their life planning and income goals, including the most tax-efficient way to draw down income and analyzed how much spending their nest egg (plus Social Security payments) could reasonably support each year of retirement. Nancy and Roger also worked with their advisor to adjust their portfolio risk, in light of their limited abilities to add more funds to their portfolio over time.
All of these actions have allowed Nancy and her husband to focus on getting the most out of their retirement, travel, and visiting their children in Northern California. They are also very focused on their legacy planning and charitable giving, and regularly give to the foundation on which Nancy still serves, as well as to several donor advised funds, which facilitate giving to their alma maters and several educational and environmental causes they both feel passionate about.
Life after law
Richard,* age 71, has fully retired from practicing law, and after exercising all of his stock option vested over a decade of service as general counsel of a publicly traded biotechnology company, he has liquidated his other business interests and commercial real estate holdings, and enjoys a life filled with travel and rock climbing.
His main assets are his home, his traditional IRA, and his taxable brokerage account. He enjoys helping his children and regularly gives an amount equal to the annual gift exclusion to each of his grandchildren’s 529 accounts. He loves spending the holidays with his children and grandchildren in Southern California, and beyond that, his focus is on travel and exploring the best destinations in the world for rock climbing and adventure motorcycle riding.
He still keeps himself informed about the markets, regularly speaks with his advisor about his globally diversified asset-class portfolio and its disciplined rebalancing, and relies on the steady income generated by that portfolio to fund his travel pursuits. He still regularly reads his advisor’s newsletter from anywhere he is in the world, loves dividend producing stocks, and enjoys discussions about the most efficient methods of income generation from his portfolio of marketable securities. He plans to keep traveling, climbing and riding for the next 20 years.
Marianne* is the successor trustee’s her and her late husband Greg’s trust. While she has complete discretion over the assets held in her Survivor’s Trust, she has been advised by her estate planning attorney that, with respect to the assets held in the Bypass Trust, for which she also serves as Trustee, she has a fiduciary responsibility to spend only as much as is necessary for her own health, education, maintenance, and support as is necessary after first withdrawing the necessary funds from her Survivor’s Trust.
She has been advised that she also owes fiduciary duties to Greg’s two children from his first marriage, as well as to two additional remainder beneficiaries. The trust agreement instructs the trustee to preserve principal, but also to seek capital appreciation. Greg’s children do not have any 529 accounts, and it is expected that the Trust would need to cover both of their educational expenses.
Marianne is looking for assistance in discharging her fiduciary duties, while simultaneously planning for her own retirement.
*The person and personal story depicted are fictitiouss but the scenarios summarize financial situations and considerations that attorneys at different points in their careers may face.