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Retirement Planning

Financial Strategies For The Long-Term

Our Approach

At Whitnell, we practice a seven-step approach to building and executing our clients’ retirement plans:

  • Discovery
  • Identification
  • Advisement
  • Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Implementation
  • Ongoing Monitoring

During discovery, we get to know our clients very well. We come to understand them at a very deep level, possibly deeper than any other professional advisor has ever understood them before. We listen to and make a list of their stated goals for retirement. We ask questions about their vision for the future, about their relationships and who is important to them. We get to know what they want to do in retirement. This culminates in a priority list that is unique to each client.

Then we spend time reviewing their entire financial situation. This takes into consideration all facets of their financial plan. We closely analyze cash-flows today and projected needs for cash in the future. This also entails working together with our clients to agree upon assumptions that are comfortable for them, about inflation and return on investments.

Then we organize their financial information into one coherent system. We gain an understanding of the resources that are available to them both now and in the future. This helps lay the groundwork for the retirement plan. We also come to understand their relationships with other professional advisors today.

During identification, we organize their stated objectives into a priority list of what matters most to them. In some instances, difficult choices need to be made. Identification helps us and our clients define what they really want to have happen.

We advise our clients on the process of retirement planning and explain how a decision in one area impacts all other areas.

During analysis, we analyze our client’s stated goals and available resources. We build projections of likely cash-flow and budget needs for the future. To do this, we take the following steps:

  • We take into consideration their current income and expenses. We build a detailed budget based on realistic lifestyle expenditures today. We closely analyze how much discretionary income is available to them. 
  • We dig into anticipated income and expenses for now and the future. 
  • We analyze cash in-flows that may include:
    • Wages during retirement.
    • Stock option income. 
    • Deferred compensation. 
    • IRA distributions. 
    • Anticipated pension income.
    • Net investment income.
    • Decisions regarding social security. 
    • Rental income.
    • Gifts and inheritance.
  • We analyze the need for cash out-flows that may include:
    • Lifestyle goals such as acquisition of real estate, new vehicles, moving to a new state, building a new home and other lifestyle goals. 
    • Emergency funds for unanticipated expenses like divorces, legal fees and other unforeseen events. 
    • College funding. 
    • The impact of taxation based on current tax rules. We also project how changes in tax rules can impact cash-flows.
    • Healthcare expenses including long-term care insurance and live-in support.
    • Charitable planning goals. 
  • We build linear and probability-based projections regarding retirement. The linear projections help you determine your net worth for the future. Probability projections indicate the likelihood of success of achieving your retirement goals.

We present the findings of our analysis to our clients and provide them a roadmap for achieving the goals that matter most to them. We help them prioritize their options and weigh the merits of each decision, looking carefully to improve the probabilities of success. We collaborate as a team in final decision-making.

We help our clients implement their retirement plan. We provide a detailed budget and investment strategies. We construct the portfolio to be in line with our clients goals. We provide support at every step of the way.

Ongoing Monitoring:
We don’t just leave you with a plan on a shelf. We meet regularly, on an ongoing basis to review progress against goals. We come to understand what has changed in your financial and personal life. We modify the retirement plan to accommodate changes in the situation. We also modify the investment allocation based on where you are against goals.



Profile photo for William E Thonn - President & CEO
President & CEO
Profile photo for Wayne Janus - President, Financial Planning
President, Financial Planning
Profile photo for David Peckenpaugh - SVP & CIO
Profile photo for Mia Erickson - Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
Profile photo for Brian Henderson - Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
Profile photo for Robert Legan - SVP, Family Office Services
SVP, Family Office Services
Profile photo for Robert Peckenpaugh - Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
Profile photo for Christy Pedersen - Vice President
Vice President
Profile photo for Michael Loizzi - Vice President
Vice President
Profile photo for Lisa Olson - Vice President
Vice President
Profile photo for Barbara Whiting - Senior Tax Manager
Senior Tax Manager
Profile photo for Craig Janus - Financial Advisor
Financial Advisor
Profile photo for Debbie Grudzien - Chief Compliance Officer
Chief Compliance Officer