Case Studies: How We’ve Helped Clients

At Calamita Wealth Management, we specialize in providing wealth management solutions to affluent individuals over age 50 and their families. Our financial planning approach goes beyond simply reviewing finances. We take the time to understand each of our client’s lifestyles, goals, and passions so we can ensure their money is helping improve their lives.

Here are two recent examples of clients we’ve helped. 

Case Study #1: Planning For Retirement & Unexpected Death Of A Spouse

Mark and Megan became clients back in 2011. Their primary reason for hiring us was to see if they were on track to retire by age 65. 

We ran an initial analysis and found that Mark and Megan had their money invested very conservatively and weren’t saving enough to reach their goals. 

Given this information, we reviewed their budget and found ways to increase contributions to their 401(k)s without greatly altering their spending. 

We also worked with them to get low-cost supplemental life insurance coverage through their employers. Because they hadn’t quite saved enough to reach their goals, this policy meant they’d be financially secure if one of them passed away unexpectedly.  

Over the years, Mark and Megan were able to save even more money for retirement as their salaries increased and they paid off old loans. These factors (along with market performance) improved the success of their plan to within what we call “the confidence zone.” 

Mark retired at the end of 2018 as planned, but sadly then passed away the following year. 

Beyond the sheer shock of the loss, Megan worried about her finances. We helped her transition into widowhood and update her financial plan to ensure she still had enough money to live a fulfilling retirement. 

Last year—when Megan decided she was finally ready to retire—we worked with her and the local Social Security office to determine the optimal strategy for filing based on the options between her own benefits and widow benefits. We also helped her update her estate plan and set up distributions from her portfolio to supplement her Social Security benefits. 

Megan is now enjoying retirement (as best she can during the pandemic) and is thankful for the peace of mind she’s been able to enjoy. We check in on her often and are always eager to see how she’s spending her days. Last we spoke, she was busy turning Mark’s old Jimmy Buffet and Metallica t-shirts into a quilt. 

Case Study #2: Aging Parents & Early Retirement

Charlie and Laura came to us in 2010 looking for some financial guidance. At the time, they were in their early 50s, both working in the banking industry with no children and aging parents. 

Charlie’s parents were in their early 90s and experiencing increasing health issues. He was considering quitting his job early to take care of them. Laura hoped to retire a few years after him. 

Our initial analysis found that they were in good shape financially. They had doubled their net worth over the years due to good savings habits and market performance after the 2008-2009 recession. But they still wondered if they had enough to support an early retirement that could last four decades or more. 

Together, we worked through their budget to bring clarity to their spending and understand their needs, wants, and wishes. We also discussed unexpected expenses like long-term care and healthcare in retirement. (Both were currently covered through employer-sponsored healthcare plans, so they’d need to look for a replacement before retiring.) 

Both of them fully retired by 2014.  

Now we’re helping them: 

  • Create an appropriate portfolio distribution strategy, accounting for their specific tax situation and the fact that most of their assets are in retirement accounts.
  • Decide when to file for Social Security benefits.
  • Choose which Medicare policy they get when they become eligible at age 65.

We’re also helping them convert part of their tax-deferred retirement accounts into Roth IRAs so their required minimum distributions (RMDs) will be smaller starting at age 72. By reducing RMDs, we’re helping them stay in a lower tax bracket and ensure they don’t pay more in Medicare premiums down the road.

Charlie and Laura are still relatively young and will likely have changes from the original plan. But we’ve set them up with a significant amount of flexibility and will continue to adjust their plan as opportunities arise.

How We Help

At Calamita Wealth Management, we’re dedicated to helping you accomplish your wealth management goals—whether that’s retiring early, caring for aging parents, traveling the world, or paying off your house. No matter what your situation looks like, we’re here to provide clarity and guidance about your financial future. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to schedule an introductory phone call using our online calendar or reach out to us at (704) 276-7325 or todd@calamitawealth.com.

About Todd

Todd Calamita is the founder and managing principal of Calamita Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only wealth management company located in Charlotte, NC, serving people locally and across the country, that focuses on providing wealth management solutions to affluent individuals over age 50 and their families. Todd has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and is passionate about helping people have a better life by designing and implementing customized financial plans that bring clarity and confidence. Todd is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®) and CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST® (CDFA®) and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ohio University and a Master of Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He has authored a book, Plan Smart: Conquering 10 Common Money Traps, as well as numerous articles on wide-ranging personal finance topics, from taxes to retirement accounts. He has also been featured in a Financial Boot Camp TV series as a volunteer showing people how to make smart decisions with their money. When he’s not working, you can find Todd spending time with his wife, Teresa, and their two sons, Colin and Cameron. He enjoys rock climbing, swimming, and traveling, and he has a black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art. To learn more about Todd, connect with him on LinkedIn.