Case Study #2



John & Daisy


64 & 65

Primary Goal

Minimize taxes while in retirement, leave an inheritance for their daughter

John & Daisy

*Real names and photos have been altered to protect the privacy of our clients.


John and Daisy are retiring with the majority of their savings in pre-tax IRAs. Questions they asked:

  • How much should we distribute from IRAs before using assets in joint accounts?
  • Or should we use the joint account assets before distributing from the IRAs?
  • What combination of the joint accounts and IRAs should we draw from, and when?
  • What are the implications of each decision? Is this a one-time decision, or an ongoing, annual decision?
  • Why hasn’t our CPA helped us with this or mentioned it?
  • How should we invest given our circumstances?
  • How do we maximize an inheritance for our daughter?


We learned about John and Daisy’s priorities in retirement and what kind of legacy they want to leave for their daughter. We projected their future spending needs and compared them to the cash flow generating ability of their assets, including their financial accounts, real estate, and social security. Given their uneasiness with no longer having income, it was important that their next steps provided peace of mind. We showed them “stress-tested” scenarios and how they could still meet their most important priorities if the economy goes into a recession or if high inflation eats into their spending power.


We are executing a Roth conversion strategy before they reach age 73, the age at which they must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Roth conversions reduce future RMDs while also diversifying some pre-tax IRA dollars to Roth, which provides flexibility to tax-efficiently access retirement account assets in the future. In addition, we expect this to minimize the lifetime tax bill for their daughter when she eventually distributes their inherited IRA after they pass.

When executing this strategy, we maximized their net worth by growing their investment accounts and minimizing the family’s lifetime tax liability, potentially saving hundreds of thousands dollars in taxes over their lifetimes. We also understand how one strategy can affect other aspects of their financial plan, so we did this while staying below relevant IRMAA Medicare premium thresholds so they don’t unnecessarily pay too much.

Each year, we re-run the calculations to determine the amount of the annual Roth conversion to ensure their marginal tax rate and IRMAA Medicare premiums stay within our annual targets.

Dan and Lola have their $5,000,000+ life-savings managed by MWA and are happy to pay annual fees of over $40,000 since just this one strategy could save their family over $600,000 in taxes.

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