Retirement Planning Considerations For High-Net-Worth Individuals

Key Takeaways

  • Wealth planning is about more than just finances—it’s also about aligning your financial strategy with your desired lifestyle during your retirement years.
  • Inflation can slowly eat away at the value of overly conservative strategies investments over time, making a cautious investment approach riskier than you'd expect.
  • 90% of Americans aged 50 to 70 experience an economic or life event that financially impacts their retirement savings goals, according to a recent survey.

For high-net-worth individuals with $1 million or more in investable assets, planning for your wealth journey becomes increasingly important—especially as life expectancy rates continue to rise.

Retirement in particular marks a significant transition where you shift from earning a regular income to relying on savings, investments, and retirement benefits. Without a thoughtful and comprehensive strategy, you may be less likely to maintain the lifestyle you desire.

Understanding Your Tools for Retirement

During any transition where someone begins to utilize their savings for day-to-day expenditures, it is crucial to understand what types of strategies will provide the greatest benefit. Determining types of savings, when to start drawing social security, and the possibility of utilizing pension benefits or other sources of income can impact your lifestyle.

Begin by creating a list of all the tools you may be able to utilize during your retirement years, including:

  • 401(k) Plans
  • 403(b) Plans
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • Profit Sharing or Stock Bonus Plans
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans
  • Cash Balance Plans
  • Simplified Employee Pension Plans

Key Wealth Planning Considerations for Retirement

There are several components that make up a strategic wealth plan, and each will be catered to your unique circumstance. However, as you begin to think about your wealth journey, consider the following:

Lifestyle Goals

Wealth planning is about more than just finances—it’s about aligning your financial strategy with your desired lifestyle during your retirement years. This could include travel, maintaining multiple properties, or supporting charitable causes.

Accomplishing your lifestyle goals requires careful planning. To ensure your goals and your retirement plan are in alignment, practice the following:

  • Define & Prioritize Your Goals: Whether it’s traveling the world, pursuing hobbies, giving back to the community, or owning multiple properties, having a vision for what you want to do with your retirement will guide your planning efforts.
  • Estimate Costs & Create a Budget: Your financial advisor can help you develop a realistic understanding of the costs associated with your desired lifestyle. Then, you’ll be able to devise a budget that allocates funds to each of your prioritized goals.
  • Incorporate Flexibility & Regularly Review: Life changes, and so can your priorities. Build flexibility into your plan to accommodate unexpected events or shifts. Then, conduct periodic reviews of your plan. As circumstances change, you may need to recalibrate your strategy.


When it comes to your wealth journey, managing your investments can be the difference between confidence and uncertainty. But how you do it depends on factors like your age, risk tolerance, and financial goals. It’s common to think that as you get older, you should reduce your overall equity exposure. However, that may not always be the best strategy depending on your unique situation.

Inflation can slowly eat away at the value of safer investments over such a long time, making a cautious investment approach riskier than you'd expect.

Crafting an effective investment strategy means looking ahead and understanding when you'll need to deploy different parts of your savings. This allows you to categorize some investments for growth over time, while keeping other funds accessible for immediate needs.

Tax Reduction Strategies

Proactive tax planning is important for high-net-worth individuals and families because it helps keep more of your hard-earned money working for you during retirement.

IRA and Roth IRA conversion strategies can help strategically manage your retirement accounts and potentially reduce future tax liabilities. Charitable planning options—like qualified charitable distributions—can help you fulfill your philanthropic goals and reduce your taxable income. Additionally, tax harvesting may help you optimize your investment portfolio and minimize capital gains tax.

Healthcare & Unexpected Costs

It is estimated that healthcare will take up about 15% of someone’s retirement budget. Therefore, understanding how healthcare fits into your retirement plan can significantly impact your financial security and overall wellbeing during this phase of life.

Life can be unexpected—90% of Americans ages 50 to 70 experience an economic or life event that financially impacts their retirement savings goals, according to a recent survey.

You want to make sure that if something were to happen that causes an unexpected medical expense, you’re able to financially recover. Having an emergency fund equaling to at least six months of annual income is an encouraged precaution.

Estate Planning

At its core, estate planning strives to safeguard your legacy. For high-net-worth individuals and families with intricate portfolios and business holdings, a well-crafted estate plan facilitates the efficient transition of your wealth to your desired beneficiaries and charitable entities. For owners of closely held businesses, estate planning also includes the thoughtful coordination of your estate planning documents with your business entity and succession plans.

Estate planning also holds the power to optimize the transfer of wealth to your loved ones, including through trusts and other asset-protection tools, while reducing tax liability. This involves careful consideration of how assets are allocated, tax ramifications, and proper reporting with taxing authorities, creation of trusts, and leveraging strategic gifting and transfer methods. Estate planning also includes careful recognition around scheduled changes in tax laws so that documents are flexible and potentially adaptable to future changed circumstances.

Proactive Wealth Planning to Help You Thrive During Retirement

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a wealth journey. Working with experienced professionals to create a plan that is unique to your situation can help you live the lifestyle you desire when you are no longer working.

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Eide Bailly Advisors, LLC as a matter of policy, does not give tax, insurance or legal advice to its clients. The effectiveness of any of the strategies described will depend on your individual situation and on a number of complex factors. You should consult with other professionals, as applicable on proposed strategies before any strategy is implemented.