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Seeking Advice for a Wealthy Couple: With $6 Million in Retirement Funds and No Debt, What Suggestions Do You Have?

My husband and I have $6 million in retirement and zero debt. What do you recommend for the couple who has everything?


Congratulations! You’re one of the lucky couples who have managed to amass a significant amount of wealth for your retirement. With $6 million in retirement savings and zero debt, you truly have everything one could wish for. However, you’re now faced with important decisions on how to minimize taxes, maximize your holdings, and secure a healthy nest egg for future generations. In this article, we’ll explore some recommendations for the couple who seemingly has it all.

Maximize Your Holdings

To ensure you make the most of your wealth, it’s crucial to maximize your holdings. Cary Carbonaro, a senior vice president and director of women and wealth at Advisors Capital Management, advises considering alternative investment options. Evaluate whether your cash, certificates of deposit, and dividend-paying stocks are yielding enough returns to warrant not using municipal bonds. Additionally, defer your Social Security and retirement account distributions for as long as possible to maximize their growth potential.

Minimize Taxes

With a substantial amount of money, you’ll inevitably encounter tax implications. Carbonaro recommends analyzing your individual holdings every year to identify opportunities for capital losses that can be carried forward to offset taxes. On top of that, limit your portfolio distributions to 3% to 4% of the fair market value annually to minimize taxes. It’s also vital to review your beneficiaries and potentially set up tax-advantaged college plans for your grandchildren.

Consider Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential to ensure your wealth is distributed according to your wishes and to minimize taxes for future generations. Carbonaro suggests considering transfer-on-death instructions or setting up a revocable trust to help avoid probate. If you want to ensure your home bypasses probate, you can re-register it to a revocable trust. Another option is to use a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) to remove your home from your estate for tax purposes.

Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions

Tim Speiss, a partner at Eisner Advisory Group, advises taking advantage of annual gifts for your family to avoid higher taxes upon your death. Currently, the gift and estate tax exemption is $12.92 million per single person or $25.84 million per married couple. However, it’s important to note that these rates may change in the future, so it’s essential to stay updated on any legislative changes and adjust your estate planning accordingly.

Life Insurance and Trusts

Consider obtaining life insurance and utilizing a trust to own the policy. This approach can help safeguard the insurance proceeds and, if structured properly, keep them outside of your estate. By allowing the trust to invest in income-producing assets and growth opportunities, you can maximize the benefits for your beneficiaries. Keep in mind that lifetime gifts exceeding the annual exclusion will reduce the amount of gift and estate tax exemption.

Consult an Estate-Planning Attorney

While this article provides insights and recommendations, it’s important to consult with an estate-planning attorney to ensure your specific needs are addressed. Each state has different laws and regulations regarding estate planning, and an attorney can guide you through the process, making sure you’ve covered all the necessary aspects.

Related Facts

– Remember to update your estate plan as you enter retirement and adjust it accordingly as your circumstances change.
– By self-insuring for long-term care, you are taking on the financial responsibility should the need arise. Be sure to consider possible consequences and evaluate your risk tolerance.
– Donating to your church and local non-profits is admirable, but be mindful of the tax implications and plan accordingly.

Key Takeaway

For the fortunate couple with $6 million in retirement savings and zero debt, it’s crucial to maximize your holdings, minimize taxes, and focus on comprehensive estate planning. Seek advice from financial and legal professionals who can help you navigate the complexities of wealth management and ensure a secure future for both you and future generations.


As you embark on your retirement journey, having accumulated significant wealth and zero debt, it’s important to make informed decisions that will secure your financial well-being for the years to come. By following the recommendations outlined in this article and consulting with professionals, you can ensure your money works for you and leaves a lasting legacy for future generations. Enjoy your retirement and the peace of mind that comes with proper financial planning.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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