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What advice do you have for a wealthy couple with $6 million in retirement savings and no debts?

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

Congratulations, Happily Retiring, on reaching such a prosperous stage of your life! With $6 million in retirement savings and no debt, you truly embody the couple who has everything. Your financial situation is enviable, but it’s important to have a plan in place to minimize taxes, maximize your holdings, and secure a healthy nest egg for future generations. Here are some recommendations for the couple who seemingly has it all:

Tips to Minimize Taxes

When it comes to minimizing taxes, there are several strategies you can consider:

  1. Review your beneficiaries: Ensure that your beneficiaries are up to date and aligned with your current wishes. This will help avoid unnecessary tax burdens and complications.
  2. Consider tax-advantaged college plans: Set up tax-advantaged college plans for your grandchildren. This will not only help with their future education expenses but also provide additional tax benefits for you.
  3. Analyze individual holdings annually: Regularly analyze your individual holdings to identify opportunities for capital losses. Realizing these losses can help offset gains and reduce your overall tax liability.
  4. Defer Social Security and retirement account distributions: Delaying Social Security benefits and retirement account distributions for as long as possible can help maximize your future income and potentially lower your tax bracket.
  5. Limit portfolio distributions: Aim to limit annual portfolio distributions to 3% to 4% of the fair market value to minimize taxable income.

Maximizing Your Holdings

In order to maximize your holdings, you can consider these approaches:

  1. Ensure your investments are optimized: Work with a financial adviser to assess your current investment portfolio and make any necessary adjustments. Consider diversifying your investments to reduce risk and increase potential returns.
  2. Explore municipal bonds: Evaluate whether your cash, certificates of deposit, and dividend-paying stocks could be replaced with municipal bonds that offer tax advantages.
  3. Think about life insurance: Consider obtaining life insurance and utilizing a trust to own the policy. This can help safeguard the proceeds and potentially keep them outside your estate for tax purposes.

Estate Planning Considerations

As you update your estate plan, there are certain factors to keep in mind:

  1. Consider transfer-on-death instructions or a revocable trust: To avoid probate and ensure a smooth transfer of your assets, explore options like transfer-on-death instructions or establishing a revocable trust for your home.
  2. Consult an estate-planning attorney: Every state has different laws and regulations regarding estate planning. Consulting with an estate-planning attorney will help ensure that your plan aligns with Maryland-specific requirements.
  3. Explore estate planning vehicles unique to Maryland: Ask your attorney about any specific estate planning vehicles available in Maryland that could provide additional benefits for your situation.

Related Facts

Here are some related facts to further support your retirement planning:

  • The current gift and estate tax exemption is $12.92 million per single person or $25.84 million per married couple for 2023. However, it’s important to note that these rates are subject to change based on future legislative actions.
  • A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is an irrevocable trust that allows you to remove your home from your estate for tax purposes.
  • Lifetime gifts that exceed the annual exclusion will reduce the amount of gift and estate tax exemption.

Key Takeaway

Even for a couple with significant retirement savings and zero debt, there are still steps to take to ensure financial security and minimize taxes. By focusing on minimizing taxes, maximizing your holdings, and considering estate planning strategies, you can create a robust financial plan that leaves a healthy nest egg for future generations.


Happily Retiring, you have done an impressive job of securing your financial future with $6 million in retirement savings and zero debt. By following the recommendations we discussed, consulting with professionals, and staying informed about changing tax laws, you can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement and leave a lasting legacy for your family. Congratulations again, and may your retirement years be filled with happiness and fulfillment!

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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