Retirement is hard. Knowledge is the first step.

Individual Retirement Glossary of Terms

Balance Sheet Review

We review your assets and liabilities.

Investment Risk Analysis

We analyze your current investments. We review the allocation and discuss any risks that we think are relevant to your situation.

Debt Analysis

We review your debt schedule. We look at your payments and make recommendations for making higher payments, paying off, or restructuring.

Current Cash Flow Analysis

We review the money that comes into your household and the money that goes out. In your financial plan, we project expenses into the future to see if you are on track for a successful retirement.

2nd Opinion

If you have already had a financial plan run but want a 2nd opinion, we are here to help. We can review the current plan and assumptions and give a summary of our thoughts.

Retirement Plan Analysis

We will review your current retirement plan and make recommendations for what investments to choose. We will discuss the difference between Roth and Pre-tax options and help you to select the strategies that work best for your long-term goals.

Retirement Distribution Strategy

We will review your projected retirement income needs. We will review different strategies for meeting those needs.

Social Security Analysis

We review your Social Security statements and projected income. We work to create a strategy that fits your retirement income needs. It’s not always about maximizing Social Security but using it as a tool to complement your other strategies.

Required Minimum Distribution Planning

We project your required minimum distributions from retirement accounts. We review if it makes sense to take distributions prior to the date you must begin your distributions.

Pension Analysis

We review the projected cash flow from your pension. If there are multiple options for how to take your distribution, we review and discuss the pros and cons of each. We do a break-even analysis of the situations that might make sense for your plan.

Health Care Analysis

If you are retiring before 65, we look at your healthcare options and see if we can structure your income in a way that allows you to receive subsidies. If you are 65+ we review your healthcare and income and see if there are ways to avoid the IRMAA surcharge.t.

Create Order of Operations

We review your income and expenses. We work with you to create a plan for the best place to put your money as it comes in.

Financial Action Check List

We put together a summary of actions that you can take to improve your financial situation.

Tax Planning

We review your tax return. We project the tax cost of different situations and transactions. We work together to pick the situations that best fit your financial goals.

Cost Basis Analysis

We work with you to capture the cost basis of old stocks. We add the information to your account so that your 1099’s reflect your purchase information.

Charitable Planning

If you give to charity or tithe, we work with you to find the best way to fit it into your financial plan. Should you be donating with qualified charitable distributions from your IRA? Should you be funding a donor-advised fund? We review options and make recommendations.

Employer Benefit Analysis

We review your employer benefits and make recommendations that fit with your financial plan. If you are an employer, we discuss what options you may want to add for you and your employees.

Employer Stock Option Analysis

We review your options agreements with your employers. We help to create a game plan for what to do with your options or your restricted stock.

Disability Insurance Analysis

We review your disability insurance through the lens of your financial plan. Do you have enough to support your family if you are unable to work? For many of our younger clients, their future income is an important asset that needs to be protected.

Life Insurance Analysis

We review your existing insurance policies. We have the current company-run illustrations that show what they project to happen in the future and what they guarantee will happen in the future. We then make recommendations on what to keep and what amounts make sense for your situation.

Business Planning

We help business owners plan for business goals or cash.

Home or Large Purchase Strategy

Coming soon

Education Planning

If you are paying for college or will be paying for college, we work to find the best way to do so. We review your current college savings (if applicable) and project what you will need to reach your goals. We discuss if it will cause any conflicts with your other financial goals.

Estate Plan Review

If you are paying for college or will be paying for college, we work to find the best way to do so. We review your current college savings (if applicable) and project what you will need to reach your goals. We discuss if it will cause any conflicts with your other financial goals.

Legacy and Inheritance Planning

If you are at the point in your life where you know you have enough money for the rest of your time on this planet, what do you do with the rest of it? We help to create a plan to make sure your money goes where you want it to. We can work with your attorney or we can recommend attorneys to choose from. We make sure the estate plan is in line with your goals for your philanthropic, religious, and family legacy goals.

Corporate Retirement Glossary of Terms


A 401(k) is extremely popular and it is also known as a “Defined-Contribution plan.” This means that both the employer and the employee can contribute funds to the retirement plan. Many employees like this option because the employer will typically match (up to a certain percentage) the funds placed into the plan.

Pension Plans

A pension plan, on the other hand, is much different. Known as a “Defined-Benefit plan,” an employer will make financial contributions that go to a specific fund for the employee’s benefit

Profit-Sharing Plan

This gets a little confusing with 401(k) plans. Most of the time the profit sharing feature of a plan is written into the 401(k) plan. We rarely see just profit-sharing plans without a 401(k) component. Profit Sharing only would mean that the company puts money away for you. The 401(k) piece allows you to put money away for yourself also.

ERISA 403(b)

This is very similar to the 401(k) but used for 501(c)(3) non-profit companies usually. Some differences make the 403(b) possibly more enticing than the 401(k) for those that can use this type of plan. It is worth talking to someone about these differences before settling on a 401(k).

403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan (Non-ERISA)

This type of plan is more of the lunchroom savings plan seen in many school districts around the country. These plans are usually higher cost and in addition to another retirement plan that someone would already be contributing to. Look closely at these expenses and make sure they are right for you.

Rate of Return

The net gain or loss of an investment over a specified period of time.


People that have to act in the best interest of the plan participants and have liability for the plan.

3(21) Fiduciary

The investment decisions are made by the plan fiduciaries.

3(38) Fiduciary

The investment decisions are made by the Registered Investment Advisor.

3(16) Fiduciary

A third party takes on some administrative fiduciary liability and often signs the 5500.

Retirement Readiness

A type of metric often used on a provider’s website to show a participant if they are on track for retirement.


The money that comes out of a participant’s paycheck to go into their retirement plan.


If a company has one, then it’s the money the company gives to a participant’s account to reward them for putting money in for their retirement.


The money a company gives to a participant’s retirement often has a certain amount of time a participant must work there to get the full benefit. This varies per company.

Roth 401(k)

The money a participant puts into the retirement plan goes in after taxes have been taken out. The benefit is that all the interest or growth you make on the account comes out tax-free.


The money a participant puts into the retirement plan goes in before taxes have been paid. Upon retirement, all taxes are owed on the contributions and growth in the account.

Target Date

A specific type of investment that seems to be very popular. You tell the fund the year you plan on retiring, and the fund allocates your money in a way they deem suitable for someone your age.


The money in a retirement plan does not have to go through probate upon death. So, the beneficiary on the account gets the money directly without the executor on the estate having anything to do with it. This takes precedence over the will. Make sure to get legal advice if minor children are the main beneficiaries.

Key Man

Certain executives are very important to the running of a company, so they have life insurance policies on those people to safeguard against losses if something were to happen to them.

Deferred Compensation

An arrangement where some of an employee’s income is paid out at a later date after the income was earned. Sometimes used as a way to keep executives working at a company until they retire.