• Developing your retirement income strategy is part of the Envision® process.
  • We can help you analyze possible expenses and sources of income.
  • Checking on your strategy annually can help you maintain course.

It starts with a plan

Creating a plan can help you stay focused, plan for challenges ahead, and make choices that work for you. 

Our Envision planning process is the foundation we use to develop your retirement income plan. It can help you make choices and tackle the following topics:
  • When and how can I retire with confidence?
  • How can I help make my money last as long as I’m retired?
  • Where will my income come from?
  • How do I prepare for and respond to events throughout retirement?
  • When and how should I address my legacy goals? 

7 common retirement planning moves

Will the money in your investment accounts last through retirement? Here are some steps that go beyond the basics of using tax-advantaged funds and making regular contributions.
 
  1. Monitor your portfolio - Conduct regular investment checkups on your own and with us.
  2. Maintain emergency savings - Wells Fargo Advisors recommends keeping an emergency fund with enough money to cover living expenses for three to six months. Keep emergency funds in a liquid account you can easily access if needed.
  3. Set an appropriate asset allocation - Investments are fluid. Some are more volatile, but all can be affected by market fluctuations. Adjust your assets to align with your current goals and tolerance for risk.
  4. Itemize your income plan - Understand where your retirement funds will come from. List out all sources, such as Social Security and pensions. For each item, list how it might generate income for your portfolio.
  5. Clean up your accounts - Consider consolidating accounts. You’ll not only have less paperwork, you can help keep an eye on your asset allocation and overall investment strategy.  We can talk about your choices and what might make the most sense for you. Before taking any action, speak with your current retirement plan administrator and tax professional.
  6. Sell assets strategically - Selling assets can have tax implications. Proceeds could nudge you into a higher tax bracket. Balance the concern of minimizing taxes when you’re selling assets with your portfolio’s allocation strategy. Talk with us about the choices you have in this situation.
  7. Talk with family - Partners and spouses should be on the same page regarding your financial portfolio. Cover some key financial details: 
    • Current total assets
    • How much you have saved right now
    • How much is in each account
    • Where the funds are located
    • Your budget
Part of your plan is how you spend your money – now and when you retire. Talk about it.

Common risks to address

While we develop your retirement plan, you’ll want to look at risks such as inflation, market events, health needs, withdrawal strategy, and how long you’re likely to live. Understanding the impact these challenges may have on your savings and planning for them can help you stay the course. 

Have an ongoing process

Planning for retirement is not a “one and done” kind of activity. A good plan should be checked regularly and adjusted, as necessary. Keep an eye on your portfolio, talk about your expectations, and prepare for the unexpected.
 
Schedule an annual checkup with us to review your plans, your current circumstances, and your portfolio. We’ll work together to discuss your choices and what works for you.

Next steps 

  • Think about what you hope your retirement will be.
  • Write down all your possible sources of income and expenses in retirement.
  • Take a look at your portfolio and call us if you have any questions about changing your asset allocation.
  • Call us to start on your personalized retirement income plan.
 

Wells Fargo Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice. 


Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Asset allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns. Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Stocks offer long-term growth potential, but may fluctuate more and provide less current income than other investments. An investment in the stock market should be made with an understanding of the risks associated with common stocks, including market fluctuations. Dividends are not guaranteed and are subject to change or elimination.
  • You can benefit from tax-advantaged investing in an IRA.
  • Consider contributing to an IRA even if you participate in an a qualified employer sponsored-retirement plan (QRP).
  • Find out which type of IRA – Traditional or Roth – is right for you.

IRAs can help you meet your retirement goals

Even if you already participate in a qualified employer sponsored-retirement plan (QRP) such as a 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457(b), an IRA can help supplement these savings. Similar to a 401(k), IRAs offer the potential for growth in a tax-advantaged account. Over time, that can make a significant difference in your retirement savings.

Types of IRAs

Both Traditional and Roth IRAs offer tax advantages, a wide variety of investment options, the flexibility to choose whether or not to invest annually, and the same contribution limits. 

  • Traditional IRA - Offers tax-deferred growth potential. You pay no taxes on any investment earnings until you withdraw or “distribute” the money from your account, presumably in retirement.1 Additionally, depending on your income, your contribution may be tax deductiblePay taxes later. With a Traditional IRA your contributions may be tax-deductible and you’ll pay taxes when you make withdrawals in retirement.1 
  • Roth IRA – Offers tax-free growth potential. Earnings are distributed tax-free in retirement, if a five-year waiting period has been met and you are at least age 59½, or as a result of your death, disability, or using the first time homebuyer exception. Since contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, there is no tax deduction regardless of income. 
  • Who can contribute to an IRA - You and your spouse, if filing jointly, can contribute to a Traditional IRA if you are under age 70½ and have earned income. You can make a non-deductible contribution to a Traditional IRA even if your income exceeds Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) deduction limits. You and your spouse, if filing jointly, can contribute to a Roth IRA at any age as long as you have earned income and are at or under MAGI phase-out limits. Get more details on contributing to an IRA.
  • Small business SIMPLE & SEP IRAs - SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs are often offered by small businesses as a retirement plan for their employees. These plans can be ideal for small businesses with a few employees. A SEP IRA is a Traditional IRA that holds employer contributions under the SEP plan.2

IRA contribution limits and deadlines

IRS rules state how and by what date you can make your IRA contributions. IRA contributions must generally be made by April 15 for the prior tax year. If you are over 50, within a particular tax year, you can contribute an additional $1,000 catch-up amount each year. 

Call us to discuss the exact date for this year and the amount you can contribute, or check out IRS Publication 590 found here:

Retirement plan distribution options 

When you change jobs or retire, you generally have four options for your retirement plan assets:

  1. Roll assets to an IRA
  2. Leave assets in your former employer’s plan, if the plan allows
  3. Move assets to your new/existing employer’s plan, if the plan allows
  4. Cash out through what’s called a “lump sum distribution,” pay taxes and perhaps a 10% IRS tax penalty
There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. The best one for you depends on your individual circumstances.3  Since your retirement plan savings may represent a substantial source of income in retirement it’s important to think about all of the following:  

  • The difference in fees and expenses between the QRP and IRA
  • When penalty-free distributions are available
  • Your need for help making investment decisions and other services offered
  • Any special considerations regarding your employer stock
  • Timing of required minimum distributions (RMDs)
  • Protection of assets from creditors and bankruptcy
We can sit down and look at your choices together so you can decide which one makes the most sense for you. Before you make any decision or take any action, speak with your current retirement plan administrator and tax professional. 

Next steps

  • Make an appointment with us to go over your IRA choices.
  • Fund your IRA.
  • Find out if you can deduct your IRA contribution. 


1
Traditional IRA distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income. Qualified Roth IRA distributions are federally tax-free provided a Roth account has been open for more than five years and the owner has reached age 59-1/2 or meets other requirements. Qualified Roth IRA distributions are not subject to state and local taxation in most states. Both may be subject to a 10% federal IRS tax penalty if distributions are taken prior to age 59-1/2.


2Withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and may be subject to a federal 10% penalty if taken prior to age 59-1/2. For SIMPLE IRAs, the federal penalty increases to 25% if a distribution is taken prior to two years from the first deposit made into a participant’s account if under age 59-1/2.

3Please keep in mind that rolling over assets to an IRA is just one of multiple options for your retirement plan. Each of the following options is different and may have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
  1. Roll assets to an IRA
  2. Leave assets in your former employer’s plan, if plan allows
  3. Move assets to your new/existing employer’s plan, if plan allows
  4. Cash out or take a lump sum distribution 
When considering rolling over assets from an employer plan to an IRA, factors that should be considered and compared between the employer plan and the IRA include fees and expenses, services offered, investment options, when penalty free withdrawals are available, treatment of employer stock, when required minimum distributions begin and protection of assets from creditors and bankruptcy. Investing and maintaining assets in an IRA will generally involve higher costs than those associated with employer-sponsored retirement plans. You should consult with the plan administrator and a professional tax advisor before making any decisions regarding your retirement assets.
  • Everyone could use an estate plan – not just the wealthy.
  • 5 documents are essential for many estate plans.
  • An estate planning attorney and your accountant will work with your Financial Advisor.

Estate planning: a matter of control 

You might associate estate planning with famous people you see in the news. In fact, estate planning could be appropriate for everyone. 

Consider your assets: bank accounts, investment accounts, 401(k) or 403(b) plan accounts, house, cars, jewelry, and heirlooms. This is your estate and your estate plan can define what you would like to happen to these assets when you die. 

An estate plan can also take care of you as you get older or if you become ill or incapacitated. Being wealthy has little to do with it. 

If you don’t make your own plan, your family may be left scrambling at an already difficult time. Bottom line: If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you.  

Five essential documents 

These five documents are often essential to an estate plan: 

  • Will - Instructions for distributing your assets when you die. You will name a personal representative (executor) to pay final expenses and taxes and distribute remaining assets. Name a guardian to raise your minor children if both parents die. 
  • Durable power of attorney – You give a trusted individual management power over your assets if you can’t manage them yourself. This document is effective only while you’re alive. 
  • Health care power of attorney - You choose someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if something were to happen and you can’t make them yourself. 
  • Living will – Shares your intentions about life-sustaining medical measures if you are terminally ill. No one is given authority to speak for you. 
  • Revocable living trust - You can provide for continued management of your financial matters while you are alive, after your death, and even for generations after. 

Find out more about the basics of estate plans

Why beneficiary designations are important

Beneficiary designations can be an easy way to transfer an account or insurance policy when you die. But if you didn’t complete beneficiary designations, or haven’t updated them, they can cause issues with your estate plan. 

Designations on forms are often filled out without much thought – but they’re important and deserve your attention. Beneficiary designations on forms like your insurance policy and 401(k) take priority over other estate planning documents, like your will or trust. 

Let’s say you specify in your will you want everything to go to your spouse after your death. But you never changed the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy and it names your ex-spouse. Your ex may end up getting the proceeds. 

Find out where to look for beneficiary designations 

Turn to a team of professionals 

Making the decisions involved with estate planning may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. You can start by organizing your important documents. Get some tips here

Turn to a team of trusted professionals, including your financial advisor, an estate planning attorney, and your accountant. They know the questions to ask and can help you avoid potential pitfalls. 

If you currently don’t have relationships with an attorney and an accountant, we can make some recommendations. We can also discuss our role in the planning process and how you can get started. 

Next steps 

  • Make an appointment with us to talk about your estate planning goals.
  • Start gathering your financial documents.
  • Check the beneficiary designations on your financial and investment accounts.


Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo Advisors.
 

Wells Fargo Advisors and its affiliate do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisors before taking any action that may have tax and/or legal consequences.
  • Your investments are important. Advisory Services can help them receive the care they deserve.
  • Your investments can be professionally managed or a Financial Advisor can help you manage them yourself.
  • Wells Fargo Advisors programs allow flexibility to help you reach your goals. 

Managing investments 

A lot may be riding on your investments: retirement, children’s or grandchildren’s education, your financial legacy. Your investment plan should get the attention it deserves. 

Some investors enjoy managing their own plan. They are confident in their abilities and have the time to research and monitor their investments’ performance. 

You’re not alone if you don’t fall into that category. Like many others, you may want to work with a professional by taking advantage of an advisory program. 

Using an advisory program 

You can save time and have the comfort of knowing a professional is managing your investments when you use the services of an advisory program. 

Advisory programs generally fall into two categories. One gives another party the power to make decisions for your account’s day-to-day management. This means you can allow a portfolio manager — in some cases your Financial Advisor — to decide when to buy, sell, and hold investments without consulting you. 

Your portfolio manager will make decisions based on a variety of factors: 

  • Your long-term objectives
  • The time you have to reach your objectives
  • Your risk tolerance 
In the other program, you collaborate with your Financial Advisor. We will provide you with objective advice and guidance based on your needs, goals, and today’s investment environment, to help you make your own buy, sell, and hold decisions. 

Fee replaces commissions 

So how can an advisory account differ from a traditional brokerage account? One difference is how you pay for the services you receive. In an advisory account program, you generally pay a fee. This is often charged on a quarterly basis based on a percentage of your account’s value. In a traditional brokerage account you would pay a commission for each transaction. 

Flexible range of alternatives 

You can choose which advisory services program you implement. Wells Fargo Advisors offers an array of programs. You can decide what products you would like to have managed, such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds, and commodity-based investments. 

We can discuss the programs with you and see what fits your situation – and what makes you feel more confident in helping you reach your goals. 

Get more details on Advisory Services from Wells Fargo Advisors. 

Next steps

Decide if you would like some extra help with making your investment decisions.

Make an appointment to talk with us about advisory accounts.



The fees for advisory programs are asset-based and assessed quarterly in advance. There may be a minimum fee to maintain this type of account. Fees include advisory services, performance measurement, transaction costs, custody services, and trading. These fees do not cover the fees and expenses of any underlying exchange traded fund (ETF), closed-end funds, or mutual funds in the portfolio. Advisory accounts are not designed for excessively traded or inactive accounts and may not be suitable for all investors. Please carefully review the Wells Fargo Advisors advisory disclosure document for a full description of our services, including fees and expenses. The minimum account size for these programs is between $25,000 and $200,000.
  • Our Envision process can help you plan your investments around your most important life goals and dreams.
  • Your plan’s flexibility lets you monitor and adjust your goals and investments as your life changes.
  • You can “test-drive” goals to find out how they’ll play out within your plan. 

Planning with a Financial Advisor 

We’re not the typical investment firm. Instead of looking for a particular dollar amount as a retirement target, our approach to financial advice starts with your life goals. 

Get more details on the Envision process.

Once we’ve have helped you explore your goals and dreams, we’ll create an investment plan together to support them. 

Our innovative Envision® planning process helps us keep you on track toward the future you’re planning. Our process is flexible, so we can easily review and update your plan if your goals or circumstances change. 

So much more than an investment plan 

“Investment planning” can sometimes seem like cookie-cutter investment mixes and generalizations. Although it’s better than nothing, it’s impersonal and vague. 

The Envision process does more. 

Our process is a life planning tool that helps us work as a team with you to: 

  • Explore your life goals
  • Plan your investments around benchmarks that hold real meaning to you
  • Track your progress toward achieving them 

Best of all, it gives us the tools you need to: 

  • Decide on an appropriate investment strategy
  • Monitor your progress
  • Re-sync — or rethink — your approach whenever necessary

Put a process behind your plans 

When you work with one of our Financial Advisors, the conversation starts by exploring your big-picture plans, hopes, and dreams. With the help of our unique Envision Priority Cards, you and your advisor will prioritize your goals for the future and map out a financial course to help you achieve them. 

Your Envision plan can take into account: 

  • Life goals
  • Education goals
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Cash-flow requirements
  • Retirement planning needs
  • Levels of acceptable investment risk
  • Asset allocation objectives 

Setting and prioritizing goals 

Because the Envision process is flexible, you can “test-drive” goals to find out how they’ll play out within your plan. 

Putting your plan in motion 

Once you’ve penciled in your goals, the Envision process can help us recommend a plan (including an asset allocation) that supports your objectives. We can “stress test” your investment portfolio through statistical modeling when you modify a goal. 

As you go forward, the Envision process makes it easy to keep track of your progress and realign your investment plan when necessary. 

Life events might call for adjustments to your Envision plan: 

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or death
  • Increasing medical costs
  • Helping a child or grandchild afford higher education
  • Caring for an elderly parent
  • Starting a new or second career
  • Inheriting money or other assets 

It’s about you and your path forward 

At Wells Fargo Advisors, we’ve built one of the nation’s premier investment firms around a deep respect for planning. Our commitment to helping you plan effectively, invest wisely, and map a realistic course to your future is nowhere more evident than in our Envision process. 

Get more details on the Envision process.  

Next steps 

  • Decide if you’re ready to put a plan and process behind your investment portfolio.
  • Start thinking about the life goals you’d most like to invest toward.


IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated by Envision regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time.



  • Saving for your child’s or grandchild’s education doesn’t have to derail your retirement savings plan.
  • 529 plans and trust funds are designed to help save for a child’s education.
  • Financial aid and private loans may be other options.  

Retirement vs. education

As a parent or grandparent, you’re probably considering how to balance paying for college while planning for your retirement. Many families use some combination of savings, investments, borrowing, and financial aid (if available). 

There are options for financing college, but you can’t borrow for retirement. Wells Fargo Advisors believes  saving for retirement should be the higher priority for many investors. 

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, consider putting your savings there first, especially if there is a company match. After that, contribute to your child’s education account. 

Save as early as possible

As you can imagine, the sooner you start saving for your child’s or grandchild’s education, the more money you may have later. 

One popular way to save is the 529 college savings plan. These are tax-advantaged accounts administered by states and institutions. Parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends can contribute.  

Other college savings accounts include custodial accounts in the child’s name and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. 

Please consider the investment objectives, risk, charges and expenses carefully before investing in a 529 savings plan. The official statement, which contains this and other information, can be obtained by calling your Financial Advisor. Read it carefully before you invest. 

Read more about saving for a college education

Establish an educational trust fund 

Setting up an educational trust fund designed for your child’s education is also an option. When a grandparent or benefactor establishes an education trust, the terms of the trust can be specified. This can include who controls the money, how it will be used, and for whom the trust benefits. 

It’s a good idea for grandparents to involve parents when it comes to helping with college savings. How they choose to save could impact any potential financial aid the child may receive. 

Read more about funding your grandchild’s college education

Consider financial aid 

A variety of factors play into financial aid eligibility. Don’t assume your child or grandchild won’t qualify for financial aid.  

Start thinking about applying for aid during high school. Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Financial Aid Office for information about eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and types of federal financial loans and aid. 

For nonfederal financial aid, visit the College Board’s College Scholarship Service (CSS)/Financial Aid PROFILE® application for information on qualifying. 

Go private 

Borrowing from a private lender is yet another option. Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions provide private loans. Loans may be fixed or variable depending on the lender and the borrower’s credit rating. 

Other things to consider when borrowing from a private lender: 

  • Private loans are generally more expensive because they may have higher fees.
  • If the student takes out the private loan, the student is responsible for repayment.
  • A parent may be required to co-sign a loan.
  • Look for family relationship discounts, automatic payment discounts, and graduation benefits. 

Factor in income and existing investments 

Other investment sources may help pay for college, and keep you from tapping your retirement savings. Those may include stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

It’s a balancing act 

As you plan for the future, keep in mind the three C’s of college funding: consistency, communication, and compromise. 

Planning for retirement, managing your investment portfolio, and funding a college education is a balancing act. The trick is to plan ahead. 

We can help you come up with a plan that considers all aspects.

Next steps 

  • Ask us how you can save for both retirement and education.
  • Start saving for college when your child or grandchild is young.
  • Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify, apply for financial aid.


Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice.