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Case Studies: L3Harris Employees We’ve Helped

David J. Blount, CFP®

LPL Financial Advisor

Finding a professional you can trust to help you navigate your financial worries and hopes is no small task. Whatever motivated you to consider seeking help, we want you to know that we at Investment & Insurance Planning Services are your advocates. We are dedicated to working with you to find the financial plan that best meets your unique needs, focusing on your individual goals and interests. Together, we can explore all the options available to you and work toward a successful financial future. Our mission is to earn your trust and confidence through our knowledge, experience, and commitment to excellence.

To give you an inside glimpse into what a partnership with us looks like, we invite you to read the following case studies about L3Harris employees we’ve helped.

Case Study #1: Ready or Not…to Retire?

Jim Smith (1) worked at L3Harris as a director for 25 years. He and his wife, Sally, have three grown children. Jim had been managing his own 401(k) retirement account on his own but wanted to make sure his asset accumulation would be enough to carry them both through retirement.

The Smiths came to see us because they had become concerned about the complexities involved in retirement planning. Jim’s goal was to retire in one to three years from when we met.

They had questions like:

  • How much money can we withdraw each year and still keep a robust savings for the future?

  • When should we begin taking Social Security?

  • What should we do with our non-qualified L3Harris stock options and the company-funded stock fund in Jim’s 401(k), after-tax 401(k) contributions, and Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP)?

  • How should we manage remodeling our home and paying off car loans before or shortly after retiring?

  • Will we be able to travel in the next 5 to 10 years?

  • Do we need long-term care insurance, and if so, which plan and when do we enroll?

  • Who do you recommend as a health insurance or Medicare expert since we’re nearing age 65?

  • Who do you recommend as an estate planning attorney so we can update our legal documents?

The Smiths were smart to recognize that planning for retirement involves a lot of moving parts and many questions. There is never one right answer to these questions. Jim and Sally were looking for a collaborative partner in their planning process to determine if their goals were feasible given their assets and retirement income.

Jim saw that we at Investment & Insurance Planning Services would be able to help him parse out the details of his portfolio and help him feel confident he was ready for retirement and for his money to go the long haul.

Jim’s Results

After going through our three-step financial planning process of discovery, plan presentation, and plan implementation, we were able to tackle each issue. The Smiths got the answers they needed to feel comfortable and have a strong plan behind them to face their retirement years.

Here are some of the actions we took to assist Jim and Sally:

  • We streamlined their retirement investments.

  • We updated their overall financial plan so they could clearly see they were on track to pursue their life goals and enjoy a comfortable retirement.

  • We referred them to an estate attorney who helped them update their estate documents and created a trust to address the taxation that comes with probate.

  • Their accounts are now optimized to manage their income needs and health insurance and tax requirements.

  • We created a distribution strategy which aligned with their long-term generational wealth and charitable goals.

They learned they were in a great position to live the retirement they were working toward. We were thrilled to convey that news to them!

The Smiths were able to retire one year after initially meeting with us. Even with COVID hitting shortly after their retirement began, with two precipitous drops in the stock market, they continued on their path.

The financial planning software we use runs 1,000 scenarios and generates the probability of success from zero to 100 during an average market and a subpar market period. So Jim was able to see actual predicted retirement scenarios with different variables in place.

We continuously monitor and revisit the Smiths’ financial plan and make adjustments as necessary. Our partnership is long-term!

Case Study #2: Proactive Is Better Than Reactive

Seth Johnson (2) works at L3Harris as an engineer. He and his wife, Julie (who works for a non-profit), have one child in junior high school and another in high school. The Johnsons came to us asking if they were on track to retire at 60, as they were hoping. Seth shared he’d be fine working part-time during retirement in order to meet that goal.

With the goal to be proactive with their retirement planning, the Johnsons came to our firm for help when Seth was 50 years old. We agreed that proactive planning can yield better results than reactive action.

Here are the main questions the Johnsons were asking:

  • How do we transfer 401(k) plans from previous employers into new investment accounts?

  • How much risk should we take in our investments since we lived through the difficult times of the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID crash?

  • How much income will we receive if we retire early?

  • How should we handle outside IRA and non-retirement investments while making sure they align with our personal values, financial goals, and risk preferences?

  • How should we realign our individual and group life and disability insurance policies since the last time we did this our children were younger?

  • Will you have strong communication with us and craft personalized advice since our previous advisor did not do those things?

Seth and Julie made the decision to switch advisors to Investment & Insurance Planning Services, and we offered open communication and remained focused on their circumstances and goals above all else.

Seth’s Results

After going through our three-step collaborative financial planning process of discovery, plan presentation, and plan implementation, the Johnsons were able to get their questions answered.

We created three potential financial plans for Seth’s family. We targeted ages 58, 62, and 65 as hypothetical retirement ages. After careful analysis of each path, they decided to retire at age 62 and keep open the possibility of working part-time to fill in the income gap and delay withdrawals from their retirement savings in the early retirement years.

Here are some of the actions we took to help Seth and his family:

  • We completed a thorough review of their current insurance holdings and implemented new term life insurance policies to eliminate the need for life insurance.

  • We decided they should take full advantage of their group long-term disability policies through their employers.

  • We rolled over their old 401(k) accounts to new IRA accounts and transferred their current IRAs into new ones under our management.

  • We also opened new Roth IRA accounts to gain additional tax advantages and save them money in retirement.

  • We helped them complete their college planning using the local college savings program and 529 college savings accounts.

As a result of going through our process, Seth and Julie feel more confident in their financial future knowing their investments are aligned with and focused on their long-term financial plan of retiring at age 62.

Your Results

You may see yourself in one of these case studies. If so, you know we can help you too. If your situation is not similar, we’d love to connect with you and learn about your unique financial situation and future goals and discuss how we can help you pursue the results you need.

You may be facing your own life transition right now, and those times bring questions and uncertainty. Being diligent about your finances is a big step toward minimizing that uncertainty. Whether you want to create a comprehensive retirement plan now, are getting close to retirement age, or have children who want to go to college, we can help you make the most of your finances—and your future. You’ve worked all these years, now let’s make your money work for you, in whatever stage you’re in.

To schedule a complimentary call to discuss your current financial planning considerations or investment concerns and see if Investment & Insurance Planning Services is a match for your needs, contact us today at or (407) 542-3249. You can also send us a message here.

About David

David is President and CEO of Investment & Insurance Planning Services, LLC (IIPS), an independent and fee-based firm that helps clients establish their financial goals and creates custom financial plans to help them pursue those goals. They specialize in working with pre-retirees, individuals in a career transition, L3 Harris engineers, and JetBlue pilots. David’s motivation comes from seeing his clients pursue their goals. He says, “It’s very rewarding to help people make successful transitions from one career to another, start a small business, or retire.”

David received his bachelor’s degree from Troy University, and prior to becoming a financial planner in 2000, he had a nine-year career in the United States Coast Guard. He obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2007. He has served as the guest financial expert on Orange Television’s Adult Lifestyle Magazine Show and frequently provides financial and retirement planning workshops. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, their two kids, Ryan and Alana, their dog, Jack, and visiting with friends. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys fishing, hiking, exercise, and as a committed person of faith, he enjoys attending church and is passionate about helping people in his community. To learn more about David, connect with him on LinkedIn.

This material was prepared for David Blount’s use.

This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.

A Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Qualified withdrawals of earnings from the account are tax-free. Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Limitations and restrictions may apply.


(1) Names changed for confidentiality purposes. Example is hypothetical for illustrative purposes only.

(2) Names changed for confidentiality purposes. Example is hypothetical for illustrative purposes only.

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