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Mini-cast 252: A Mid-Career Retirement Check-in

The EsOp Podcast with Bret Keisling: A Mid-Career Retirement Check-in featuring Peter Newman of Peak Wealth Planning

Bret Keisling shares an excerpt featuring Peter Newman of Peak Wealth Planning, discussing things to consider mid-career when looking towards a future retirement, taken from next week's episode of The EsOp Podcast.

In the final episode of our three-part series with Peter Newman, he will be discussing the importance of employee-owned companies offering personal financial wellness education to employee owners, and the three training tracks offered by Peak Wealth Planning for three different career stages: early, mid-career, and close to retirement.

... or watch the video below.


Mini-cast 252 Show Notes

About Peter Newman

Peter Newman founded Peak Wealth Planning in 2014 to provide financial planning and investment management for individuals who built their wealth through ESOP participation, business ownership, or real estate investing. He helps families diversify their concentrated stock, reduce estate taxes, preserve wealth, and generate stable retirement income. 


Peter holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, considered by many to be the gold standard for investment management. Prior to founding Peak Wealth, Peter spent two decades in Treasury Operations at the University of Illinois System where he managed capital financing, insurance programs, banking, agricultural properties, and $3 billion of combined operating and endowment investments. 


In his free time, Peter enjoys vegetable gardening, biking, skiing, and home remodeling.


Learn more about Peter here and learn more about working with Peak Wealth Planning here.


Mini-cast 252 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the EsOp Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling and, as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. This coming Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024, we are dropping on our primary EO/ESOP podcast the final installment of our three-part series featuring Peter Newman, founder of Peak Wealth Planning, who has done a wonderful job presenting on a variety of financial issues for employee owners, including diversification and distributions and successful retirement planning.

[00:00:43] Bret Keisling: In part three, he shares about the importance and value of an employee-owned company providing personal financial wellness training to their employee owners. Here's an excerpt from that upcoming episode where Peter discusses what goes into a mid-career retirement check-in.

[00:00:59] Here's Peter Newman.


[00:01:01] Peter Newman: Oftentimes mid-career folks maybe haven't thought a whole lot about retirement, but we like to do a retirement check in, and we have a grid that's pretty straightforward that says: How old am I? You know, I'm 45. I make X dollars per year. And then we have a multiplier on that grid, and we say, you should have three times your salary or five times your salary saved on this grid.

[00:01:26] And that's a way for someone to do a quick cocktail napkin check in on, hey, have I saved enough? If I'm 40 years old and I make 80,000 or 150,000 a year in my nest egg.

[00:01:39] And then what we can do with that is have a conversation, if people haven't hit that goal of, okay, well, it's not the end of the world. Let's talk about what levers you can pull, you know, maybe your spouse is a super saver and he or she actually has a lot more nest egg, or maybe your spouse is a schoolteacher, and they actually have a pension. So, the nest egg, while important, is not the only thing you're going to rely on in retirement.

[00:02:04] So, or we might say, you know, I'm making 80,000 a year. I'm not quite where I want to be on this grid, but I know I'm going to get a promotion because I'm doing a really good job for my employee-owned company and I'm going to bank all of my promotions starting at age 45 until age 55. So, that's one piece as a retirement check in.

[00:02:24] The other piece, because folks become usually a lot more aware of financial issues in their mid-30s, early 40s, before 50s. We'll talk a little bit more in depth about where are you saving now, what, what sources of luggage, you know, does your company offer a health savings account? Maybe you're already doing the 401K. So, what other luggages should you be saving in for your life journey along financial wellness?

[00:02:48] And then we'll go a little deeper, too, on if you have competing financial priorities, how do you balance those?

[00:02:54] I was working with a family a couple of years ago, high income earners, two children, and when we started working with them, they were saving on a 401K. The wife was a stay-at-home mom, the gentleman made a very high income as a general counsel, but they did not have any 529 or college savings, so we had a discussion around, well, what, what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? And one of their goals was, we don't want our kids saddled with a lot of college debt. And they were eight and eleven years old. And I said, well, what do you do with your bonus every year? And so, we had a dialogue around, well, should the bonus every year for this gentleman go into college savings accounts?

[00:03:33] And so, we had a goal, want to put some money aside for kids. Don't want my kids to have a lot of debt when they come out of college. So, what resources do we have? And interestingly with this family, we also did some forecasting, our grid, and we looked at this and we said, you know, you're not quite where you need to be in terms of the grid and at age 38 relative to your salary.

[00:03:56] By the way, this is not uncommon for people that have had pretty big salary increases through their career. If your salary has gone up a lot, oftentimes you have to save a lot more than you think to replace that income or get close to it in retirement. If your salary only goes up two or three percent a year, nothing wrong with that, but It's a little bit easier to save for retirement to replace your income.

[00:04:16] If your salary goes up at 15 percent a year for 5 or 10 years, it's a lot harder to adjust your savings rate to do some income replacement and have a big nest egg. So, we had to do a lot of work with this family around budget and cashflow to help them decide whether it was important enough to them to replace, you know, a $300,000 a year income in retirement, or were they okay with $100,000 a year income in retirement.

[00:04:40] And those are two very different lifestyles in retirement. So, we had some really interesting conversations, even down to, and most families don't want us to do this, but when we do our workshops with companies, we'll talk about budget hacks.


[00:04:53] Bret Keisling: You can find Peter Newman's episodes as well as our entire archives dating back to 2017 at And if you check the show notes for this episode, or any of Peter's episodes, you'll find some great resources about Peter Newman, Peak Wealth Planning, diversification and distributions, and retirement in general.

[00:05:14] I hope you'll check these resources out and I hope you'll join us Tuesday for part three with Peter Newman.

[00:05:20] Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.

[00:05:24] Bitsy McCann:  We'd love to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter [X] @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network. Original music composed by Max Keisling. Branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design. And I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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