A plan for all seasons

A plan for all seasons


Everyone knows the four calendar-based seasons, but the four financial seasons – accumulation, pre-retirement, retirement and legacy – may not be as widely recognized. Do you know which season you are in?

Season - Accumulation

During the accumulation stage, your financial goals and needs are likely to shift every time you experience a significant life change. Eventually, people in the accumulation phase start earning more money, but you might still have significant financial demands, so balance is important. The investing timeline is long at this point, so you can afford to carry a reasonable level of risk to meet financial goals.


  • Age 25 - 50
  • Marriage
  • Purchasing a home
  • Building a career
  • Reducing debt
  • Raising children
  • Funding college

Season - Pre-Retirement

People in the pre-retirement season are often characterized as being more financially stable. You may hear this group referred to as the “sandwich generation” because you may be caring for aging parents while supporting your own children. You’re also more focused on positioning assets for retirement, managing risk and ensuring that you have enough money to last through your retirement years.


  • Age 50 to retirement
  • Children are leaving the nest
  • At peak of earning and career potential
  • Building a career
  • Excess cash flow
  • Able to handle unexpected financial emergencies
  • Parents may need support

Season - Retirement

In the retirement stage you’re probably focused on maintaining a lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to. However, managing and protecting your assets effectively to ensure they last throughout your retirement years is a priority.


  • 60s – 80s
  • Maintaining pre-retirement lifestyle
  • Traveling more or pursuing hobbies
  • Managing portfolio risk and protecting assets to ensure they last through lifetime
  • Keeping pace with inflation

Season - Legacy

In this season you may be more concerned with the “legacy” you are leaving behind. As you move into this season you may become focused on how you’ll be remembered and whether you’ve had a positive impact on the world.


  • Cost-effective and tax-efficient transfer of wealth
  • Positive impact on loved ones and world
  • Charitable giving
  • Gifting to children and grandchildren

Your financial concerns and objectives are unique; you might even find that you fall into more than one season. Take time to consider what’s most important to you, determine which season you are in and identify financial goals that you would like to address. Then talk with a Waddell & Reed financial advisor about creating a customized financial plan.

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Your journey, goals and plan are our commitment.

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Associated Tags: Taking Planning Personally