how we help

planning is the key

You are not a statistic.

You are unique, your life experiences and choices are different than everyone else, and your life expectancy will also very likely be different than all the averages say it will be.

Science has made great strides in helping to determine lifespan and healthy lifespan.  Wealthspan Advisors is focused on adding science to financial planning and wealth management so you no longer have to use assumptions and best guesses when considering the choices you should make to lead to the best life possible.

Here's a questions for you...

 "Why would you continue to base your financial decisions on an outdated,

assumption-based model when you have now been made aware of a

scientific approach to planning that's much more personalized for you?"

Wealthspan Advisors exists to provide a science based, emotion free environment for financial decision making. After all, how many assumption-filled, emotional financial decisions have you made that worked out well for you?

We're replacing the outdated "life expectancy tables"with a personalized scientific approach that will determine your lifespan based on your life choices, genetic makeup and family history.  If spouses have significant differences in their scientifically determined lifespan and one will outlive the other by many years, better decisions can be made concerning the income needed by a surviving spouse and how to plan for meeting that income need.  Better decisions can also be made concerning when to begin taking Social Security or a pension payout and how to determine which option to choose if a spousal continuation of income is offered.

Making it personal -

Let’s explore a very typical client situation where the use of the MyWealthspan calculator will make a big difference in how you plan for retirement.

Consider an example of a couple where the husband is 65 and the wife is 62.  They are newly retired and looking for help planning for their financial future.  A very common planning technique used by many financial advisors is to run their plan out to age 95 for each spouse to make sure the plan works.  However, it is very unlikely that both spouses will live to age 95, leaving just a 3 year gap for the wife to handle financial decisions on her own when she may be in failing health at the end of her life.

Advisors who use this technique may be able to successfully, logically and mathematically create a plan that will have a high level of success based on the plan needs and risk/return metrics of the product mix.  However, the use of a randomly selected age 95 for each spouse doesn’t make the plan customized in any way for the clients and their actual experience could vary widely from the assumptions used to create the plan.

An attempt at getting closer to a more personalized plan would include the use of a base life table to determine average life expectancies based on age and gender.  Using current methods and base life tables, the life expectancy of the husband is 18.4 years and the that of the wife is 23.3 years.  This means the husband can expect to live to age 83.4 and the wife to age 85.3, leaving the wife to plan for life on her own for about 5 years.  Helping the wife put a plan in place to get her comfortably through 5 years is likely a manageable task and wouldn’t come with a great deal of anxiety for her – that is if they both fall in line with the averages.

Now let’s look at how different the Wealthspan Advisors plan would be starting with a report generated at  Using a series of scientifically determined questions that impact life expectancy, we can get a much better understanding of the experience this couple is more likely to encounter.

The husband has a high school education, is a former smoker and doesn’t get any exercise to speak of.  These things have been scientifically determined to be predictors of a shortened life expectancy.  So, instead of a base table life expectancy of 18.4 years, the husband has a likely life expectancy of just 14.2 years and can expect to live to age 79.2.  On the other hand, the wife has a family history of longevity, has a college degree and exercises regularly.  These things have proven to be predictors of a lengthened life expectancy.  So, instead of the base life expectancy of 23.3 years, the wife can expect to live 27.8 years to just shy of age 90.

This is significant.  What we have just uncovered is that the wife will live about 14 years longer than her husband.  This is a huge change from the 3-5 years planners were telling her she needed to prepare for without her husband using the previously mentioned approaches to planning.

This also creates a big change in the decisions that should be made now concerning how to arrange financial accounts, when to begin social security, how to create an income stream for a surviving spouse and provide reassurances that the plan being developed today takes these things into effect so the surviving spouse can continue to enjoy the standard of living they have become accustom to.

Before Wealthspan Advisors entered the financial services industry

there was no real scientific approach to account for or measure the chances

of a 20 or 30 year life expectancy difference between spouses occurring -

or how to plan for that very real possibility.

Wealthspan has changed that!

The Planning We Can Help With

We specialize in holistic planning to help you reach your goals, no matter what they are or what type of financial products are needed to meet your needs.  Our desire is to serve you first - knowing that if we can help you reach your goals and achieve your best health and wealth, we'll have done our job well.

Focus of Planning

  • HEALTH &


    Our comprehensive planning approach begins with the foundation of understanding the effect longevity will have on health and wealth planning.  Once these are known we can design a plan to accumulate wealth and provide income throughout retirement. 


    Income planning is very important for retirees.  Having the income needed to meet obligations as well as accomplish travel, entertainment and lifestyle goals is what allows for the fun, relaxing and enjoyable retirement we all want once we shift to that stage in life.



    Insurance isn't just a necessary evil, like so many of us have often thought, but can actually become a really important planning tool.  Tax-free income is one of the many benefits that can come from properly designed insurance products, so is something that should be approached with an open mind.  It also plays an important role in legacy planning. 


    Investments in the stock market can help achieve your growth and income goals.  However, there are also significant risks associated with stock market investing, so working with an investment advisor who can appropriately manage the risk of market investment can help mitigate that risk.  A properly design portfolio should be diversified, but not overly so, and should balance risk and reward.


  • TAX

    Tax planning is one of the most important jobs a financial advisor can help with.  There is a right and wrong way to structure accounts to minimize the tax liability when income or distributions are received, so a well-designed plan will help you structure your accounts to be as tax-efficient as possible.  This is important through the growth and income phases of the accounts.  You want to keep as much of the money you've worked hard to save as possible, right? 


    If we can work to get you to a positive wealthspan, that means you'll have money left over when your life ends.  So, how do you want that money to be distributed and to whom?  Making these decisions as early as possible will help everyone involved and allow for the most tax-advantaged transfer, if done right.  We can also work to create an estate over the remainder of your lifespan. 

  • 401(k) / 403(b) / TSP

    These plans can be a very large part of your retirement savings and should be managed well to help fund your retirement goals.  That said, it often makes sense to discuss options for these accounts, like moving them to an IRA, so more investment options are available.  These are also fully taxable accounts, so proper planning can help with the long-term taxation of these in order to avoid a large tax burden when distributions are forced at age 72. 


    We've seen an awful lot of situations that call for advanced planning and a more specialized approach to dealing with these sometimes tricky scenarios.  We also work with a team of accountants and estate planning attorneys who can help with navigating tricky tax or estate planning situations. 

The wealthspan planning process

ready to start planning?

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Investment Advisory Services offered through Wealthspan Investment Management, LLC (WIM), a Michigan Registered Investment Adviser.  The adviser may transact business in states where it is appropriately registered, or where it is excluded or exempted from registration. Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment advisory services. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Be sure to consult with a qualified financial adviser or a tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein.


Wealthspan Advisors, LLC and WIM are not affiliated.

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. 

Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. Any references to protection benefits or lifetime income generally refer to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products or services. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims‐paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Wealthspan Investment Management, LLC.

© 2021 by Wealthspan Advisors, LLC.