A romantic evening for the couple is a candlelight dinner at home.
Even their vacations are thrifty. When they go overseas, which they like to do twice a year, there are no four-star hotels or expensive restaurants. They eat in the places that are popular with the locals. Sitting free at a park, for Webster, is better than a museum.
But even though they spend as little as possible and have a high savings rate, they knew very little about whether their investments were right for their age range.
Nor was Webster confident about the way he would respond if the stock market suddenly took a turn for the worse.
"I really become frozen when it comes to selling stocks and reinvesting," Webster said, adding that this was "one reason I lost $100,000 in the dot-com boom and bust."
Fee-only financial planner Fernandez, founder of Fernandez Financial Advisory in Los Alamitos, commended the couple's robust ability to save money.
Her two-hour meeting with Webster and Martin was part pep talk and part trip to the principal's office.
Unlike the typical investor in their age ranges, Webster and Martin had a very risky reliance on stocks of about 85%. That could be disastrous in the event of another stock market crash.
"You have the portfolio of a 20-year-old," Fernandez chided. In other words, someone who had 40 years or more of retirement savings ahead of them could afford to take high risks, but people of Webster's and Martin's ages should be more conservative with their investments.
Still, Fernandez didn't want the couple to suddenly move a huge amount out of their stock funds.
"We don't want to move everything in one fell swoop, in case the stock market still has room to grow," Fernandez explained.
She told the couple to put all new investment money into more conservative funds, not just in their employers' retirement accounts but also their Roth IRAs and a separate taxable Vanguard investment account.
"This is also how we change course, by putting the next investment dollars into something new," Fernandez said.
To address the stock over-investment concern, Fernandez had the couple shift 20% of the riskier holdings on the equities side of their Teachers Insurance and Annuity Assn. "into something really boring." That 20% went into the TIAA's traditional annuity account, which has returned an average of 4.77% over the last five years.
For the Vanguard taxable account, Fernandez suggested putting all new money into funds with a lower concentration of stocks and a higher percentage of other investments.
Fernandez told the couple that their goal should be to reduce their reliance on stock funds to between 60% and 65% of their retirement savings.
That percentage target would have been lower had there not been a nine-year age difference between Webster and Martin.
Fernandez also showed the couple that Webster could retire as early as 65, even though he still has plans to work until 70.
Fernandez even factored in the possibility of four years of expensive long-term care. It barely made a dent in the couple's newly reformatted investment outlook.
The shift in the atmosphere of the room was palpable. Martin, who had put distance between herself and the couple's investments, was suddenly taking copious notes.
Webster shifted from a slight slouch in his chair to the front edge of his seat, his back suddenly straighter. He actually began to smile.
"I don't have to work two jobs again," he said.
But perhaps his follow-up email to Fernandez put it best.
"Your analysis," Webster wrote, "has given me a great deal of peace."
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