Have You Thought Through Your Retirement Plans?

Beginning your retirement is a great milestone that is worth celebrating. You have put in many years of hard work, and you are now able to focus your energy on the next phase of your life. However, before you begin this next chapter, you need to make sure that you have fully thought through this exciting change in your life.

Things to Consider When Beginning Your Retirement

With this new chapter come certain estate planning issues that you need to consider.  If You Have an Existing Estate Plan Having a properly executed and legally binding estate plan is a great first step toward ensuring that you and your loved ones are cared for. However, estate planning is not a one-and-done event. It is important that you review your plan every year or so, and especially after major life events such as the beginning of your retirement. When considering your existing plan, ask yourself the following key questions:

  • Do you still own the same property or have the same account balances as when your plan was first created? What will the balances be like at your death? Chances are, you put money into investment or retirement accounts during your working years to prepare for this next chapter. While you may have a lot today, you need to be aware that this value may decrease once you start withdrawing from those accounts.
  • Does your plan assume that your children or other young beneficiaries are still minors? A birth usually prompts parents to have an estate plan created. However, once it has been drafted, many parents continue living their lives without giving much thought to their estate plan. If it has been some […]
2023-02-25T12:58:19-08:00February 7th, 2023|Retirement Planning|

Navy veteran, 66, with terminal cancer holds yard sales to raise money for funeral

Fox:  “A 66-year-old U.S. Navy veteran dying from cancer has been selling his possessions at weekend yard sales to raise money for his own funeral, reports said Wednesday. Willie Davis, of Cambria County, Pa., was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma. He plans to raise enough cash to be buried next to his parents in Culpepper, Va., according to his GoFundMe page. The page was created by two men, David Dunkleberger and his friend, Ed Sheets, after visiting Davis’ yard sale in Brownstown, Pa., in August. When they asked whose funeral Davis was financing, he replied: “Mine.”

2018-10-01T11:36:27-07:00October 2nd, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Social Media|

Article on Social Media Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities: Why the Law is Failing to Protect Elderly Residents and How States Should Address It

Wills Trusts & Estate Prof Blog:  “In March 2016, state health officials in Iowa received a report that a certified nursing assistant for a long-term care facility shared an indecent photo of an elderly resident on Snapchat–with six of the nursing assistant's colleagues. The photo displayed the resident with his pants around his ankles, and his legs and hands covered in feces. Yet, the most disturbing part of the official's investigation was that the nursing assistant's actions were not against the law. Even though the elderly resident had dementia, and the humiliating photo was shared with a larger audience on social media, the state could not punish the nursing assistant criminally. The Iowa law intended to protect elderly adults from abuse in long-term care facilities had not been updated since 2008–before social media use exploded and mobile applications became available.

2018-09-04T12:48:44-07:00September 7th, 2018|Retirement Planning, Social Media|

Why it’s smart to plan your own funeral—and do it now

Market Watch:  “Although I didn’t know it at the time, a week after my father received a terminal cancer diagnosis, he asked my cousin to take him to a local mortuary where he made decisions about his burial and paid for his funeral. Following his death five months later, as a grieving only child, I was thankful my father had the foresight to plan ahead, as he had always done for other life events. His choice to preplan was a gift that prevented me from making emotional and costly decisions based in grief. Death is a subject none of us want to confront. Talking about death causes us to face mortality and run head-on into the fact that we will not always be here. Yet death is inevitable and planning your funeral is a lot like planning for retirement. It requires honest evaluation and sometimes hard decisions, but it’s something that needs to be done. Here are five reasons to overcome hesitancy and consider planning your funeral now.”

2018-09-04T12:44:33-07:00September 6th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Trusts, Wills|

Are You Ready for Longevity? 4 Steps to Take Now

Kiplinger:  “Did you know that a non-smoking 65-year-old woman today has a 50% chance of living until 88? A non-smoking 65-year-old man has a 50% chance of living until 85? That’s how life expectancy works – the longer you live, the more likely you will live longer. Given that you could be well on your way to becoming a nonagenarian, here are four smart moves to help keep you and your family protected as you age.

2018-08-21T16:15:24-07:00August 21st, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Trusts, Wills|

Drinking Too Much—or Not at All—May Be Linked to Dementia

Psychology Today: Both drinking excessively in midlife and abstaining from alcohol entirely were associated with an increased risk of later dementia in a long-term study of more than 9,000 adults. The study is an important step for better understanding risk factors for dementia, experts say, but they caution that it may be too early to make sweeping statements about alcohol’s effect on the agingbrain.”

2018-08-13T11:21:32-07:00August 17th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Gray Divorce Boom: A Retirement Train Wreck

Financial Advisor:  “It’s happening more and more among baby boomer couples. While divorce rates overall have leveled off, and have even begun to decline among some demographics, they’ve risen among Americans over 50 years of age, with approximately 25% of the divorces today occurring among couples who are 50 and older. According to a 2015 New York Times story, the chances of an adult over 50 divorcing doubled between 1990 and 2014, and the jump was even higher for those over 65. When couples divorce in their 50s, 60s and 70s, there is less time to recover from the experience—not only emotionally, but financially. The marriage may be decades old, or it may be a second or even third marriage of shorter length.”

Want to ‘age in place’? Make Sure Your Home has These 6 Things.

The Washington Post:  Planning to stay in your home well into your golden years? Doing some renovations before you retire can help make your house more accessible and safe for your life ahead. Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute. However, many people make the mistake of waiting too long to make renovations that facilitate aging, says Marianne Cusato, an adjunct associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture. “You don’t wait until you have mobility issues to make changes to your house,” she says.

2018-08-13T10:31:59-07:00August 13th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

How Much Money Do Americans Need To Be Rich?

Financial Advisor:  “Many Americans cite leading a stress-free life and having “peace of mind” as their personal definition of wealth. That doesn’t sound too money-centric on the face of it—until you consider that money, or specifically the lack of it, is a major source of stress. Americans don’t like to admit that assets can buy happiness — just 11 percent of those surveyed for the second annual Modern Wealth Index from Charles Schwab chose “having lots of money” as their definition of wealth.

2018-05-23T11:58:30-07:00May 25th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

How to Be Richer in Retirement

Deborah Jacobs.com:  “If you spent most of your adult life budgeting around a steady paycheck, a departure from the workforce, by choice or circumstance, poses a new challenge: What funds will you use to meet expenses? The answer, which might vary from one year to the next, will inevitably affect your tax bill. And that, in turn, could drastically impact your standard of living. Tax planning, which is always a concern, becomes even more important during the years between active employment and retirement. Depending on when you leave your job, that could take a decade or longer. Which assets you draw down first and how you coordinate the various moving parts will determine how much you have to live on each year and what goes to Uncle Sam.”

2018-05-23T11:50:38-07:00May 24th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Never Too Old for Love

WealthManagement.com:  “We all remember the lyrics from that famous tune: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.” While these words may be music to the ears of a young couple, clients who are considering getting married later in life have many issues to think about prior to tying the knot. In fact, many years ago, as a young elder law attorney (not an oxymoron) one of my first cases involved representing a man who was in a nursing home and had become “friends” with a woman across the hall. One thing led to another and the next thing you know, he was inquiring as to what the legal consequences would be if he married his new friend. That’s how I got into this area of law that’s now called “elder law.

2018-05-07T16:06:16-07:00May 11th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Lonely Old Chinese Man Puts Himself Up For Adoption

The New York Times:  Han Zicheng, an 85-year-old Chinese widower, decided in December that he did not want to spend his last days in a nursing home or die at his house alone. How to do that? By placing an ad in a flyer putting himself up for adoption. Han’s hope was that a friendly stranger or family would take him in and provide for him until he died.

2018-05-07T14:27:33-07:00May 8th, 2018|Estate Planning, Guardianship, Retirement Planning|

5 Tips to Live in Retirement Like This Famous 98-Year-Old

Market Watch:  “Restaurateur Cecilia Chiang retired in 1991 from her business but you can still find her cooking at home or enjoying meals at restaurants in her neighborhood.The 98-year-old is well-known for her Mandarin Restaurant in San Francisco, which she opened in 1961 and sold in 1991. She received the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, was featured in the book “200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World” and was the subject of a PBS documentary called “Soul of a Banquet.”

2018-05-01T14:54:17-07:00May 2nd, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Reflections of a Dementia Specialist: I Want to Stop Working Before I Embarrass Myself

The Washington Post:  “My wife says that I love my work too much to ever retire. Perhaps she is right. However, my experiences as a neurologist and clinical director of an Alzheimer center have led me to think a lot about the circumstances under which it would be wise to move on. In fact, having reached my 60s — thereby joining the fastest-growing segment of our population — I have been considering what changes in my cognitive capacity would lead me to no longer wish to keep on working.”

2018-04-23T10:57:57-07:00April 23rd, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Many Americans Try Retirement, Then Change Their Minds

The New York TImes:  “Sue Ellen King worked as a nursing educator and critical care nurse at University of Florida Health for almost four decades. Her co-workers kindly joked that she had been at the hospital since the foundation was laid, which happened to be true. King was ready. She circled her last work day on the calendar and took a week-long trip with her husband to celebrate her upcoming freedom. But, when she actually transitioned into retirement, King found that her carefully crafted post-work experience had fallen flat. “I’d done all the preparation, except to really think about what life was going to be like,” King said. After only three months, she returned to work in a part-time position at the hospital.”

2018-04-16T11:13:40-07:00April 20th, 2018|Estate Planning, Retirement Planning|

Worst States If You’re Caring For An Aging Parent

Financial Advisor:  “Some states make it harder for those caring for an aging parent, according to a new survey. Caring.com conducted a national survey to determine which states offer the best overall cost of living, and accessibility to senior support programs and resources for caregivers. While some states were praised for providing an affordable and helpful environment for caregivers, other states inevitable ended up at the bottom of the list.”

2018-03-12T09:37:39-07:00March 15th, 2018|Estate Planning, Guardianship, Retirement Planning|

Doctors Notes for Will Signings: Should You Get One?

JDSUPRA:  I recommend that before an ill or very elderly person signs a will (or trust), that the estate planning attorney obtain a note from a doctor as to the person’s mental capacity. Doing so will help create a record that will make it more challenging to contest the will (or trust) on the basis that the person lacked testamentary capacity (i.e., the requisite mental capacity in order to execute a will or trust).”

More Planning Tips for Individuals Under New Tax Act

JDSupra:  “As Shanna Yonke mentioned in her January 22, 2018 Legal Update The New Tax Law Provides Estate Planning Opportunities, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017.  The Act (officially, Public Law 115-97) is the most sweeping tax legislation to be enacted in decades.  It is broad in scope, complicated, and will impact almost every aspect of tax, estate, retirement, and business planning.”

Common Mistakes With Retirement Plans and Estate Planning

The Legal Intelligencer: “Do you have an estate plan? If not, you are not alone. Fewer than half of Americans have an estate plan—the percentage varies between 55 percent and 70 percent, depending on which survey you rely upon. For those of you with an estate plan, there are mistakes that can be easily avoided. In this article, I will specifically address the issue of retirement plans and beneficiary designation forms.”

2018-02-12T14:09:45-08:00February 15th, 2018|Common Problems, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Trusts, Wills|
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