18% of you that are in your late 50’s are banking on an inheritance for your retirement security. I have news for you, your parents and Grandparents are not living their lives so you can inherit!
Our parents and Grandparents are living longer, but not necessarily healthier lives. We all know that health care, especially Long Term Care, has increase in cost by leaps and bounds. Because our parents did not expect to live into their late 80’s or 90’s, they are spending much more than anyone dreamed on their own health care. This is chunking into your “inheritance”. Our Parents are staying in their homes much longer than previous generations did; this is also taking a bite out of your “inheritance”. If you think about past generations, when someone retired, they moved to Florida and lived out their lives in the sun & fun – until about age 72. We already live in Florida, as do most of our Parents – and they are living 10- 15 years longer in the same house. Home repairs, as well as retro-fitting for an elderly parent, cost a lot of money.
Our Parents saved for their retirement and for a “rainy day.” This is the lesson we need to learn from them. If we inherit anything, it is as an unexpected gift.
“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”
Tonight I will celebrate 30 years in business. I have seen a lot of changes in the Financial Planning business as well as the markets. One thing that has not changed is that I am grateful for my clients who let me into their lives and the help I receive in managing their investments.
To my current and future clients; thank you, thank you, and thank you.
I am working with a couple in which the Wife was recently diagnosed with a slowly progressing, yet debilitating disease. There is time to do some planning to move the assets around so they do not have to get spent into the poorhouse for her care. They have 5 adult children, two live close by, the others do not. The Parents want to start gifting to the two children who live close by and their Spouses so funds can be moved from the Wife’s ownership. The two children know that these funds are to be used for Mom’s care when the other accounts run dry. My concern for them is that the other children will feel left out. It is time for a family meeting.
I have invited all of them to come to the office so we can explain this new path they will be walking down. We do not want any of the children to feel that some are being gifted money while others are not just because they do not live here. Feelings can be easily hurt and at a time when the family needs to come together, we do not want resentment. Full disclosures of an illness and the planning taking place to make sure there are funds for this care for a long time is the goal.
Yourself retired? If you are within two years of retirement, I would like you to try this exercise – live on your retirement budget for 6 months. Many people think that their expenses will decline in retirement but my 30 yrs. in business has shown that not to be true. Look at what your retirement cash flow would be and then look at your expenses with a fine toothed comb. Don’t just look at what you are averaging each month in expenses, we all have those semi-annual and annual bills that must be paid too. Try to think of that unexpected trip you may have to make and don’t forget inflation. 20+ years in retirement inflation can really eat into a budget.
So give it a test run, make your adjustments, and retire with ease.
One of the tax law changes for 2013 gives workers of any age the ability to convert a regular 401(k) to a Roth 401(k), assuming your plan allows this. In the past, you had to roll from your 401(k) to an IRA, and then you could convert to a Roth. But beware – this type of conversion does not allow for a do-over.
If you convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth, then realize this was not in your best interest, you can re-characterize, or reverse the conversion. Once you convert the Traditional 401(k) to a Roth 401(k), it is a done deal. Another drawback to this type of Roth is you will have to take Required Minimum Withdrawals at age 70.5. To avoid this RMD, you call roll your Roth 401(k) into a Traditional Roth IRA.
If you are considering this type of transaction, please consult your CFP or CPA first.
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This past Saturday we received a number of calls regarding who can file for the $255 Death Claim through Social Security, here is the answer:
The lump-sum death benefit of $255 is payable upon the death of a person who has worked long enough to be insured under Social Security.
The one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 is payable to:
•A surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased person’s record; or
•If there is no surviving spouse, a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased person’s record in the month of death.
If no spouse or child meeting these requirements exists, the lump-sum death payment will not be paid. The lump-sum death payment cannot be paid to funeral homes or estates for funeral expenses.
To file for the benefit, call 1-800-772-1213
For the last 8 months we have been going through agony trying to help my Father-in-Law, who has Parkinson’s. He has known for years that he has this disease but refused to prepare. I don’t want you to have to walk down the same path we have been. Here are some very important questions to ask your Parents – and don’t stop asking until you get answers.
Where are your assets held? You will want to know where they bank, do they work with a Financial Advisor, who holds their insurance policies, and have they filed their taxes.
What different doctors do they see? What medications do they take, where are their health insurance policies, have they names anyone through a health care directive?
Do you plan on staying in your home? Is the house assessable for a wheelchairs or walker, what type of caregiver can be brought in to help, is everything in working order?
It is a tough conversation to have – but one that must be had.