The right time to start creating an executing retirement planning is when Gen Xers enter their 40s and 50s. There are many things to consider, including finances, investments, insurance policies, legal documents, living arrangements, and healthcare. It is advisable to make a detailed checklist within these categories and take action on each item. Meeting with an attorney can help you establish overall goals for your retirement and legacy planning while ensuring the steps you take will lead you to retirement success. With regards to longevity, things may not be what they seem in the United States. While the world is experiencing an increase in life expectancy, Americans have seen a life expectancy decline for three years in a row. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers this a worrying trend. Assessing life expectancy based on these CDC numbers using their traditional approach is just one part of the equation for Gen X retirement [...]
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Mistakes can be costly when planning your inheritances and Medicaid. When a person is drawing Medicaid benefits and inherits money or property, that inheritance jeopardizes the benefits. The inheritance must be handled carefully to minimize expensive penalties. What “careful” means, though, can be misunderstood without the necessary expertise. The Right Steps for Handling Inheritance The first and best idea is to call experienced elder law attorneys like us. (An even better idea is to call us well before any inheritance becomes a “problem.” The sooner you call us, the more money we can likely protect for you.) An Ohio attorney was recently suspended partly because he mishandled this Medicaid-inheritance issue. The mistaken advice was that to protect the benefits, the person who stood to inherit should “disclaim” or “renounce” the inheritance – in other words, give it away to someone else. Medicaid Rules and Inheritance Context That advice would have been OK in the tax [...]
Many Americans are left unprepared and confused in the sudden events of COVID-19. There are numerous reports of shortages of antibacterial hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and even toilet paper. While we can’t predict when something like COVID-19 might strike, we can take steps to prepare for an unexpected crisis to help reduce the stress on ourselves and family members. Designate a family member who will check on elderly relatives. Make sure everyone knows who will responsible for checking in with an elderly loved one each day. Also set up a process for notifying other family members of an elderly loved one's condition – this may including sending an email, text messaging, or phone calls. The method is not as important as agreeing to a process and sticking to it so all family members stay informed. Seek medical advice in the event of a health care crisis. There has been a great deal of [...]
It’s a common misconception that leaving your property to your heirs is easy. You make a will or a trust, you do a transfer-on-death deed for your real estate, you put your kids on your bank account, you designate beneficiaries for your life insurance and retirement accounts, and you’re done. If only things were that simple. The result you wanted can be seriously foiled, if all the above elements are not carefully coordinated. After you consider the following, we hope you’ll agree that it’s best to consult a qualified attorney. That’s the person you need to help you construct an estate plan that will do what you want it to do. A pitfall: Conflict between deeds and wills or trusts If your will or trust conflicts with a deed for real property, the law will resolve the conflict for you by following the deed, not the will or trust. This can produce unintended results. Suppose [...]
Aging in place for elderly Americans is becoming more common as Dementia risks rise by 30 percent. Nearly all older adults prefer to age in the comfort of their long time homes and familiar community surroundings. Aging in place often means living alone. Pew Research findings show that older people are more likely to live independently in the United States than in any other country worldwide. This preference of living solo, however, comes with hidden danger. Research from Science Times reports that living alone in your fifties and sixties increases the likelihood of dementia by thirty percent. The conclusion drawn is based on a report from sciencedirect.com, a website replete with large databases of scientific, academic, and medical research. Findings indicate that social isolation is a more significant risk factor for dementia than previously identified. In this age of gray divorce (also grey divorce) and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, adults living alone [...]
Many parents are uncomfortable talking to their kids about their wealth. Talking about how much money or property you have is usually viewed as taboo. Asking someone else about what they have is often considered impolite. But failing to talk to kids about how much they may inherit could leave them unprepared to handle even a modest amount, and often results in the money being squandered quickly. Baby boomers are considered the wealthiest generation and are set to pass that wealth on to their children. It's estimated that $68 trillion will be passed down from boomers within the next few decades. By 2030, millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they do toda Many who have substantial wealth are concerned that if their children know the extent of their wealth, this will take away any motivation for the children to be productive and involved citizens. Parents with substantial wealth often want their children [...]
Millennials include fiscally conservative, savings oriented, and future planners seeking financial freedom as core attributes. A large part of millennials' formative years was influenced by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis beginning in 2007, shortly followed by an international banking crisis, which led to what became known as the Great Recession. The millennial generation would have ranged from ages 11 – 26 years of age when this economic downturn began. Living through this economic volatility, not seen since the Great Depression, gave rise to the fiscally conservative millennial mindset. The other socio-economic force that continues to shape the millennial fiscal mindset is the student loan crisis. Cbinsights.com finds 41 percent of millennials carry student loan debt for which there is no personal bankruptcy relief. This debt crisis places unique financial pressures on nearly half of a generation, and many are seeking new ways to manage their income, debt, and future savings. This conservative mindset has underpinnings [...]
There is currently no cure for the more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer's disease. Projections by the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org) are that by 2050 more than 14 million Americans will suffer from this disease. What can you do if you are medically diagnosed with Alzheimer's? Aside from following the advice of your medical doctor an important step in your overall estate plan is an advanced directive to ensure your future wishes are met when you are no longer able to think or communicate clearly because of your disease progression. Having an advanced directive that accurately and legally reflects your financial and health care wishes allows you to focus on enjoying your life knowing you are doing all that you can to address your future circumstances. You may already have advanced directives. It is a general term for various documents like a living will, instruction directive, health care power of attorney, and health care [...]
Your last will and testament is a set of legal instructions that communicates your wishes regarding your dependents and how to dispose of your property when you die. If you have people who you love and care for, then creating a will for your peace of mind and their protection is the right thing to do. Though crafting your will can make you face some uncomfortable topics, like mortality, it does not compare to the difficulty your loved ones will face trying to handle the logistics problems in the absence of your will. Do You Have a Will? Curiously, while many people have experienced the death of their parent and the fallout that occurs if the parent had no will, the number of Americans making wills is dropping. Recently, a study by Caring.com identifies that in 2020, 25 percent fewer people have a will than in 2017. Surprisingly, older and middle-aged adults make up a [...]
It’s a common misconception that estate planning is for the very wealthy, however, in the eyes of the law, an estate is written instructions for individual’s property, and most everyone owns something. Property ownership includes individual as well as jointly owned bank accounts, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, real estate, jewelry, vehicles, your online digital footprint, and even pets. Short of being utterly destitute, you have an estate, and planning for it helps to protect yourself, your family, and your loved ones. According to Caring.com, fewer Americans than ever are engaging in estate planning. The number of adults who have a will or other types of estate planning documents has fallen nearly 25 percent since 2017. Astonishingly, the demographic of older and middle-aged adults is less likely to have wills and estate plan documents at roughly the same 25 percent rate. Additionally, a growing number of Americans lack the resources and knowledge as to how [...]