For most of us, retirement means a slower pace, a magical place where alarm clocks don’t exist, but long days on a pier, fishing with the grandchildren, are daily activities. Most importantly, it comes with the certainty that we have, indeed, earned it. We’ve raised our families, put them through college, got them on the path to adulthood – and on the path of giving us grandchildren. We do this, day after day, with the certainty that 20 or 30 or 40 years from now, we get to say, “That’s it. I’m off to enjoy my life”. So if that mindset is the rule instead of the exception, why are so many of us working past retirement? A recent study from Merrill Lynch reveals 47 percent of retirees are either already back at work or are strongly considering returning to the workforce.
Many enjoy their work and wanted to return because they missed the daily grind. For others, though, it’s less about “wanting” to return to work and more about “having no choice but” to return to work. Are there ways to better protect our retirement accounts? Is there something we’re not doing that we probably should do? Here are three important truths that we are now having to factor into our long term plans.
We’re Living Longer
We’re living longer – that means we need more money to finance those additional years. Many hadn’t anticipated that reality – not that they disagree with the prospect, it’s just unexpected. For others, they may have realized it was possible, but didn’t expect a big hit to their retirement account when the latest recession hit. This might explain why so many are putting off retirement. Regardless of what your retirement looks like, there are a host of financial tools that can better protect you and your assets. Your estate planning lawyer should be your first call.
The stronger the foundation, the better the future.
Quality Estate Planning
If you’re wondering what your estate plan will look like a decade from now, a lot will depend on how you go about defining it. While the idea of preprinting various documents, such as a last will or a power of attorney, seems like an easy fix, you should know these do it yourself websites can wreak havoc for your family for years. It is never – not even sometimes – but never recommended. States vary in terms of their financial laws. No states are identical in their laws, not to mention the ever-changing federal considerations you’ll need to give weight to.
What you built your estate plan on five years ago is almost certainly no longer valid. A qualified estate planning attorney can recognize those dated elements.
The Medicaid Dynamic
If you’re planning for Medicaid coverage, don’t underestimate the 5 year look back period nor the spend-down rule. These are two crucial elements that can result in big delays in coverage. If it appears you’ve given away assets, it’s likely the government will think you did that solely to ensure you qualify for coverage. There are ways to give gifts to friends and family without it affecting your efforts of securing Medicaid coverage. We can help you avoid those penalties and/or delays.
There’s a lot of planning that goes into retirement, but the good news is, it’s easily achieved. Contact us today to learn more about protecting your retirement years.
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