Archive for August, 2014
There are still some people who don’t welcome the idea of requiring assistance in performing their daily living activities thinking that they will remain healthy in the latter part of their lives. It is estimated that around 70% of people who are 65 years old and above will require assistance in eating, toileting, bathing and walking. This need can cost you a fortune if you don’t plan for this ahead of time. Experts advice everyone to purchase insurance products such as long term care insurance and combination products that can help them cover their future care expenses. Just like what Liz suggests, it’s best to discuss your needs to a professional advisor who can help you find the most fitting policy for you.
You made it. You are retired.
Your new job will be doing whatever you want! Sounds good, right?
Retirement can be a wonderful time. It’s a Life Event that usually happens to each of us at some point. Life Events are sometimes expected and other times a complete surprise. They often come with sudden wealth.
Retirement can come with the largest sum of money you’ll ever have to deal with. So it’s important that you make good decisions.
Understanding your retirement
Whether your retirement was planned, or shall we say, not planned, there will be many changes. You may want to discuss the details with your financial advisor, tax professional and attorney first. Here are a few things you’ll want to figure out:
Assess the retirement assets you have. I know I preach about financial planning, but retirement is an ideal time for it. It will help you get a complete picture of your retirement assets. You’ll need to know balances in your retirement plan from your former employer. You’ll also need to check the value of any IRAs you have. Do you have annuities, brokerage accounts or CDs? Include all of these as retirement assets.
Next, analyze your income and expenses. This is a critical step. Get a handle on what will be coming and going. Typically income as well as expenses go down in retirement, but that’s not always the case. Find out what sources of income you’ll have. Do you have a pension? Are you receiving any legal settlements or annuities? How much income will your portfolio produce?
Decide when to take Social Security. If you don’t need the income, then you may want to defer taking Social Security. If you wait till your full retirement age, you will receive 100% of the benefit. If you defer longer, then your benefit will increase. If your portfolio and other sources are not enough to cover your expenses, then you may need to take Social Security right away. Coordinate this with your spouse too.
Transitioning your portfolio for retirement. Sudden wealth from retirement can come with additional income, taxes and estate issues. You may have a very large rollover to deal with. Depending on whether you need income or not, you may have to change the composition of your portfolio. If you need income from your investments, then it will be less about growth. However, don’t invest too conservatively. You’ll still need a portion of your money in investments that can grow your portfolio over inflation. Work with your financial advisor to find the optimal balance of income and growth.
Other questions you may have
When do I have to take mandatory IRA distributions?
How can I generate portfolio income in a low-interest rate environment?
Do I need long-term care insurance? How much?
Do I still need life insurance?
Can I gift money to my children?
What will my taxes look like?
Will I be able to travel?
Perhaps the biggest question of all will be: Will I out live my money?
Retirement will be one of life’s most exciting and challenging events. If you just retired and are staring down the barrel at all these decisions, it may be time to do a little planning. The more chaotic life seems, and the more complex the decisions, planning will give you the clarity to make good choices.
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When it comes to money, most people get emotional. Making financial decisions is tough for many people.
When you buy a house, it is usually fun and exciting! When you purchase an auto or homeowners insurance, it may be frustrating, as you feel it is way too expensive.
One of the hardest financial decisions to make in your life is whether to purchase Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance. LTC insurance pays for a nursing home or home health care aid when you need additional medical care.
The reason that it is difficult to make this type of buying decision is because there are a lot of feelings and emotions involved related to aging and illness. In addition, it is emotional because of the amount of money that might be needed for this type of medical care.
Do you know someone who is currently in a nursing home or receiving care at home? Have you had to clean up after a parent that didn’t make it to the bathroom on time? How will your family feel about taking care of you when you are sick and need help? Do you think LTC insurance is too expensive and don’t want to part with the money?
Recently a friend whose mom is 80 years old and has had numerous illnesses over the years contracted a bacterial infection. The infection started with a trip to the emergency room and a four-day hospital stay. Mom was then sent home to recuperate, even though she was still in pretty bad shape. The illness was so bad that my friend had to stay home from work for several days to take care of her mother.
While she loves her mother, my friend quickly realized that taking care of mom was a lot harder than expected. It was uncomfortable to help her with bathing. It was aggravating to have to do all of the things that mom did for herself before she was sick. Watching her mom in pain was very difficult and she did not feel equipped to take on this responsibility.
While staying at home, new considerations came into play. How much vacation and sick time would she have to use up that she had earmarked for a family vacation? Would mom be better off in a nursing home with closer supervision? Would a home health care aid be sufficient? How much would a person that specializes in senior care cost? What is mom going to think about all of this?
When it comes to caring for a loved one who needs additional medical care, it’s not easy. The cost of care has skyrocketed, and the average cost of a nursing home is more than $200 per day nationally. Rates for a home health caregiver are over $20 per hour. These fees add up quickly.
If you are over the age of 50 in good health and haven’t considered buying LTC insurance, then you should put yourself in the shoes of my friend. Ask these questions and determine what you would want to happen if you should become ill and aren’t capable of taking care of yourself?
While paying for insurance that you may never use feels like a waste of money, what if you eventually have to pay for a nursing home? If you do get sick, how will everyone feel knowing that the finances are mostly covered? Conversely, how will you feel if you didn’t purchase LTC insurance when you had the money to pay for the insurance?
When considering purchasing LTC insurance, be aware that it will be emotional. However, having to pay for a nursing home is both emotionally and financially painful. Sometimes spending the money up front for long-term care is well worth not having to go through the emotional and financial drain of paying for this care out of your pocket. Think about it now so that your loved ones won’t have to deal with it later!
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