Category Archives: Retirement Planning

I’m Retired, Now What?

Clients often come to me when they are nearing retirement, or shortly after, to update their estate plans. They find themselves with enormous amounts of paperwork from their former job about their various retirement benefits, have started getting mail from organizations who want their money or time and may find themselves dealing with confusing insurance changes. We sit down and sort through this pile, making sure they get the benefits they are entitled to while also double-checking their estate plan.

While adding one more chore to the retirement check list may seem like a questionable idea, meeting with your attorney to review and revise your estate plan now that you are retired makes a lot of sense. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. You can make sure the beneficiary designations on your pension plans or retirement accounts match up with your estate plan.
  2. You can revisit the people you appointed as agents – are they getting older, too? Would they be able to serve in the next few years if you needed help?
  3. You can discuss long term care insurance options with your attorney so you can be prepared for any meetings with your insurance agent.
  4. You can determine if any gifting needs to start to lower estate taxes.
  5. You can find out what would happen if you or your spouse needed nursing home care or more assistance at home.
  6. If you last updated your will when your children were minors, you can make the appropriate changes to reflect their new ages and maybe even make provisions for grandchildren.
  7. You can talk about whether your wishes for end of life care have changed, based on any changes in health status.
  8. You can give your attorney and financial advisor permission to speak with each other about your plans so they can make sure they are both on the same page.

Your attorney can be a valuable team member after you retire. She can help you sort out your plans so you can get on with the things you really want to do with your new-found free time!

You Have a Plan in Mind, but Do You Have a Plan in Place?

I was speaking with someone from the Planned Giving Department of the Salvation Army today.  She was relaying the story of a woman who wanted to leave a donation to the Salvation Army in her Will.  She had an old Will that left her money to some nieces and nephews, she also had several bankContinue Reading

Organizing Your Financial Life – Month by Month

January is a great time to get organized and make plans for the year.  Attorney Joel Schoenmeyer, who writes the Death and Taxes Blog in Chicago, has a recent post called Organize Your Financial Life in 2007.  He lays out, month by month which tasks you should tackle such as making an appointment with aContinue Reading

New Year’s Resolutions

People make New Year’s Resolutions about a lot of things – getting in shape, stopping smoking, getting organized, drawing up their Will and other planning documents.  And just as your personal trainer can give you information about the best way to get in shape and guide you on your way, your doctor can offer assistanceContinue Reading

Managing Your Parent’s Finances

If you find yourself in the position of having to take over the management of your parent’s finances, this recent article by Bankrate is a good place to start.  It lists the 8 steps you should take: 1. Find All of Your Parent’s Financial Accounts and Documents2. Collect and Start Paying Bills3. Locate Power ofContinue Reading

Assisted Living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities – What’s the Difference?

Seniors, and their families, who are researching housing options may see different terms describing the residences. Assisted Living Residences and Continuing Care Retirement Communities are two of these options. What do these terms mean, and how do you know which is right for you? Assisted Living ResidencesAssisted Living Residences (ALRs) provide a combination of rentalContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Naming Beneficiaries on Retirement Accounts

I was talking with my financial planner the other day, and he remarked that he often sees people who have taken the time to put a financial plan together, but then fail to name beneficiaries on their accounts. The beneficiary is the person to whom the account will be paid upon the death of theContinue Reading