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May 29th, 2016 by

I’m always trying to provide you with good information that will help you structure your retirement planning more accurately.

Here’s a good representation of why you should consider a Living Trust. Please, always, consult a professional who is experienced in creating these instruments so that you protect and include all aspects of your estate. I work with many excellent partners who can help you do it right.
living trust info

Discussing Finances & Your Living Trust with Adult Children

Many people have a difficult time talking about personal finances, even with family members. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable revealing information you consider private, and it’s wise to be concerned about the security of financial accounts. However, it can be important to discuss your finances with your adult children.

You might be surprised to discover that your children are more concerned about you than they are about any potential inheritance. One study found that 56% of adult children worried about their parents’ financial security, whereas only 23% of parents were concerned about their own finances. Moreover, adult children underestimated their parents’ financial resources by an average of $300,000.1

There is also a generational disconnect about when to discuss finances. Parents generally prefer to wait until after they retire, whereas children prefer an earlier conversation, before their parents leave the workforce.2 Regardless of when you have a financial conversation, here are some tips to consider.

1. Plan a time and include all your children.

It’s probably not a good idea to bring up the subject over a holiday dinner, but if the whole family is together during the holidays, this might be a good time to talk. Ideally, you should include all your children in the conversation so that there are no misunderstandings among them.

2.Control the agenda.

Before the meeting, decide what you want to accomplish and what information you want to provide. If you prefer not to be specific, you might offer rough estimates or simply assure them that you have sufficient resources for your retirement years. At a minimum, tell your children where to find important documents such as your will, insurance policies, account statements, powers of attorney, titles to real property, and contacts who could help them sort through your finances.

3. Discuss your wishes for care and end-of-life issues.

It’s not pleasant to think about being unable to care for yourself, and even less pleasant to think about dying, but clarity now could help avoid conflict and confusion during a difficult time.  Discuss the details of your will and living trust. Almost half of adult children expect to provide caregiving duties if their parents become ill, but only 6% of parents expect such help.3 Explain your plans for any care you may need. Notify your children about any long term care planning vehicles you may already have. Define your preferences for end-of-life decisions, and provide your children with copies of advance medical directives.

An initial family financial discussion may seem challenging, but once the doors are open, you and your children might feel less anxiety about the future. Be sure to continue the conversation as circumstances change over the years.

Learn more about the right kind of professionals you need in your life for planning:

 

Sources:
1–2) Fox Business, July 17, 2014
3) USA Today, July 9, 2014

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

A comprehensive retirement plan is so important. Let me help you get started!

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 

 
 

May 20th, 2016 by

It’s not pleasant to think about the possibility of being unable to make your own medical or financial decisions. That may explain why many people don’t take the time to draw up appropriate documents expressing their wishes.

Regardless of your age or health, it’s better to prepare now — and hope you never need advance directives — than to force your loved ones to make difficult choices without knowing your wishes. Here are some documents to consider. Be sure to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state.

1. Durable power of attorney for health care (also called a health-care proxy)

This health directive enables you to appoint a representative who would make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself. You can appoint anyone of legal age (usually 18 or older) and specify how much power your agent will have. A health directive should be HIPAA compliant so your representative can access your private medical information.

2. Living will.

You can use this document to outline which medical procedures you would want to be used to prolong your life. Some states do not recognize living wills, but you may still want one as a way to document your wishes. Learn more about special needs wills.

3. Durable power of attorney for finances (DPOA).

A DPOA enables you to authorize someone to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters. The person you designate as your agent could pay everyday expenses, watch over your investments, and file taxes, among other tasks. A DPOA may become effective immediately or when a triggering event occurs, such as a doctor certifying that you are physically or mentally incapacitated.

You can select the same person to serve as the agent for your health-care and financial powers of attorney, but you aren’t compelled to do so. Be sure to discuss your wishes with the person you select and let him or her know where you keep the documents. Consider giving copies to your representative, your doctor, and key family members, and review these documents regularly to make sure they continue to express your wishes.

Please watch this video to learn how to be more prepared:

 

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

Planning is so important. Let me help you get started!

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 

 

 

May 5th, 2016 by

Gen X Reclaim Savings

More than 4 out of 10 Gen Xers are not confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.1

The financial prospects and retirement accounts of many Generation X members (born from 1962 to 1981) were hit hard by the tech bust and the Great Recession, but there may still be time to turn things around. The oldest Gen Xers have started to reach 50, the age when workers become eligible to make ”catch-up” contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs.

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The 2016 maximum contribution limit for employer-sponsored retirement plans — 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457s — is $18,000, plus a $6,000 catch-up contribution for those 50 and older, for a total of $24,000. The IRA contribution limit is $5,500, plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution — for a total of $6,500.

It’s also important to contribute enough to receive full company matches and any available profit sharing. Some workplace plans require that workers remain employed by the company for a certain period of time before they can keep the matching funds. Consider the company plan’s vesting policy — and how much of your non-vested money might be forfeited — when deciding whether to leave your current employer.

Feeling Powerful Boosts Savings

According to a 2014 Stanford University study, a more immediate change in the way an individual feels can drive savings. When a person feels powerful, even if it is just a temporary state, he or she is more likely to save for the future. By contrast, an individual who feels powerless is more likely to spend money. This is an attempt to compensate, which may explain why many people shop when they are frustrated or unhappy.2

The study also found that feeling powerful and saving can become a self-perpetuating cycle, because powerful people typically want to maintain their power.3
Few people feel powerful all the time. There are typically ebbs and flows. But, the next time you’re feeling good about yourself, take steps to save more.

For example, getting a raise might make you feel powerful, and this could be an ideal time to increase your retirement plan contributions. The same is true for the day you pay off a car loan, student loan, or credit card. Since you’ve already been making those payments, you may be able to put the money to work as savings without a big change in your monthly cash flow.

On the other hand, you might want to monitor your “feel-good” spending. There’s nothing wrong with a treat now and then, but spending on little things can add up over time. There’s also nothing wrong with making a major purchase for something you really need. But if it’s just a “want” or a way to make yourself feel better, you might ask yourself whether you are powerful enough to save instead.

Saving Is About The Long Journey

Saving for retirement is a long journey, and there are many competing priorities along the way. By considering the way you feel when you save and taking advantage of opportunities to save more, you may be able to develop a stronger, more disciplined approach that could help you fund a comfortable retirement.

Sources:
1) Insured Retirement Institute 2014
2–3) Journal of Consumer Research, October 2014

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

There is expert guidance available to you, regardless of your age. Success is getting started!

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC.