Chronic Health Conditions Could Affect Retirement Savings and Estate

A new study finds that later born generations of older adults in the United States are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions when compared with previous generations. This has important implications for the possibility of long term care planning. Long term care planning refers to the strategies you have in place to protect you if and when you suffer from a disability or medical condition that requires outside support.

Many people turn to friends and family members for immediate support following a disabling event or long-term illness but a stay in a nursing home or other similar facility may be necessary at some point. Many people fail to properly plan for these costs and process, putting them in the difficult position of trying to qualify for Medicaid quickly. The research found that there is an increasing frequency of multiple chronic health conditions, also known as multi morbidity. This is putting an increased financial strain on the wellbeing of older adults as well as federal and medical insurance systems.

This is particularly important given that the number of adults older than age 65 in the United States is projected to grow by more than 50% by the year 2050. If you have not created a long-term care plan, now is the right time to reach out to a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney to protect your interests. There are many different avenues available to you depending on your personal preferences and your financial situation, but taking a proactive planning approach makes it much easier to protect your wealth.

When planning for your own future, find a Maine estate planning lawyer to guide you through the process.

 

Should I Name a Trust as a Retirement Account Beneficiary?

When designating retirement account beneficiaries, it is important to think about your individual estate planning goals. There are disadvantages and advantages to naming a trust as a beneficiary of a retirement account. You can avoid probate, expenses and frustration when naming beneficiaries for qualified retirement plans as these assets pass outside of your probate estate.

Naming a trust as a beneficiary of your retirement plan is most helpful if your beneficiaries cannot be trusted with a significant amount of money, currently have a disability for which they receive government benefits or if those beneficiaries are minors. However, the major disadvantage of naming a trust as a beneficiary is that the assets inside the retirement plan are subject to required minimum distribution payouts based entirely on the oldest beneficiary’s life expectancy. This is not as important if you only have one beneficiary on the trust but if there are multiple heirs with various ages, this can cause significant problems.

Naming individual beneficiaries, however, will allow each of those beneficiaries to take a required minimum distribution based on their individual life expectancy. For more information about estate planning for your IRA and other retirement accounts, set aside a time to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer in NH.

Learn more about how to create and use trusts within your estate plan by setting up an initial consultation with our law office. We’ll learn more about you, your family, and any other special interests like a business. We’ll use that information to create a comprehensive estate plan for you.

 

Are You One of the Many Americans Not Financially Prepared for Retirement?

When it comes to your finances and your future, you’ve got to be the one who takes the reins and protects your nest egg. In addition to funding your retirement, those accounts might also become the payment source for long-term care health needs. You and your spouse should both be on the same page about saving for these possible issues.

A recent study of US adults between the ages of 50 and 64 revealed that plenty of Americans do not feel confident about being able to afford health care costs in retirement. Nearly 45% of the survey respondents had low confidence in their ability to afford appropriate health insurance coverage for their potential needs during retirement.

The average 65-year-old couple in 2020 will require nearly $300,000 in today’s terms during their retirement to cover health care expenses outside of long-term care. That number could also fluctuate dramatically based on location, income, health and Medicare eligibility.

The expenses for health care can increase considerably when you consider the possibilities with long term care, given that the national average median cost is $8,821 for a private room in a nursing facility.

Leveraging tools such as long-term care insurance policies and health savings accounts can help to empower retirement savers today with a better understanding of what’s required to protect their own future.

The support of an experienced NH elder law lawyer can help guide you through this process and ensure that you have considered all different aspects of appropriate planning.

Understanding the Importance of Income in Retirement

Looking ahead to retirement often means that you are looking forward to disconnecting from work. However, you’ll still need some form of income in your retirement years. Knowing where your money will come from every single month will give you a great opportunity to reduce the peace and friction for yourself which can lead some who have not planned properly to have to go back into the workplace for a part time job.

Since you are in effect creating your own paycheck in your retirement years, you need to think carefully about these important questions in the years prior to approaching retirement. A few different income streams is the ideal situation for a person approaching retirement. These income streams can include investment savings, pensions or social security or some combination of all three. You might be counting on a Roth IRA, rental income, or other income paying assets but it might be time to move to a more conservative portfolio structured to protect those interests as you enter retirement.

A pension plan is likely one that has already been structured and clearly explained to you in terms of payout as you get closer to your retirement years. You could be offered a lump sum payout at some point but you want to carefully weigh whether or not it’s in your best interests to take a monthly or annual payout instead. Finally, there are plenty of different filing strategies to consider when it comes to claiming social security benefits.

You’ll need to understand which ones are most beneficial for you based on your individual situation. Make sure that you have a financial professional who can guide you through the selection process. Need help with more questions around the elder law planning and estate planning? We’re here to help you see how these connect.

 

Unexpected retirement. Sign outside on sidewalk with the words "What's your plan for retirement?"

How to Deal with an Unexpected Retirement

Your retirement plan is likely entirely contingent on how long you intend or consider yourself able to work. Health crises or economic crises may be pushing more people toward an unexpected retirement or an early retirement than ever before. Even if you don’t believe that a retirement is immediately on your horizon, it can be well worth spending some time thinking about how you would adapt quickly if you needed to move into retirement.Unexpected retirement. Sign outside on sidewalk with the words "What's your plan for retirement?"

Retiring earlier than expected is not something new. In fact, a study recently completed by Allianz Life found that half of current retirees retired earlier than expected. Most of the people in that study, however, said that they retired for reasons outside of their control, such as the unexpected loss of a job or the development of healthcare issues that prevented them from being able to do the job.

The first thing to do when planning ahead for potentially early retirement is to fill in the gaps by examining health care needs first and then looking into other employment options.

A part time hourly or contract position could be a way to help bridge the gap if you were not financially ready to retire at the time that you had to leave the work force for one reason or another.

If you had to retire due to health issues, now is also the time to look more deeply into your elder law plan. Have you thought about protecting yourself or your spouse if your healthcare issues got worse? Do you know how you’d qualify for Medicaid if you needed it?

Schedule a time to speak with an elder law attorney if you’re coming up on retirement and are ready to answer the important questions around your elder law plan.