News and Information
Here's What You'd Be Paid in Lifetime Social Security Benefits for Each Claiming Age, 62 Through 70
There's little denying the importance that Social Security plays for our nation's retired workers. According to statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that were released last year, a little more than three in five retired workers relies on their Social Security benefits to make up at least half of their monthly income. Without the monthly income Social Security provides, many seniors would probably be living at or below the poverty rate. You control your own destiny. However, you ultimately hold the golden ticket that determines how much Social Security will pay you once you file your claim for benefits. There are a number of factors that go into determining how large your monthly check will be. Read more.
These Hidden Estate Planning Mistakes Can Have Horrible Consequences
Imagine your spouse is ill, and you meet with an estate planning attorney to get your family affairs in order. Your attorney drafts a trust document and a will. You and your spouse sign it. You think everything is fine. Your spouse passes, and shortly after that, you find that the accounts are not set up to transfer the way you both intended. Everything is not fine. Can this happen? Yes, and it happens all the time. Read more.
Are You Ready To Retire?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire.
Is your nest egg adequate?
It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you'll have to save, and the more years you'll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to live past age 78. With future medical advances likely, it's not unreasonable to assume that life expectancy will continue to increase. Is your nest egg large enough to fund 20 or more years of retirement? Read more.
Old Money, New Bottle: Decant If You Don't Like The Terms Of An Old Trust
It used to be an irrevocable trust was really irrevocable. Now 25 states allow you to change the terms of an old trust by a newfangled process called decanting. It’s done without going to court, sometimes behind beneficiaries’ backs. And yes, that’s legal.
“Now you have clients saying, ‘Hey, we want to change this trust,’ and I tell them, ‘You can do it.’ You don’t have to have a reason other than you don’t like the terms,” says Jonathan Forster, an estate lawyer with Greenberg Traurig in McLean, Va. “Decanting is all the rage.”
Technically it’s the trustee, who has a fiduciary duty to all of the beneficiaries of the trust, who has to initiate a decanting. You’re doing a rewrite by distributing assets from an old trust into a new trust with new terms, for the benefit of one or more of the beneficiaries of the first trust. Read more.
J.P. Morgan: Investors Can't Rely on Stock Market For Retirement Planning
In its 2017 Guide to Retirement, J.P. Morgan Asset Management says return expectations are down almost a percentage point, meaning investors will have to save a lot more to meet the same retirement goals. Market returns are coming down this year, and investors should expect a lower return environment for the next decade, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management. That means investors will have to save a lot more to meet their retirement goals. Read more.
Where Inheritance Is Concerned, Equal May Not Be Fair
Even though determining how to pass on assets is not always clear cut, many people decide to simply divide assets equally among heirs. Yet in a number of different situations, “equal” may not be fair. The key is to consider your intentions for your assets in a general way: Whether to provide for education, for ongoing support, for a nest egg that will only be tapped in emergencies, etc. Once you determine your broad intentions, an estate plan can be crafted to ensure those intentions are carried out… regardless of what the future may bring. Read more.
A Trust Can Save Your Adult Child’s Assets From A Failed Marriage
With the estate tax exemption in 2017 at nearly $5.5M per person or $11M for married couples, setting up a trust to save taxes upon death is not as much of a driving force as it used to be. Instead, more clients want a trust today due to the fact that they are worried about their adult child losing thousands, if not millions, of dollars of their inheritance as a result of a failed marriage.
By establishing a trust as part of their will, they can help protect their child’s assets in a divorce settlement. Let’s examine how this works. Read more.
The Biggest Wild Card In Retirement And How To Deal With It
Health is the biggest wild card in retirement, and two of the most important investments Americans can make now are to plan to cover the uncertain costs and live healthy, according to Merrill Lynch and Age Wave’s Finances In Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions, the concluding report in a four-year 50,000-person study.
“ It’s up to us today to be actively funding our future selves ,” says Ken Dychtwald, president and CEO of Age Wave.
Here’s the challenge. If a married couple retiring at age 65 wants to have 90% certainty that they can cover healthcare expenses in retirement ... Read more.
Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2017
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2017. Read more.
Everybody Dies. It’s Time to Have the Talk
Most parent and kids don’t want to discuss the practical issues of aging and death. But it can bring peace of mind and avert financial disaster. As an e-vite it’s a guaranteed loser: It’s summer! Come talk about the financial and long-term caregiving needs and eventual death of your parents! Doing that, though, could make later life a lot smoother for both parents and kids. Read more.