Is it Time to Revisit Your Financial Plan?

Deciding to retire brings with it a variety of different logistical decisions that need to be made but also plenty of emotions about making this transition in your life. Concerns about your financial future and excitement for the new freedom you might face are both common feelings and many people have these at the same time.

By reviewing or executing a financial plan for your retirement, which incorporates your estate plan and how you intend to take care of yourself in older age and pass on assets to your children will give you peace of mind so that you have something to build and adapt from.

A comprehensive financial plan needs to include many different components, looking at each aspect of your individual retirement. This includes spending habits, the design of your current portfolio, account balances, personal retirement plans like gifting, estate planning and travel, and insurance planning.

Each of these plays at least one small part in your overall retirement playbook. It’s a good idea to look at things from the data that can give you a good idea of what you need to have saved and some of the challenges that you might experience if you don’t adapt your savings plan now.

Plenty of people are nervous about having enough set aside for health care expenses, for example, so you might want to discuss with your elder lawyer whether or not the long term care plans you have in place will be enough. Schedule a consultation today with an elder lawyer in Virginia Beach to learn more.

Why Women Have to Take Control Over Their Finances and Their Planning

Women hold significant power when it comes to finances in some respects and yet many of them defer plenty of decisions to their spouses. Failing to take control of your finances as a woman means that you couldn’t neglect important long-term care planning opportunities and many of the important financial issues that surround the fact that women have greater longevity in the United States.

A recent research study completed by the Boston College Centre on Wealth and Philanthropy found that of the inter-generational wealth transfers that are anticipated in the next 40 years, women stand to inherit $41 trillion of it. The PEW Research Centre studies, however, have shown that women are more likely across generations to allow men to take control of finances, whereas women are more likely to take the lead role in investment decisions and in household financial decisions.

Asking these important questions and creating an open dialogue with a team of professionals can help you to identify your financial blind spots. When it comes to estate planning women often primarily on the caregiving aspect of their own children or their parents and then think about how this impacts the overall financial plan.

It is very important to ensure that you think about other opportunities within estate and financial planning and having advisors, such as an elder law attorney and estate planning attorney and a financial professional like a CPA to guide you through this can be instrumental in helping you to accomplish these goals. Schedule a consultation today with a trusted estate planning attorney.

How to Guard Against Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Whether you are care taking for an elderly loved one or concerned about the possibility of being targeted for elder abuse yourself, it is important to realize the signs and symptoms of someone attempting to take advantage of the elderly.

Some of the following behaviors are indications that someone has been involved in perpetrating financial abuse against an elderly person.

These include:

  • Using the property or possessions of the elderly person without permission.
  • Directly stealing money or property from the elderly person.
  • Forging the elderly individual’s signatures on documents or checks.
  • Forcing the elderly person to sign a legal document like a power of attorney deed or will, listing the perpetrator of the abuse as the one who is responsible for the elderly person and who will benefit when that elderly individual passes away.
  • Perpetrating telemarketing scams in which the elderly person is contacted and deceived.
  • Charging things against an elderly individual’s credit cards without the authorization of the card holder.

It is very important for every elderly person and family members who are helping to articulate a long term plan for those who could be exposed to financial abuse to know these challenges and to exercise tools such as a power of attorney to appoint a trust worthy agent to act on behalf of the elderly person.

Selecting the right power of attorney agent can have important implications for the loved one’s medical and financial decisions. Now is the time to speak with a dedicated Virginia lawyer about your power of attorney planning.

 

 

Five Steps to Organized Financial Affairs for Estate Planning

Do you feel organized when it comes to your financial affairs and long-term goals? Most people don’t because they haven’t had the opportunity or understanding of how important these financial and estate planning considerations can be.

Thankfully, a few important steps can get you started on the path to financial planning and give you further motivation to complete the more advanced aspects of your long-term goals.

The five things you need to do in order to stay on top of your financial planning include reviewing any estate planning documents that might have been completed in the past to ensure that they are up to date and accurate:

• Review your next steps for your taxes to see whether your individual situation has changed. Not every tax strategy is appropriate from one person to another, so you need an experienced professional to help you.

• Consider aspects of risk management that go beyond insurance. Insurance is just one method of covering any risk. The importance of this process is in identifying risk and then deciding if you can assume that risk or if you need another way to manage it.

• Review your debt situation because it is extremely important to take every step possible to keep your debt under control.

• Ensure that your investment portfolio reflects your current risk tolerance level, overall objectives, and goals. In some, completing all of these financial goals and considerations can give you peace of mind as well as alert you to problems before they become escalated to the point of having to do crisis management.

Understanding that a financial planner and an estate planner can help you are often important components of your final decision to take the reins with your financial and estate planning.

Financial/Estate Planning Should Always Be Unique for Every Single Family Member

When it comes to looking towards a family’s future, every couple has to realize that their situation is often changing and also extremely unique. What works for some other family that you heard about in a recent conversation with a friend or even another family member, might not be suited to your individual needs. 
This why you need to have a sit-down consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. Families will often have different financial priorities as they go through the various stages of their lives. For example, saving up money for a down payment on a house is often the first step on a financial planning to do list for younger couples. However, over time, parents eventually put more of their focus to establishing financial milestones for saving for their children’s college education or towards looking for their own individual retirement.
Financial advisors can play a crucial role in this process and these individuals are often included at the same time as working with an estate planning attorney. With so many different issues to address and concerns presented by those who are in these similar situations, it is essential to have the support of an attorney who will work as hard as possible on your behalf to craft a plan that is flexible and can change with you as your life needs change over time, while also keeping you aligned with your individual goals.
 
 

Mistakes Can Happen When You Focus Only on Money and Financial Planning

Money and financial planning obviously go hand in hand and estate planning must be added into the mix as well. However, being too focused on money can lead to your goals being missed. Social capital is equally important, which refers to a person’s ability to relate constructively to the world in which they live. People who have plenty of social capital are able to positively influence others.
Many of the people who have excellent social capital are those who are quieter souls, who are those who simply inspire those around them to live better lives. You can probably think of a couple of examples of people who have a great deal of social capital already because they engage in life and serve others.
These forms of social capital, in addition to the money that’s been set aside to influence your loved ones in the future, can help you to accomplish your goals and ensure that you are leaving a legacy behind for those who care about you. The good news is that mistakes in estate planning don’t have to be the norm. They can become a thing of the past.
Leaving behind a legacy can be complicated without the support of an experienced estate planning attorney.   
 

You're Close to Retirement. What Financial Planning Options Do You Have?

Retirement today is one of the most complicated subjects and also one of the most important, with a growing baby boomer population.
To help determine what type of financial advice is most applicable for you, it depends on where you are on the retirement spectrum. If getting closer to retirement, it is important to engage with a financial advisor and an estate planning attorney to verify what is in your best interests.
There are many different issues that a financial advisor can address, including when to file for social security, the most cost-effective methods for paying for health care including long term care, how to stay ahead of inflation without being exposed to too much risk and how to invest their nest egg appropriately.
A robotic advisor, which is becoming increasingly common in the marketplace today, may not be the right fit because there are many different needs that near-retirees face, and they’ll want to get personalized responses from an experienced professional. An overall picture must be reviewed in conjunction with your financial plan, because your estate plan and your financial plan often intersect and have important influences on one another.
 
 

What Young Entrepreneurs Should Know About the Estate Planning Process

Estate planning can often seem overwhelming for someone who is already involved in all of the various aspects of running a busy company. However, entrepreneurs and in particular, young entrepreneurs need to be mindful of how to engage in the estate planning process appropriately.
Estate planning and business succession planning, in conjunction with asset protection planning as the wealth of the entrepreneur and the company grows, are crucial components of having a long-range vision. Frequently, entrepreneurs are visionaries and dreamers but leave out the day to day aspects of conducting appropriate estate planning.
There are several different steps that can make this process easier and to ensure that the individual as well as the company’s needs are represented in appropriate estate planning documents and strategies. These include:

  •   Evaluating the current financial situation looking at professional income, debt, personal overhead, and any savings already accumulated.
  •   Identify a clear set of goals, including what you intend to accomplish in coming years such as spending more time with your family, expanding the business, traveling to destinations or building your dream home.
  •   Design a course of action that is in line with your current situation and your long-term goals. A game plan should be generated for every individual goal.
  •   Implement your game plan by deciding on specific actions that can help you achieve your vision.

Young entrepreneurs can dramatically benefit from the advice of an experienced lawyer in VA Beach.
 
 

What You Need to Know About Individual Retirement Accounts and Estate Planning

Individual retirement accounts, most commonly referred to as IRAs, can cause problems in estate planning if you do not manage them correctly. Most married people will put the spouse as their primary beneficiary on their IRA; however, they might not worry about the IRAs in the process of the estate planning since they already know they have established a beneficiary. This, however, could be a big mistake.
A little bit of estate planning established with the help of a knowledgeable attorney can go a long way towards resolving common challenges that arise if you were to suddenly pass away. If the primary beneficiary passes away before the owner and the IRA owner had not updated beneficiary designations or named a contingent beneficiary, the IRA will end up in the probated estate of the deceased individual and is subject to all of the formalities, delays and costs of a probate proceeding.
There are a couple of different options available to people in the process of estate planning including naming grandchildren, children or other non-spouse individuals as a beneficiary of your IRA to enable them to have a direct rollover of an eligible retirement plan to an inherited IRA. Another option is to name a trust as the beneficiary but this needs to be done with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Getting A Handle on Planning After the Birth of a New Baby

Congratulations on your newest addition. There are many different things to think about in the wake of becoming a new parent but one of the most important is putting an emergency fund. The U.S. Department of Agriculture shares that the cost of raising a child up to age 18 is more than $230,000 for a married couple of little income with two children. Your own financial house needs to be in order before you can provide for your children. A starter emergency fund of $500 or so can help you in the event that a sudden and small expense crops up.       
You’ll eventually want a bigger fund but it could take several years to get there. You will also likely need life insurance as well. Young parents will typically need up to 10 times their income in terms of coverage. You can boost your emergency and retirement savings until those accounts are on track. If you still have money left over after that, consider contributing to a 529 college savings account.
Furthermore, you will want to update all of your estate planning documents after welcoming a new loved one into your family. You’ll need to ensure that your will includes stipulations about who should step in in the event that you pass away to care for your minor child. A will is the only way to name such a person and it needs to be formally documented in case something ever happens to you and/or your spouse. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is recommended.