Sixty percent of Americans lack any type of estate plan. And, of those who have one, many have not discussed the details with their heirs. Truth be told, “end of life” plans are topics that many people do not want to deal with, which often leads to unfortunate circumstances such as having no plans at all and/or family misunderstandings. The pain from never addressing is usually much greater than the temporary discomfort of having “the talk” (and I’m talking about the birds and the bees…).
As a Financial Advisor and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), I recommend that everyone consider having a plan for their finances, life insurance and estate. It doesn’t matter if you just turned 21 or 91. You’re never too young and it’s never too late; however, you’ll usually have more options when you’re younger than when you’re older.
Two ways of settling an estate are a Will and a Living Trust.
Everyone in California has an estate plan! Either, an individual has established his or her own Will or Living Trust (usually through the help of an attorney), or, the State of California has written a Will for you. In the latter case, you may or may not like the provisions stated in the California statues regarding persons who die “intestate”. This simply means people who have not written their own wills. Luckily, there is an alternative. An individual can create their own will or a living trust.
Many people mistakenly believe that a living trust is just for the wealthy. But this is not the case. Other Living Trust misconceptions such as; “I’m too young to have a trust” and “I don’t own enough” prevent beneficiaries from receiving the full value of the assets they inherited. Click here to learn the differences of a Will and a Living Trust.
The cost of life insurance is determined by age and health. You will never be younger and may not be healthier than you are today. When it comes to finances, the cost of waiting can be detrimental. You’ll hear very few people say, “I wish I hadn’t started to save so early.” Whereas, one of the biggest and most frequent life regrets is that savings didn’t happen soon enough. This scenario holds true for any type of savings - whether it be for emergencies, retirement or life insurance.
Sadly, I’ve had clients come to me either after waiting until their term life insurance has expired or they are in financial despair after their spouse has passed away. Situations such as these are consequences from having inadequate or no life insurance.
Nearly everyone should have life insurance – whether you’re single, married or divorced.
Finances & Retirement
Most Americans close to retirement have saved only 12% of what they need. Having too little retirement savings often impacts other family members. Regardless of your age, if you haven’t started saving for retirement, you need to start as soon as possible. And, if your parents are still living, you should discuss their retirement plans with them, as well. Don’t wait and don’t assume.
According to a 2015 Genworth study, 75% of all people over the age of 65 will end up spending time in a skilled nursing home. Many people think that Medicare will pay for long term care, and they will to a very limited extent under certain circumstances, but after Medicare is exhausted, most individuals will be required to “spend down” his or her estate (assets) to less than $2,000. Click here to learn more facts about Long-Term Living.
These topics can be difficult things to talk about. They can be easy topics to want to ignore or put off for another day. However, I urge everyone to not wait. The cost of waiting can negatively impact you and your family later. If discussed in a thoughtful and sensitive manner, your family is likely to appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with them.
For a complimentary financial or life insurance consultation, please contact me at 909-714-1830 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.