Category: Financial Planning

Important to Evaluate your Planning before a Second Marriage

Important to Evaluate your Planning before a Second Marriage

Second marriage, goes the saying, is the triumph of hope over experience. It’s a happy event for everyone, but different from the first time around. You might have created an estate plan during your first marriage. Still, chances are your life is a lot more complicated this time, especially if you both have children from prior marriages and more assets than when you were first starting out as a young adult. It is important to evaluate your planning before a second marriage. This is why a recent article from The Bristol Press is aptly titled “Plan your estate before you remarry.”

Here are some pointers to protect you and your new spouse-to-be:

Take an inventory of all assets and liabilities. This includes assets and debts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, credit card debt and anything you own. It’s important to be open and honest about your debts and assets, so that both people know exactly what they are marrying. Once you are married, you may be liable for your partner’s debts. Your credit scores may be impacted as well.

Decide how you are going to handle finances. Once you know what your partner is bringing to the marriage, you’ll want to make clear, unemotional decisions about how you’ll address your wealth. Are you willing to combine all of your assets? Do you want to keep your investment accounts separate?

For example, if one person is selling a home to move into the home owned by the other person, what costs, if any, will they contribute to the cost of the house? If one person has significant debt, do you want to combine finances or make joint purchases? These are not always easy issues. However, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Decide what you want to happen when you die. You and your future spouse should meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and other documents. This lets you map exactly where you want your assets to go when you die. If there are children from prior marriages, you’ll want to ensure they are not disinherited when you die. This can be addressed through a number of options, including creating a trust for your children, making them beneficiaries of life insurance policies, or giving children joint ownership of property.

Even if there are no children, there may be family heirlooms or items with sentimental value you want to keep in the family, perhaps passing to a cousin, nephew, or niece. Discuss this with your future spouse and ensure that it’s included in your will.

Meet with an estate planning attorney. You should take this step even if you don’t have many assets. If you have children, it’s even more important. You’ll want to update your will and any other estate planning documents. If you have significant assets, you may decide to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The estate planning attorney will also help you determine whether you need a trust to protect your children.

If you had planning done in the past, it is important to sit down with an estate planning attorney to evaluate it in before to a second marriage. If you would like to learn more about estate planning for blended families, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: The Bristol Press (July 14, 2023) “Plan your estate before you remarry”

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Costly Social Security Mistakes to Avoid

Costly Social Security Mistakes to Avoid

Social security was created to do just what it’s title intends – to help bring some financial security to seniors beyond retirement age. With so many ways to claim benefits, especially if you are married or were divorced at some point in your life, small mistakes can add up to a big difference in the amount of Social Security benefits you receive, says a recent article, “11 Social Security Mistakes That Can Cost You a Fortune” from Nasdaq. With so many Americans relying on social security benefits to help supplement their lives, there are some costly social security mistakes to avoid.

Not checking your earnings record during your working life can add up to significant losses. Even if you’re decades away from claiming, you should check your earnings record annually since this is what Social Security benefits are based on. Common mistakes include employers recording incorrect earnings or earnings not showing up because you changed your name and the name change wasn’t processed correctly.

Check your statement annually to avoid losing the right number of benefits because of earnings record mistakes. If you see an error, send proof of your earnings to the Social Security Administration. You might submit your W-2 form if you’re a salaried employee or your tax return if you are self-employed. Once the SSA verifies your claim, your record will be corrected. This is a “sooner is better than later” task because you may not have a paper trail going back 30 years.

Another mistake people make is not working long enough. To qualify for Social Security, you need at least 40 work credits. Taxpayers earn up to four credits each year based on earnings. For example, in 2023, you must earn $1,640 to earn one credit or $6,560 to earn four credits. Benefits are calculated based on the average of the 35 highest earning years. If you haven’t worked for 35 years, $0 will be averaged for each year you don’t have earnings.

It’s wise to do the calculations for Social Security before retiring. As you approach your retirement date, check your earnings statement first to be sure you have enough credits to qualify for Social Security. If you don’t have 35 years, consider working another year or two. If you worked at a job where you weren’t paying into Social Security, adding another year of work could ensure you qualify and may also boost your monthly benefit amount.

Taking Social Security too early can take a big bite out of benefits. While everyone eligible can start taking benefits at age 62, for everyone born after 1959, the reduction for benefits at age 62 is 30%. This lower benefit is permanent and won’t increase until you reach Full Retirement Age (FRA). It’s best to wait at least until FRA. If you can wait past FRA, your benefits could increase by as much as 8% per year up to age 70.

Another mistake is waiting too long to claim benefits. If you live to the average life expectancy, it won’t matter if you claim benefits too early or late. The amount of the benefit reduction for claiming early and the increase in delaying a claim evens out. But if you are in poor health or have cash flow trouble, a benefit check at a younger age could be the right move.

If you file for Social Security benefits solely on your earnings record, you might miss out on a larger benefit. Let’s say you were a stay-at-home parent while your spouse worked. You may not have enough work credits to qualify, or your benefits may be small. However, you could still qualify for benefits under your spouse’s work record. Check to see how much you would be eligible to receive under your spouse’s work record before deciding how to claim benefits.

If divorced, you might claim benefits under your ex-spouse’s earnings record if you meet all the requirements. Suppose the marriage lasted at least ten years. In that case, you are 62 or older, unmarried, and your ex-spouse is eligible to receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Your benefit from your work is less than what you would receive under your ex-spouse’s earnings record; it’s worth exploring this option.

If you are married, it’s best to coordinate claiming strategies with your spouse. A low-earning spouse could start claiming benefits based on the higher-earning spouse’s income at full retirement age. Meanwhile, the higher-earning spouse delays benefits to increase retirement credits.

Finally, remember that up to 85% of Social Security benefits could be subject to federal income taxes if you earn substantial income from wages or dividends. The percentage of benefits subject to income taxes depends on the couple’s combined income, which includes the household Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), any nontaxable interest income, and half of your Social Security benefits. The best way to avoid these costly social security mistakes it to make sure you are working closely with your estate planning attorney and financial advisor or CPA. If you would like to learn more about social security benefits and estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Nasdaq (July 2, 2023) “11 Social Security Mistakes That Can Cost You a Fortune”

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Deeding your House to your Child can Backfire

Deeding your House to your Child can Backfire

People often ask estate planning attorneys if it is possible to avoid probate after their passing simply by adding their adult children’s names to their real property deeds while they are living. As explained in the article “Think twice (and read this) before putting your kids on the deed to your home” from Coeur d’Alene/Post-Falls Press, this can theoretically work. However, deeding your house to your child can backfire, in a big way.

Here are the reasons to keep your property deeds in your name:

If your child has any financial problems, your home is vulnerable. Divorce, debt, litigation, or bankruptcy happen, even to the least likely children. You could lose your home. You could also end up needing to spend thousands on legal fees to convince a court that your home should not be part of the assets subject to your child’s legal or financial difficulties. Either way, you lose.

Adding your child’s name to a real property deed is a gift for tax purposes. Unless the value of your home is extremely low, which is unlikely, you’ll need to report this gift to the IRS.

If the child named on the deed passes before you, you may end up owning the home with their spouse, children, or whomever they named in their will. Did you want your daughter-in-law to be the joint owner of your home? Or your grandchildren? The outcome will depend upon the exact language used on the deed, making it vital to have an estate planning attorney draft the deed document if you use this method.

Medicaid look-back includes the transfer of any assets, including property. If you need to apply for Medicaid to help pay for long-term care, you’ll be asked if you have made any gifts or transfers of assets to anyone within the five years before submitting your Medicaid application. Adding another person’s name to a real property deed is considered a gift by Medicaid. This could prevent you from being eligible for Medicaid assistance for months or as many as five years.

Co-owners must agree on decisions about the property. Your co-owner has to agree before you can sell your home, rent it, or take out a loan against the home’s value. Can you be sure that your child or other co-owner will agree to your wishes?

Capital gains taxes as co-owners are different from inherited property. If a child inherits a property after death and then sells it, they will only be responsible for paying capital gains taxes assessed on any increase in value from the date of your death to when the property is sold. However, if their name is on the property deed while you are living, they will be deemed to have acquired their one-half ownership for half the price you originally paid. They will be responsible for the capital gains taxes applied to their half. They’ll have a hefty tax bill, which they would not have had if they inherited the home.

Deeding your house to your child can backfire. There are ways to plan for your estate to minimize probate without adding a child to your property deed. All of this can be done in a way that doesn’t put your property at risk if you or your child runs into financial trouble and protects your eligibility for Medicaid. An experienced estate planning attorney can help create an estate plan to protect you, your home and your heirs. If you would like to learn more about managing property in your estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press (June 11, 2023) “Think twice (and read this) before putting your kids on the deed to your home”

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Lack of Will can be Devastating for families

Lack of Will can be Devastating for families

According to a recent article, “The Confusing Fallout of Dying Without a Will,” from The Wall Street Journal, despite the consequences for their heirs and loved ones, millions of Americans still don’t have a will. The total wealth of American households has tripled over the past thirty years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Still, more than half of Americans polled by Gallup said they didn’t have a will in 2021. Another survey showed that one in five Americans with investible assets of $1 million or more don’t have a will. The lack of a will can be devastating for families.

Dying without a will means the laws of your state will determine who gets your assets. In some cases, loved ones could end up with nothing. They could be evicted from the family home and even hit with massive tax bills.

This is especially problematic for unmarried couples. One example—after 18 years of living together, a couple had an appointment with an estate lawyer to create wills. However, the woman died in a horseback riding accident just before the appointment. Therefore, her partner had to get the woman’s sons, who lived overseas, to sign off, so he could be appointed her executor. The couple had agreed between themselves to let him have the home and SUV they’d purchased together. However, state law gave her sons her 50% interest. Therefore, he had to buy out her son’s interest to keep his home and car.

Dying without a will, or “intestate,” means you can’t name an executor to administer your estate, name a guardian for minor children, or distribute the property as you want.

Here’s what you need to know about having—or not having—a will:

State law governs property distribution. In some states, where there is a surviving spouse and children, the surviving spouse gets 100% of the estate, and the children get nothing. The surviving spouse gets 50% in other states, and the children divide the estate balance. For example, in Pennsylvania, if there are no children but there is a surviving parent, the surviving spouse gets the first $30,000, and the balance is split 50/50 with the parent. In Tennessee, a surviving spouse with two or more children receives a third of the estate, with the rest split between the children.

Check on all assets for beneficiary designations. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies typically pass to whoever is listed as the beneficiary. However, if you never named a beneficiary, the state’s laws will determine who receives the asset.

The lack of a will can be devastating for families. Ensure you have a basic will created at the very least. If you don’t have a will and want to be sure a partner gets these assets, you’ll need to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney to explore your options. For example, you might be able to use a transfer on death deed or a payable on death account. However, there may be better ways to accomplish this goal. If you would like to learn more about wills and probate, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2023) “The Confusing Fallout of Dying Without a Will”

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Managing Debt after Death can be a Challenge for Heirs

Managing Debt after Death can be a Challenge for Heirs

Part of estate planning is considering how future repayment of debts, both owed to the person and debts they are responsible for, will impact inheritances received by beneficiaries. A recent article from Lake County News, “Estate Planning: Debts and Estate Planning,” explains how the process works. Managing debt after death can be a challenge for heirs.

Assets passing to a beneficiary directly, outside of probate, are not typically subject to paying a decedent’s debts. These are life insurance proceeds, joint tenancy assets, Payable on Death (POD) and Transfer on Death (TOD), to name a few.

The estate plan must consider how much debt exists and how it might be paid. One approach is to purchase life insurance made payable to the trust estate.

A person may specifically gift real property, which would be subject to repaying an outstanding debt, like a mortgage.

If the beneficiary who would otherwise receive the residence takes it subject to repaying the secured debt, other assets in the estate would need to be reduced to pay the debt.

This should be addressed when the estate plan is created and must be expressly documented. If not addressed, the default rule is that any secured debt goes with the gift. It’s not likely to have been the plan. However, this is how the law works.

Third, parents and children may loan money between themselves. This is usually between parent and child.

Such family debts merit attention during estate planning. For example, parents may wish to loan money to a child to pay higher education costs, to buy a home, or to launch a business.

Upon the death of the parent, should any unpaid balance be repaid by the child to the parent’s estate, or should the child’s debt be forgiven? This must also be clearly stated in the will or trust, whatever is relevant.

If the parent wishes the child to pay the unpaid balance, the debt obligation and its payment history must be in writing and updated. The debt may be assigned to the parent’s trust and enforced by the successor trustee.

At death, the unpaid balance would need to be added back into the estate’s value to arrive at the correct gross value necessary to assess each share of the total estate.

The unpaid balance is usually subtracted from the debtor’s share.

Children might also be owed money from a parent. For example, the adult child might provide at-home personal care services to their parent, or money may be lent to help with the parent’s cost of living. The debt and repayment history also needs to be in writing and updated regularly.

Debt must be acknowledged, and the means of repaying the debt must be made clear. Managing debt after death can be a challenge for heirs. An estate planning attorney will help document and build repayment into the estate plan. If you would like to learn more about probate and trust administration, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Lake Country News (April 29, 2023) “Estate Planning: Debts and Estate Planning”

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Use Estate Planning to Prepare for Cognitive Decline

Use Estate Planning to Prepare for Cognitive Decline

Since 2000, the national median age in the U.S. has increased by 3.4 years, with the largest single year gain of 0.3 years in 2021, when the median age reached 38.8 years. This may seem young compared to the life expectancies of older Americans. However, the median age in 1960 was significantly lower, at 29.5 years, according to the article “Don’t Let Cognitive Decline Derail Well-Laid Financial Plans” from Think Advisor. As we get older, it is wise to use your estate planning to prepare for cognitive decline.

An aging population brings many challenges to estate planning attorneys, who are mindful of the challenges of aging, both mental, physical and financial. Experienced estate planning attorneys are in the best position to help clients prepare for these challenges by taking concrete steps to protect themselves.

Individuals with cognitive decline become more vulnerable to potentially negative influences at the same time their network of trusted friends and family members begins to shrink. As people become older, they are often more isolated, making them increasingly susceptible to scams. The current scam-rich environment is yet another reason to use estate planning.

When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, an estate plan must be put into place as soon as possible, as long as the person is still able express their wishes. A diagnosis can lead to profound distress. However, there is no time to delay.

While typically, the person may state they wish their spouse to be entrusted with everything, this has to be properly documented and is only part of the solution. This is especially the case if the couple is close in age. A secondary and even tertiary agent needs to be made part of the plan for incapacity.

The documents needed to protect the individual and the family are a will, financial power of attorney, durable power of attorney and health care documentation. In addition, for families with more sophisticated finances and legacy goals, trusts and other estate and tax planning strategies are needed.

A common challenge occurs when parents cannot entrust their children to be named as their primary or secondary agents. For example, suppose no immediate family members can be trusted to manage their affairs. In that case, it may be necessary to appoint a family friend or the child of a family friend known to be responsible and trustworthy.

The creation of power of attorney documents by an estate planning attorney is critical. This is because if no one is named, the court will need to step in and name a professional guardian. This person won’t know the person or their family dynamics and may not put their ward’s best interests first, even though they are legally bound to do so. There have been many reports of financial and emotional abuse by court-appointed guardians, so this is something to avoid if possible. An experienced attorney will make sure you are using your estate planning to prepare for cognitive decline. If you would like to learn more about elder care planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Think Advisor (April 21, 2023) “Don’t Let Cognitive Decline Derail Well-Laid Financial Plans”

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How an Annuity Beneficiary Works

How an Annuity Beneficiary Works

It is important to understand how an annuity beneficiary works. If the beneficiary of an annuity is your spouse, they can take over ownership of the annuity and receive payments under the annuity schedule. The annuity would be tax-deferred, and your spouse would only owe taxes on the distributions when they take them, says Forbes’ recent article, “What Is An Annuity Beneficiary?

However, the rules differ if your beneficiary is someone other than your spouse. A non-spouse has three options when inheriting an annuity:

  • A lump sum payment. The beneficiary gets the annuity’s remaining value as one upfront payment and must pay income taxes immediately on the lump sum.
  • Nonqualified stretch, where the annuity payouts—and the required income taxes—are stretched throughout the beneficiary’s lifetime; or
  • Beneficiaries can withdraw smaller amounts from the annuity during a five-year period after the annuity holder’s death or withdraw the entire amount in the fifth year.

Only the annuity owner can name a beneficiary. However, they can change beneficiaries at any time, provided the annuity contract doesn’t require you to name an irrevocable beneficiary. You can also choose multiple beneficiaries, designating a percentage of the annuity for each person. Annuity contracts also frequently let you designate a contingent beneficiary—a person who will get the annuity payments if the primary beneficiary dies before the annuity owner does.

The choice of beneficiary also significantly impacts how taxes are handled, so taking the time to document your wishes can save your loved ones from problems in the future.

While you aren’t required to name a beneficiary when you purchase an annuity, it’s highly recommended.

Suppose you don’t have a designated beneficiary in the annuity contract. In that case, the annuity must go through probate—the legal process for recognizing a will and distributing the assets within an estate.

These proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming. It could be several months before everything is resolved and the heirs receive their inheritance. An estate planning attorney will help you understand how an annuity beneficiary works and how to ensure your planning addresses your needs. If you would like to learn more about the role of the beneficiary, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (Jan. 19, 2023) “What Is An Annuity Beneficiary?”

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Avoid these Medical Power of Attorney Mistakes

Avoid these Medical Power of Attorney Mistakes

A health care proxy, also called a medical power of attorney, is a legal document in which you name a person to make medical decisions, in the event that you are unable to do so for yourself. It is important that you avoid these medical power of attorney mistakes.

Forbes’ recent article entitled, “Health Care Proxies – 5 Biggest Mistakes,” lists the five biggest mistakes people make on this vital document.

No 1: Failing to have one. A study found that two-thirds of us don’t have a health care proxy. If you don’t have one, your doctor may be forced to make decisions in a vacuum. As a result, your wishes may not be respected. Even worse, a court might have to step in to make decisions requiring a guardian’s appointment.

No. 2: Not speaking to those you appoint as your health care agent. This conversation doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy. However, it’s essential to give your agent some understanding of your feelings and wishes.

No. 3: Not addressing religion If you’ve changed faith , married someone of a different faith, or have children with differing religious views, addressing this in your health care documents and your discussions with your agent is critical. Don’t skip religious considerations because you aren’t religious—that’s also an essential part of this.

No. 4: Not having copies of the health care proxy available. You can put together an envelope and write your name, address, phone number and those of your agents on it. Place a copy of your health insurance info, drug cards and health care proxy in the envelope. If you created and signed a living will and/or a POLST (Physical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment) that you signed with your doctor, add copies of those to the envelope and a HIPAA release.

No. 5: Failing to address financial matters. Your health care agent most likely won’t have legal rights to pay medical bills, caregiver costs, or other outstanding bills. You should sign a durable power of attorney, a financial document designating a person (called an agent) to handle financial matters for you. Provide your agent with the necessary information, like bank account information.

Work with an experienced estate planning attorney who will help you avoid these medical power of attorney mistakes. If you would like to learn more about medical and financial powers of attorney, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (March 21, 2023) “Health Care Proxies – 5 Biggest Mistakes”

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Adding Children to Joint Account can have Unintended Consequences

Adding Children to Joint Account can have Unintended Consequences

A common request from seniors is to add their children to their bank accounts, in case something unexpected should occur. Their goal is admirable—to give their children access to funds in case of an emergency, says a recent article from Kiplinger, “Joint Account With Rights of Survivorship and Alternatives Explained.” However, adding children to a joint bank account, investment account or even a safe deposit box, can have unintended consequences.

Most couple’s bank accounts are set up by default as “Joint With Rights of Survivorship” or JWROS, automatically. Assets transfer to the surviving owner upon the death of the first spouse. This can lead to several problems. If the intent was for remaining assets not spent during a crisis to be distributed via the terms of a will, this will not happen. The assets will transfer to the surviving owner, regardless of directions in the will.

Adding anyone other than a spouse could also trigger a federal gift tax issue. For example, in 2023, anyone can gift up to $17,000 per year tax-free to anyone they want. However, if the gift exceeds $17,000 and the beneficiary is not a spouse, the recipient may need to file a gift tax return.

If a parent adds a child to a savings account and the child predeceases the parent, a portion of the account value could be includable in the child’s estate for state inheritance/estate tax purposes. The assets would transfer back to the parents, and depending upon the deceased’s state of residence, the estate could be levied on as much as 50% or more of the account value.

There are alternatives if the goal of adding a joint owner to an account is to give them access to assets upon death. For example, most financial institutions allow accounts to be structured as “Transfer on Death” or TOD. This adds beneficiaries to the account with several benefits.

Nothing happens with a TOD if the beneficiary dies before the account owner. The potential for state inheritance tax on any portion of the account value is avoided.

When the account owner dies, the beneficiary needs only to supply a death certificate to gain access to the account. Because assets transfer to a named beneficiary, the account is not part of the probate estate, since named beneficiaries always supersede a will.

Setting up an account as a TOD doesn’t give any access to the beneficiary until the death of the owner. This avoids the transfer of assets being considered a gift, eliminating the potential federal gift tax issue.

Planning for incapacity includes more than TOD accounts. All adults should have a Financial Power of Attorney, which allows one or more individuals to perform financial transactions on their behalf in case of incapacity. This is a better alternative than retitling accounts.

Retirement accounts cannot have any joint ownership. This includes IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, and similar accounts.

Power of attorney documents should be prepared to suit each individual situation. In some cases, parents want adult children to be able to make real estate decisions and access financial accounts. Others only want children to manage money and not get involved in the sale of their home while they are incapacitated. A custom-designed Power of Attorney allows as much or as little control as desired.

Adding children to a joint account can have unintended consequences. Your estate planning attorney can help you plan for incapacity and for passing assets upon your passing. Ideally, it will be a long time before anything unexpected occurs. However, it’s best to plan proactively. If you would like to learn more about planning for incapacity, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Kiplinger (March 30, 2023) “Joint Account With Rights of Survivorship and Alternatives Explained”

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‘When’ play Major role in Retirement

‘When’ play Major role in Retirement

When do you plan to retire? When will you take Social Security? When must you start withdrawing money from your retirement savings? “When” plays a major role in retirement, says Kiplinger’s recent article entitled, “In Retirement, Many Crucial Questions Start With the Word ‘When’.” That’s because so many financial decisions related to retirement are much more dependent on timing than on the long-term performance of an investment.

Too many people approaching retirement — or are already there — don’t adjust how they think about investing to account for timing’s critical role. “When” plays a major role in the new strategy. Let’s look at a few reasons why:

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Many people use traditional IRAs or 401(k) accounts to save for retirement. These are tax-deferred accounts, meaning you don’t pay taxes on the income you put into the accounts each year. However, you’ll pay income tax when you begin withdrawing money in retirement. When you reach age 73, the federal government requires you to withdraw a certain percentage each year, whether you need the money or not. A way to avoid RMDs is to start converting your tax-deferred accounts to a Roth account way before you reach 73. You pay taxes when you make the conversion. However, your money then grows tax-free, and there is no requirement about how much you withdraw or when.

Using Different Types of Assets. In retirement, your focus needs to be on how to best use your assets, not just how they’re invested. For example, one option might be to save the Roth for last, so that it has more time to grow tax-free money for you. However, in determining what order you should tap your retirement funds, much of your decision depends on your situation.

Claiming Social Security. On average, Social Security makes up 30% of a retiree’s income. When you claim your Social Security affects how big those monthly checks are. You can start drawing money from Social Security as early as age 62. However, your rate is reduced for the rest of your life. If you delay until your full retirement age, there’s no limit to how much you can make. If you wait to claim your benefit past your full retirement age, your benefit will continue to grow until you hit 70.

Wealth Transfer. If you plan to leave something to your heirs and want to limit their taxes on that inheritance as much as possible, then “when” can come into play again. For instance, using the annual gift tax exclusion, you could give your beneficiaries some of their inheritance before you die. In 2023, you can give up to $17,000 to each individual without the gift being taxable. A married couple can give $17,000 each.

Take the time to discuss your retirement goals with your estate planning attorney. He or she will help you understand how the “when” in your planning plays a major role in retirement. If you would like to learn more about retirement planning, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Kiplinger (March 15, 2023) “In Retirement, Many Crucial Questions Start With the Word ‘When’”

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Information in our blogs is very general in nature and should not be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Please feel free to contact Texas Trust Law to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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