While no one relishes talking about issues like emergencies, unforeseen layoffs, long-term illness and mortality, planning for such circumstances is crucial to protecting your family’s financial future.
“The sooner you prepare for the worst and inevitable, the sooner you can have peace of mind knowing that your family’s protected,” says Kris Miller, a money management expert who has consulted for 5,000 families in the past two decades and is the author the new book Ready For PREtirement, a resource on retirement planning. Miller offers key tips to help families plan for their futures:
Be Properly Insured
According to the Government Accounting Office, 20 percent of people under age 65, and 70 percent of seniors over age 65 in theU.S. will end up needing long-term care like a nursing home or custodial care. And it’s unlikely that Medicare or Medicaid will cover these costs, which currently average $6,000 to $15,000 on a monthly basis.
You can help protect your financial legacy and avoid bankruptcy by investing in long term care insurance, modified endowment life insurance, or government-funded Medicaid planning.
Formalize Your Intentions
No one wants to confront their mortality, but avoiding doing so is irresponsible and could be costly for your family. Without the right paperwork, your home could become state property, and critical decisions about your family could be left to an impersonal court system. So no matter your age or assets, put your wishes in writing by creating a will, being sure to designate a trusted family member, friend or professional fiduciary to be in charge of your estate.
If your financial life is simple, you may be able to create your estate plan by yourself. However, if you have multiple investments or a non-traditional family situation, you may need to consult a lawyer. Remember that keeping these documents up-to-date to reflect marriages, divorces, and births is as important as preparing them in the first place.
Understand Your Investments
Many people who have a 401(k) or an IRA have little idea of where their money is invested. But these accounts are some of the riskiest, and least recession-proof.
“You don’t need to put your money at risk to make a decent return,” says Miller. “Safer investments,such as fixed index annuities, have liquidity and can offer you a better rate than many other products.Research your options.”
Likewise, don’t assume the professional you’ve hired to manage your money has your best interests in mind. Whether the market is up, down, or flat, brokers make money by charging fees every time they buy or sell stocks on your behalf. Educating yourself can help you avoid bad investments.
Don’t hesitate. Take the time now – while you have it – to act on these ideas. By doing so, you can rest assured that your retirement years will be comfortable and your family will be secure.
Millions of Americans struggle to prepare for a future of uncertainty while others have made no plans at all. Many wonder: Will my money be there when I need it? Will I outlive my money? In Ready For PREtirement: Plan Retirement Early So Your Money Is There When You Need It, Kris Miller says that we can—and should—embrace the money-making and protective strategies of the top 1%.
Miller, who has counseled thousands of families over the past 20 years as a retirement and estate planner, says she has seen too many people lose their money or homes as a result of unanticipated health crisis and catastrophic bills. Further, she says that too many people fail to plan properly for the future, lacking correctly prepared legal documents, useful financial plans, or a proper support system.
Miller is available to share her insights on these issues:
- Why are people so afraid to talk to a financial advisor?
- Is it too late for someone near retirement to repair their savings?
- Why do so many people lose their inheritance to lawyers and court fees?
- What the taxman doesn’t want you to know: Learn the secrets the rich use to save money.
- Lousy celebrity wills: Don’t make the same inheritance mistakes as several big stars.
- How to overcome your psychological or emotional relationship towards money so you can protect your family against major financial setbacks.
Kris Miller, a retirement and living trust expert, has advised over 5,000 families in the past 20 years on retirement and estate planning issues. She coined the phrase, “pretirement” to emphasize how we need to prepare for our Golden Years way before we retire. For more information, please consult www.ReadyforPREtirement.com or read her blog at www.KrisMillerMoneyMaestro.com.