Have you been affected? If so, how can you try to protect yourself?
A first-world problem, and nothing more? Not quite. Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. Sudden wealth can help you resolve anxieties about funding your retirement or your children’s college educations, and newfound financial freedom can lead to time freedom – greater opportunity to live and work on your terms.
What financial, business or life priorities do you need to address for 2014? Now is a good time to think about the investing, saving or budgeting methods you could employ toward specific objectives. Some year-end financial moves may prove crucial to the pursuit of those goals as well.
When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. How different things are today! The good news is that life expectancy for women – as measured by the Centers for Disease Control – is now 81.1 years. The Social Security Administration estimates that the average 65-year-old woman today will live to age 86. Given these projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.
Women often become guardians of family wealth. Many women outlive their spouses, and have the opportunity to have the “final say” (from an estate planning standpoint) about the wealth they have built or inherited. Legacy planning is essential for single women and couples, too, as one or two successful careers may leave a woman or a couple with a significant estate.
Many myths surround these popular estate planning tools.
Most will never face taxes related to money or assets given away.
Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s accumulated assets. Think tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more. So how you can exempt more of your assets from probate and its costs? Here are some ideas.
Living trusts are created with a clearly defined objective: to avoid probate. Misconceptions about living trusts have spread to the point where people think they can accomplish much more than they really do. Here is a realistic assessment of living trusts.
Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), life insurance policy, or annuity? You may be able to answer such a question quickly and easily. Or you may be saying, “You know … I’m not totally sure.” Whatever your answer, it is smart to periodically review your beneficiary designations