Today TaxMama® wants to talk about getting older. “My mother and I just had such a laugh. One of her friends is over 90 years old and just got her driver’s license renewed for 5 years without restrictions. Well, you don’t have to be 90 years old to start thinking about senior planning…though, these days, “old” seems to come much later than it used to. What things should you start to think about?”
Well, my friends,
None of us is getting any younger. So let’s look at few simple tasks to make things easier for us when we get there.
1) If you have assets other than a bank account or a home, consider establishing a living trust. Although you already know it will help your heirs avoid probate, when you ultimately die. Did you know that the living trust can be of value to you if you become incapacitated? Yes, all you have to do is name an alternate trustee to take care of you – and things can go on as they were. (Though, at some point, you may need to make some modifications to the trust.)
2) Make a list of all your insurances, with policy numbers and contact information. Update the beneficiaries on all the policies. If the beneficiaries are minor children or young relatives, talk to an attorney about how to name a trust, instead of naming the children. Or name the living trust.
- Include your life insurance polic(ies) as well as your health insurance policies. Remember those policies that come from the banks and credit card companies providing $1,000 or $10,000 coverage at no charge? Don’t throw them away. They might pay off!
- Find those policies that pay if you are only hospitalized, disabled or in an accident. You may have been paying for them via your credit card or automatic withdrawals from your checking account for years without thinking about them.
- Locate any liability policies from your business, or job – and disability policies, if you have them.
3) Make a list of all your assets and where they are located (safe deposit box, building addresses, brokerages, etc.). If keys are needed – provide copies, or identify who has the keys (and where). Review the title – or place all the assets into the living trust.
4) Make a list of all your long-term debt (things that will take more than this year to pay off), and credit cards – with account numbers, contact phone numbers, etc.
5) Most importantly, if you are responsible for any young children, make plans for who will take care of them if you cannot. Be selective. It shouldn’t just be someone you love and trust. It should be someone who is capable of loving and cherishing the children – and who can be parents, as well.
6) One last thing – if you haven’t already done this – start making plans for your stream of income during retirement. If you know that you won’t be able to live on Social Security, don’t you think it’s time to LEARN to do something that will earn you a living, even if you are not hale and hearty? Forget about saving and investing. If you haven’t started yet, do you really think you’re capable of saving or investing? Instead, learn a skill that will be in demand 5 and 10 years from now – or maybe longer. (AOL Jobs, AARP jobs)
Do all these things, and you’ll feel more secure and in control as you get older.
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about staying young and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed version of TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]
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