Having a power of attorney is crucial, should you ever become incapacitated, or become incapable of making decisions regarding your health care and/ or finances. When you do not have a power of attorney, the court will deliberate and appoint someone for you, known as a conservator. The duration of judicial steps to appoint a conservator can be lengthy, draining your loved ones of time and money during an already difficult period. The conservator will then have a very broad authority to act on your behalf. Many people prefer to appoint different people for different areas of concern. Perhaps you don’t want your closest living relative making these decisions for you. Or maybe you wouldn’t want the same person deciding how long to keep you on life support also handling your business and financial affairs. You can be in control of this situation, though incapacitated, with a little pre-planning and a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” mentality.
When determining whom to appoint as your power of attorney, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are they trustworthy?
- Do they fully understand your wishes and agree to comply with them?
- Will they fully understand their duties and be capable of making sound decisions, should an unexpected event occur where they need to make a serious financial or medical decision for you?
- Are they loyal to you and concerned with your best interest?
- Are they good with finances?
- Will they have enough time in their lives to handle the extra responsibility?
By considering these key factors in determining whom to appoint as your power of attorney, you will be more likely to make a sound and safe choice. Let Estate Protectors guide you through the rest of the paperwork process and assist with informing your chosen person of the potential duties of being your power of attorney. Once your documentation is in place, should an emergency arise, you and your family can take comfort knowing that they are carrying out your wishes and handling the situation as you intended.
Retirement. The mere mention of the word itself draws forth varied and often intense emotions. It holds a different meaning and vision to all of us. However, one commonality that most of us do share, is that we wish it could happen a lot sooner and with more certainty.
Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Right now the average life expectancy for the U.S. is 80 years and the average age of retirement is 62. That said, most of us will need a plan to cover this estimated 20 year wage gap. You will need to plan this portion of life with an accuracy that if undercalculated, all sorts of things may ensue. Most experts recommend that you have saved roughly 7 times your annual salary by the age of 55, and 10 times before the full retiring age of 67.
Not only is 62 the average retirement age, it is also the age in which partial Social Security benefits kick in. For most Americans, Social Security alone will not sustain existence. You will only receive roughly 75% of your benefits at this age. In turn, every year after the age of 62 that you wait to collect your benefits, the amount you can receive will increase. You may wait until the full retirement age of 66/67, or even defer until the age of 70 for an additional 8% per year those last four years. Mathematically, for most of us it makes much more sense to defer our Social Security. However, what are you going to do in the GAP years? Work longer or let us create a plan to help you defer your Social Security?
The road to an early and secure retirement is not as impossibly blocked as it may seem. With financial planning assistance from our network of professionals, you will map out a plan that coupled with dedication, will get you on the path to a smooth, hazard-free early retirement.
It is estimated that 60 percent of adults do not have an estate plan. Roughly 40 percent of baby boomers do not have a will or an estate plan in place. And the percentage progressively increases if you follow the generations down the lineage. Generation X hails a whopping 64, and Millennials at 78 percent, according to a study done by AARP. Procrastination, uncomfortable decisions, thinking they don’t have enough in assets, and fear seem to be the main reasons that so many people do not have an estate plan or will set in place. While the majority state that they “just haven’t gotten around to it yet”, the procrastination would seem to be founded in fear and denial. While everybody knows they will die eventually, and most have a desire to distribute their belongings in a particular fashion, it is still emotionally challenging to finalize those decisions, make appropriate inquiries and notifications with doctors and family, have those difficult conversations, and have everything officially documented. Not fun stuff. However, it is important to face those fears, as the alternative is to leave it for your survivors to figure out after you are deceased, which often times can be nothing short of a nightmare for your loved ones. It can take several months to even years to get through probate, costing your family time, money, and energy during an already difficult period.
You can prevent your legacy from being tarnished with memories of unnecessary hassle and struggle by having a comprehensive estate plan in place, regardless of your assets or age.
Over two- thirds of Americans (68%) expect that they will be able to rely on their families to meet their LTSS (long term services and supports) needs when they require help, but this belief may collide with the reality of dramatically shrinking availability of family caregivers. By the year 2030, the ratio of possible caregivers for seniors over the age of 80 will be 4.1, a far cry from the 7.2 it was in 2010.
The average age of caregivers for the elderly is 45-64, the baby boom generation. The departure of the boomers from their peak caregiving years will mean that the population aged 45-64 is projected to increase by only 1 percent between 2010 and 2030. During the same period, the 80-plus population is projected to increase by a whopping 79 percent, according to a recent study conducted by AARP . These statistics are pretty frightening, especially when considering todays restructuring and fragmenting of traditional families. With fewer potential caregivers available, the number of people needing institutionalized care will grow. Which means the cost of quality care will grow as well.
It is crucial that you have a plan set in place, in the event of requiring assistance that friends and family members are unable to provide. With our team of skilled experts, we will create a personalized plan for you using strategies such as Social Security optimization, fiduciary investments, income planning, and insurance services. You will then have the comfort and security knowing that you have a secondary care plan just in case your children are unable to carry out that role.
Estate Protectors Care Payor Resources
We offer support and planning with various programs that help you and your family pay for care.
These programs include:
- Income Planning for current resources – We create efficient streams of income using short term safe investments or insurance.
- Long term care insurance solutions – Let us help you pre-plan for care or in the event of crisis, assist you in the claim process on your policy.
- VA Programs (We specialize in the cases that would be denied for having too much assets).
Asset & Income Based Programs:
- VA Benefit Programs
- Aid & Attendance (AA) – Let us help you qualify for a tax free monthly benefit amount of $1,176 – $2,169.
- Basic Pension (BP) – a program which pays up to $1,436 to assist the married spouse of a Veteran to pay for care.
- Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) – for home care paying between $500 – $3,000
- Medicaid Programs (We specialize in the cases that would be denied for having too much assets).
- Long Term Care/Skilled Nursing – pays all but the calculated share of cost for Skilled Care.
- New Choice Waiver Program – Designed to keep patients out of a Skilled Nursing Home, providing benefits for Assisted Living.
- Federal Caregivers Grant – a federal program that provides a $1,500 monthly care benefit for up to 12 months.
All of these programs have different qualification parameters that we understand, plan for and get you approved for. Please contact our office to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and the possible solutions we provide.
Contact Estate Protectors at 435-714-6750 for more information and guidance on how we can help you.