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Millions of older adults retire in the U.S. every year. In New Jersey alone, there are more than 1.5 million seniors aged 65 and older, equating to a substantial percentage of retirees living in the state. Those who took time to prepare for retirement ahead of time are most often able to enjoy a much more relaxed retirement than those who didn't, but the good news is that it's never too late to get organized, financially. Whether you're already retired or approaching retirement age, consider the factors outlined below to help you protect your benefits and get prepared.
For help with estate planning and retirement, reach out to the legal team at Giro & Associates, LLC in Hackensack, New Jersey.
It's a common misconception that spouses will automatically have the right to make personal, health, and financial decisions in the event that the other becomes legally incapacitated due to serious injury or illness. Unfortunately, though, without proper legal documentation in place, spouses possess no legal authorization to make fundamental decisions for each other, even when they affect both spouses.
In the event one spouse dies, a probate judge will assign a decision-maker on behalf of the deceased and while this is usually a spouse, the process of probate is a long and expensive one that can be avoided altogether with the right estate plan in place. Furthermore, retirement benefits and other assets may be distributed based on state laws, which are written for people who don't have their own estate plan in place. This might mean that a spouse inherits all assets, or it can mean equal distribution among immediate family members. Unfortunately, it can also mean your assets are left to someone else, forcing your spouse to live without inheritance or to sue your estate to gain access to assets that are rightfully theirs.
With the help of Giro & Associates LLC, you can go through the estate planning and retirement process together, ensuring your retirement benefits and your assets end up where they're meant to be after you're gone.
While it's difficult to plan for a spouse's death, it's something that should be considered during the retirement planning process. Studies have shown that as many as 60% of men and 20% of women enter into new relationships after losing a spouse, meaning that considerations need to be made regarding inherited assets to ensure they're not lost to the new spouse in the event the new marriage doesn't work out. To prevent such issues, it's legally advisable to consider a premarital agreement that protects inherited assets prior to entering into a new marriage.
Ensuring your entire family is financially secure after you're gone is likely of great importance to you. When it comes to retirement and estate planning, that means appointing children, grandchildren and other immediate family members as beneficiaries. It also means taking steps to protect their inheritance from being lost in divorce, lawsuits, bankruptcies or other legal issues.
At Giro & Associates, LLC, our Hackensack, New Jersey-based attorneys will help you coordinate beneficiary designations, keeping them up-to-date as the people and assets in your life change, and taking the necessary steps to avoid financial loss.
Long-term care is a necessary expense for many older adults as they age. For some people it means receiving long-term care in their own home, but others may need to seek residence in an assisted living or nursing care facility. Unfortunately, these long-term care options are expensive, with average costs ranging from $5,529 to $12,471 per month depending on the level of care needed. And while Medicaid may cover some long-term care expenses, the truth is that most policies only cover limited nursing services when required by order of a physician, which leaves most seniors struggling to find the funds they need to cover expenses or in some cases, unable to afford care altogether.
As you plan for retirement, consider purchasing a long-term care insurance policy while you're still physically and mentally able to qualify. Policies vary in cost and conditions but having a long-term care policy in place can save you from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on care if the need for it arises. You'll also have the peace of mind knowing that your care will be handled and someone has been designated to ensure that you receive the care you need.
When you're ready to start the retirement planning process, contact Giro & Associates LLC to discuss your needs and plans with one of our dedicated estate lawyers.
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