Tags: estate | plan | retirement | strategy

USA Today: Don't Neglect Estate Plan as Part of Retirement Strategy

By    |   Friday, 10 April 2015 06:00 AM

You're probably well aware of the need to orient your investments toward retirement, but you might be less aware of the need for an estate plan.

"I think that on a list of things to do, it's at the bottom, if it even makes the list," Nicole Hart, director of trusts and estates at Sontag Advisory, a financial planning firm, tells USA Today retirement columnist Rodney Brooks.

When doing an estate plan, Brooks offers several pieces of advice:
  • Have both a financial planner and an estate lawyer look at every major financial document.
  • "Make sure you have a healthcare proxy, living will and power of attorney. 'The possibility of getting sick is something everyone should be planning for,'" Carol Kroch, managing director of wealth planning at Wilmington Trust, tells Brooks.
  • While it might be uncomfortable, discuss all the estate issues with your family, so that when you do pass away, the inheritance outcome is clear to everyone.
"It's important not to look at financial planning in a vacuum," says Manhattan estate planning and elder care attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza. "Estate planning is intertwined with the financial plan."

Meanwhile, you have probably read more than one account detailing our ill-preparedness for retirement.

Walter Updegrave, editor of RealDealRetirement.com, cites four major mistakes we're making. Here are two of them.
  • "Stinting on saving," he writes. In a TIAA-CREF retirement survey, almost half of the near-retirees who were asked what they could have done to better prepare for retirement said they should have saved more. "Good answer. Because over the course of a career, failing to push yourself to save can cost you big time," Updegrave says. The more and earlier you start saving, the more your money can compound its gains.
  • "Overpaying for investments." The more you pay in investment fees, the less you benefit from the magic of compounding. Updegrave offers a telling example. Say a 25-year old saves 15 percent of his/her income and amasses a $1.1 million retirement kitty. That assumes a 5.5 percent annual return after expenses. Cutting expenses 0.5 percentage point a year would mean a $1.4 million retirement horde.
"The costliest errors are ones we make ourselves, often without realizing how much damage we're doing," he notes.

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You're probably well aware of the need to orient your investments toward retirement, but you might be less aware of the need for an estate plan.
estate, plan, retirement, strategy
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2015-00-10
Friday, 10 April 2015 06:00 AM
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