Plan To Retire? Build Your Own Pension!

Plan To Retire?

Build Your Own Pension!

When preparing for retirement, your primary objective is to set up income streams that you can rely on to pay for your monthly expenses when you are no longer working. Social Security income, unfortunately, is woefully inadequate for meeting these needs, and most people need to find other sources of reliable income to count on during their later stages of life. At one time, pensions from employers were used for this purpose, but pensions are no longer commonplace. Retiring individuals and couples must explore other options to fund their lifestyle and to pay their bills.

The Decreased Popularity of Pensions
For decades, it was common for workers to stay in a single job and to accrue pension benefits that they could rely on throughout their later years in life. It is estimated that 80 percent of workers in the public sector and 67 percent of union workers still have access to a pension. However, you can see that many individuals in this group are no longer covered by a pension. In addition, only 13 percent of workers in the private sector have access to a pension. This means that individuals must fund their own 401(k) or IRA accounts in an effort to prepare for retirement through their own investments. However, with the average worker retiring with less than $100,000 in these accounts, you can see that many people fail to achieve their goals. The last thing you want is to struggle financially after retiring, and proper planning efforts can prevent this from happening.

Building Your Own Pension
Have you thought about how long you may need to support yourself financially after retiring? Many people are living into their 80s, 90s and even early 100s now. If you retire at the age of 60 or 65, you can see that you will need to plan for at least two to three decades’ worth of income in order to be financially secure. How can you possibly accomplish this through your own investments? One idea is to purchase a lifetime annuity. This is a type of investment that can serve as your own pension. Essentially, you set up the annuity today as a lifetime product. When setting up an annuity, you can choose to make a smaller or larger initial deposit to establish the account. In some cases, you may deposit most of the saved funds you have accumulated so far. Then, you will make regular monthly deposits into your annuity until you are ready to retire. Some annuities let you make your own investment decisions so that you can control the growth of your assets.

Seeking Planning Advice
There is a wide range of annuity products that you can choose to invest in. For example, some of these products have only a short term of 10 to 20 years. Others can be established to provide you with guaranteed income throughout your life. You can even set up the annuity so that your spouse receives the funds when you pass away. Another option is to choose between quarterly and monthly income payments. As you can see, there is a great deal of flexibility to choose from when planning your annuity. These products are typically sold by life insurance companies, and you can reach out to your current insurance agent for more information. However, because these products can vary in terms of cost, return and features from provider to provider, it can pay off to shop around to find the right option for your needs.
June is Annuity Awareness Month, preparing for the future can be challenging, and you may be inclined to simply put this process off for another day. However, the sooner you begin saving and investing, the more money you will likely be able to enjoy after you retire. You understandably want to feel comfortable and free of financial concerns later in life, so now is the time to act. Learn more about how annuities can provide you with the guaranteed stream of income you are looking for after you retire, and begin researching product options as a first step today. You may find that this is the perfect way to establish your own pension that returns a reliable source of income for you to count on later in life.


Top 7 Preventative Services Medicare Provides FREE

Top 7 Preventative Services Medicare Provides FREE

One of the major benefits an entering retirement is finally qualifying for Medicare. For decades, taxpayers contribute a portion of their paychecks into Medicare funds without even seeing the money. Fortunately, this investment pays off in the long run as individuals eventually qualify for major medical benefits. After all, medical costs can add up especially for seniors as health inevitably begins to deteriorate. Here are seven preventative services that Medicare provides to keep individuals healthy. These coverages can make planning for future medical costs significantly easier.

1. First Free Preventive Visit
Retirees are offered a free preventative doctor’s visit during the first 12 months being enrolled in the program. Individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this free visit even though it is not required. Common health screenings such as measuring blood pressure, weight, review of medical history and a vision test are all conducted.

2. Annual Wellness Exams
Similar to the free preventive visit, retirees also are provided annual wellness exams free of charge. These exams will include common health tests to ensure that the individual is healthy. Doctor’s will also test for possible complications in order to prevent the deterioration of health.

3. Cardiovascular Disease Tests
Heart disease and stroke are among the most common causes of death in the United States. For this reason, retirees are also offered free cardiovascular disease screenings every five years. These tests can help detect common risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as high cholesterol.

4. Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is a common treatment to receive as you age. These cancer screenings are offered for free every 120 months or every two years for patients with higher risk. Besides detecting colorectal cancer, this exam can also detect precancerous polyps. However, the removal of these polyps may require a copayment on behalf of the patient.

5. Bone Density Measurements
Osteoporosis a major issue affecting older individuals. This condition puts seniors at greater risk for broken bones and other skeletal system injuries. Individuals with lower bone density are at higher risk in this category. Fortunately, retirees can receive bone density measurement every two years without charge.

6. Depression Tests
Late-life depression affects 6 million seniors in the United States. Unfortunately, a small percentage of these individuals actually receive treatment for their depression. However, there are free depression screenings for older individuals. This is an important treatment that should be taken advantage of.

7. Mammogram
Cancer is one of the scariest conditions for individuals of any age. Fortunately for retirees, mammograms are often covered completely without the cost of a copay. These tests are provided once every year. This treatment is an effective method for detecting the early developments of cancer or mutations that could cause the condition.

Retirement should be a time of relaxation and appreciation. However, the health risks involved with aging and the rising cost of medical care can cause worry and fear. Fortunately, seniors are eligible for countless preventative treatments and tests. However, retirement planning is still required and recommended.


Adding Step Children To Your Estate Plan

If you want to leave part of your estate to your stepchildren, you are required to specify that in your will. If a stepparent dies without a will, the children will not get any part of the estate even if the deceased stepparent wanted them to. Step children do not have automatic inheritance rights possessed by adopted and biological children.

Legally speaking, stepchildren are not entitled to any inheritance unless they are specifically named on the will. This fact can be traced back to the colonial days when America was under the British common law. Due to the prevalence of negative stepparent stereotypes at the time, the centuries old legal system did not encourage strong legal relationships between stepchildren and stepparents.

Blended Families and Estate Planning

What are blended families? The term blended families refers to a family situation where either the husband or the wife has kids from a previous marriage. Blended families can take any of the following forms.

  • Families where both spouses have children from a previous marriage.
  • A family where both husband and wife have children from previous marriages in addition to their own biological kids as a couple.
  • Married couples where either the husband or the wife has kids from a previous marriage.

Blended families often have to deal with complex issues when it comes to estate planning. Problems can arise between the parents or the children and their spouses. Some of the challenges individuals from these families face include:

  • Scuffles over the division of responsibilities or authority.
  • The need to protect their estate from previous spouses.
  • Potential delaying of the stepchildren’s asset perhaps until the death of the parent’s spouse.
  • The possibility of step children being disinherited by the living spouse.
  • Estate Planning Asset Protection Strategies to Protect Stepchildren

The number of blended families continues to rise as divorce rates in first marriages and remarriages rise. On average, about 50 percent marriages and 60 percent remarriages always end up in divorce in the US. With the help of an estate planning attorney, these families can come up with some form of asset protection to make sure that the surviving offspring remains a part of their estate.

Stepparent Will

The stepparent should make sure they have a will which specifically names the stepchild/children as a beneficiary. If a parent dies without a will, his/her estate will be inherited by the legal spouse or the closest living relative but not the stepchild.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)

ILITs allow stepparents to provide for their children through life insurance and use the remainder to provide for their spouse. The parent purchases a life insurance policy using the name of the child and pays the premium for the rest of his/her life. The child will receive the inheritance upon the death of the parent. Irrevocable life insurance trust is a good way to ensure that step children are not disinherited.

Bloodline Trusts

A bloodline trust is intended to benefit your child and his/her offspring. The trust protects a child from creditors and former spouses by keeping the money in the family. The child is the trustee.