What Makes Baby Boomer and Millennial Women Different with Regard to Wealth Planning?

A study recently completed by RBC Wealth Management indicated that there has been a major change in the attitude about wealth shared between millennials and the baby boomer generation.

Approximately half of boomer women who participated in the study said that they took the lead on financial planning, whereas up to 72% of millennial women were responsible for this area of their households. This trend was consistent across charitable giving, will planning and day to day banking.

The wealthier the household, the higher the chances were that a woman was leading the financial planning and was actively involved in the legacy and estate planning. For those households that had greater than $5 million in investable assets, women were the primary decision maker. Key differences also recorded in the study between the two generations were shifts away from thinking about money as a method of providing security, and instead towards the opportunity to do more for the world.

Approximately 41% of boomer women said they intended to pass on their wealth to their children, whereas only 15% of millennial women responded the same. A total of 65% of women classified as millennials felt that it was their responsibility to use their wealth to benefit society at large compared with only 52% of women in the boomer category. Women who are wealthy as millennials are much more likely to have developed their wealth on their own when compared with boomer women.

Both planning for your future in terms of retirement as well as discussing how you’ll protect your assets and send them into the next generation are worthwhile topics to discuss with a lawyer. Your attorney can guide you through the process of figuring out where you’re at in life and how that translates to your estate planning and retirement planning process. Taking a long look at the issues involved helps you to prepare for your next steps. Regardless of your age, you’ll be more successful if you set up a conversation now with a lawyer who can help you answer questions and create a plan.

If you have recently found yourself in the position of needing the services provided by an experienced estate planning attorney, now is the time to schedule a consultation to talk about leaving behind a legacy, asset protection and other important issues connected to estate planning.

New Study Shares that Baby Boomers Do Not Feel the Economy has Recovered From Financial Crisis

Baby boomers are one of the biggest sections of society considering the estate planning and retirement planning process. According to a new study published by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, baby boomers have a lack of trust in institutions that has led to a permanent financial problem for many of them.

Ten years after the financial crisis started in 2007, only 2% of baby boomers with median incomes felt that the economy had completely recovered. This has required many boomers to adjust their retirement expectations. Although the middle-income boomers who participated in the study still indicated that they plan to retire, the crisis has forced them to reconsider their expectations for what their retirement will actually look like.

One important consideration in this is adjusting your estate planning documents and considering long term care insurance to help with any additional health costs that may emerge suddenly after an accident or diagnosis. The assets you may have set aside for your loved ones may need to evaluated carefully if you need help with nursing home care, for example. How your retirement assets affect your ability to qualify for Medicaid is another crucial conversation you will want to have with your estate planning attorney.

The latest report conducted in the study indicated that up to 84% of boomers in the median income range took a minimum of one step to adjust their spending behavior after the recent financial crisis. To learn more about the estate planning process and how it can work hand in hand with retirement planning, consult an experienced estate planning lawyer today.

 

Key Concerns of Estate Planning for the Aging Population

Baby boomers represent a significant portion of the American population today. One of the biggest concerns impacting these baby boomers is that people are living longer than ever. Life expectancy in 1950 for comparison purpose, was just 65 years.

However, today, men live an average of 76 years and women live for an average of 82 years. This means that old retirement planning methods just might not cut it when it comes to this longer time in retirement. Individuals have to think carefully as well about how a potential long term care event could influence them.

A sudden accident or disability could generate a lot of legal and financial questions for your loved ones if you have not done your proper planning. Meeting with a Massachusetts estate planning attorney can help to make sure that you have all the proper documents in line if you have specific wishes about your healthcare decisions. It can also allow you to appoint somebody else under a health care proxy to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.

There has never been a more important time than now to think about protecting yourself and setting up a meeting with a Massachusetts estate planning attorney.

Baby Boomers Must Be Aware of the Number One Estate Planning Issue Impacting Their Generation

Most people are familiar with the basic tenets of estate planning and understand their benefit. Estate planning, however, is not only about what happens to your assets after you pass away. Instead, it is also about how you plan for your own incapacity as well as any challenges associated with living longer.Baby Boom Generation

Longevity is the number one issue that baby boomers need to be aware of. With more than 3.5 million baby boomers entering retirement every single year, the time to put together your estate planning documents while you are of sound mind is most certainly now.

Demographics in the United States are shifting significantly. By 2050, it is believed that 20% of all Americans will be over the age of 65. At that time, it is expected that the quickest growing demographic in the nation will be individuals aged 85 and above.

Although it is certainly worthwhile to be concerned about long term care and managing chronic diseases, many people are living longer even with chronic diseases that were associated with a higher risk of mortality in the past. For example, more than 90% of seniors today are living with one chronic disease and more than three questers of seniors are living with two or more chronic diseases.

Planning for incapacity is just as important for planning for what happens to your assets after you pass away. Set up a meeting with a Massachusetts estate planning attorney today to make sure you have all of the documents and tools in place to manage your life now and in the future.

How Much Debt is Too Much?

Dept SignpostA recent report from the New York Federal Reserve, as reported in the Wall Street Journal,  pointed out that older Americans are holding more debt than previous generations.

According to the report, the average Baby Boomer over 65 has 47% more mortgage debt and 29% more auto debt than a 65-year-old had in 2003 (after adjusting for inflation).

In 2003 many seniors had no debt at all. A married couple who had lived in the same home for over 30 years was proud they had no mortgage, owned their own cars and were living a comfortably in retirement.

But there are number of lifestyle factors at work.

First, there are many more 65-year-olds today than there were in 2003. The Baby Boom generation is growing exponentially, so the range of potential lifestyles has changed significantly.

Eliminating a mortgage, and its tax deduction, may not be in their best interest. Borrowing money from your home at historically low interest rates (3%) to fund an investment that makes 5%, is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all about cash flow as the MBA types would say.

While our parent’s generation did not have to fund our undergraduate education, many do so willingly now, hoping to alleviate student debt and get their children started off on an even financial footing.

Many seniors, who have more resources, are allowed to take on more debt because traditionally they have been able to pay off their loans.

The figures that are available indicate seniors have more debt but have not defaulted at a higher rate than in the past and are able to manage their debt more successfully – at least according to their credit scores.

Noreen Murphy Law can help with your estate planning , elder law or Veterans benefits needs. Please give her a call.

Who is a Qualifying Relative

Mother and daughterFor many years Baby Boomers were consumed by ‘empty nest syndrome’ when their children moved out and they had fewer responsibilities. Anxiety centered around everything from what to do with the rest of your life to how to use the extra space and whether your should move into a smaller home.

But then The Recession hit, and college graduates realized how much they still owed for their college educations. Thousands of young adults lost their jobs and had no choice but to move back home.

Aging parents, who did not have the means to support themselves added to the pressure and Baby Boomers became the ‘sandwich generation.’ Everyone, it seemed, was turning to them for help.

The result was an increased number of parents who had adult relatives living with them. These days, in some parts of the country, housing is so expensive adult children cannot even afford a place of their own so mom and dad are a great place to stay while they try to save money.

Love and compassion make it tough to say no, but there are some practical things to consider, such as what impact this will have on your taxes.

Claiming an adult dependent on your taxes is possible but the IRS has a specific set of factors that have to be considered for a qualifying relative.

Factors such as age, relationship, income, and how much support you actually provide are all part of the equation.

Noreen Murphy Law  for all your estate planning needs, if you need help with your estate, elder law or Veterans benefits please give her a call.

Picking Up Where Mom and Dad Leave Off

Forbes recently asked its readers whether they could pick up where their parents leave off. It’s an odd question, and one that a lot of children won’t have asked themselves yet.

The point Forbes is making is that parents don’t simply leave an estate behind when they die. They leave a whole life behind, too. And someone has to tend to that.

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The article described a baby boomer who was vacationing overseas when she found out her elderly mother had suffered serious brain damage after a fall. Fortunately, the mother survived and recovered, but the daughter suddenly realized that she was totally unprepared to handle her mother’s affairs had something gone horribly wrong.

But Forbes isn’t talking about just an estate plan. The mother in this story already had all that — the will, the trusts, the healthcare proxy, and so on.

But what about the deed to her house? The list of bills that would need to be paid? Automatic drafts from her bank account? Keys to her property? Newspaper subscriptions? Credit cards? Community responsibilities? Documents related to a small business that a parent might own?

Your parents will leave whole lives behind when they pass. The little details can add up to a lot, and it can be a challenge to keep track of them all during the final years of a loved one’s life.

Communication is really the key when caring for an aging parent. Remember that no detail is too minor to bother with addressing now. You’ll likely be grateful that you did.

Each of my clients receives an Estate Planning Binder at the conclusion of our planning. This binder has sections that can be completed so that all the personal information someone might need is collected in one location.

Get Your Estate Plan Right

A column I came across in the Wall Street Journal the other day got right to the point when it comes to estate planning.

Last Will And Testament (Photo credit: Ken_Mayer)

Last Will And Testament (Photo credit: Ken_Mayer)

Start out by making a will.

The column quotes a financial advisor from Illinois who says he has clients in their 40s and 50s who have never done a will.

But it says there is now a “growing urgency” among Baby Boomers to get their estate plans in order. And this is especially important for those who have children with disabilities.

The will, the column says, is the foundation of any estate plan. It says who gets what and appoints guardians for children or adult children with disabilities.

Without a will, the state will decide these things for you.

Estate plans may also include trusts in the will to take care of children and name trustees to oversee those trusts. Without a trust, the children would get their inheritance right away once they are of age.

A special needs trust is a must if you have a child with a disability who is unlikely to be able to support himself or herself, the column points out. If your assets were to go right to the child, he or she might be disqualified from government benefits. The trust gets around that.

One reason many parents delay setting up trusts is that they don’t know whom to name as the trustee. The column’s advice for these people: name someone and you can revisit it later if you want.

If the child is one with disabilities, you may want to consider naming more than one person to handle different duties for the child.

There are many things to think about. The message of the column — and of this blog post — is that you need to get on this if you haven’t already.

You never know what is going to happen in life. Better to be prepared.

Boomers Should Be Saving

I recently came across an article on AARP.com that I thought would be important for baby boomers to read.

retirement

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

The message: keep saving for retirement.

The article noted that many people who could be saving are not doing so.

One study cited in the article showed only one-third of people aged 50 and older have not saved for retirement. But it is never too late.

An important method for saving for retirement is taking advantage of employer savings plans such as 401(k) plans, according to the story.

The article also suggested taking advantage of financial seminars such as those run by the AARP Foundation. The study showed those who took the courses were able to cut spending and pay down debt better than those who had not taken such courses.

Another study cited in the article showed more disturbing news: American teens are less financially literate than youths from other nations.

Maybe our children are following in our footsteps. That may not be such a good thing.