Starting your retirement is a significant achievement that deserves to be celebrated. After years of hard work, you can now direct your attention toward the next phase of your life. However, it is crucial to ensure that you have thoroughly considered this exhilarating change before embarking on the next chapter.
Things to Consider When Beginning Your Retirement
With this new chapter come certain estate planning issues that you need to consider.
If You Have an Existing Estate Plan
Creating a legally binding estate plan is important to take care of yourself and your loved ones. But it’s not a one-time task. You should review your plan every year or after significant life changes, such as retirement. When you review your plan, ask yourself these key questions:
- Have you kept the same property and account balances since you created your plan? What will happen to them after you die? You likely saved money in investment or retirement accounts during your working years for this stage of life. Although you may have a lot now, keep in mind that withdrawing from those accounts can reduce their value.
- Did you make your plan assuming your beneficiaries are still minors? Parents typically create an estate plan when they have a child, but they may not think about it afterward. If it has been a while since you made your plan, your children may now be adults. You may need to focus on addressing their needs as adults rather than choosing guardians.
- Did you rely on life insurance from your employer? Some employers offer life insurance as part of their benefits package. However, this policy may not exist once you stop working. If you were counting on this insurance to support your loved ones after your death, you’d need to explore other options.
- Do you want to change how much your beneficiaries inherit and how they receive it? Are the amounts and methods of inheritance still appropriate or possible? For instance, if you had set aside $300,000 for your only child to inherit at age 35, but now you may have less money at your death. If your child is now over 35 years old, they will automatically receive the inheritance. You may need to reconsider how they inherit the money based on their current needs and abilities. They may require more or less money than you originally planned.
If you haven’t made an estate plan, don’t wait any longer. It’s the only way to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Start by thinking about your situation and answering these questions:
- What do you own? We need to know what money and property you have, so we can create a plan for what happens if you can’t take care of yourself or after you pass away.
- What do your loved ones need? You need to figure out what your family members need and whether you can support them during your lifetime and after you’re gone.
- Can you achieve your goals? With the help of an expert, we can review your answers and figure out the best plan for you and your family.
We’re happy to join in your celebration of this new phase in your life. To make sure your celebration lasts for a long time, we suggest meeting with your estate planning team. Whether you want to create your first estate plan or review your current one, please reach out to us. We’d love to help.