Financial Uncertainty in Retirement. . . We Can Help with That!

senior couple with papers and calculator at home

Life spans are increasing, and many of us are living well into our 80’s and 90’s. At the same time, however, the price of long-term care is increasing, and as we learned last week, you CANNOT count on long-term care insurance to pay for it.

Still, many Americans do not recognize that planning in advance and saving for their golden years should be an urgent priority in their lives, according to Kristen Bonner, GoBankingRates researcher. “The trending attitude today is to enjoy life to the fullest,” she said. “However, even though retirement seems far away to many people, and they think that there is still plenty of time to begin saving, Americans must make their future selves a priority and take all necessary steps to set themselves up for a comfortable financial future.”

Here are some of the challenges we face financially as we get older, and why it is imperative to meet with a qualified financial planner, and plan ahead:

Not enough savings: Because people are living so long, they often outlive their savings and investments. What this means is that along the way to becoming older at age 85 or age 90 or age 95, a number of expenditures have eaten into savings and investments.

Retirement accounts didn’t produce anticipated results: If a senior or a senior couple is relying on investments and savings to augment income such as Social Security or pensions, and for various reasons those retirement accounts did not produce the anticipated results, many seniors find themselves in a bind in later years.

Too much debt: For whatever reason, banks have been particularly liberal about issuing credit cards to older individuals who may not have the capacity to service that debt. The debt may have been necessary because of a major repair to the home, or due to unforeseen high medical bills. Paying back money borrowed on credit cards or through home equity loans eats into income.

Income flow not keeping pace with inflation: This is particularly true for seniors on Social Security or fixed pensions who have to pay for the high cost of medical care. The cost of medical care has been increasing significantly faster than the yearly increases in Social Security. Also, in some areas the cost of maintaining a household due to higher utility bills, higher taxes and higher maintenance costs has risen faster than the cost of living increases in Social Security income.

Failing health: Deteriorating health for a senior – especially a senior of advanced age – will typically trigger the need for intervention and the need for making some serious and costly decisions about living arrangements, costs, government support and family support.

Financial exploitation: Because of the many exposés on television, many of us are aware of phone scams and Internet scams. There are also other scams out there that take advantage of seniors and rob them of their savings.

Need Financial Advice? We Are Now Offering Elder-Focused Financial Services

As you can see, it is important to plan in advance to live comfortably, and to deal effectively with challenges (such as those above) as they arise. For years my law firm and I have been providing you and our other clients with caring and compassionate legal services designed to ensure that your wishes will be carried out when you die, or that your assets are protected from the catastrophic expenses of long-term care. Over the years, as we have all grown older (sigh!), I have begun to encounter more and more clients who need financial services in addition to legal services. Because of this need, in order to more effectively serve all of our clients, I am now offering specialized elder-focused financial services in addition to our traditional elder-focused legal services. I feel it is very important to share these cutting-edge financial strategies with you – strategies that provide long-term care protection but do NOT involve the purchase of traditional long-term care insurance — as well as guide you through the implementation of financial solutions to problems that may threaten your future financial security.

I am extremely proud of the number of families we’ve been able to help in almost 30 years of practicing in the Northern Virginia area, and we have been extremely fortunate over the past 2 years to be able to expand our practice with an office in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and meeting locations in Washington, DC and Rockville, MD.

For many of our clients, the legal plan and documents you have in place were state of the art when prepared, but many laws have changed and have been added over the years. Plus, with almost 9,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, our current health care and long-term care systems may one day become overwhelmed, making it difficult for all of us to get the care we need at affordable rates if we don’t take steps now.

Congress recognized this when they passed the Pension Protection Act, which since 2010 has allowed those who plan properly to pay for the costs of long-term care using tax-free dollars. The problem is that, while the Pension Protection Act provides some great tools to allow us to plan better, very few attorneys or advisors know anything at all about the law.

As always, we at the Farr Law Firm stay on top of the strategies you need to put in place to keep yourself and your family protected.  In the coming year and beyond, I will be bringing this important message to members of our community through our ongoing monthly seminars. In the meantime, I want to reach out to our newsletter readers to schedule a free Senior Estate Planning & Asset Protection Review to see if there are legal and/or financial steps you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones.  Normally these free follow-up consultations are only available to members of our Lifetime Protection Program, but for a limited time we are offering this free review to introduce you to our new elder-focused financial services.

My schedule is about to become very full as I take this important financial information to the general public; however, if you’d like to have your own personalized Senior Estate Planning & Asset Protection Review at no charge, please call my office as soon as possible, preferably this week or next week, at 703-691-1888, so we can get you on the schedule.

Retirement is a Complex Issue

When it comes to financial planning, everyone has different needs, situations, and goals. Should you ever want expert guidance with your financial planning process, remember that qualified assistance is available right here at The Farr Law Firm. Our team looks forward to helping you – no matter where you’re at in your financial journey!

In addition, if you have not done long-term care planning, estate planning or incapacity planning (or had your planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call us to make an appointment for an initial consultation:

Fairfax Financial Planning: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Financial Planning: 540-479-1435
Rockville Financial Planning: 301-519-8041
DC Financial Planning: 202-587-2797

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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