One of the big stories in the elder law community these days involves the fact that the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age. No less than 10,000 people are applying for Social Security for the first time every day, and this volume of applicants is expected to continue for the next 20 years. The Social Security Administration states that 64% of people who receive a Social Security check rely on it as their primary source of income. To drill down deeper, 33% of recipients say … [Read more...] about Social Security: Is It Enough?
IRAs have become ubiquitous components of estate plans. The SECURE Act of 2019 altered the landscape for IRAs significantly by eliminating the stretch benefit for most designated beneficiaries and forcing all designated beneficiaries other than Eligible Designated Beneficiaries to use the 10-year rule for distributions. The 10-year rule was thought to operate much like the 5-year rule that existed before the passage of the SECURE Act. Recently issued proposed Treasury Regulations dispute that … [Read more...] about Just When You Thought You Understood the 10-Year Rule, Think Again
Retirement accounts play an important role in estate planning, one of the main benefits being that retirement accounts avoid probate, as they pass to a named beneficiary using a beneficiary form that you complete when you open your account. IRAs, Individual Retirement Accounts, are not only powerful estate planning tools, but they, of course, are great vehicles for saving for retirement with tax benefits. In fact, the income tax on an IRA is payable only when funds are withdrawn from the … [Read more...] about IRA Distributions and Children: A Probem and a Solution
Since the creation of Individual Retirement Accounts in 1971, they have become an increasingly important part of a well-balanced Estate Plan. Taxpayers contribute to the IRA. Upon attaining a certain age, the taxpayer begins taking distributions based upon tables promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service. The Internal Revenue Service recently updated those tables which will significantly impact certain taxpayers. My friend and colleague Tereina Stidd, an estate planning expert, has looked into … [Read more...] about Application of the Updated Life Expectancy Tables
The earlier you begin your retirement plan, the more comfortable you will be during your retirement years. If you are now nearing your “Golden Years,” however, there are additional steps you should take to ensure that your affairs are in order. To help you get started, let's look at five important steps to take when you are ready to retire. Decide where you want to live. This is undoubtedly something you have been thinking about for many years; however, there are several good reasons … [Read more...] about Retirement Planning – 5 Important Steps
The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs. The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the … [Read more...] about Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Social Security retirement benefits play a significant role in budgeting for retirement for many people. If you are one of those, you may be wondering at what age you should retire and start accepting your benefits. Because it does matter, let's see how the age at which you begin accepting Social Security retirement benefits impacts your benefit amount. The Social Security Retirement System Throughout your working years you accumulate credits based on your earnings. The Social Security … [Read more...] about When Should I Retire?
The Federal Social Security Administration is responsible for providing Social Security retirement and disability benefits to qualified applicants. For this blog discussion, we’ll cover Social Security retirement benefits. Almost all of us have a right to claim Social Security retirement benefits once we reach retirement age. For those born in 1929 or later years, you can claim Social Security retirement benefits if you’ve earned a sufficient number of work credits. Usually, you must have … [Read more...] about Social Security Retirement Benefits Basics
If you are like most Americans, you started saving for your retirement about the same time you started your career. The idea of saving for our golden years is firmly ingrained in the American psyche. While putting away money for retirement is certainly wise, putting away too much can result in over-funding of a retirement account. Unless one plans ahead, the excess funds in a retirement account could be taxed as both income and for estate tax purposes at the time of death. The end result of this … [Read more...] about Over-Funding Your Retirement Plan: A Potential Estate Planning Problem
The most significant action of Congress in 2019 relating to retirement and estate planning was the late December passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019”, commonly known as the “Secure Act”. It was signed into law shortly thereafter and is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. In this and future newsletters, we will look into the provisions of the Secure Act and also some strategies to maximize benefits and minimize problems created by this … [Read more...] about CONGRESS PASSES THE SECURE ACT: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?