Articles Tagged with Pension

2.28.20Many people have tens of thousands–even hundreds of thousands–of dollars in their IRAs. If you have an asset that large, shouldn’t you devote more effort to planning for its ultimate disposition?

A designated beneficiary is named on a life insurance policy or some type of investment account as the individual(s) who will receive those assets, in the event of the account holder’s death. The beneficiary designation doesn’t replace a signed will but takes precedence over any instructions about these accounts in a will. If the decedent doesn’t have a will, the beneficiary may see a long delay in the probate court.

If you’ve done your estate planning, most likely you’ve spent a fair amount of time on the creation of your will. You’ve discussed the terms with an established estate planning attorney and reviewed the document before signing it.

2.7.20This time of the year is a great time to revisit your estate plan, so you can ensure your legacy is protected for years to come.”

Many of us set New Year’s resolutions to improve our quality of life. While it’s often a goal to exercise more or eat more healthily, you can also resolve to improve your financial well-being. It’s a great time to review your estate plan to make sure your legacy is protected.

The Tennessean’s recent article entitled “Five estate-planning steps to take in the new year” gives us some common updates for your estate planning.

5.10.19“If you're between 55 and 64, you still have time to boost your retirement savings. Whether you plan to retire early, late, or never ever, having an adequate amount of money saved can make all the difference, both financially and psychologically. Your focus should be on building out—or catching up, if necessary.”

It’s never too soon to begin saving. However, the last decade prior to retirement can be crucial. By then you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of when (or if) you want to retire and, even more important, still have some time to make changes, if need be.

If you discover that you need to put more money away, Investopedia’s article “Top Retirement Savings Tips for 55-to-64-Year-Olds” gives you several time-honored retirement savings tips to consider.

6.7.19Asset titling is the sticking point, where many estate plans fail. The best plan can be undone, if assets are not retitled or accounts are not funded.

Retitling assets means just that—changing the name of the asset, whether it’s a deed to a home or a name of an insurance policy. If assets are not retitled to conform to the estate plan, they won’t be protected or won’t be distributed as you and your estate attorney had planned.

Forbes’ recent article, “For Estate Plan To Work As Intended, Assets Must Be Properly Titled” notes that with the exception of the choice of potential guardians for children, the most important function of a will is to make certain that the transfer of assets to beneficiaries is the way you intended.

3.22.19There was a time when most people had three sources of income in retirement. One was their savings, the second was Social Security and the third was their pension from work. Today, very few workers enjoy the security of a pension, and retirement income is dependent on each person’s ability to save, plus Social Security.

For those remaining workers who have pensions, at some point a decision must be made whether to take their pensions over time or to receive the accrued value as a lump sum. A pension can be a stable stream of income in retirement, or it could be a lump sum that is invested. There are pros and cons to both.

Investopedia’s recent article, “Pension Planning: Lump Sum Versus Monthly Payments,” says that the pension provider takes the risk of both sub-par market returns and the possibility that the retiree will live longer than expected. The article raises several thoughts to consider, when making the decision:

3.11.19The period before retirement is a time when people dream about what the future might hold. They also worry, because who hasn’t heard the stories about retirees who return to work because they retired too early?

It’s no surprise then that little more than half of Americans surveyed by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies say their biggest concern about retirement is outliving their money. The nature of retirement, when we start taking money out of those retirement accounts, after a lifetime of putting money into the accounts, seems a little scary.

Here are the key indicators that you’re probably ready to retire, according to this recent article from Investopedia’s, “6 Signs That You Are OK to Retire.”

1.17.19Out-of-date beneficiary designations could completely undo your entire estate plan. It happens often, since people often neglect these ‘fine print’ details.

We hope that you have a will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass. However, if you are like most Americans, many of your assets are not distributed through your will, but through a beneficiary designation, which you may have not thought about since opening up the account, retirement account, 401(k), IRA or SEP or taking out a life insurance policy. A word of warning: regardless of what’s in your will, the beneficiary designation takes precedence.

Benzinga’s recent article addresses this question: “Estate Planning: What Are Per Capita And Per Stirpes Beneficiary Designations?” Have you changed the beneficiary designations, since the account or policy was first started? If you need to update your beneficiary designation, talk to the company responsible for maintaining the account. They’ll send you a form to complete, sign and return. Keep a copy for your own records.

What is the VA Pension Benefit? 
The Veterans Administration pension program provides monthly tax-free benefit payments to certain wartime Veterans or their surviving spouses who meet the financial and medical requirements. Claimants who are eligible for VA pension may also qualify for supplemental monetary payments, such as housebound or aid & attendance, if they meet additional medical requirements. 
What are the new guidelines to applying and receiving VA Pension Benefits?
The recent regulation changes regarding eligibility requirements for needs-based benefits include:

* A thirty-six month look-back period in which certain transfers or gifts could be penalized. 
* A new formula for calculating a claimant's net worth and a bright-line net worth limit.
* Restrictions on the amount of acreage of a claimant's primary residence which can be excluded in net worth calculations. 
* Clarification on certain medical definitions and allowable medical deductions. 

The new regulations go in to effect on October 18, 2018 and may drastically change a claimant's eligibility as well as their planning options. If you have questions about your current VA pension benefits or about obtaining VA pension benefits, please contact a VA accredited attorney today. 


Veterans Planning Workshops
Discover how Veterans Benefits and long term-care planning can impact and lead to a better quality of life for you and your loved ones. We delve into the new VA regulations and changes to how Veterans and surviving spouses will receive pension benefits.


This blog will be updated frequently as we process the full regulations and changes to the VA Pension. Please plan to check back regularly. 


8.20.18The burden of saving for retirement shifted from employers to employees.  It is now unusual for companies to offer pensions. If you’re lucky enough to have one, make your decisions wisely.

It’s hard to imagine today, but years ago, it wasn’t unusual to stay with one company for a lifetime, then retire and collect a generous company-provided pension that lasted as long as you lived.

Investopedia’s recent article, “Choosing How and When to Receive Pension Benefits,” reminds us that times have changed. Pensions have been replaced in large part by 401(k)s or other employer-sponsored savings plans. Those fortunate enough to still have a pension, will make it a large part of their retirement plan. If you have a pension, you’ll have to make some decisions, when you are ready to retire.

5.23.16Privacy and a faster resolution to settling estates are just two good reasons to create an estate plan.

You really don't have to be a millionaire or famous to create an estate plan, as noted in an article appearing on the Forbes' website, "Prince and Estate Planning: What We Can Learn from the Late Musician's Financial Picture." All you have to do is make sure that you have six basic estate planning documents in place to protect your loved ones from additional stress and worry when you pass away.

Here are the six key documents you should have to protect your assets and your family in the event of your passing:

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