10 Things You Can Do Now To Prepare Yourself For Retirement – No Matter Your Age

Facts are stubborn things. We all want to retire successful and pass a meaningful legacy. However, studies have shown that 70% of family wealth is lost by the end of a family’s second generation and 90% by the end of the third.


You need to act now to help your loved ones avoid becoming one of these statistics. You must educate and update your heirs about your wealth transfer goals and the plan you have put in place to achieve these goals.


You must communicate the following information to your family to ensure that they will have the information they need during especially difficult times:


1. Save For Retirement! The earlier you start, the more wealth you accumulate

2. Consider purchasing Long Term Care Insurance, especially if you are younger

3. Document and Track your Budget and Net worth statement, or at the very minimum keep a broad overview of your wealth

4. Create an Estate Plan

Estate planning documents that have been created and what purpose they serve:


  • Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, Living Will – property management; avoiding guardianship; clarifying wishes regarding life-sustaining procedures
  • Revocable Living Trust – avoiding guardianship; keeping final wishes private; avoiding probate; minimizing delays, costs and bureaucracy
  • Last Will and Testament – a catch-all for assets not transferred into your Revocable Living Trust prior to death, or the primary means to transfer your wealth if you are not using a Revocable Living Trust
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust – removing life insurance from your taxable estate; providing immediate access to cash
  • Advanced Estate Planning – protecting assets from creditors, predators, outside influences, and ex-spouses; charitable giving; minimizing taxes; creating dynasty trusts

    5. Determine who will be in charge if you become incapacitated or die RIGHT NOW – for example the agent named in your Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive; successor trustee of your Revocable Living Trust and other trusts you’ve created; personal representative named in your will.


    6. Look at the Benefits of Lifetime Discretionary Trusts created for your heirs such as:

  • Fosters educational opportunities
  • Provides asset, divorce, and remarriage protection
  • Protects special needs beneficiaries (if properly drafted)
  • Allows for professional asset management
  • Minimizes estate taxes at each generation
  • Creates a lasting legacy for future generations

    7. Think through your overall goals and intentions for inheritance – what the money is, and is not, to be used for (in other words, education vs. charitable work vs. vacations vs. Ferraris vs. business opportunities vs. retirement), and who will be trustee of lifetime discretionary trusts created for your heirs and why you’ve selected them


    8. Where you are storing important documents – this should include how your agents access your “digital” assets, which is frequently overlooked!


    9. Keep a list of your key advisors and how to contact them


    10. Communicate and maintain your plan – don’t let your plan go stale after a couple of years. Regularly check and make sure it still works.


    How Your Professional Advisors Will Help You With This List


    Your professional advisors are well-positioned to help you discover your wealth priorities, goals, and objectives and then communicate this information to your heirs. This, in turn, will prepare your heirs to receive your wealth instead of being left to figure it out on their own and, as statistics have shown, lose it all.


    The professionals at Miller Estate Planning & Elder Law, PLLC, are available to assist you with figuring out your wealth transfer goals, putting a plan in place to achieve these goals, and effectively communicating this information to your loved ones.


    Contact Us today – we would love to help guide you on the path to retirement.