As the old saying goes, don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. As parents, your life likely revolves around your children. But, like most of us, you probably find yourself wrapped up in the day-to-day work of earning assets to provide for your loved ones. While earning an income to provide for your everyday needs is essential, it’s equally important to focus on the future - and how you might protect those hard-earned assets for your retirement (and beyond).
In this post, I’d like to share 3 quick tips for protecting your assets, so you can live well into old age and leave assets (and a legacy) behind for your family. As you might imagine, my very first tip is to have a plan for your estate. Let’s take a look at why and how that is so vital to protecting your assets.
1. Have an Estate Plan
Estate plans are one of the primary ways you can protect your assets, even after you are gone. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can also create a plan that distributes your assets in the most tax-advantaged way. With tools like trusts, your assets can benefit your children without the risk of loss due to divorce, lawsuits, or bankruptcy. Plus, when used properly, trusts can bypass probate - which can offer substantial cost savings to your loved ones.
Another way estate plans protect your assets is through the creation of a power of attorney and medical directives. This will ensure loved ones can step in to manage your assets (and affairs) if you are unable to care for yourself.
2. Protect Yourself With Insurance
Although we don’t like to think about it, disasters happen. It’s crucial to make sure you have the right types of insurance coverage (and the right amount of coverage) to protect your assets. Health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and car insurance are almost a given, but you should also consider disability, long-term care, and life insurance policies. Many of these policies are relatively affordable but can provide much-needed peace of mind that your loved ones will be cared for if the worst occurs.
3. Wait to Access Your Social Security Benefits
By delaying benefits as long as possible (preferably until age 70) you can maximize both your benefits and those available to your surviving spouse. More importantly, it’s wise to remember that social security should be seen as a bonus to your retirement savings and not a lifeline. Current social security benefits average around $17,000 a year, which is not enough for most
seniors to maintain the standard of living to which they’ve become accustomed. As a general rule of thumb, most financial advisors recommend contributing 10-15% of your income toward retirement savings to provide for your needs when you stop working.
I Can Help You Protect Your Family and Preserve Your Legacy
To learn more about protecting your assets with savvy estate planning tools, contact my office for a free strategy session. I’ll help you develop a plan that works best for your family.
Remember to take it easy on yourself. Parenting is hard work and no parent is perfect (we all learn as we go). Not only is this important to remember for your own mental health - it sets a great example for your children. By modeling that everyone makes mistakes (and that’s okay)
you can teach your children to have a growth mindset and that we are all works in progress. The next time you need a break (or regret getting a little grumpy with your child), speak with them about it. Acknowledge that we all have feelings and needs that pop up and share how important it is that we all remember to take time for ourselves in order to grow.