Archive for the ‘long-term care planning’ Category

3 reasons women aren’t prepared for their retirement years…

November 19th, 2013 No Comments

Women face distinct challenges in retirement years

As more and more women enter retirement years, they are realizing their financial resources are lacking. Typically, women in the work force have earned less than men, and many have moved in and out of the work force over the years, leaving their financial nest egg lacking. Many women fear outliving their savings, regardless of income. Women have higher rates of disability and chronic health issues and are more likely to need long-term elder care as they age.

  • 1. Women typically live longer. Women aged 65 this year can expect to live to age 86, so that’s 20+ years of living off their nest egg.
  • 2. Women have invested too conservatively. Many women haven’t invested as aggressively in the stock market as their male counterparts.
  • 3. Women tend to distrust financial advisers. A senior vice president at E-Trade, Lena Haas, reports that women ranked the financial industry last in a 60-industry list, even below used car salesmen.

Women are encouraged to:

  • have a retirement plan
  • have an estate plan
  • consider long-term care insurance
  • review investment plans
  • attend educational group financial planning sessions
  • educate themselves about various aspects of retirement

For more, read the USA article at http://usat.ly/1cFgimf.

It’s Save for Retirement Week…are you saving enough?

October 23rd, 2013 No Comments

The third week in October is Save For Retirement Week

Retirement comes sooner than many of us would like to admit, and many of us—from baby boomers to millennials—just aren’t saving enough to fund our retirement and long-term care goals. Assume that you will live into your 90s. As a general rule of thumb, you probably need to save at least 8 times your ending salary to have enough to live on for around 25 years in retirement. Long term care costs may bump the total up even more (see our Long-Term Care Community Resource Bulletin). Now is the time to start saving..or saving more.

Calculator to determine if you’re saving enough: http://cnnmon.ie/1bf3tyy

Check out The Dream Big Site, created especially for younger savers, to help them plan their financial goals. It has tips, tools, and other resources: dreambigsite.org

Saving for Retirement: All About Annuities

October 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Long Term Care Planning

In October, we’re bringing awareness to long-term care planning. Annunities may help with your NJ elder care planning.

“Are you planning for your retirement?” the TV ads ask. If your answer is, “Umm, not really,” you have plenty of company. Financial advisers across the Web scold Americans for not saving enough for retirement. While this is a real problem, many Americans are struggling just to keep up with the current costs of living. There are quite a few reasons:

  • Losses in savings and retirement accounts caused by record low interest rates and the collapse of several investment firms in 2008
  • Interruptions in income and savings caused by lay-offs
  • Stagnant incomes for those who managed to remain employed
  • Uneven relief, if any, in the costs for food, energy and other basics of life

In fact, more Americans than ever plan to work past their retirement age to make up for lost income and savings they experienced during The Great Recession, The Wall Street Journal reports. Thankfully, annuities provide some relief.

Annuities 101

One option for families thinking about retirement saving strategies is to consider annuities, which are long-term investment strategies that provide an income stream for retirees and people older than 59-and-a-half. Annuities are actually insured by the firms that sell them to protect investors from losing income. Some may even guarantee a fixed rate of return. It’s like having a warranty on your investment.

Annuities can be designed to fit different needs. They can be arranged to pay out funds to owners or their heirs for as long as they live or for a specific period of time. The latter reason makes them a common strategy used to pay out court settlements. Private placement variable deferred annuities (PPVAs) are even more attractive, particularly to lawyers working on court settlement details, because of their flexibility, transparency and ability to accept other investment forms, such as hedge funds and commodities. PPVAs can only be sold by brokers licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Selling Annuities

There is a healthy market for individuals who want to sell their annuities for any number of reasons, including to pay bills during a period of unemployment, save a residence from foreclosure or pay for college tuition. However, according to annuity.org, annuity owners who plan to sell should carefully consider other options to raise money. The main concern is most annuities out there today are part of retirement packages. Retirement annuities sold before age 59-and-a-half come with a 10 percent tax penalty from the IRS. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

Selling an annuity can bring unexpected costs, including a 7 percent fee if you opened it within the past year, in addition to age-related penalties. These “surrender charges” decrease with each year, usually by about one or two percent until they drop down to zero. Some annuities also let you take out earned interest without charge or allow a withdrawal up to 10 percent of the fund without the surrender fee.

Guest author: Tom Weaver | Tom is a financial planner from St. Paul.

Don’t wait for a crisis to start planning for your long-term care…

October 2nd, 2013 1 Comment

October is Long-Term Care Planning Month

We at Visiting Angels NJ know how especially important it is to plan, as we work with clients and their families on a daily basis who are in need of our home care services. Most people may not know that Medicare, health insurance, and disability coverages won’t pay for most long-term care services. When a crisis occurs with an elder loved one, families are often faced with making quick, high-pressure, costly decisions regarding care. By planning ahead, you will have alleviated some of that pressure and you will also have more options for care. We encourage you to plan ahead for your long-term elder care.

For much more on this important subject, visit our Long-Term Care Planning page.

 

Boomers, be aware of financal considerations for your parents’ long term care…

July 31st, 2013 No Comments

Financial considerations for Mom and Dad’s elder care in New Jersey and across the country

As scores of baby boomers are preparing for retirement themselves, they are becoming increasingly responsible for the long-term care of their aging parents. MetLife has done extensive research on the subject of aging, including caregiving. The number of family caregivers has risen dramatically in the past 15 years. MetLife’s Mature Market Institute estimates that in 2011, adult children aged 50 and over, comprised approximately 10 million caregivers of an older parent. The amount increased from 12% to 45% from 1994 to 2009. The care provided was assistance with their parents’ ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), including helping them get dressed, bathe, eating assistance, and other personal care assistance. Caring for a parent can be both emotionally and financially draining.

The MetLife researchers have compiled several financial considerations regarding family caregiving.

  • Quitting your job–don’t do it hastily. It may give you more time to be with your parent, but consider the injury it may cause to your retirement funds. Also consider your future work…will it be difficult to re-enter your field after taking a break?
  • Benefits Loss–consider the benefits your job provides, particularly health disability and life insurance, and whether you would be able to do without them.
  • Prepare a budget for caregiving–take a look at the financial costs in your situation
  • Take advantage of free or low-cost services for your parents. Your local Office on Aging is a great place to start (check our list of Local Resources for agencies and elder care services in Burlington County, NJ and Mercer County, NJ)
  • Increase your knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Know what it costs to have your parent remain at home
  • Obtain professional assistance–Visiting Angels NJ, for example. Our home care aides can help your parents when you can’t physically be there. This can provide a sense of security for both you and your parents.
  • Be on the lookout for financial scams aimed at older people. Warn your parents about not giving any financial information to anyone they don’t know
  • Prepare legal documents–make sure you discuss with your parents the importance having a power of attorney, living will, and will. Consult an eldercare attorney to assist.
  • Don’t forget your own retirement–your own retirement plans should not be forfeited while caring for your parent

Read the US News and World Report article for more information http://bit.ly/18MVHf4.

Boomers, are you confident you’ll have enough saved for retirement? Many aren’t…

April 2nd, 2013 No Comments

A new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute has shown that 28% of U.S. baby boomers report they don’t have confidence they have enough money saved for retirement. With advances in medical care, people are now living longer. As a result, the need  for long term care, such as home care NJ, has increased. These costs should be part of financial planning for retirement. 18% of boomers stated they are now planning to retire well after the age of 62–they are now saying they are planning to retire at age 70 or older. Read the Wall Street Journal story at http://on.mktw.net/XGykBo.

Man dies on the way to his wife’s funeral…

February 26th, 2013 No Comments

In the news: A 94-year-old New York man died unexpectedly in a limousine on the way to his wife’s funeral. His daughters reported their father, Norman Hendrickson, didn’t like to waste money, so the family decided to have both their mother and father’s funerals together. The couple, who met in Europe during WWII, had been married almost 66 years. Read the story at http://nbcnews.to/13lsM1o.

Have you talked to your parents about their final wishes or long-term care plan? As an elder care NJ provider, we encourage you to have the conversation with them soon!

Mild cognitive impairment can put you at risk for financial abuse

February 13th, 2013 No Comments

About 20% of Americans over the age of 70 have mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. It’s described as a stage between an expected mental decline of normal aging and the more significant decline of dementia. You may have more difficulty with completing tax forms, for example, or keeping on top of your finances, but it’s not severe enough to stop you form doing your day-to-day activities. An interesting article on USAToday.com reinforces the need for baby boomers to make their long-term plans BEFORE they have MCI. Not doing so in advance may lead to unsavory people taking over your finances at a time when you’re most vulnerable. The article offers tips of ways to prepare, such as putting together a support team of those you trust to take care of your finances. It’s also advisable to prepare your documents, such as medical directives (such as your desire to have home care NJ rather than living in a nursing home) and power of attorney. Read more: http://usat.ly/Yrh6ml

 

Series on aging stresses importance of talking to your parents about end-of-life wishes before a crisis happens…

December 13th, 2012 No Comments

NBC News, in conjunction with AARP, has been featuring a series about aging. In one video installment, the focus was on having a conversation with your older parents about their end-of-life wishes–how they would like to handle topics such as how they would like elder care should they need extra help (such as home care NJ), where they would like to live, how they would like their funeral to be arranged, what their plan is to financially pay for long term elder care, who would be appointed power of attorney, where important paperwork is located, etc. These conversations about death and dying are extremely difficult for both adult children as well as adults, but by being proactive BEFORE a crisis arises will greatly reduce stress and anxiety.

Go to NBC new’s website at http://nbcnews.to/Z323pp to view their series on aging.

Have you had “the conversation” (end-of-life wishes) with your loved ones?

October 11th, 2012 No Comments

No one likes to think about the end of their parents’ lives, nor their own, for that matter. Most of us know, especially those in elder care New Jersey, it’s important to have “the conversation” with your loved ones about end-of-life wishes, or to at least get them in writing (80% of people surveyed think they should have their wishes in writing, but only 7% have done so, according to the California Health Foundation). ABC News is partnering with The Conversation Project and is featuring a series focusing on long term care and end-of-life planning. At theconversationproject.org, you can download a starter kit to help get you and your family started. Questions such as, where would you prefer to be when you die?, at what point would you want to stop looking for a cure, and instead focus on being comfortable?, what do you need to do to get your affairs in order?, and many more questions and ideas to ponder. Visit abcnews.go.com/health/conversation to watch videos and learn more.

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