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Planning Ahead

In today’s times, the chance that someone retires single or spends some time during retirement alone is high. Yes, it could be by choice; but it could be through a critical situation such as an illness, divorce or death. With women living longer than men on average, it is often the women who are left alone.

Estate planning before circumstances dictate is vital for the survivor. There are a number of areas that can be addressed prior to the unexpected taking place; for example, spend time documenting what financial institutions hold your bank accounts, investments and safety deposit box.

Both parties should be meeting with their advisor on a regular basis, understand the risk level of their portfolio, discuss what will be the source and amount of their income – sometimes pensions pay the survivor a percentage of the monthly income; but will it be enough to maintain your style of living? Ensure beneficiaries are named where able and that they are current. Don’t wait until it is too late.

Discuss with your children where you will go when you are no longer able to care for yourself. It is not a pleasant subject and often avoided, especially when everyone is doing well. Should one or both of you have some insurance; whether it is life, universal life or long term care? Yes, insurance is not for everyone, but it is not always for the benefit of your beneficiaries, it can be for your benefit when you need it.

Your advisor can help you talk about these subjects and help you plan. Know your options, be informed, have open discussions with your partner and family. Spare yourself the uncertainty and fear if the unthinkable becomes reality. Having discussions with a coffee or tea at the kitchen table is much easier to deal with than in a hospital.

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