If you live long enough you will have some kind of disability. Planning for disability is harder than planning for death.
Powers of Attorney (POA) require extra work. Fidelity, Schwab and Bank of America won’t accept your POA. They want you and your agent to sign their indemnity form. They insist your agent be added to the account. Do not wait too long for if you are disabled then no one will accept your signature.
The POA’s are an imperfect substitute for you. Your agent will not be able to access your Fidelity account online to find your tax forms from an agent’s account. When your agent calls Caremark about your credit card and your drug plan, Caremark, will demand a business POA, a medical power of attorney, a HIPPA authorization and a Medicare claim assistance form and you must also come to the phone to talk to them.
We always have our clients develop a revocable trust funded well before disability. This system allows for a smoother transition and insures access to liquid assets for your needs when the disability sets in.
True you still need POA’s for IRA’s and other assets that cannot be re-titled. As always, we are here to advise you on every aspect of your financial life.
If your bank is taking you for granted, that is, charging you for checking and paying nothing on savings, then, it may be time to move on.
Free checking is available at smaller community banks, credit unions and online banks. Many online banks pay more than 1 percent on savings for little or no minimum deposits.
Check out Federally insured online banks at Bankrate.com. Many are established community banks that use the Internet to market nationally.
Keep More of Your Savings
People in their 60s should already be planning ways to minimize taxes in their 70s. Investors can pull money out of tax-deferred retirement accounts without penalty after turning age 59 ½ . Yet many choose to let their investments grow sheltered from taxes as long as possible, which can trigger higher taxes when mandatory distributions kick in. Ironically, tax-deferred growth creates its own tax problem if you do it too well.
Most people tend to delay taxes as long as possible, but this can backfire when it comes to RMDs. “It just pushes all the taxes farther and farther down the line and then they get this huge tax bite later.” “Unfortunately, it’s too late at that point.”
But it’s not too late for retirees in their 60s when withdrawals are penalty free, RMDs haven’t yet kicked in and disbursements are likely to be taxed at a lower rate because the recipient is no longer working. Or consider converting part of your traditional IRA each year to a Roth IRA. You’ll owe income taxes on the amount converted, but it may be at a lower rate if you’re retired.
Design a disaster plan- It should include whom to contact and where to meet family members in case of an emergency. All family members should know the plan and numbers to call.
Fill a fireproof box with important cards and financial records. You may also want to include identification and some emergency cash in small bills.
Turning off Gas, Oil and Water in your home- Label these valves so you access them easily to turn off. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends you contact a professional to turn it back on.
Create a go-kit. Such as a back pack or suitcase on wheels and keep it handy. For a list of what to include in your kit, Visit ready.gov/kit.
Have food and water handy- Store at least 3 days of nonperishable food for each family member, plus a gallon of water daily per person. Remember to pack canned foods, peanut butter and granola bars. These are great sources of energy and don’t forget that can opener!
The majority of people do not investigate the “True Cost” of credit cards. The annual fee, late fee and interest charges are moot points that are overshadowed by “miles” or special offers. In addition, those “freebies” have a cost. Either you pay for it via interest rates on the credit card or the merchant/vendor pays for it (which you are actually paying for in higher prices). As mentioned in earlier blogs you may get “1 mile” for each dollar you spend, yet that $1 spent is cashed in, when you redeem them, at one (1) penny. It does take a lot of work to do all the calculations. I found a site that does a good job in filtering all these confusing offers. The “free” portion of the site does give you an excellent starting point to make decisions. You can pay an additional fee for more comparative studies. Give it a try. www.viewfromthe wing.com