When do you want to retire? Yesterday? Is your money going to last?
It’s simple. Just tell me when you are going to die and we can come up with the perfect plan for your retirement. If you are like most of my clients, you are working away and putting away money for that future retirement date. But what if something happens to you before you retire? What happens to your assets and future income streams? Do you even know what questions to ask? Below are a couple of questions that I have asked my clients over the years:
Q: If a spouse has a pension and passes, what happens to the payout prior to collecting on the plan itself?
A: A majority of the plans that I have reviewed only provide a 50% survivor benefit. But it depends on the plan itself. Call and ask what the provisions are on your pension plan and make sure you have the proper beneficiary designation. Also, ask if there is a portable lump sum option.
Q: Does the surviving spouse qualify for Spousal Benefits?
A: If you have been married for more than 10 years and can provide legal proof of marriage (license) than yes. Now is a good time to make sure that you have a copy of that marriage certificate instead of scrambling later to find it.
Q: Is your estate subject to probate?
A: It depends on your asset titling and beneficiary designations. Most of my clients have told me that they would prefer to disinherit attorneys and the IRS. If you don’t have a plan than those guys might be bigger beneficiaries of your estate than you intended.
Ensuring that you have all of your ducks in order is paramount when it comes to financial planning. It’s better to not cross your fingers and hope that everything works out. Do you even know what would happen if something happened to you?