How Individuals Can Prepare Their Final Wishes

Written by Becky Wilcox

Unfortunately, death is a debt we all must pay. Some people will pay their debt sooner than others. It’s a fact of life that everyone must die. Preparing for the end of your life can be a tough decision. The best way to prepare for the end of your life is when you’re young. However, many older people find it a necessity to prepare for life’s departure. Preparing for your death may not be something you want to think about. You can protect yourself, along with your loved ones, by preparing for your final wishes ahead of time. In fact, many older adults don’t want to be a burden to their children.

How Are Older Adults Planning For Their Death

There are two decisions older adults have to make about death: what happens after you die, and how to prepare for power of attorney if you’re unable to make your own decisions. Preparing for your death will determine your last will and testament. Many older adults use an estate tax to plan for their future. Get your affairs in order before you pass away to make life easier for you and your loved ones.

What Is An Estate Tax

An estate task is a levied tax against a deceased person’s property. You have assets imposed on your heir’s. However, it does not apply to the transfer to a surviving spouse. A surviving spouse must take out a marital deduction. Your property must meet an exclusion limit set by the law. If your estate is over the exclusion limit, your loved ones may end up owing an estate tax. An estate tax can be valued at a high rate and require careful planning. There is a difference between an estate tax and a gift tax.

Life Insurance Versus Estate Tax

A life insurance policy pays for your funeral and final expenses. You pay a monthly premium that allows you to designate a beneficiary. For example, your beneficiary will receive $50,000 to pay for your funeral, past due bills, and other expenses. Your life insurance policy allows you added dignity when you pass away. You can also use the money to help your spouse or dependents after you pass. If you have an estate tax, your life insurance policy passes on to your estate. You can talk to a professional estate tax expert for more details.

Why Hire A Professional Estate Tax Planner

A professional estate tax planner is an attorney with experience in state laws. They can draft your documents to allow everything to be carried out according to your last will and testament. They understand that one missing word or the wrong signature can have serious consequences. An attorney will have experience with the state laws that govern your estate. State laws are very

specific about what can and can’t be included in your will or trust. Hiring a professional will help you guarantee your wishes are legally carried out the right way after you’re gone.

Older adults don’t want to be a burden to their children and prepare for their death with estate planning. Aging is a time for transition and many older adults wonder about the next stage of their life. In fact, aging is a natural process, but planning is very important. You never want your loved ones to wrestle with your bills and what you would have wanted. Planning for the finals days of your life will leave your loved ones without stress. Relieve the burden of others guessing about your final wishes.

Planning will also cover your medical wishes. Your estate tax is like your power of attorney. If you can’t handle your affairs at the end of your last days, your last will and testament can help. You’re creating a personal security plan for your last wishes. An estate tax is usually for wealthy people or individuals with a large estate. The Trump Administration has created tax estate cuts that aren’t set to expire until 2023. Dying isn’t something that we want to think about, but it will help your loved ones carry on after you’re gone. Show your family how much you care by planning for your final wishes.

What to Know About Real Estate Investments for Retirement Income

Written by William O. Kresge

If retirement is right around the corner for you, it’s important to ensure that you have enough money to last you through your golden years. Would-be retirees often resort to stock trading and other sidelines to help build retirement funds in a relatively short period of time. This can be especially useful for those who may not have as much saved throughout the years. After all, there’s simply no way of knowing how much you really need. That’s why Becky Wilcox recommends establishing a passive source of income to let you continue earning even during retirement.

One type of investment to consider for reaping passive income is real estate. Entrepreneur Magazine lists some key advantages to investing in real estate, such as lower levels of volatility and better tax benefits. However, while it isn’t too complex to comprehend, real estate investments still require a certain level of knowledge, skill, intuition, and confidence. Fortunately, there are many traditional and online resources available, as well as seminars you can attend.

In fact, the real estate sector offers several different investment opportunities that are great for retirees. Consider these options:

Direct Ownership

When it comes to real estate investments, owning actual property is most likely the first thing that comes to mind. You can opt for short-term and long-term rentals on rooms and studio units, or go for something bigger like renting out a whole apartment building or office space. This route can provide you a lucrative business if you are financially prepared.

In this regard, it’s important to be well informed about your options so you can make better investment decisions. To help you with this process, Yoreevo’s James McGrath suggests taking advantage of a real estate agent’s services. Because an agent is tasked to work solely in your best interests, they can give informed opinions on your investment decisions and help you identify potential issues with a property. They can even negotiate the best possible deal on the property for you. Perhaps more importantly, real estate agents are paid through a commission from listing agents, so their services will not cost you any extra cash.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

A REIT refers to a company that finances income-producing real properties. Many of these companies specialize in specific sectors, like healthcare and corporate real estate. These are made available for investors through initial public offerings (IPOs).

When you buy into REITs, you essentially make money as a shareholder through an IPO. The Street emphasizes REITs’ income-centric approach, noting that 90% of the revenues generated by REITs is regularly distributed to shareholders. The annuity-like income streams from this type of investment makes REITs a good option for retirees.

Tax Lien Certificates

Last but not least, tax lien certificates are a special form of real estate investment.The Balance’s guide to tax lien certificates warns that it can be a little more complicated than owning real estate stocks. However, it can be suited for certain investors, especially those who don’t want to deal with properties directly.

This is how it works: When real estate owners fail to pay their property tax bills, the government can place a tax lien against the property. The lien certificates can then be sold to investors through public auctions. When you successfully win a bid, you pay the tax office the required amount specified on the certificate. With this, you reserve the right to claim the same amount from the homeowner, plus interest. The property owners are given a certain period of time to pay the debt, but if they fail to do so, you then have the rights to the property.

Retirement can be daunting, especially if you haven’t figured out a steady source of income to replace your job. But with enough time and effort to research on real estate options, you can more confidently make investment decisions for your golden years.

How to Safely Travel After Retirement

Written by Nathan Grant

Whether you’ve lived a well-traveled life or not, once you are retired, you most likely have much more personal freedom, free time, and financial security to make your travel dreams come true. While many seniors enjoy traveling by cruise ship, which can have a variety of amenities and accommodations to make traveling for a senior safe and comfortable, more and more retirees are checking off their travel bucket lists by planning trips all around the globe, which studies show has many health and wellness benefits. With more agency being in the hands of the person planning a trip, here are some ways to ensure that as a traveling senior, you can have a safe trip as well as an enjoyable one.

Preparing for a Safe Trip

When planning your destination, only book through trusted agencies, local or online, and if booking your trip online, make sure to look at the URL of the websites you are using to make sure they are secure websites by checking for a lock symbol next to the web address, and a “https” instead of just “http” in the URL. It’s a good practice to check while on any website where you will be sharing personal or financial information, but especially so when you are planning to travel away from home. Scammers can try to offer great and often unrealistic deals and packages, so if something seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is.

Another preparatory step you can take is to make sure that you get travel insurance if you don’t already have it with your current insurance provider. There are homeowners policies that cover baggage loss, and some health insurance policies will cover medical emergencies overseas, but not all, so it’s important to look into what insurance provider options you have overseas, in the form of medical, trip cancellation insurance etc. Consider a travel credit card that can offer some of the same benefits as well.

Before you go, also be careful not to post on social media about being gone for an amount of time, or post pictures while you are still on the vacation itself, as you can open your home up to thieves who specifically target seniors and those traveling. If you have close family or friends who live nearby your home, have them check in while you are away just for that added assurance.

Lastly, when planning your trip, consider travel outside of peak times of the years in different seasons to avoid overly heavy crowds. Also, planning weekday trips, as opposed to weekends, can help with the amount of people you may have to deal with, and the good thing about traveling off-peak and during the week is there is often a lot of financial savings in doing so as well.

What to Pack and Navigating the Airport

Making sure you bring the right items to keep you safe and ensure a comfortable trip is important as well. For the airplane, bring a neck pillow and blanket for your seat, and make sure

not to pack or wear too much expensive jewelry as that can make you a target before and during your trip. Pack comfortable, weather-appropriate outfits and supportive shoes so you can fully enjoy your trip without being hampered by discomfort that you could have avoided on your own.

Ultimately, the most important thing you have to pack might be your medications. Before you leave, ask your physicians to provide a letter stating why your medications are necessary. Be sure that the name on your medication bottle matches the name on the letter and on your airline ticket. It’s a good idea to research overseas medical regulations as well so you don’t encounter a problem once you are away from home. According to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), medications must be packed in their own carry-on bag and be clearly identified, which means bringing the original packaging with medical information can save you a lot of time and hassle. It is not suggested to pack medications in checked bags, as not to expose them to X-rays. Also, let the TSA agent know right away that you have necessary medications to make your boarding process smoother. Also, larger amounts of medications can always be shipped to your destination as well.

Each airline has its own policy for on-board and in-flight oxygen usage. Contact your airline ahead of time to find out its oxygen policies. Also, if you require a wheelchair or walker, find out ahead of time if the airport you are using has their own accessibility options for seniors, or possibly use an airline credit card that has similar benefits like lounge access, or priority boarding for those with a wheelchair or similar need.

A Safe and Secure Destination

Fraud and identity theft are unfortunately rampant and often targeted to seniors specifically. Be aware that there common scams when traveling such as fake taxi services, tour guides, and even imitation police that can be a danger when you are a tourist. Research taxi and ride-share services beforehand, or find out information at the airport itself as most airports and major travel hubs have taxi stands and information desks so you can be aware of legit services before you even step foot out of the airport. And you can always rent a car to get around so you are 100% in control of your itinerary.

There are a few other tips that can make your trip safe and stress free as a senior. Choosing a centralized hotel can be a saving grace, as while it is obviously important to find a hotel that is accommodating and affordable, choosing a hotel that can act as a sort of home base during your stops on your trip is great, allows you to recuperate and then you can consider not carrying certain medications that you don’t need on your person. Also, spreading out the stops on a trip, and not packing too much bucket list crossing in one day so you don’t overdo it is advised. It can be tiring for a spry young couple on their first trip having a busy itinerary, so pace your trip and stay safe and happy the whole time.

Also, there is no rule that you have to travel alone! Bringing the kids and grandkids along for a family trip will no doubt make you feel younger, create lasting memories with your family, and

make for a safer experience away from home, so buck the trend, check off that bucket list, and show that it is never too late to make those travel dreams come true.