baby boomers

Hate to think about it, but we (the Baby Boom generation) are getting older. Financial firms advertise that the Boomers should be “planning for retirement”, but that usually focuses on retirement savings. Not many marketers are discussing “wealth preservation” issues. What are those?

Starters: everyone - whether you are just 18 or 102 - should have a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy.

  • Durable power of attorney appoints a designee to act on your behalf if you are unable to handle your financial affairs (either permanently or temporarily)
  • Health care proxy appoints a designee to make your medical decisions for you if you are unable (as determined by your physician)

How does this preserve your wealth? Having both documents avoids massive legal fees (remember courts and lawyers are expensive) if you ever become incompetent.

Baby boomers should also be aware of the Medicaid (MassHealth) rules: First off, Medicaid and Medicare are two very different animals. Medicaid helps us pay for long term nursing home care if needed, but you are not eligible for such assistance if you own too many assets. Unfortunately, dementia and Alzheimer’s are becoming increasingly more prevalent. A long stay in a nursing home can wipe out a lifetime of savings and leave nothing for family members. Talk with us about planning options and talk with your financial advisor about long term care insurance - or better yet, involve both of us in a meeting as your “advisor team”.

Estate taxes: don’t be lulled into the belief that such taxes are only for the super-wealthy now. Yes, the federal exemption is $5,250,000 and increasing, but don’t forget the Massachusetts estate tax. A person with a $2 million estate (house, retirement accounts, life insurance etc.) would pay over $100,000 in MA estate tax at death. Talk with Wealthplc to minimize or avoid such estate tax for your family members.