Love doesn’t have to be romantic – sometimes, the most practical endeavor shows how much you truly care about another person.
Retirement Tip of the Week: Make sure the people you love the most are taken care of if you’re not there, and get all of your estate plans in order.
An unexpected event like a sickness or accident can change a family forever. When that happens, having a solid estate plan in place — or even just the most important documents written — can make a huge difference to people already suffering.
There’s also no minimum age to get started. Even the youngest couples or families should get themselves in order, whether they have a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank or just a few hundred dollars.
Documents are the basics, but they’re incredibly impactful. They include a healthcare proxy, which appoints someone to make life-altering decisions in the event of incapacitation. There’s also a will, well-known for listing out last wishes and most importantly, dictating who will care for children if one or both parents have died. Powers of attorney can take control of financial or life situations depending on how they’re written, and guardianship designations are another way to ensure the proper person is caring for a loved one.
Have a question about your own retirement concerns? Check out MarketWatch’s column “Help Me Retire”
Financials should also be organized properly, such as having the right beneficiaries named on accounts and listing out where to find every account for the people left behind. Not everyone knows what banks or how many financial institutions a family keeps money, nor do they always know the account information or login credentials. Make a list of accounts for savings, investments, credit cards, mortgages, utilities, education and so on.
Look into life insurance, too — especially when there are spouses and children who rely on your income. Some companies offer life insurance plans as part of benefit packages, but review the coverage offered and seek additional if necessary. There are various types of insurance, including term, which is available for a specific period of time, or permanent, which pays out regardless of the timing. Individuals can decide upon numerous factors, such as how interest rates or premiums change over the course of the policy, and if the cash value is linked to the markets.
Before choosing a policy, make sure you’re working with a qualified professional to make a decision on a plan and get it set up. Here’s more on how to make sense of life insurance.