When do you need to start planning for your incapacity due to illness or injury? Your ability to use Snapchat proficiently -- or your desire to do so -- is not the line of demarcation. In most states, it is celebrating your 18th birthday. Upon reaching the age of majority, health care directives and durable powers-of-attorney are necessary to allow someone you trust to make critical decisions on your behalf when you lack the ability to do so yourself.
A common question that arises each tax season concerns the length of time that financial records must be kept. A desire to get rid of the clutter conflicts with the need to retain critical documents. A great starting point is this article. I recommend clicking the link and giving it a read.
Most of us will admit that it can be quite difficult to predict the future. No one really knows how events will play out. But determining what happened in the past can be equally challenging. It appears that we are overly confident in explaining an event that has already occurred. The reason is that people, including historians, are subject to bias and impose false order upon random events.
People tend to act based on incentives. Everyone is subject to them, even financial advisors. What are your advisor's incentives? Take a listen.
"An estimated one in five older Americans have been financially exploited," according to an article in Barron's, describing the situation as an epidemic. While seniors are subject to a variety of scams, the majority of financial abuse "comes at the hands of family members, friends, or caregivers improperly using a retiree's money." In fact, "AARP found that financial exploitation by family members involves larger sums than those by strangers."
A common example is when an adult child is being compensated for the time she spends caring for an aging parent. Eventually, the child begins drawing additional funds for herself because she "deserves" it. An open conversation with the other siblings or family members can help provide transparency. Requiring more than one person to engage in, or review, financial transactions on behalf of seniors also helps.
It is important to be aware of the warning signs that someone you know may be vulnerable:
More Articles ...
- A Lesson from the Election
- Why 55 is Too Young to Make Retirement Decisions
- Money for Nothing
- The Importance of Immigration