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Your annual Medicare wellness visit with your doctor may prompt you to update your medical records at home as well as at the doctor’s office.

Your annual tax return filing may prompt you to check on your sources of income, to see whether you could get a bit more, and your spending and debt, to see whether you could have a bit less.

But what about your assets? Did you “set it and forget it”?

  1. Is your home becoming a financial albatross? Is it time to downsize? Or is your home a manageable rightsize but could become more senior-friendly?
  2. If you have another home, do you regularly visit it? Is someone else living there or using it extensively? Is that property held in an LLC to limit your liability? Do you have a written agreement?
  3. If you own real property in another state, have you put it in a trust to avoid probate in that state?
  4. Wherever the property is, is it time to sell it to have more money to pay for your care?
  5. If you have retirement or other brokerage accounts, are you still following the 60/40 rule from the decades of low inflation? Generally speaking, 60 percent equities and 40 percent bonds present a reasonable, balanced portfolio in times of low inflation. With higher inflation, both equities and bonds suffer – though not in the same ways. Maybe it is time to talk with your financial adviser.
  6. You might also want to talk with your financial adviser and elder lawyer about the effects of the SECURE Act on inheritance by someone other than your spouse, a disabled child or someone who is “chronically ill.”

You worked a long time to acquire your assets. Retirement is the time to make them work for you.

 

Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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