Many financial plans are built around the notion that individuals typically exit the workforce at a specific age. However, a Harris Poll survey of 1,500 American workers between the ages of 54 and 72 found that 72% of survey participants preferred semi-retirement. This suggests that numerous baby boomers are contemplating the benefits of a more gradual transition to retirement.
Survey findings also revealed that only about 50% of baby boomers have a specific age in mind with regard to retirement, while 23% have no specific age in mind and 11% have not yet given any thought to retirement at all. Approximately 9% claim they will never retire, stating that they essentially cannot afford to do so.
Naturally, the most obvious advantage of semi-retirement is a longer period of time to earn an active income. However, according to Rosemary Venne, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, it can also be beneficial for one’s mental and emotional health, as working keeps both the body and mind active in most cases.
The Harris Poll also indicated that among the 72% who found semi-retirement appealing, 58% preferred a flexible schedule and part-time hours, even if it meant a reduction in benefits, such as health insurance. Interestingly, 56% also stated that they preferred consulting roles, where the primary duty is training up-and-coming workers. Less than half of survey participants said their employers have an adequate successor in place to take over their job responsibilities if they do choose to retire.
In a press statement, William Stoller, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, urged corporations to be more flexible with those on the cusp of retiring, stating that if baby boomers leave the workplace in mass numbers, they will also leave a major knowledge vacuum.
Our estate planning attorneys in Orange County have also learned that life expectancy may also play a role in people retiring later in life. For example, as of 2018, the average life expectancy for males and females in North America was 80 and 84 years old, respectively. This is a stark difference from the same statistic in 1965, which was 66 and 74, respectively. Baby boomers retiring later in life may consult an estate planning attorney to create a plan that reflects this diversion from the formally accepted “norm” with regard to retirement age.
Having a proper estate plan in place is essential, regardless of your age, occupation or personal assets. Once an estate plan is created, however, it should not be forgotten, as changing circumstances may result in an outdated plan that could cause problems in the future. Instead, these documents should be occasionally reviewed by your estate planning attorney to ensure all paperwork is up-to-date. The following are five common reasons your estate plan may be outdated:
A Change in Assets or Liabilities
Your estate plan should be reviewed if liabilities or assets have changed considerably since the creation of the original plan. Whether the value of your estate has increased or decreased, it is important to review the initial documents to see if they are still appropriate. Ultimately, any change in life circumstances calls for re-evaluation of your plan.
Because estate planning laws and regulations are not nationwide, but rather vary from state to state, it is important to have an estate planning attorney review your documents if you have relocated. This is because there may be a variance of laws regarding powers of attorney, living wills, advanced medical directives, and distribution of property. All or part of your plan may become null and void if you do not update it in accordance with your new state’s laws.
Change in Marital Status
Contrary to what many people may think, a divorce or marriage does not affect your estate planning documents at all. Additionally, these life events do not change your beneficiary designations. Therefore, if you are planning to get married or if the dissolution of your marriage is on the horizon, your estate plan should be updated to reflect these changes as soon as possible.
Management of Digital Assets
This digitalization of life in America presents a challenge to those using traditional estate planning techniques. This is because digital assets can create several unique scenarios that you may not know exactly how to handle. For example, keeping track of digital assets can be a daunting endeavor, as new accounts are continuously being set up and passwords changed on a regular basis.
Additionally, digital asset planning also requires deciding which accounts you want deleted, continued or memorialized, and what data you want removed or preserved. In certain cases, you may need to set up new accounts or move assets from one account to another. Your estate attorney can discuss digital asset planning and management with you and offer insight on how to designate someone to manage your digital accounts in the event you die or become incapacitated.
Trustees and Executors Who Are No Longer the Best Choice
Executors and trustees are the people you selected to implement your estate plan and carry out your wishes. When making these appointments, you should give considerable thought to the seriousness of the tasks they may have to perform in the event you become incapacitated or deceased. However, it is also wise to review your decisions regularly to make sure the individuals you selected are still the most appropriate choices. After a significant amount of time has passed, the person or persons you have chosen may no longer be appropriate for the role due to changes in circumstances.
Ultimately regular re-evaluation of your estate plan is necessary in order to ensure it remains up-to-date. Estate planning attorneys in Orange County can help you with this task to avoid negative issues in the future.
It is an unfortunate reality that as people grow older, we have to start preparing for age-related health changes. Joints may become stiff with arthritis, bone and muscle mass may be lost, and there may be a decline in hearing, eyesight and cognitive function. Minor changes in the health of an elderly parent may not at first seem like something that would affect that person’s ability to live independently; however, the cumulative total of many small changes may have a major impact. Below our estate planning attorneys in Orange County have drawn out seven signs that your aging parent may need help:
Withdrawal From Activities
If your elderly parent regularly participated in specific activities, but has suddenly become more isolated, it may indicate that he or she can no longer successfully complete the activities or keep up with conversations. However, it may also be an indication of hearing loss, failing eyesight or physical pain. Withdrawal from regular activities could also point to possible memory issues or cognitive decline.
There are many reasons your formerly meticulous parent may suddenly have a messy house. He or she may be unable to physically perform certain cleaning tasks, or it could be the result of poor vision: it is difficult to clean properly if the person cannot clearly see the area. Messy surroundings may also indicate memory problems.
Poor hygiene may be a sign that your parent is struggling with cognitive decline. If your mother or father appears unwashed or with uncombed hair or bad breath, it may be a sign that these hygiene tasks are being forgotten. However, an unkempt appearance may also indicate that it is physically difficult for the person to complete these personal care tasks without assistance.
Cognitive changes may be the culprit if your parent frequently forgets where he or she placed objects or consistently misses scheduled appointments. Of course, such things occasionally happen to everyone, young and old. Nevertheless, if this behavior is chronic, it could be a sign of cognitive impairment.
Broken side mirrors, cracked tail lights, or dented fenders are all signs that at least one minor traffic accident may have occurred. Older individuals may have trouble driving for various reasons. These include vision problems, cognitive decline, or even the presence of arthritis in the neck, which may make it difficult for the person to look behind when backing up or coming on or off exits.
If your elderly parent suddenly has unexplained bruises, cuts and scrapes, it could mean mobility problems are occurring. Slips and falls that do not cause serious injuries may still result in such marks on the skin. The source of any noticeable bruising should be investigated to determine if mobility is an issue or if there is another reason for bruises of scrapes on the skin.
Failure to Take Medications as Prescribed
You may have an aging parent with health conditions for which drugs were prescribed. If your parent previously took all medications in a timely manner, but suddenly there are too many or too few of certain prescription pills, it may be a sign of cognitive impairment, particularly if it happens on a regular basis.
Regardless of the reason for your concern about an elderly parent, it is always best to have any type of unusual behavior or signs of physical problems evaluated by a licensed geriatric practitioner.