|Help Mom and Dad retire like millionaires
Most people want to avoid probate at all costs while still retaining control over how their assets are managed in the here and now. Various types of partnerships and trusts are the best way for parents to transfer assets to children while retaining some control of them.
Gather a group of senior citizens and you'll quickly find that the main topic of conversation is health. To hear them tell it, if old age doesn't kill you, the cost of medical care will.
Want to give the folks bragging rights around the
canasta table? Help them get a good long-term health-care policy.
The younger and healthier your parents are, the better
deal they'll get on coverage, which should be ample incentive to
do this first. The key is research. There are a lot of plans out
there, read every letter of their fine print.
If affordable long-term coverage is out of reach,
Tucker says there are still steps you can take to give them peace
"Once they reach Medicare age (65), at least
their catastrophic needs are going to be met. But because of the
percentage participation of Medicare, they are going to be impacted
by their medical expenses," he says. "I think they should
look into a Medicare supplement. Stay away from HMOs and look for
PPOs, because HMOs are so rigid that they take away the person's
Planning is everything
Both Pollan and Tucker agree, no matter what your age or the age
of your parents, planning can be worth a million should-haves for
"If they haven't done any estate planning, they
should do it now," says Pollan. "The most important thing
the kid can do is to say, 'You do not owe us a penny. We want you
to stop going to the 'early bird.' We want you to live the most
wonderful life you can.'"
"It's never too late to exercise a little sound
investment and planning judgment. If they haven't had the advice
of a professional planner before they retired, there is little doubt
that they're going to have some things they haven't done that can
maximize their income and minimize their tax consequences."
So here's to you, mom and dad! Thanks for everything,
now live like millionaires because you've earned it.