Finally, she should consider having her trust distribute the trust principal in multiple installments over an extended period of time (for example, at ages 30, 35 and 40). While this is in part to ensure that the money is handled responsibly by her heirs, it is also added protection in case any child suffers through a divorce during this time period. More of the principal would be maintained in the trust that the ex-spouse would have difficulty attaching. Between principal distributions, the trust could still distribute the interest to her beneficiaries and even principal for their health, education, maintenance and support.
The health of Maria's retirement prognosis, even employing conservative assumptions, is good enough that she should be able to live comfortably and still pass on a very nice inheritance to her children. This should be seen as a much deserved blessing for a lifetime of excellent stewardship of her finances. After living frugally all these years, Maria should reward herself by enjoying the occasional extravagance throughout her retirement.
This Money Makeover was prepared by Certified Financial Planner Timothy Maurer, director of financial planning at The Financial Consulate, an independent fee-only financial management firm in Hunt Valley, Md.
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