Unplanned retirement

4 Tips to Adjust to Unplanned Retirement

 

 

Roughly 40% of adults end up retiring earlier than they had planned. For some, their company is downsizing and has laid them off. For others, health issues may be to blame. Additionally, for many people caregiving duties for an aging parent may cause them to leave the workforce much earlier than expected.  Regardless of what causes your retirement, an unplanned retirement can through anyone off balance.

Grief Will Be Part of This Journey

And all the emotions that come with grief can be expected. An unplanned retirement is a loss. The person going through this period has lost not only income but a sense of purpose. Most likely you will feel angry, sad, frustrated or depressed at times. It is important to understand that this is normal. Accept the fact that you are grieving. The following tips can help you to step into this new phase of your life and create a new normal.

Create Structure In Your Day

When Paul was forced out of the company he had been with for 37 years he was lost. Though financially, he and his wife were in a good place Paul did not know what to do with his days.

“He started trying to take over at home” Margret complained. “I have been running this household for years but now he thinks he can do better!” Margaret was frustrated. This change was hard for both of them. “He just needs to do something!” she cried. “I can’t have him underfoot all day long.”

 

fit senior man exercising at the beach in the morning

Finally, Paul started taking the dog for a walk every morning. It got him up and moving. And he met some neighbors who were also newly retired. Eventually, Paul found a part-time job. It was enough to give him some structure and a sense of purpose.

Set Goals

Chances are you had a lot of plans for your eventual retirement. If you were not financially ready to retire now you may need to look at how you can rejoin the workplace. It may not be easy finding another job, but it is also not impossible. You might consider consulting. If you have been in a particular industry for a long time, consulting might be a good way to go. Sit down with a financial advisor and consider also talking to a career coach to discover options you may not have thought about.

And if finances are not a problem then start setting other goals. What have you always wanted to do?  Do you want to travel? Where? Start planning some trips. Maybe there is a hobby you have always wanted to take up. Research that hobby and find people in your area who are involved in it.  Perhaps there is a club you can join.

Health is often a big reason for unplanned retirement. Set goals to get your health back. What do you need to do? Join a gym if it is appropriate for your situation. The local YMCA has a lot of programs specifically for seniors. Consider joining one today.

Get Together with Friends- And Make New Friends

 

Group of laughing seniors in a coffeehouse

If your friends are all still working, you may find that you need to have a few retired friends also. Having a strong friendship base is important. The last thing you want to do is to become isolated. Check out Meet-Up groups in your area. If you don’t already belong to one join a local church. Find one that has an active senior group. Get involved. Don’t just show up once a week. Participate and be of service.

Volunteer

Giving back to others in your community can give you that sense of purpose that may be missing in your life. Use the talents you have to help an organization you care about. Your life will be richer for it. The Living Legacy Center is always looking for people to help.

 

 

Group of people who needs a will

Do I Really Need A Will?

 

You may have heard that everyone should have a will. While it certainly can’t hurt there are people who absolutely should have a will. And some others who maybe could get by without one right now. Let’s take a look to see what category you fit into.

Wills Are for People Who Are Rich and Wealthy.

Not necessarily. Anyone who has a positive net worth should probably have a will. Your net worth is the value of your assets minus your liabilities. It has nothing to do with your income. Your savings, investments, and debts combine to calculate your net worth. And this is something that may fluctuate.

If you have been saving for retirement or putting money into a rainy day fund your net worth will increase. Likewise, if you are paying down your mortgage, car loan, student loans, etc. your net worth will also increase.

Are You Married? You Need a Will.

 

Traditionally your spouse will inherit your things even if you die without a will. But you shouldn’t leave this up to chance. Make sure your spouse is protected. This is especially important if this is not your first marriage and there are children involved.

Additionally, if you want someone other than your wife to receive something it needs to be in writing. Don’t count on people to “do the right thing” after you are gone.

Do You Have Kids?

blended family

You absolutely need a will. Your kids are likely to inherit your things if you die intestate, after your spouse, but not necessarily. This means that if you want your kids to inherit after your spouse, then you need to put that in writing. This way there is no room for a different interpretation by the courts. Additionally, if you don’t want one of (or all of) your kids to inherit, then that needs to be in writing.

My guess is you have strong feelings about whether you want your children to inherit your estate. Having a will in place will ensure that the decision is being made by you, not the state.

When your children are young having a will allows you to name a guardian for your children. You will also be able to name an executor. This will determine how your children are raised and how the assets will be divided among them.

Revisit Your Will Each Year

It is important to review your will yearly and make changes as necessary. If you have another child your will may need to be updated. Likewise, a divorce or a new marriage will require updates to your current will.

But I Am Broke!

If you are young, broke and don’t have kids you may not need a will. At least not yet. But if you get married, have children or inherit some money you will want to get a will.

 

Do you need a will? Contact The Hilbun Law Firm for a consultation. 281-955-9292

3 Reasons You Need To Discuss Finances and Legal Issues With Your Parents

 

 

 

Okay, I get it.

It is an uncomfortable topic. Many families do not discuss finances. It is considered taboo. And children are taught to stay out of their parent’s personal business. That includes their finances.

 

And This Needs to Change.

 

Many problems that wind up in our office could have been avoided. Proper planning a communication with the whole family can eliminate a lot of headaches we see.

 

Rolling the Dice

Let’s face it, tragedy can strike at any time. However, the older we get the higher the odds are that an accident or illness may happen. Are you really ready to roll the dice?

1. A Fall or Other Accident May Leave You Physically Incapacitated

Long Term Care Options

If we have heard it once we have heard this story a thousand times. Mom or dad has fallen and winds up in the hospital. They are incapacitated. However, no one in the family has a power of attorney. Their hands are tied. They are unable to make medical decisions. And furthermore, if there are multiple children each may have a different opinion.

Sibling Rivalry rears its ugly head and everybody wants to do something different. Chances are (hopefully) they are all wanting to help their parent. But they each have different beliefs and views on what is the best way. And so, the fight begins and the family unit is torn apart. Is this really what you want for your family?

And how are your bills going to get paid while you are recouping?

Hopefully, if you have fallen, you still have your cognitive abilities. An Elder law attorney can come to see you in the hospital and help get your documents in order. But wouldn’t it be less stressful to do that before there is a problem?

 

2. A Stroke or Other Serious Health Situation that Leaves You Mentally Incapacitated

Now we have a more serious situation. You have not planned for this. Yet here it is.  Hopefully you have at least named someone as your POA (Power of Attorney) and hopefully, you have other documents in place to ensure that your medical needs and decisions are respected.

Have you discussed your finances with your POA? Do they know how much you have available?  Often families come in because they do not know what to do. A stroke that left dad incapacitated means he now needs long-term care.

And Medicare Does Not Pay for That

Families are shocked to discover that Medicare does not pay for a home care worker to stay with dad during the day while his daughter is at work. You may be able to get a few hours a week from Home Healthcare for a limited time. But they will not cook, clean, run errands or play chess with Dad. Nor will it pay for an Assisted living facility or nursing home. These costs will have to come out of pocket.

And if there is not any money or not enough money you may have to apply for Medicaid. But planning this ahead of your actual need is necessary. Applying for Medicaid is a process. And having a plan in place is important.

“I was ashamed that I had not saved enough money for retirement. So, I hid that fact from my children. I was hoping that I would just die in my sleep one day and we would not have to deal with any of this” ~ Sharon, a stroke survivor

3. The Long Slow Slide into Dementia

It is common to want to believe this is not happening. To yourself or to someone you love. But the signs are there. Subtle in the beginning but nevertheless there. Pretending that this is not or will not happen is not a strategy that works for anyone.

“Dad was having a good time traveling across the country with his race car. I was proud of him. He was 78 and still so active and seemed to really be enjoying life. But looking back there were signs. It was uncomfortable. And I did not want to believe there could be a problem. I wanted his life and my life to continue on this happy course. And then our little Utopia came crashing down around us. Dad showed up at my house a few days before hurricane Harvey hit Houston. It would flood our home and we would not return for a year. Dad’s car had obviously been wrecked. He could give me no logical explanation about what happened. Though I was concerned I had other worries to deal with now as Harvey invaded our home. And then Dad disappeared.” ~ Claire, Daughter and Harvey Survivor

Claire’s father was eventually found. He had gone home. To the home, he had shared with his now ex-wife and Claire’s mom. They had been divorced for over 25 years. She still lived there and let him in. She could tell something was wrong.

As an only daughter, Claire had POA but the money she thought Dad had had all been spent or possibly given away.  People with beginning dementia are especially vulnerable to con artists and crooks.

What’s Your Plan?

Having a plan and strategy in place can help families avoid having to make important decisions during stressful times. Take a few hours to attend a workshop. Learn about what you need to have in place. Have the money conversation with your family. This way they will know what to do when tragedy strikes.

 

 

 

 

blended families

Blended Families- What You Need to Know

 

You are madly in love! You are sure the person you are marrying is also a really good Mom/Dad. And you imagine that everything will work wonderfully.

Hmmmmm….Really? No hiccups along the way?

Getting married when you are young and single without children can be an adjustment. You both came from different families. As such, there were beliefs you picked up along the way. You have different ways of doing things.

Getting Married with Children

blended family

Approximately 65% of new marriages include children of past marriages.

Let’s face it, getting married with children brings the whole adjustment experience up a notch. Everyone has their own vision of what life should look like in the new family. And the truth is you may not all be on the same page. Here are a few situations you should consider.

Sibling Rivalry

All families experience sibling rivalry. But blended families experience it at a different level. The fighting may be more intense. After all, they didn’t ask to be a part of this new family. Chances are your child may long for “how things used to be.” Additionally, children who haven’t had to “share’ their parent in a long time may have trouble letting go.

How to Handle the Situation

Communication is the key to a successful remarriage and a blended family. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about sibling rivalry. If one of you thinks the other’s child is causing the rift, nothing will work. If you are having trouble with this seek counseling.

Consequences and rewards need to be the same for all the children, no matter how it “used to work” before you two got married. The rules have to be the same for everyone and you and your partner need to be on the same page.

Turf Wars

Children of blended families often have trouble with one another’s turf. If the children from one family move into the home with children who are already there expect some acting out. Ideally, if you can move into a new home it may make the transition smoother. But this may not be possible. In that case, try the following tips.

If there are not enough bedrooms, make the den or an office space into a bedroom.

Sharing Bedrooms

blended families- bedrooms

Children who must share bedrooms need to have an active voice in how it is decorated. Spending a few extra dollars on new paint and décor can help soften the blow of sharing a space for your child.

Consider hiring an organizer to work with the family to clean out closets, drawers and family spaces that will be shared. This will be an outsider who can help the children develop a good plan to use their space.

Keep each family member’s allotted space as equal as possible. This is so important!

Legal Disputes and Issues

When families separate there may be legal issues that arise. During a divorce, one partner may get the house but when a new partner enters the picture, legal agreements may need to be changed. There may also be financial strains from ongoing legal issues related to the divorce.

Communicating before you get married. Put all of your cards on the table. Make sure you enter a marriage with your eyes wide open. Understand all of the legal and financial challenges you may encounter.

It is Important to Plan

Wills, trusts and other documents need to be updated. This is so important. Often people do not even think about the fact their new family could be left in the cold. Your ex-spouse could end up with money you wanted your new spouse to have. And you want to make sure all of the children in the family get equal treatment and shares.

The Hilbun Law Firm can help you make sure everything is in place.