On Monday the Metro West Daily News discussed some myths about retirement. Popular culture, water-coolers chats, and other daily interactions often spread misconceptions about what it means to plan for retirement and what it takes to be financially secure in the future. Many area residents put in a lifetime of hard work, and it is important that theirs effort not be compromised through misunderstandings about the retirement process or failure to conduct proper New York retirement planning.
The article noted that one of the biggest misunderstandings relates to the overall cost of retirement. It is often a mistake to believe that reaching a certain net worth or portfolio value will mean that one can retire in luxury. The expanding length of retirement is one of the main reasons that this is no longer true. Sixty years ago, most individuals retired at sixty-five years old and usually lived until they were seventy. With life expectancy now at eighty years and beyond, the total money needed to retire at a certain lifestyle has increased.
There is a significant difference between funding a five year retirement and one that may be twenty years or more. Most will not have a “magic number” that will guarantee decades of luxurious retirement. Instead, residents need to take what they have accumulated and conduct proper planning to maximize their retirement value while preparing for contingencies.
Another of the myths shared was that individuals need not worry about planning for nursing home costs, because Medicaid will cover it. However, as anyone who has had to go through the process can attest, it is not that easy. Various requirements of need must be shown before the program will provide aid. In particular, if nursing home care is needed, there is a five year “look back” period. That means that Medicaid investigators will examine the asset transfers that have been made in the last five years to determine if property was given to others that could have been used to fund long-term care. Area residents can avoid this issue by having a proper New York Medicaid strategy in place to protect assets while ensuring access to the care they need.
The importance of preparation is why the article mentioned that perhaps the most harmful myth about retirement is that someone does not need any help in planning for it. Retirement planning encompasses a variety of components, each of which may require complex understandings of tax, financial, and legal issues. Without assistance strategic mistakes are often made.
Our New York elder law estate planning lawyers are here to help dispel misconceptions about retirement planning and aid area residents in all of their preparations for the future. From avoiding probate and saving on estate taxes to taking precautions for disability, careful planning for all aspects of retirement remains indispensible for New Yorkers.
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