Archives by: Dee Siegferth

Dee Siegferth

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About the author

Dee Siegferth is president of The Milestone Center for Retirement & Estate Planning, LLC.

Dee Siegferth Posts

Long Term Care – A Loving (and Planned) Decision

Caregiving Resources Uncategorized

Family Matters

Long-Term Care

A Loving, but Often Confusing Decision

 

Long-term care continues to be one of the most misunderstood needs by most retirees and their adult children.

Long-term care (LTC) is a range of services and support designed to meet personal care needs, not medical needs.

These needs, also known among professionals as Activities of Daily Living, cover areas such as bathing, dressing, using the toilet, transferring (walking), caring for incontinence issues and eating. A common measure to determine when long-term care services are needed is when someone cannot perform two or more of those activities.

Who’s In Charge?

Learning about long-term care costs and services is necessary not only for the patient but also for family members. The reason? Someone has to decide who will act as Durable Power of Health and Durable Power of Attorney for the person needing long-term care. The loved one also needs a living will.

Everyone should have these documents completed before — not after — a major life event occurs.

Making wishes known and documented ahead of time can relieve family members facing tough decisions about care.

Because long-term care is not medical care, families likely will have out-of-pocket expenses. Long-term care insurance and similar policies can bridge the gap.

After age 65, there’s a 70 percent chance a loved one or yourself will need long-term care, according to the Administration on Aging. Most people cannot imagine themselves in this situation, which means that most people have no long-term care plan.

The average length of time for care is usually three to five years and can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 annually. Discuss long-term care with family members — where and how it will be provided and paid for.

Think carefully about who you designate for your Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Health; if needed, these people will control your financial and health care decisions.

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Surprise! You Got a Chunk of Money. Now What?

Surprise! You Got a Chunk of Money. Now What?

Here’s something to look forward to: Whether you’re still working or are retired, a financial wind-
fall may happen sometime in your life.

Typically, windfalls occur through an inheritance, a lawsuit settlement or even a lucky lottery ticket. You may consider your retirement accounts — which likely have grown to a nice sum over your working years — as another financial windfall to spend as soon as you retire. The problem with that plan is those pre-tax accounts have never been taxed.

Figuring out how to manage a financial windfall sounds like a good problem. Or is it? The fact is, these funds can quickly disappear without a proactive plan. We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners going broke within years, or having taxes consume a large portion of the winnings.

PLAN FIRST, SPEND LATER

Before spending newfound money too quickly, it is a good idea to build a windfall team, which should include financial, tax, insurance and legal advisers to assist you in developing a lifelong plan for you and those you care about. This will ensure the wind- fall is protected from losses caused by wrong decisions, taxes, stock market losses or legal issues.

Next, enjoy the money knowing that your windfall is working for you and the people you love and care about.

Here’s an example: A young woman in her 40s wanted to make her deceased grandmother’s wishes for her inheritance a reality. She invested wisely, purchased a permanent life insurance policy, contributed to her 401k and consulted with an attorney to complete her will, durable power of health and living will.

Unfortunately, this woman died of cancer three years later. Her younger sister inherited the estate, and she has pledged to keep this gift growing just as her sister had planned. She got her legal documents in order, and she made plans for her retirement, insurance and investments.

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A Insurance Philosophy: Protect Yourself, Loved Ones

Insurance January/February 2017 Work & Retirement

Each year when “life happens,” we’re reminded of the importance of life insurance.

You may recall the story of former NFL quarterback and now radio and TV sports broadcaster Boomer Esiason and the effects of having no life insurance.

Boomer was 7 when his mother died of cancer. She had no life insurance. His father was left to raise him and his two sisters alone.

Boomer related, “We lived paycheck to paycheck, but my dad did an incredible job taking care of our family. He taught me the true meaning of what it means to be a responsible dad.”

It was his father’s sacrifice that motivated Boomer to protect his family with life insurance. Boomer explained to an interviewer, “Life insurance is about protecting the future and the people you love, which is especially the case when you are caring for someone with special needs.”

Boomer’s oldest son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED?

Life insurance can do some pretty amazing things for loved ones. It can buy time to grieve when clients utilize Final Expense Life Insurance, which takes care of funeral, burial and other end-of-life expenses. Life insurance also reduces stress on surviving family members and may provide financial security.

If you own an old policy, it may be time to review it for expiration dates, named beneficiaries and death benefits. Any policy written before 2006 needs reviewed. Those in the retirement planning business see policies every day that are underfunded, which means the policy is not going to be considered valid.

Do you remember the beneficiaries in all of your policies? With an out- dated policy, a beneficiary you want now might not be who is listed. That can cause strain for family members left behind.

After you review your life insurance policies, encourage your children and loved ones to get life insurance.

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