The ‘Single’ Retiree

There is another published research article (Medicaid and The Elderly, June, 2014) written by DeNardig, French and Jones, 2013) at the * Center of Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR). Their extensive research was primarily devised surrounding data of the ‘single’ retiree (defined by the study as an individual fully retired and never married, widowed or divorced.) You can find the full research study on the CCR website, and it makes for very interesting reading. The study defined the “upper quantile” of these single retirees as those individuals with financial assets in excess of $230,000. (let’s call them the “wealthiest” of single retirees). The reason that this particular study intrigued me was that there was a definition of “permanent” retirement income (that retirement income excluding asset income) and the fact that nursing home care was calculated at an average of $75,000 per year. There is a significant and crucial gap between the “permanent” retirement income and the cost of nursing home care, even for the “wealthiest” of single retirees. In the research study, the “permanent” retirement income included only Social Security, defined benefit pensions, veterans benefits and annuities. It did not include asset income. My own analysis was that even the “wealthiest” of single retirees would require an extreme and significant return from their “other” assets (i.e. the assets other than “permanent” income) in order to meet the ever increasing demands of healthcare in the long term. Although most retirees face the financial pressure of increasing healthcare costs, the fact is that the “single” retiree often has concerns beyond the norm. I bring up this point, since many “singles” foresee no need for any kind of Trust Financial Planning. Often, they simply devise a Will leaving assets to a close relative, a charity, an alma mater, or to a specific ‘cause’ as beneficiary. But, in actuality the formation of a Trust document is as critical for a “single” as it is for someone with an extended family. One of the aspects of the formation of a Trust is that a Trust involves the preservation of wealth/assets and an individual can maintain control of those assets (depending upon the type of Trust.) Clearly, a Will does not preserve wealth in as much as the Will dispenses wealth after death. A clear, well-devised Will is a document to distribute assets and it is subject to the Probate process. A Will is a legal document and it is public. On the other hand, various forms of a Trust are devised for asset protection during a lifetime and for privately dispensing assets after death. This is a very oversimplified explanation, but one can begin to see the benefits of a Trust for a “single” retiree…the correct type of Trust can provide significant flexibility during a lifetime; allows an individual to maintain control of assets; can be difficult to challenge; is private; and is a powerful tool for dispensing assets as well. *About the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College According to their website, “the mission of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College is to produce first-class research and educational tools and forge a strong link between the academic community and decision-makers in the public and private sectors around an issue of critical importance to the nation’s future. To achieve this mission, the Center sponsors a wide variety of research projects, transmits new findings to a broad audience, trains new scholars, and broadens access to valuable data sources. Since its inception in 1998, the Center has established a reputation as an authoritative source of information on all major aspects of the retirement income debate.”

Working to Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future . . . in a Constantly Changing World. This post has been brought to you by the Law Office of Barbara Ann Dalvano. This information is provided for educational purposes only and to generate ideas, provoke thought and facilitate conversation. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each person’s situation is different and this information should not and cannot be relied upon as legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. Refer to the full Disclaimer on this site for more information. Barbara Ann Dalvano, Esq. Phone and Text Message: (719) 963-2933 Email Address:


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About Attorney Barbara Ann Dalvano

Attorney in Denver, Colorado with extensive practice experience in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Business Succession Planning, Probate, Contract Law.

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