By Jon L. Ten Haagen, CFP ®
You can be as careful and thorough in your planning for retirement and beyond, but there is always something you didn’t anticipate or didn’t want to anticipate. Sometimes you get good news like an unexpected lottery win or inheritance you did not see on the horizon. However, it is best to be realistic when planning for the future. Plan ahead and put padding in your plan for those who are dependent on you financially. We can’t anticipate illness, unstable world markets and other problems.
No one plans on being sick, but as we get older we are more susceptible to injury and illness. How do you plan for such uncertainties? You should have good health insurance. If you are a business owner you should have good business interruption insurance. This helped me when our offices were gutted by fire about two years ago. We happily also had more than adequate coverage for the content and working equipment – both corporate and personal. It would have been pretty sad if a CFP did not have proper insurance coverage.
While you are working you generate a steady income from your bi-monthly paychecks. When you retire you expect that your savings and company retirement plan and Social Security to generate the income you will be needed. There are many types of insurance which can assist in your planning process, such as long-term care insurance, disability insurance, catastrophic illness insurance and plain old life insurance (in the form of Term, Universal and whole life). Talk with your certified financial planner to plan the right type(s) of insurance for your specific needs.
I just got back from the wake of a very good friend who left us much too early and very unexpectedly. It is something I hate to do but I need to pay my respects to someone I shared a lot of time with. Just remember all the recent news articles about all the famous people who have passed just in this last year. They were of all age groups which makes it even more depressing.
This brings us to the title of this piece: Anticipating the predictable. This is an eventuality for each and every one of us. When you go are you prepared to protect and cover your loved ones you leave behind? A way to protect them is to have adequate life insurance. Another situation is if you leave a large estate. Make sure you have enough coverage to pay the estate taxes, though 2017 will be an interesting year with the talked about changes coming with the new administration.
There is much we have to prepare for prior to our meeting our maker. One is getting everything in order. Doing so ensures that everything in your life is organized so others can see what you want to happen after you’re gone. You can create a will yourself if you have very little, however, as you accumulate more and more ‘stuff’ it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your will, assets and general estate planning.
There are actually two things to consider here. What happens when you die and what happens if you’re ill and unable to handle decisions yourself?
It is a new year and let’s get it started on a positive note. Start with your last will and testament. Find a competent attorney who specializes in estate planning and set up a meeting. First meetings should be complimentary to see if you like each other. Think about who you want as the guardians of your children: Who should be your executor? What type of medical care do you want and not want?
Sit down and chip away at the necessary things you must address in your life and do them one at a time. If you are consistent you should be finished by spring this year. In future years it is just a review and will take just a little time. As always we stand ready to assist you with any questions you may have. Send us your questions and concerns. Join the others who are happy they called. Have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!
Huntington’s Jon L. Ten Haagen, CFP, runs Ten Haagen Financial Services, Inc., a full-service independent financial planning firm, and he is here to answer your questions. In this bi-monthly column, Ten Haagen will answer your financial questions and help you with his expert financial advice. Don’t be shy, our expert is here for you, so feel free to ask away! Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org today, and let our expert help you.
*Ten Haagen is an Investment Advisor Representative offering securities and advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., member of FINRA/SIPC, and a registered investment advisor. He is also an active community member, serving on several nonprofit boards and as executive officer of the Greater Huntington Boating Council.
**BACK IN HUNTINGTON: The offices of Ten Haagen Financial Services, Inc. have moved back to 191 New York Ave., Huntington. Friends and clients are welcome to stop by, check out the new office and share a cup of coffee with the expert!