The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Estate Plan

“Does it spark joy?” That’s what Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo says you should ask yourself when you’re deciding whether to keep each item in your home. The author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” says that if something doesn’t bring you happiness, you should set it free so it can delight someone else.

I doubt that anyone would say that their estate plan “sparks joy.” That doesn’t mean you need to get rid of it, though! But these documents, like your possessions, should be reevaluated periodically. (more…)

Counting Your Retirement “Assets”

A successful retirement experience takes more than money.  As you plan for your life in retirement, your current skills, interests, values, and preferences should be given thoughtful consideration.  These characteristics will be the personal assets that you take with you into retirement to make it a successful and satisfying chapter of your life.

Skills

Think of your skills as a portfolio of abilities that you can build on throughout your lifetime.  Here are several examples:  ability to communicate effectively, ability to solve problems in creative ways, ability to visualize interior or landscape designs, ability to understand and work well with animals, ability to be an empathetic listener, ability to repair almost anything mechanical, ability to be an inspirational leader, and so on. (more…)

Does Your Estate Plan Need a Makeover?

By: Vidhya Babu

Does Your Estate Plan Need a Makeover?You have an estate plan. In fact you just created one last year. So why would your estate plan need a makeover? Estate plans should never be rigid or concrete. Instead they should be malleable and easily adapted to meet your current situation. After all, an estate plan you created a year ago (or longer) may not reflect your current situation. In the event that something should happen to you, an out-of-date estate plan can cause contention and strife among beneficiaries.

When deciding whether your estate plan needs a makeover, ask yourself the following questions: (more…)

End of Life Planning: Your Five Wishes is a Way to Stay in Control

Five Wishes™ is an advance directive template created by the non-profit organization Aging with Dignity.  It is an easy to use legal document written in everyday language that helps you communicate how you want to be cared for in case you become seriously ill or incapacitated.

Your Five Wishes document lets your family and doctors know:

  • Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself.
  • The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want.
  • How comfortable you want to be.
  • How you want people to treat you.
  • What you want your loved ones to know.

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The Stuff the Fights are Made of

By: Vidhya Babu

fight-over-willEstate planning is important. Many of us have assets we want to pass along to our loved ones, easily. Many wish to leave their estate equally to their children. Perhaps they do this to be fair or they believe an equal distribution will circumvent a fight. Assets like financial accounts are easy to divide. But what about the other assets and the “stuff”? (more…)

Values-Based Retirement Planning

valuesIn the past, the transition to retirement has been viewed solely as an economic event. As a result, the focus of retirement planning has primarily been on building a nest egg.

In The Late-Start Investor, author John Wasik recommends discarding this obsolete view in favor of a “flexible life plan that provides for financial, vocational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.” He explains, “Unless you look at your future holistically, merely saving up a pile of money will be a meaningless act.” (more…)