estate planning, Financial Planning

What’s the Money For?

 By Rick Law of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in West Suburban Aurora, IL. In recent years, my senior clients have watched their assets and income decrease, as they simultaneously watch the cost of gasoline, utilities, groceries, and everything else go up. The value of their homes is declining while their real estate taxes stay the same, or in some cases, even increase. Many boomers are systematically pulling principal from their existing assets and wondering if they will have enough to maintain their income through retirement. Will they need to sell their homes? Will you? Senior celebrities are doing commercials for reverse mortgages as an option for retirees to increase their income and be able to remain in their homes. Staying home can be a struggle even for healthy seniors. But what if you have a healthcare issue on top of a financial decline? I often meet with individuals and families who are in crisis. In the beginning days of our practice, we saw couples who had planned to retire and travel the country in their RVs. I remember one man who had retired from factory work and planned to turn a woodworking hobby into a home business. Some just wanted to sit on the porch and enjoy their grandchildren. Unfortunately, because we are living longer and the economy has taken an ugly turn, things aren’t going as planned for many seniors. Just as their “someday” starts, many couples get a diagnosis of a debilitating disease, see their assets dwindle, and are caught up in the high cost of healthcare while trying to live on a fixed income. Most tell me that they just didn’t see this coming, that they thought what they had would take them through their final years. If this is the not what you want for your someday, you’re in the right place. It’s a funny thing we humans do, often treating money from different sources as if it had different value. For example, money from an inheritance, the lottery, or some other source that seems like “found money” is almost always spent on luxuries and frivolous things—it’s typically gone within 18 months.  Money from a bonus is blown on those extras that someone feels that they “deserve.” One source of money seems to be treated as far more valuable than any other source—IRA funds.  In a sense, they can be – if they’re used correctly! In our practice we talk to senior after senior who would rather die than spend their IRA and/or 401(k) money. When we help a client do Estate Planning, gift planning, and long-term care planning, we often find that our clients are willing to use almost any other source of money except spending their IRA funds. Why is that? One reason is that people feel the blood sweat and tears it took to put money into that account, so it feels more valuable.  But is it? If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now. Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine,, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!