Being financially “set for life” depends on individual expectations, goals, and ideals for retirement. Most of us juggle many responsibilities, including raising our families, managing our homes, and navigating careers. Taking the extra steps to devise a plan to safeguard your hard-earned assets requires some thinking ahead but is worthwhile for peace of mind.
You should engage with professionals, such as attorneys, financial advisors, and accountants, who can guide you in developing a comprehensive asset protection plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. However, to get you started, let’s explore some risks, benefits, and strategies concerning asset protection.
Asset protection is an important consideration to protect your property. Here are some risks to consider when forming your asset protection plan.
- Disability – If you become disabled or incapacitated, you may not be able to care for your property or manage your investments. Find a trusted and reliable person that you would be comfortable with managing your assets in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. A skilled attorney can then help create a living trust or power of attorney.
- Need for Nursing Care – As you age, you may need nursing care to support you or your spouse. Nursing homes or assisted-living communities are not covered by most types of insurance, including Medicare. You should consider long-term care insurance or speak with a financial advisor who can help you determine what you can do to qualify for Medicaid if that time comes.
- Not having a proper Estate Plan in place – Most people create a trust, estate plan, or Will to leave remaining savings or assets to loved ones. A variety of special trusts can allow you to structure or customize an inheritance to avoid losses. If you do not have the proper Estate Plan in place, your beneficiaries may get hit with high estate or inheritance taxes.
Having a strategy to safeguard assets offers more benefits than you can imagine. Your asset protection strategy will mitigate risks from creditors, legal disputes, bankruptcy, and unexpected medical expenses that could jeopardize your retirement plans. The proper asset protection strategy will assist with reducing legal fees, taxes, and other costs that may be levied against your assets. It also gives you more control over your assets, and possibly a strategy to know how to liquidate those assets, should unexpected costs arise.
Protect with legal structures
After a thorough assessment of risks your assets may face, consider setting up a trust, limited liability company (LLC), family limited partnership (FLP), or offshore entity, so your assets can transfer to the management of beneficiaries in the event of severe illness, incapacitation, or death. Each structure has advantages and considerations, so it is essential to consult with legal and financial professionals to determine which options are best suited to your specific .
Life Insurance can be an effective asset protection strategy. Review your existing insurance policies, including life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, liability insurance, and umbrella policies. Evaluate whether your coverage is sufficient to protect against potential risks and consider additional policies or increased coverage limits if necessary.
Life insurance is also a way to leave a legacy for your children – although the beneficiary of a life insurance certificate can use the death benefit money provided for any purpose, some great examples are to help cover college tuition, pay off existing loans or debts, or provide a down-payment on their first home. There are two primary types of life insurance:
Term Life Insurance
For those starting out in a new career, with a first home, or with a new baby, Term Life Insurance is a good first step in protecting your financial future. It is affordable, flexible, and provides peace of mind to protect you and your family’s dreams.
Term Life Insurance provides death benefit coverage for a specific period of time with a fixed premium amount. It is an economical option that can help maintain your family’s standard of living by paying bills such as mortgage, auto loans, or school tuition if you pass away during the term of the insurance. It also allows you to convert your Term Life Insurance to permanent life insurance in the future, at the time right for you.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance is permanent, no matter what life may throw your way. It provides lifelong coverage and the ability to accumulate cash value while paying level, predictable premiums. It is a cost-effective option that provides longer peace of mind that your family is protected, as well as cash value that you can access in an emergency.
You can also buy coverage to make sure your final expenses are covered.
Estate planning allows you to determine how your assets will be managed and distributed during your lifetime and after your passing. It can include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. Life circumstances, laws, and regulations may change over time, requiring adjustments to your strategies.
Having a recent will in place is an essential part of protecting your loved ones. As a member of Royal Neighbors, you can have a FREE1 Simple Will prepared for you by an attorney in the network. Plus, annual updates are provided at no charge. Wills involving a trust or other more complex matters are provided at a discounted hourly rate.
Step 1: Call Legal Club of America® at (800) 305-6816, Monday to Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM and Saturday, 8 AM – 5 PM CT.
Step 2: A Personal Assistance Specialist will gather information to locate the correct network attorney for your legal matter. They will provide the name and phone number of a participating attorney within one to three business days.
Step 3: When calling the participating attorney, please reference your membership with Royal Neighbors of America.
As you envision your retirement, remember that asset protection is most effective when you are proactive. Waiting until a risk or crisis arises may limit your options and compromise the effectiveness of protective measures. By implementing strategies, such as, estate planning, trusts, legal structures, and insurance, you can mitigate risks, protect your hard-earned assets, and preserve your legacy. Consult with qualified attorneys, financial advisors, and other experts who can provide personalized advice based on your unique situation and objectives. Regularly review and update your asset protection plan to ensure its relevance and effectiveness. Remember, asset protection is an investment in your financial security and the well-being of your loved ones. Get set for life!
1 In certain situations, attorney liability may require plan attorneys to ask for a retainer prior to providing some of the free legal services.
This article is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any information provided as legal, tax, investment, or financial advice. No reader should make any investment decision without first consulting their own financial advisor and conducting their own research and due diligence.