Planned Life Changes in Omaha, NE 2017
In the April issue we went into depth about navigating unplanned life changes, and now it’s time to delve into the life events that are specifically planned. Some are much the same, as they can occur unexpectedly or as a part of an established timeline of events, while others wouldn’t just happen unless they were intended – and generally the better thought out, the better on all accounts. Furthering your education and graduation, marriage, having a baby, getting a pet, retirement, moving, buying/selling a home or business – there are so many wonderful, even if sometimes bittersweet, things in life that are planned occasions. We’ve consulted with some of our clients on the life events for which they commonly help their clients plan. From the guidance they’ve provided, we’ve compiled helpful information and advice to share with our readers, with a focus on those who are nearing their golden years, and for those who aren’t quite so near but want to plan ahead well in advance!
In planning for one’s golden years, retirement is center stage, as is estate planning and making end-of-life arrangements, life insurance, securing Medicare benefits or adequate health care coverage otherwise, downsizing and planning for changes in living arrangements, investment planning, and so on.
Oftentimes planning ahead involves saving, investing, and having adequate insurance coverage to minimize major expenses that would set you back. “The most common life-changing events we deal with are retirement and adding new family members either by birth or marriage,” says Andy Storz of Good Life Retirement Solutions. “Ultimately we help provide peace of mind. We want to make sure the people we work with don’t have to worry about losing money due to market uncertainty or not having the resources they need if something happens to them or a family member.
‘How much is enough?’ is a popular question for all types of scenarios, whether it be savings, coverage, benefits, etc. I don’t have a single answer because everyone’s situation is different and needs personalized attention. We like to discuss someone’s goals and balance that with ‘what if’ situations to make sure we can take care of as many needs as possible.
When planned life changes are coming up it’s a great time to get more information and plan for the future. Something commonly overlooked is simply taking the time to plan now rather than waiting. It will take more effort to reach savings goals the longer you wait and the older you get certain forms of insurance will get more expensive. It’s best to start preparing early so planned life changes can occur without any added stress.
With these types of things, it’s always important to stay informed and sometimes that means getting a second opinion. We all want to make sure that any decision we make is good for our families and making sure we know our options is a great benefit to that process.”
He also notes, “Recently, in our business, the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Rule is a big topic of conversation. It just took effect in June after a great deal of debate. Although the reaction to it by the financial industry has some downsides, I believe that overall it will be beneficial to the public by forcing more transparency and highlighting fees and charges by companies that may not have been easy to see in the past.”
Given our audience of entrepreneurs and business professionals, one thing you all may find surprising is that many business owners don’t have plans in place for an exit strategy although they know at some point they will sell their business or pass it on to the next generation.
“Having an exit plan is so important,” emphasizes Jethro Hopkins of No Coast Business Advisors. “It’s one of the basics of being a business owner. Whether you’re the sole proprietor or in a partnership, you’ve got to be proactive in planning for everything you’ll do moving forward, from start to finish. In the event of your untimely passing, will your significant other, child(ren) or another family member take over, and are they prepared to do so? In the event of a partner’s passing, are you comfortable entering a partnership by default with their spouse, children, parents, or someone else who you may have never met, who may not even live here, or who might not be as invested, or knowledgeable at all for that matter, in the operation and success of your business? Everything that would happen in the event of the sale of the business, dissolution of partnership, death, etc. should be well documented, written into your operating agreement or articles of incorporation.
From the day you open the business, an exit strategy should be in place and the plan should be clear to all parties involved. When you’re ready to retire is not the time to be scrambling to put this together either. You want to have everything in order at least 3-5 years prior to when you want to get out of the business. Plan your exit, your partner’s exit, and ideally both, as early on as possible – and specifically for partnerships, while you are on good terms. Just like a marriage, business partnerships go bad, and that fallout tends to be exactly what you’d imagine or have experienced a bad divorce to be like.
In terms of planning for the future, just the same as not saving early for retirement or having your will and power of attorney in place, not having an exit strategy will burn you. You don’t want your business going into probate and having a judge determines what happens to it. You have the power when it’s in writing, as your wishes for your business take precedence over a judge’s orders. Similar to a will, someone has to challenge it and prove it’s not valid to prevail. Not to mention that having an exit strategy in place will allow you to get the most money out of your business when it comes time to sell, as you’ll have all of the documentation ready for the bank and potential buyers. It’s a simple way to plan for, and protect, your future and the future of your business.”
Planning doesn’t always have to be far off in the future; it can also be for something important that you need to have in place to reach a short-term goal. Another topic of importance for business owners, as far as your role as an employer, is putting together the best possible team. This includes attracting top talent and retention of those professionals. At some point, you’ll be making decisions as to what offerings will be available to your employees who are planning for their futures, and that’s quite a responsibility. Having an attractive employee benefit package, or at minimum one that covers the bases, is essential in today’s competitive job market. If you’re looking to put one together or improve on what you have currently, or would just like a few questions answered, the experts at Benefit Professionals are just a phone call away.
Back to the particulars of retirement planning, there are a few other significant items on the agenda.
Living and care arrangements is definitely one of those, although it tends to get put off until it becomes absolutely necessary. For seniors of all ages and walks of life, this is mainly for fear of a loss of independence among other concerns. However, there are so many wonderful places in our community to consider, and resources that you may not know even exist but are available to you whenever you’re ready to begin the planning process.
“At CarePatrol we help families plan for taking their next step in life which includes looking at independent living or assisted living communities, and our services are 100% free to those we help,” says Theron Ahlman of CarePatrol of Nebraska. “When families or seniors feel they are getting close to needing more help or no longer want to take care of a house and everything that goes with it, we step in to visit with them and learn as much about them as we can. From there we help them find the best and safest communities as we always review the state’s care and violation history, schedule the tours and personally go with them on the tour to help ask the right questions. Most seniors aren’t sure what to ask or where to even start, so we can save them a lot of time when looking, which also can save them a lot of stress and make it an enjoyable experience. By planning ahead they get to choose where they want to go, as opposed to it being involuntary, such as when an event happens that forces the move or the decision must be made on their behalf due to the circumstances.
We have found that those who have moved into a community wish they would have done it 5 years sooner on average. A lot of seniors still think a nursing home is what assisted living is, so I always stress taking the time to go visit and really understand what all is offered to them. The sooner we begin looking into the options, the more time for enjoying life and having less to worry about. At CarePatrol we always suggest that seniors start looking as soon as they begin to feel that being at home is overwhelming, they are feeling isolated, not eating correctly, messing up taking their medications, or maybe are just tired of shoveling snow and mowing the yard. As for financial concerns, we can sit down and look at their current expenses and see how that compares to living in a community where almost everything is taken care of like food, cable, utilities and other expenses one might incur as a homeowner.
To learn more about how CarePatrol helps seniors and their families navigate the ever-changing world of senior living, please call us at (402) 785-2262 to visit and learn more about your options, and to start looking towards the future to be better prepared for what life has ahead.”
Another common thing that people would plan for during their retirement is to travel!
“Now that you are retired, it’s time to tackle that Bucket List!” says Kris Reddy of The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “Where are all of the places you have been dreaming of going? The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company’s expertise can assist in putting together the trip of a lifetime or help you start planning numerous trips!
No matter what you have in mind, start planning early! Planning in advance allows you access to more options such as accommodations, flights, tours, etc. The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company offers a price guarantee, and you’ll never be charged a service fee! Travelers adjusting to retirement are often very budget-conscious. They want the most “bang for their buck,” and that’s our goal too. Our specialists sit down with clients and find out their wants and needs, and then work together to create the perfect vacation that fits their budget.
In this modern world of technology, many of us get overwhelmed with all of the options out there. The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company’s Leisure Travel Specialists take care of all the details. We can create a seamless vacation to take away all of the stress and let you focus on enjoying yourself. We’ll arrange it all, from your flights, transfers, accommodations, and tours to traveler’s insurance and other items that you might not think to set up. Those are just a few of the reasons why it’s beneficial to plan ahead.
There are many cruise lines, resorts, and tours that are perfect for retirees. Looking for all-adults resort, an at-your-pace tour or an adventure around the world? Let us find the perfect fit for you – now is your time! Take the time to adventure and go to the places you’ve been dreaming of and saving for over the years. The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company’s expertise awaits you. We’re here to help you get your plans in place for those Golden Years of traveling, while always looking for ways to make your budget go further than ever!”
For the things in life that should be thoughtfully planned out in advance, there’s usually a palpable sense of urgency that’s not to be dismissed or ignored. It’s for good reason, because there are significant benefits to having arrangements made at the recommended intervals, if not sooner just for good measure. It always helps to have guidance when planning the important things in life, specifically from the professionals who will apply their knowledge and experience to ensure everything is in place and nothing is overlooked. An outside opinion doesn’t hurt either. By establishing these relationships, you’ll feel comfortable reaching out to consult with those whom you are familiar with and can trust in planning for any number of life changes you’ll experience down the road.