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A combined approach to retirement and estate planning

For many Americans alive today, the expected lifespan is far longer than that of previous generations. In fact, researchers estimate that the average person will live nearly 10 years longer than the expected lifespan of just 60 years ago. While this is great news for Ohio residents, it also means that the established ways of thinking about retirement and estate planning are no longer relevant.

A longer lifespan means that individuals will have to make their retirement savings stretch for a longer period of time, or extend their time within the workforce. Many people are better served by investing in higher risk options, rather than relying on stocks and bonds to see them through their golden years. When it comes to health care needs, it may be worthwhile to examine available long-term care insurance options.

In regard to estate planning, a longer life means more opportunities to make positive choices. This is especially true for individuals and families who plan to utilize a gift-giving strategy to pass on wealth and avoid heavy taxation. Gifts can be spread out among children and grandchildren, making it easier to make use of annual gifting limitations. Creating and funding trusts is also a good choice for many people, and can help reduce one's taxable estate.

As with all estate planning measures, the options mentioned here are best utilized as early as possible. A longer lifespan means that Ohio residents will have more time to work through various strategies. That said, many estate planning tools such as life and long-term care insurance are easier to attain before retirement age. The best way to create a comprehensive retirement and estate planning package is to work with an elder care attorney to ensure that each piece of the puzzle is complementary to one's overall goals.

Source: financial-planning.com, "Longer Lifespans Yield New Paradigm for Estate Planning", Paul Hechinger, Aug. 12, 2015

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