When preparing for retirement, there is no doubt that planning in terms of financial well-being is important. We spend a large portion of our lives setting aside money that will help pay for both everyday necessities and leisurely activities when we aren't earning a salary anymore. Although this type of preparation is vitally important, it shouldn't be the only focus.
There is a lot more that affects retirement life. For example, preparing for the legacy you want to leave behind. This means estate planning. Not only understanding but also creating the documents necessary to execute a complete after-death legacy is not an overnight process. Sure, a simple will can be drafted relatively quickly, but you want to make sure you have thought through every gift and the terms you want to go with it.
Have you thought about leaving a gift that will benefit your children? Do you have more than one? Are you going to divide assets fairly between all of them? What do you deem to be fair; will it be a 50/50 split between two children or an amount determined by need? Does one child appreciate a specific asset such as an heirloom over a monetary gift? Can a child be given complete control or do they need parameters surrounding a gift?
Although disinheritance seems like an unlikely event for many people, it is something that is growing "in disguise" amongst the baby-boomer generation. Divorce is a kind of disinheritance that leaves a spouse without the elective share. Retirement involves a change in a relationship for many couples who go from two independent careers to 24/7 contact. A marriage counselor is something that a lot of couples consider. For those who want a divorce, it is important to think about updating an estate plan so that unintended consequences do not occur.
Source: CBS, "Retirement planning: Get non-financial help," March 6, 2013
Our Cape Coral and Fort Myers Estate Planning website provides a wealth of information about tools to consider whether you are entering retirement already or just starting out.