A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income, Pt. 8

by Donald Whelpley
@ 2022 All rights reserved.

PART 8 – Final

AS A RETIREE YOU BECOME A RICH TARGET FOR THIEVES.  Tell nothing to telemarketers, not even your name.  By federal LAW, every telemarketer is required to tell you the business or charity they represent BEFORE they ask you any question (that includes asking if they are speaking with “Bob.”)  Nothing is “free” and nothing is cheaper over the phone, or as an email notice.  There are no legitimate charities which cannot send you a packet to read (and if they are legitimate they already have your name and address, which you do not have to confirm over the phone).  Never give out your Social Security number by phone, text, or e-mail.  Develop a clear plan for dealing with unsolicited phone calls, texts, and emails.  By the way, the IRS, Social Security Administration, and Medicare will never call, text, or email you unless you requested it first.  
If you get a call from a number you do not recognize, your first response should always be to ask who is calling.  My number one rule is to NOT BELIEVE anything told me over the phone or in an email or text (My nephew is not in jail.  I am not named in a lawsuit).  And I NEVER use the link provided.  I have internet contact information for every account and I always go THERE instead.  If it is a telemarketer or scammer, it is not rude to merely hang up or delete a text or email.  

Needy family members (and other charities) can bankrupt retirement.  Too many have found out the hard way.  If you have adult children who cannot seem to get a handle on life you need to set clear boundaries EARLY.  You are not the bank.  Your adult child cannot move back home.  You are not going to raise the grandchildren.  You cannot fund their vacations.  You should not buy them cars.  They may even threaten you with, “If you don’t you won’t get to see your grandchildren!”  Your job in raising them and providing for them ended when they became adults.  Is it OK to help them out of a once-in-a-lifetime tough spot??  Sure, if you know beforehand where your limits are.  If you have nothing to spare, then that is your answer.  
Some retirees set up funds for each future inheritor that requires two signatures to access.  And they keep the bank account access info in their papers.  If there is an emergency that money is set aside already…but it is that person’s inheritance…  Once gone…it will not be replaced.

Stream 12:  OWN A BUSINESS.
There are great benefits to owning a business.  There are also substantial risks.  Never risk essential money or resources in retirement.  Also, as you age, owning a business grows riskier since you may have to trust others more.  They don’t have the vision you had.  They demand more of your income to do the things needed to keep the business open.  The best plan is to sell the business BEFORE your health or mental abilities require it.  If you wait too long you may have to sell for less than it is worth.

Younger retirees may have significant term life insurance policies still in effect.  I have one which is good for four more years at a price that is not unreasonable.  However, I could not afford to re-enroll.  If I die suddenly, my spouse will be able to pay for my final expenses, buy a new car, put a new roof on the house, plus have money left over for ordinary expenses…all without dipping into savings.  That is true even if I require Medicaid assistance.
However, would it surprise you to learn that some states require you to “borrow” from the face value of Whole Life insurance policies to pay for nursing home costs.  Those states consider Whole Life policies as “assets.”  If your state does, then this type of insurance will not be there for a surviving spouse who needs that insurance policy to cover final expenses and medical bills.  Sadly, few know about this and the insurance agent certainly will not tell you.

CONCLUSION:  The evidence is abundant…  Government leaders do not care about your retirement.  If they did they would not concentrate on minimum wage, livable wages, and paying off student loans WHILE avoiding the sticky issue of making secure Social Security funding and ensuring that Social Security COLA increases actually kept up with inflation (they do not).  They would also do more to assure senior citizens that their resources would not be wiped out if they needed Medicaid help.  (Honestly, how can emergency expenses, like a new roof or failed water heater, be paid out of a nest egg that only has $2,000 remaining?)   I am not anti-government, but I am a realist.  I have to conclude that government is NOT my retirement friend.  It will not be yours either.

You should not (you MUST not) go into retirement without a serious plan to deal with the realistic probabilities that exist.  A thought-out plan is far better than no plan at all.

There is much more information you need, but most of it is specific to your state or your situation.  Research is essential.  Spread your risk, reduce your costs, see a lawyer, and plan ahead.  It amazes me how many people entering their older working years have failed to look at reality.  Some have less than 3 years-worth of living expenses socked away.  They haven’t even looked at what Social Security will pay them if they retire at 62 or at FRA.  Start by creating a FILE with the information you find and your plans.

It is time to step up.  If you want sufficient secure resources for the future … don’t expect the government to care and don’t count on luck.

See Part 1 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 2 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 3 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 4 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 5 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 6 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income
See Part 7 of A Layman’s Look from Don: Streams of Retirement Income


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