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Financial Planning, where to start?
You start at "The End." Meaning the end of your life. If you don't wake up tomorrow morning what kind of a mess have you left for your loved ones to clean up? If you're 30 something and have small children and credit card debt, car loans and house payments with virtually no cash asset you need an adequate amount of life insurance to create a cash estate to pay for things like, funeral expenses, pay off mortgage, pay off credit card debt, pay off auto loan, provide for college education for your minor children, and provide an income stream for the spouse who's left behind without the father or mother of their children. Ten (10) times annual gross income is a reasonable place to start. Meaning if you earn $50,000 per year, $500,000 in life insurance is a reasonable place to start depending on your debt load and family dynamics. The other end of the spectrum is, you've made it. You're in your 70s. Debt FREE, finally. Own your home, have no credit card debt and no car payments, your children are grown and successful and you're playing with your grandchildren living the good life in Florida. Well there are two big things that come up now, with or without a will your assets will get tied up in the Probate Court System at a cost to your adult children of at least 3% of the total value of your Estate. This expense could be avoided by having a Revocable Living Trust. They are easy to set up and cost a fraction of Probate Attorney Fees under a Last Will and Testament. Then there is the possibility of needing nursing home care. This is an expensive thing and you have to "spend down" your cash asset to $2,000 before you qualify for the Florida Institutional Care Program. Nursing home costs will be one of the single most expensive end of life things you'll encounter. Proper Estate Planning has to be in place BEFORE the crisis happens. Certain assets can be structured to slow down the Medicaid Nursing Home Spend Down. Also, do you have a Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and a Living Will. The use of those documents mean a crisis has occurred in your life while you are still alive and a trusted family member or close friend has to step in and take care of your business while you're still alive. If your family has to hire an attorney for "Crisis Planning" after the fact it's going to be a $5,000 to $10,000 legal bill. So once again, let me state this, you do Financial Planning and Estate Planning by starting at "THE END." Meaning "THE END OF YOUR LIFE." If you don't wake up tomorrow morning what kind of a mess have you left for your loved ones to clean up. And at what expense? Now go take on the day. http://www.GarySpicuzza.com 727-945-8599