You’ve worked hard your whole life and are enjoying your retirement. Your financial planner and Tucson estate planning attorney have worked together to ensure you have living expenses covered by pensions and retirement investments, and when the time comes, you’re able to afford the cost of dying to pay medical and funeral expenses.
Cost of Dying and Cost of Living
Not surprising, the cost of dying in each state is in direct correlation to the cost of living. For example, Mississippi is the least expensive state in which to die at an average funeral cost of $5,166 versus the national median of $6,078. It should come as no surprise that Mississippi also has the lowest cost of living. [Source]
In Arizona, the cost of living is just about 2% less than the national average, while healthcare is about 1% more and housing is 2.8% under the average. [Source] The average out-of-pocket, end-of-life medical expenses are $11,618, while the average funeral expenses are $6,078. [Source] Without proper planning, these expenses can leave your family in debt, which makes it important to have an estate plan in place.
This is in contrast to the most expensive place to live and die – Hawaii. While it’s a beautiful state to visit, the cost of dying is the highest in the nation, nearly double our home state. Funeral costs are an average of $11,408 and the end-of-life care average is $21,807.
Whether you’re in Arizona, Hawaii, or another state, it’s important to plan ahead so your family isn’t left paying the debt with proceeds from the sale of your assets.
Impact on Financial and Estate Planning
There is currently a federal estate tax that applies to a relatively small amount of the population—those whose estate is valued over $5.49 million. When it comes to Arizona estate planning, there is no state estate tax or inheritance tax, which can potentially save your heirs thousands of dollars. We encourage you to speak to Kinghorn Heritage Law Group to understand how your assets can be protected and end‑of‑life expenses can be covered. In our meeting we will discuss:
Your current estate plan. Often we meet with people who think they need to have millions of dollars in assets to establish a Trust, so they only have a Will. While a Will is better than no plan at all, a Trust will provide tools for estate preservation and asset protection as well as provisions for disabilities, an important need that often gets overlooked. In addition to a Trust, powers of attorney and living wills are essential parts of an estate plan.
Your family. We want to create a plan that protects what is most important to you.
Your wishes. It saves families stress when they understand their loved one’s wishes. If you want your grandson to have your antique golf clubs, then let’s make that part of your plan.
Whether it’s passing down family heirlooms or making sure you can afford the cost of dying, the Kinghorn Heritage team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
In this month of November we celebrate and give thanks for the many gifts we have in our lives - our families, loved ones who have passed, our Veterans, our health, our free elections, and those who serve us in many ways that we often overlook and fail to acknowledge. This month I am grateful to have a new roof on my house, and my truck in good repair, and for those who made all that happen; I’m grateful to have my partner and my elder friends, and the many opportunities to serve others.
A Word About Real Estate in Tucson
Housing inventory remains low while the prices continue to rise. The median price of homes in Tucson stands at $211,845, a 7% increase over the same month last year. If you have been thinking about selling your home, consider that the value of your home has also increased and it is still a seller’s market up to $350,000-$400,000. To see a complete report for the Tucson housing market, visit my website. For any questions you might have about the value of your home, invite me for a no-obligation consultation.
A Word About Seniors
The Walk for Alzheimer’s took place on November 10, and raised nearly $258,000 toward their goal of $290,000. If you have someone in your family, or you know of someone who is challenged by the disease of Alzheimer’s, contact the Pima County Office on Aging (PCOA) - (520) 322-6601 - for information about support groups.
If you or someone you know is a Senior thinking about downsizing to a smaller home or into a senior retirement community, I invite you to contact me (520-248-6297) for a no-obligation consultation.
In the future I will be offering workshops and seminars about the issues facing Seniors and how Seniors can plan for their transition to a different way of life. Be on the lookout for announcements of these events!
A Word About Me
Last month I attended the 4th annual Legacy Conference of the Senior Real Estate Institute in Oklahoma City. The theme of the conference was Thinking Outside the Box. As Realtors serving the Senior population we accept the challenge to create DIFFERENT services and value for our customers and clients. Working with Seniors in a sales transaction involves much more than the typical real estate services provided by Realtors. Training as a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) involves not only knowledge of real estate practice, but also of the psychological and life-phase issues of Seniors in their later years.
A Word About Events in Tucson
Visit the Holiday Art Marketplace in Tucson Mall, next to Macy’s on the second floor during November and December. If you are looking for Mosaic artwork, visit Piecing It Together, mosaic pieces created by one of my Senior friends. And you better hurry, as she will only be there through the end of November!
Tucson Food Tour - November 16, 2018 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sample food from at least six restaurants, $55, in advance.
November 19, 2018 - The Fourth Annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner - Armory Park, 11-3. Donations for food and volunteers to cook and serve are needed. If you would like to participate in this event for the Tucson community, go to Tucson.com for more information.
November 22, 2018 - Thanksgiving Day - Several Tucson restaurants will be offering Thanksgiving meals. If you don’t want to cook you may want to dine out at one of these fine restaurants! Go to this link for more information.
"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life
is the foundation for all abundance."Eckhart Tolle
Sponsor of the SPOTLIGHT Senior Services &
Living Options Tucson Guide
As a second generation, Arizona native and University of Arizona grad (GO CATS!) living in Tucson, my family and I have served this community for many years. I bring a wealth of insight and expertise about buying and selling real estate in Southern Arizona. Whether it's guiding a family while they consider options for their aging parents or helping a Senior age in place, I can help. If you're looking for a special pocket area on a golf course or want to live near the Loop, I can help.
My knowledge about schools, local things to do, restaurants, shopping, etc. will guide you to the perfect neighborhood. Hiking Sabino Canyon and digging in the dirt planting my spring and fall vegetable garden are two of my very favorite things to do.
It may be hard to believe, but not all real estate agents are familiar with their local market. I live, work, invest and play in our community. I've built a reputation I'm proud of. Let me help you with your real estate needs.
Your real estate referrals will be professionally handled and greatly appreciated!
Sponsor of the SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Guide. Visit us online today and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT!"
We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser in the Tucson SPOTLIGHT Senior Services & Living Options Resource Guide
Established in January 2016, Southern Arizona Eldercare has a solid reputation and is a respected agency in the world of in-home care.
We started the company with the intent of providing ethical and superior services, and is exactly what we do. As a licensed in-home care provider, Southern Arizona Eldercare truly understands the value of human interaction and communication.
With a complete staff of professional and trained caregivers, we are here to provide support for you and your family, whatever the situation.
Visit us today online and say "I saw you in SPOTLIGHT"
Pictured here are French Marigolds - Marigolds are the Birth Flower for October. I remember my mother planting some of these in her garden when I was a kid. They have a most interesting scent; I could almost smell them as I was loading them onto the page! Marigolds of all varieties are great plants to brighten your Fall garden. If you are preparing your home for sale, consider using them to give a bright “punch” to your landscape. And CALL ME to arrange a listing appointment!
A Word About Real Estate in Tucson
The Housing Report on my webpage can give you some insight about the current value of your home. If you are thinking about moving up or moving away, you can get a close idea of how much money you could get for your home. If you like to see the numbers and graphs of the current statistics, just go to my website and enter your information. You might be surprised! Many of the homes that were under water a couple of years ago are now back to the place where they were before the downward housing spiral. Did You Know that you can subscribe to the monthly housing report and receive it in your email inbox automatically?
The Snowbirds are heading back this way as temperatures drop in the northern and northeastern states. The population in Tucson increases every year, and so does the desire to find a place to stay, or even buy a second home. If you know of someone who visits each year, and who has in mind a purchase, I would appreciate a referral to help them find exactly the right place.
Lookin’ For A Home?
A Word About Downsizing
Did I mention that I have downsized from a fifth-floor condo to a 25-foot travel trailer? That was 760 square feet to 200 square feet. I lived in that trailer for seven years. If you have any questions about downsizing, I have some answers! Sometimes folks want to downsize because they no longer want to manage a large home (and they might want to travel in an RV, or not!) Some folks find themselves in a situation where they must accommodate changes in their health and lifestyle. Whatever the reason, I can help in making the transition. Call me for a confidential, no-obligation consultation about selling your current home, and moving into a new situation.
A Word About Seniors
I just learned about a transportation service that assists Seniors to get around without needing a smartphone. The service is called GoGoGrandparent and it connects Seniors with drivers for Lyft and Uber without the confusion of looking for an app and becoming proficient with it. You can get the rides you need for doctor visits, shopping, hair salons, etc. by calling the number and creating an account. Although it’s been around for a couple of years, I just discovered it, so I wanted to draw your attention it. Now, there’s no reason for Seniors to not be able to keep moving!
Sign Up Now… for the Alzheimer’s Walk on November 10, 2018 at Reid’s Park in Tucson. Contact Nadine Hanson at 520-322-6601 - firstname.lastname@example.org register or volunteer. The truth is...
1 in 3 Seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
5.7 Million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and this figure is estimated to increase to 14 Million by 2050.
Nearly ⅔ of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
A Word About Me
This month I am heading to Oklahoma City, OK to attend the 4th Annual Conference for Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHP), sponsored by the Senior Real Estate Institute. As I only received my designation of CSHP back in June,I look forward to meeting other Real Estate Professionals who assist Seniors through some of their more challenging phases of life. I’m excited about learning new ways of providing excellent services to my clients. I will report back in my next update.
Whether America is facing a “retirement crisis” in which seniors are making do with shrinking financial resources has been widely debated. But here’s a telling metric: Seniors are making a larger share of bankruptcy filings.
That’s the finding of a new paper by academic researchers affiliated with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, which periodically samples personal bankruptcy filings from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Older Americans are increasingly likely to file consumer bankruptcy,” they write, “and their representation among those in bankruptcy has never been higher.”
The figures should worry advocates for seniors, because in terms of the overall financial health of the 65+ cohort, it’s likely to be the tip of the iceberg. “Only a small fraction of those who are having financial troubles file for bankruptcy,” one of the authors, Robert Lawless of the University of Illinois law school, told me. “So this is part of a much bigger story about financial distress among the elderly.”
It’s true that the elderly have been the beneficiaries since the 1930s of America’s strongest and most successful social safety net. The system was born with Social Security in 1935, which aimed to reduce the scandalous poverty rate among seniors. It was followed by Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, which offered relief for healthcare, and culminated in the Medicare prescription drug program enacted in 2003.
During that same period, a sizable percentage of American workers were covered by corporate defined-benefit pensions, producing what retirement experts have called “a brief golden age” when many American workers could retire with confidence.
Over the last few decades, however, confidence in that safety net has ebbed. Defined-benefit plans have given way to defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s, which saddle workers with all the risk of investment market downturns — and in which wealthier workers are overrepresented, both in enrollment rates and balances.
This is part of a much bigger story about financial distress among the elderly.
ROBERT LAWLESS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
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Some older Americans may have more access to retirement income than their forebears, but they’re also carrying more debt. The share of Americans still carrying mortgage debt when they reach age 65 rose to 38% in 2013 from 22% in 1995, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. Their mortgage balances also have risen over that period, to $73,000 from $27,300 in inflation-adjusted terms. Despite Medicare, medical expenses remain a large component of seniors’ financial burdens.
It’s also proper to keep in mind that the stagnation of wages for workers is certain to have an impact as today’s workers move into retirement. Jobs that once offered a stable middle-class income with benefits have morphed into low-wage jobs without job security, healthcare or pensions. Workers struggling to make ends meet in an economy in which corporate profits are approaching a post-recession record aren’t likely to become suddenly flush in their retirement years.
The bankruptcy paper has sustained some criticism from commentators who believe the retirement crisis has been exaggerated. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones observed, fairly enough, that the bankruptcy rate for the 65+ cohort hasn’t changed at all over the last 15 years, and the run-up in the rate during the decade 1991-2001 reflects a sharp increase in the rate among all Americans — and that increase began in the mid-1980s.
But I would argue that more seems to be going on here. To begin with, the bankruptcy bulge seems to be moving up the age ladder. In 1991, 8.2% of all bankruptcy filings were made by households led by people 55 or older; by the 2013-2016 period, their share was 33.7%. According to the new paper, the bankruptcy rates among all age groups 54 and younger have fallen since 1991, but the rates for all groups 55 and older have risen.
This isn’t related to the general graying of the U.S. population. As Lawless observes, the over-65 population has risen by 16% since 1991. But bankruptcy filings in that cohort have increased by 2 ½ times.
“This is not a trend, but something qualitatively different in what we’re seeing,” he says.
Lawless and his colleagues point out that while bankruptcy is a last resort for any debtor and nothing like the panacea it’s often depicted to be, it’s an especially dire choice for seniors. Unlike younger debtors, seniors don’t have years ahead of them to rebuild their household finances while their debts are held in abeyance. “By the time they file bankruptcy,” the paper observes, “their wealth has vanished.”
America has some serious policy choices to make, and pretending that seniors are living the high life on Social Security doesn’t clarify matters, especially as the claim is typically made by conservatives as a rationale to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
The figures on bankruptcy suggest that the opposite is necessary — expanding Social Security and increasing benefits to shore up retiree resources against the decline of personal savings and pension income. The guaranteed retirement accounts advocated by a number of retirement experts — personal accounts funded by workers and employers during their working years, supported by a tax credit and a government guarantee against loss of principal—are a promising option. America has more than enough resources to make sure, as it did in the 1930s, that its seniors won’t be facing their last years fearing penury.
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