You undoubtedly already know that careful financial planning throughout the course of your life is essential if you wish to grow your assets and accumulate sufficient assets to live comfortably during your retirement years. You may also already have a financial adviser that helps you make important financial decisions; however, have you considered how a financial planning lawyer may also be able to help you? Instead of making the mistake that many people make of viewing financial planning and estate planning as separate endeavors, you should work toward an estate plan that integrates both plans.
The Need for Financial Planning
The need for financial planning has never been more important than it is today when you consider the fact that the average American is living almost twice as long as he/she did at the turn of the 20th century. While the average retirement age has also increased some, the net result is still that you can expect to spend as much as one-third of your life in retirement. Planning for those retirement years requires careful financial planning throughout the entirety of your working years. You have undoubtedly been told how important it is to start planning for your “Golden Years” early on in your life; however, you may not truly realize just how important it is to start early. To put this in perspective, if you start saving at age 25 and stop saving at age 35 – just 10 years – you will ultimately end up with more money than if you begin saving at age 35 and save until you retire at age 65 – or 30 years. Saving for your retirement, however, is not the only financial planning that is important. Short-term financial planning is also imperative because it allows you to reach financial and life goals, such as paying for a wedding, purchasing a home, taking a dream vacation, or supporting your favorite charities. The better you plan in the short term, the more funds that will be available for the long run as well.
How Estate Planning and Financial Planning Work Together
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to create separate estate and financial plans. The problem with creating separate plans is that life doesn’t work like that. The numerous and seemingly varied areas of your life overlap and interact with each other on a regular basis. This is particularly true of financial and legal concerns. Failing to consider how one plan affects another plan can have significant negative consequences. For instance, your financial plan may focus on investments that mature during your retirement years. While that makes complete sense from a purely financial standpoint, those same assets could create a huge problem for you if you need to qualify for Medicaid to help cover the high cost of long-term care when you are older. In fact, you could lose a significant portion of those assets to the Medicaid “spend-down” rules as a result of failing to consider your financial plan in light of your estate plan. With that in mind, it only makes sense to work with an attorney who can help you integrate your financial and estate plans.
How Can a Financial Planning Lawyer Help?
A financial planning lawyer does not give you advice on what stocks to purchase or when to sell and investment to maximize profits. Instead, a financial planning lawyer can help you understand how those actions might impact your retirement plans, your ability to qualify for Medicaid to help with nursing home costs, or the estate you hope to leave behind for loved ones. In essence, a financial planning lawyer helps you to understand the big picture when it comes to financial investments and major financial decisions. Because of the direct relationship between estate planning and financial planning, many estate planning lawyers are also financial planning attorneys.
If you have additional questions and/or concerns regarding the need for a financial planning lawyer, contact the experienced North Dakota and Minnesota estate and financial planning attorneys at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.