Estate Planning vs Retirement Planning

ScarlettWhen it comes to estate planning, don't be Scarlett!

As retirement looms, most of us recognize the need for planning, realizing that a failure to plan could mean that we have insufficient assets to make it to the finish line.  However, when it comes to estate planning, those same people take the “Scarlett O’Hara approach: “I’ll think about that tomorrow”.

It’s important to avoid Scarlett’s selfishness however; estate planning is a thoughtful gift for your family and friends. In fact, you should think of estate planning as your guide on how things are supposed to be, the manner in which your wealth will be divided, a method to minimize stress on your loved ones and a device that avoids nasty family fights that can occur after the funeral. You can and should minimize problems and decide some of the tough issues before you pass away.

While retirement planning is a much broader subject, your estate plan should be viewed as a vital component of your life plan. Undeniably important, estate planning has just three simple goals:    

To give you control over your assets as long as you are able to do so.

To protect you and your loved ones in case you become incapacitated.

To distribute your assets in accordance with your intentions after your death.

Again, a retirement plan has broader goals such as:

  • Ensuring that you have enough assets to support your retirement lifestyle.
  • Ensuring that potential health care issues can be met in the location where you retire.
  • Proximity to friends and family.
  • Deciding what to do with the time you previously devoted to your job.
  • Creating an estate plan that is consistent with your goals.

The earlier you start your estate planning, the better. If you are 18 or older, you should have a basic estate plan in place and like retirement planning, estate planning should start on your first day of work! As spring approaches, so too do college and high school graduations.  Don’t forget that every 18 year old needs at least powers of attorney for healthcare decisions.

Reference: Federal News Radio (February 3, 2016) "Estate vs. retirement planning: You bet your life, literally!"


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.