I am a 72-year-old senior, and a lot of my friends have
financial planners. They don’t live in my area and
have more money than I do, but they seem to think it’s
very wise to have a planner. How do you go about finding
one you can trust? I am afraid to trust a stranger with
my money. My husband and I (second marriage) have no
money in common and I will get nothing from him if he
dies first. I am the owner of the modest house we live
in, and I have savings of about $100,000.
There are a couple of websites,
garrettplanningnetwork.com and napfa.org that list
advisers who generally are paid for their time as
opposed to on commissions.
the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
lists its members who also hold a personal financial
said, I humbly suggest a little soul-searching first to
discover how you truly want to manage your finances. Are
you looking for a money manager to invest the $100,000
or someone offering more comprehensive skills?
fear about unscrupulous or unskilled money managers is
your overriding concern, you can buy Treasury bonds
directly from the government at treasurydirect.gov or
put the money in certificates of deposit backed by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. A quick scan at
Bankrate.com recently showed top-performing CDs paying
2.4 percent for a five-year period, so you could ladder
the money out, choosing shorter term rates for money you
will need before then.
could also look at immediateannuities.com which offers
quotes on fixed annuities that begin right away in
exchange for a lump sum. A recent search found that
$100,000 would generate about $623 per month for a woman
also are new advisory platforms — Wealthfront,
Betterment and Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios
among them — that automate the money management
process at prices far below the traditional cost of an
hunch, though, is that you are asking for much more
mentioned that you and your husband don’t have money
in common and you would get nothing from his estate if
he dies, but have you considered other consequences,
such as Social Security benefits? Even if his benefit is
smaller than yours and wouldn’t result in a larger
widow’s benefit for you, the loss of his monthly check
is something to consider when thinking about your
you have a mortgage or other debt, life insurance
policies or desires for passing money to other family
members when you pass away?
of these questions should ultimately factor into how you
decide to manage the $100,000 and can be used as
conversation points as you vet potential advisers.
My husband is 70 and I am 58. He has had heart surgery
and cancer. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
11 years ago and expect to need a caregiver or nursing
home within another 10 to 15 years, and my husband is
concerned that he won’t be around by then to care for
me. Because I don’t have long-term care insurance,
will my home be at risk for nursing home costs? I have
about $325,000 in savings. We have a son to whom I would
want to leave an inheritance. We are purchasing a new
home in a few months. Should we put it in a trust? Am I
allowed to keep a certain amount of assets and still
qualify for Medicaid?
If nursing home care is more than five years away, you
have some time to plan. Buying a new home to downsize in
retirement can be a smart strategy if it reduces living
costs and leaving an inheritance is a common aspiration.
But if you are facing serious health issues, be sure to
carefully consider these options.
for Medicaid requires one to be impoverished, and there
is generally a five-year look-back period, so asset
transfers within that time can result in delays before
Medicaid would kick in to cover costs. If your husband
is living when you enter a nursing home, he could keep
some assets and income, though the amounts vary by
primary home generally can be exempt from your countable
assets used to determine Medicaid eligibility, but a
lien potentially could be placed on it after your death.
And if your husband dies while you are in a nursing
home, the state could go after his estate for
is definitely a trend toward more recovery" by
nursing homes and states looking to be paid back for
money spent on nursing care, said Melissa Negrin-Wiener,
a partner in the Melville, N.Y., law firm Genser, Dubow,
Genser & Cona.
irrevocable trust is one strategy people have used to
protect their homes, but be aware of all the
could sell the current home and buy the new one with an
irrevocable trust," but if you set up the trust you
generally wouldn’t have access to the home equity, she
definition, you typically can’t undo these types of
trusts, so start interviewing qualified attorneys now.