By: Todd Bauman/ Financial Focus
Living Trust vs. The Will: What Do You Need?
The short answer to this question is both. You need both a living trust and a will.
You might think of it like this: the will is your last testament; it’s what you write to communicate your wishes. The Living Trust is the vehicle that carries out those wishes.
Without the vehicle, all you have is the paper, which is why doing only a will might still result in your intentions being carried out, but your entire holdings will have to pass through probate which is an expensive and time-consuming process.
I sometimes joke and say that if you complete a proper living trust, then all you have to write in your Will is, “Being of sound mind and body, I SPENT IT ALL.” While this is funny, it is also somewhat true, because when you set up a trust, you essentially no longer own anything.
You do, however, still get to decide where your money will go. You can also change your mind. If one of your kids comes to Las Vegas to visit, puts a few bucks in the slot machine, and hits megabucks for $30 million, well, then you can take them out of your trust, not because you don’t love them anymore, but because they don’t need your pittance of an estate!
By: Todd Bauman/Financial Focus
As you near retirement, it's likely you'll have many questions about Social Security. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers about Social Security benefits.
Will Social Security be around when you need it?
You've probably heard media reports about the worrisome financial condition of Social Security, but how heavily should you weigh this information when deciding when to begin receiving benefits? While it's very likely that some changes will be made to Social Security (e.g., payroll taxes may increase or benefits may be reduced by a certain percentage), there's no need to base your decision about when to apply for benefits on this information alone.
By: Todd Bauman / Financial Focus
People today are living longer than ever before, and the cost of living is only going up – especially in the area of health care. Most people retiring today also do so without the benefit of a pension, so they have to rely on their investments.
After spending a lifetime building up your nest egg, the only logical thing to do is to protect it.
However, that comes with its own challenges. Interest rates have gone down on traditional safe money products.
It might be hard to believe, but in the summer, drivers tend to let their guards down and get lax about their driving habits. Michelin, a tire manufacturer for over 100 years, recently released a study that shows almost 75% of drivers falsely believe there are fewer accidents in summer versus winter because of long days of light, nicer weather and better driving conditions.
The study also notes that more than half of the drivers it surveyed admitted being less cautious when driving, less likely to pay attention to other drivers on the road, and less likely to check the condition of their tires. In truth, some of the most severe tire-related incidents are due to tires that are under inflated.
Whether you’re just driving around town, or planning a long road trip, tire safety (and vehicle safety) should be high on your list. Here are some great tips from Michelin you should follow before hitting the road:
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