Retiring in style may no longer be an option for some


Older people in California are in an undeniably awkward predicament when it comes to their retirement. People who have worked their entire lives in order to settle down and enjoy their retirement on their own terms may have seen a lot of their accumulated wealth simply vanish as rising taxes, higher costs of living and devastating declines in many popular investments have forced seniors to think about their twilight years and come to some tough conclusions.

California is a wonderful place to retire, but some people wonder "if" they'll be able to retire. As the author of a recent Forbes article wrote, too frail to work and too poor to retire could become the norm amongst this generation of senior citizens. The author is not suggesting the beginning of some epidemic of senior citizen poverty, but it's true that some senior citizens' retirements may not go as planned.

For example, seniors may have to take cost-cutting measures on housing and lifestyle choices that may prolong their bottom line. This could include living in a smaller home, eating out less or perhaps even considering a roommate. While all of these smaller measures may add up over time, the best thing a senior can do is get serious about estate planning.

Estate planning isn't just for people with a substantial estate, it's absolutely essential for any person looking to avoid unnecessary taxation and maximize their financial assets. Many retirees, in a spirit of great generosity, also plan to leave something behind for future heirs or charitable causes after their death. Ensuring that these objectives are reached is easier than most people think; an experienced California estate planning attorney can show seniors how to make the most of the retirement and still maintain their wealth for the good of the next generation.

Source: Forbes "Surviving The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History," Edward "Ted" Siedle, Oct. 31, 2013

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