How to Plan for Life After 40

Posted on: February 20, 2017

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide

There’s nothing quite like a milestone birthday to get us reflecting on where we’ve been and where we’d like to go in the future.

Life might look a bit different than it did just a few years ago when you were finishing your education and beginning your career. Perhaps now you own a house and have started accumulating valuable assets. Your household may include pets and children or college-age students. You might also be setting philanthropic goals for yourself, so it’s time to create a plan that protects the important people and priorities in your life.

Here are the first steps to take:

  1. Create a will. If you haven’t yet created a will, the time to do so is right now. This is one of the most important documents you can have to protect your loved ones and their financial future. Writing a will lets you control your legacy and how your assets will be distributed after your lifetime, including any charitable gifts you wish to make to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA. If you pass away without a will, these important decisions are made by the state where you lived.

    Insider Tip:

    If you have already created a will, this is a good time to review it to make sure it still meets your needs. If you’ve experienced any of the following events, you might need to update your will:A new marriage or divorce, including your own or your children’s
    The birth of a child or grandchild
    The death of a family member
    A move to another state
    A new or growing relationship with a charitable cause
  2. Assign roles. Part of creating your will is naming a guardian for any minor children in your care, as well as your executor, who oversees how your assets are distributed after your lifetime. Talk to the people you would like to assume these important roles to make sure they are willing to accept the responsibilities. Part of your discussion should include your values and philanthropic vision so that they know what is important to you.

    Insider Tip:
    Your executor holds an important job, and if you don’t have a relative or close friend you trust to handle the duties, you can name a bank or trust company as your executor for a fee. Many banks have experience administering estates, a common practice for larger estates.You should also consider who you will name as agents in your powers of attorney for health care and financial matters. These should be people you trust to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
  3. Review your beneficiary designations. Make sure you have named beneficiaries of your life insurance policy and retirement and bank accounts, and review them after any major life changes, such as marriages, divorces, births and deaths. For example, if you fail to remove a former spouse as a beneficiary before you pass away, he or she could receive that asset, even if you are remarried to someone else.

    Insider Tip:
    Want to disinherit the government? Name The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA as the beneficiary of your retirement account.If you leave these assets to your loved ones, the distributions are subject to income taxes based on your heirs’ ordinary income tax rate. But thanks to our tax-exempt status, we can bypass federal taxes and put 100 percent of your gift directly toward our mission.
  4. Organize your paperwork. Once you have created and updated the various documents detailed above, don’t put them in a box under your bed. Store them in a secure place in your home, such as a fire- and waterproof safe. Give a copy of your will to your executor, and make sure the people you’ve appointed as your powers of attorney for health care and financial matters have original copies of those documents.

    Insider Tip:
    Consider opening a safe-deposit box to store other items that would cause panic if lost, such as:Insurance policies
    Birth, marriage and death certificates
    Adoption papers and divorce decrees
    Deeds, titles, mortgage papers and lease contracts
    Military records and citizenship papers
    Stock and bond certificates
    Do not keep the original copy of your will or trust, power of attorney documents or medical care directives in your safe-deposit box.

Hit the Easy Button

It’s hard enough blowing out another candle on your birthday cake. Let us lend you a hand with some of the responsibilities that come with turning a year older. We can help you make sure you’re on the right path to creating a secure plan that protects your family’s future with our FREE Personal Estate Planning Kit:

Download your kit today

Or contact Danny Carroll at dcarroll@peninsulaymca.org or 757.223.7925 ext 203 to learn more.

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