Asset protection is not at the forefront of most people’s minds. Most of us spend the majority of our time working to accumulate assets rather than considering the importance of protecting what we have. A recent article on The Motley Fool notes there are many things that can harm an investor more than a big return on an investment can help, and recommends we take the following four steps to protect our assets:
Get the right insurance coverage. Life insurance, disability insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance and long-term care insurance all help protect your financial security by shifting the burden of an accident or unplanned event to your insurance company. This mitigates your risk.
Delay Social Security benefits. One of the major benefits of Social Security is that it is one of the few sources of revenue that can withstand inflation and downturns in the stock market. Delaying benefits at least until you are at full retirement age — and up to age 70 if possible – will maximize your payout and that of a surviving spouse.
Have an estate plan in place. Creating an estate plan helps you provide for your family after you are gone in the most tax-advantaged way. Use tools like trusts to minimize taxes while avoiding probate, allowing you to pass assets automatically to your heirs without added expense, time, and court involvement. Another important aspect of estate planning is assigning powers of attorney and drawing up an advance medical directive so your wishes are respected when it comes to your own health care.
Choose the right structure for your business (if applicable). If you own a business, choosing the right business structure for personal liability protection and taxation can dramatically affect your financial circumstances.
If you would like guidance and counsel on protecting your wealth, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.