Approaching Retirement

Retirement Is In Your Sights.
What Changes Does That Bring?

Retirement may not yet be immediate, but you know it’s on the horizon. Yet, while you’ve put some important pieces in place for your family and legacy, and while your earnings are as high as they’ve ever been, you nonetheless have to ask: “Does the structure of my estate plan still make sense?” After all, you know as well as anyone that life changes in ways you never fully expect – even now.

This can include the need to:

• Add, reconfigure, or divest any assets that haven’t been covered
• Change agents or beneficiaries
• Update allocations set years ago
• Focus on charitable initiatives that have come into the picture
• Address potential tax savings that may become more relevant
• Consider options for healthcare and insurance

If you have to add one or more of these components to ensure your estate plan serves your needs better going forward, you’re in new territory.

Planning for your upcoming retirement years entails some lifestyle and health topics. It may also be time to optimize assets, including insurance, retirement vehicles, and real estate, to ensure that they are still appropriate for your next steps, Similarly, the estate plan can be tuned to reflect the most up-to-date needs and choices, including as to structure of the plan as a whole, as well as the designated beneficiaries, allocations, and agents. If certain relationships changed or major events occurred since you last reviewed the plan documents, it can be a good time to make any necessary updates and changes.

Gifting and Legacy

In the pre-retirement years, a part of legacy planning that wasn’t as applicable in the past comes into the picture now. This includes legacy planning in a variety of forms: Will there be gifting to your children or grandchildren? Are the grandchildren minors, who will need someone to oversee any gifted assets? Are there any charitable initiatives to be pursued? If there are significant family assets what has been done to maximize and preserve them?

Do You Own A Business? What’s Going To Happen With It?

There are a number of considerations unique to the small business owner, many of which revolve around a question of legacy. There may be decades of work that you’ve put into a closely held business, so we want to create a strategy backed by an affirmative decision as far as how you want to deal with that business as you move ever-closer to retirement.

Two common options – but not the only ones – involve selling the business or winding it down.

• Selling The Business
If you think you’d like to sell the business, you’re going to want to ensure that you have maximized its value. Are there inefficiencies that can be addressed to get the value up?

Next, do you know to whom you’d like to sell the business to? Are there partners who might buy out your stake? Is there a procedure to determine the price, and how it will be paid? For example, is there a buy/sell agreement, and is it property funded? Alternatively, will it be sold to family members, employees, or a third party buyer? How would that transition occur?

• Winding Down The Business
It may seem simple enough to wind down a business, but this requires a certain amount of care and attention to detail too. What assets need to be addressed? How will they be liquidated? Do the intellectual property and goodwill have value? What income and liabilities remain? How will the business operate as it tails off?

For more on the factors associated with business ownership that might influence your retirement plans, visit our Business Ownership page.

Because pre-retirement issues require economic and strategic planning and decision-making, they should not be ignored in favor of day-to-day obligations. Rather than putting off a crucial conversation that can add value to your retirement and your legacy, reserve a time to talk with Windy City Legal.

You have one more important phase in Estate Planning For Life to enter and the last one is as crucial as any of them: Retirement. It’s no time to kick back when it comes to estate planning, however. Take a closer look at the variety of factors you’ll want to consider in your post-retirement years, including making a plan with Windy City Legal for your legacy that you can feel great about.