man in retirement

Common Questions About Retirement

For the vast majority of people, retirement is a one-time occurrence that typically occurs relatively late in life. Not having had the experience, they wonder (and sometimes worry) about what their post-work existence will be like and how they should prepare for it. If you share these concerns and reside in Southeastern Massachusetts or on Cape Cod, you should make an appointment with one of the insightful estate planning attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 

When can I retire?

This question has many answers because no two situations are identical. Much depends on how old you are at the time you begin your estate planning and how much money your income allows you to put aside for your retirement. Variables include:

  • Whether you have a pension and, if so, how sizable it will be
  • Whether property values, the stock market, and interest rates go up or down
  • Whether you remain healthy enough to work as long as you plan to

There are also the other great unknowns. Fortunately, when you work with our competent estate planning team, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that we are professionals with in-depth knowledge of which steps to take in the present to best protect your assets and help you build a nest egg that will carry you comfortably through retirement. 

How much will taxes affect my retirement?

As estate planning attorneys, we have well-polished skills to help you protect your assets from excessive taxation, such as opening a Roth retirement account and creating one or more trusts to take your assets out of your name to limit taxation. Such trusts may include irrevocable life insurance trusts and charitable trusts. At Surprenant & Beneski, we are well-positioned to provide you with guidance to keep your taxes as low as possible so that you can move into retirement in good financial shape.

When should I take social security?

This question comes up often. In order to get your maximum retirement benefits, you must wait to claim your Social Security benefits until you are at full retirement age — an age that differs depending on when you were born. 

The full retirement age for those born from 1943 to 1954, for example, is 66, and seniors will receive an 8 percent increase in benefits for each year they delay their claim until age 70. They can retire as early as age 62, but then they will permanently reduce their monthly benefits by 25 percent. 

Nonetheless, for some people, it makes sense to put in for Social Security benefits at a relatively young age so that they are able to live more comfortably in the present rather than betting they will live long enough to collect more money later on.

It should be noted that, if you continue to work full-time while you’re collecting Social Security benefits, you will pay one dollar for every two dollars you earn above the amount specified (e.g. $17,640 in 2019). 

How will I afford medical expenses in retirement?

This becomes a thorny issue if you retire before you reach the age of 65 when you become eligible for Medicare. If you retire earlier, you may have to pay for costly private coverage if you have lost the medical insurance provided by your employer. We will help you weigh the pros and cons of early retirement by clarifying the benefits and risks to your health and your pocketbook.

What will happen if I become incapacitated in retirement?

Though none of us want to imagine losing our independence and needing full-time nursing care, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 70 percent of adults who survive to age 65 will require long-term services and supports (LTSS) at some point before they die. 

One significant service our law firm offers is assisting you in divesting yourself of funds early enough to make you eligible for Medicaid should you require nursing home care. This is necessary for most people who are not wealthy enough to pay for private full-time care since Medicare does not cover nursing home services.

Contact Us for Answers to Your Complex Questions about Retirement

Like most questions about individualized goals and how to achieve them, questions concerning retirement are best answered in consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.