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The Nine Biggest Estate And Retirement Planning Mistakes


Some people have suggested waiting to see how Congress deals with the estate tax before doing any planning, but waiting to plan is a big mistake! Whether or not your estate is large enough to be concerned with a Massachusetts or Federal Estate Tax, many are very worried about how they will pay for nursing home care if they need it!  

According to a recent survey, for most people, a family’s estate is consumed in the following order:

1.      Nursing homes;
2.      The IRS & Department of Revenue;
3.      Probate;
4.      Your children;
5.      Your grandchildren;
6.      A special person; and
7.      Your favorite charity.

What most people don’t realize is that you get to pick another order, but to do that you must act to get the results you want. If you are like most people, you want to preserve your home and life savings from the close to $150,000 per year nursing home costs for your spouse and plan a better legacy for your family.

Plan to protect and take control of your life savings call (800) 964 – 4295 for a free workshop or visit our

Estate Planning for Generations

Let’s assume for a moment that you have taken steps to protect yourself, your home and other assets so you do not leave all of your money to the nursing home during your lifetime. Given a choice, how would you like to leave 70% or more to the IRS and Department of Revenue? You may know something needs to be done, but making sure it is the right thing is critical! If you made some of the following mistakes, you too could leave a 70% inheritance to the IRS!

Here are nine major mistakes to avoid when planning to protect your retirement savings, including IRAs, from a Wall Street Journal article, “How Retirees Are Blowing Their Nest Eggs”:

1.      Failed Rollovers
If you let the 60-day deadline pass by it means you’ll pay income tax on the entire amount that year.  The alternative is to let your assets grow tax-free until you make withdrawals.

2.      Roth Conversion Confusion
Want a conversion? Take control – don’t leave it up to your children.

3.      Taking Too Little or Too Much
Avoid penalties by planning ahead for withdrawals from qualified retirement accounts.

4.      Missing the Low-Tax Window
If your tax bracket drops after you stop earning a regular paycheck, and you expect your tax rate to increase again when you start taking mandatory IRA withdrawals, it may make sense to withdraw from your account to avoid higher taxes in the future.

5.      Losing Out on the Stretch
Be sure to stretch out withdrawals from inherited IRAs over your own life expectancy.

6.      Naming No Beneficiary, or the Wrong One
Without naming a beneficiary, anyone who inherits the money from the IRA will lose out on decade’s worth of potential tax-free growth.

7.      Leaving Your IRA to a Trust
You can leave an IRA to a separate trust set up to maximize the tax-free growth and provide protection from lawsuits, divorces and other creditors, but you must make sure that the trust that is the beneficiary is set up correctly to provide for these benefits.

8.      Overlooking the Estate-Tax Break
When you inherit an IRA on which estate taxes have been paid, you’re entitled to a little known tax deduction called Income in Respect of a Decedent, or IRD.

9.      Not Protecting Your IRA from Long Term Care Costs
Leave your IRA to a protective trust to protect the account for your children and grandchildren if your spouse ever needs assistance paying for long term care costs.

To learn more about your opportunities and avoid the mistake of procrastination and the top nine mistakes of estate and retirement planning, act now. Please visit us at to sign up for a complimentary workshop or call (800) 964-4295 (24hrs/7 days a week). You can take care of both protecting your assets and saving taxes, but only if you take control of the order of distribution of your life savings and act to protect your spouse, home, life savings and legacy!