Who is Actually Taking Care of Seniors Now, And Who Will Be Taking Care of Seniors in the Next Generation

According to a NY Times article, two sociologists, one from Purdue and the other Cornell, have studied the family dynamics in America for almost 30 years.  And, they’ve uncovered some handy tidbits besides proving that mothers have favorite children, despite taboos, and they thought that all sorts of personal history and relationship issues would factor into who wound up as caregivers for the elders.  They figured it would be those children who were closest to their mothers emotionally, who had earlier received support from their mothers, and who had fewer competing demands on their time like work, spouses or children of their own.  Not so:  gender and proximity are the drivers.  It turns out that women are 2 times more likely to be the family caregiver and the caregivers most likely to assume the role are those children who live within 2 hours of the elder–6 times more likely!

But, this is for the generation of Americans that had multiple children–a trend not carried forward predominantly in our current generation of Americans not yet in their later years.  So, perhaps a light is shining on this new reality of aging:  who will take care of this generation of Americans when they reach old age–they have only 1 or 2 children and many are childless.  Clearly, the burden will fall on society at large, and this inevitably means the taxpayer.  Now, it should be more apparent why the risk pool has to be increased, and thus, the vehicle most likely to succeed appears to be the Affordable Care Act.

Read more:  http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/daughters-still-are-the-caregivers/?emc=edit_tnt_20130923&tntemail0=y&_r=0

 

Is Social Media Our Online Tombstone?

1. How social media affects the dying process

 

From the post:

 

When NPR Radio host Scott Simon tweeted from his mother’s deathbed, he opened a window into the usually-private process of dying.

 

 

Jody Schoger, another cancer survivor, thinks that “the more we talk and write about death, the easier dying becomes … if you know what’s going to happen, and how it can happen, you can make some plans, know what kind of questions to ask, make your wishes known so that your family and your doctor know what you want.”

2. 1 billion new family records publicly available

 

Thanks to FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.org teaming up.

 

3. How to close your online accounts

 

Just Delete Me is a huge-and-growing directory of links to account deletion pages. It’s probably worth spending an afternoon going through the directory and deleting any accounts you don’t regularly use.

 

4. ♫ I don’t want to live forever (online) ♫

 

It turns out most people don’t, but one-fifth of Britons surveyed haven’t even thought about what will happen to their online accounts after they die.

 

Courtesy of Estate Dispatch

Taking the Complexity Out of Estate Planning

Remember that old joke: How do you eat an elephant?  Answer: One bite at a time.  At the heart of that gag is the truth about how you tackle any seemingly complex task, taking it one step at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.

Many people neglect to create an estate plan because they see it as the proverbial elephant…too big, too complex.  But if you approach estate planning in a systematic fashion, it takes the complexity right out of it – especially with the help of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

Here are some tips on how you can reduce the complexity in creating an estate plan, from a recent Fox Business article:

Add up your assets.  Take into account your retirement accounts, life insurance, potential inheritance, savings, property ownership, etc.

Consider trusts.  Trusts are simply vehicles for protecting your assets from creditors – yours or your heirs – and from potential future ex-spouses.  They are also a great mechanism for maintaining your privacy and allowing your assets to pass to your heirs without the expense and hassle of probate, which can tie up assets for a year or more.  And they also help you and your heirs avoid estate taxes.

Think about whom you trust to act as your agent(s).  You will need to appoint a person or persons to act as your agent through a power of attorney in case you are unable to make those decisions yourself, in the case you become incapacitated or have a terminal illness.  This applies for health care decisions as well as financial oversight.

Realize what a will can and cannot do for you.  A will is the cornerstone of your estate plan, giving you the legal power to pass along assets and property to heirs as well as name a guardian for minor children and appoint the people you need to carry out your wishes after you are gone – i.e., who will administer your estate and who will safeguard your assets for minor children.

If you would like to have a talk about estate planning, 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.