This course discusses the issues of concern for an aging population. The need for a well-considered estate plan is addressed. We examine the complexity of the social security system, particularly as it involves the various choices and planning strategies one has in taking the available benefits. The government entitlement programs of Medicare and Medicaid are reviewed, particularly with an analysis of what is and is not covered, and how planning may increase one's chances of securing the benefits of these programs. We address issues of 'elder abuse' and how it can be avoided. Retirement planning issues are explored, focusing on the financial considerations of what must be saved for retirement, and the complex distribution rules. How a senior citizen can use his or her home in planning is also addressed.
Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Evaluate a number of estate planning alternatives that address a variety of personal and financial circumstances and recommend the best plan for their clients, including a series of alternatives for handling the equity in their personal residences.
- Explain the tax consequences of an estate plan, taking into account the exemptions provided by law and the choices that can be made to minimize the tax consequences of death.
- Analyze estate planning issues for estates of varying sizes.
- Appreciate the complexities of the social security system and gain an understanding of planning techniques for maximizing the timing and enjoyment of benefits.
- Address what the Medicare system does and does not cover, when to apply for benefits to avoid penalties, and how planning can make a difference in what persons may receive.
- Review key retirement plan distribution decisions and how to avoid the 'traps'.
- Describe the Medicaid system and how qualification is attained, as well as gain an appreciation of the various planning techniques that can be used to transfer assets to become Medicaid eligible.
- Advise clients as to what must be done with their retirement plans upon attaining age 70 1/2, as well as the best ways to minimize tax consequences when leaving retirement plan benefits to their heirs.
- Consider planning opportunities with a person's residence.
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