The Prosperity Report

June/July 2016

Four Lessons Grandparents and Grandchildren Can Learn Together  

grandparents

If you’re a grandparent, maintaining a strong connection with your grandchildren is important, but that may become harder over the years as they leave for college or become busier building their careers and families. While they’re just starting out financially, you have a lifetime of experience. Although you’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, you have more in common than you think. Focusing on what you can learn together and what you can teach each other about financial matters may help you see that you’re not that different after all.

1. Saving toward a financial goal

When your grandchildren were young, you may have encouraged them to save by giving them spare change for their piggy banks or slipping a check into their birthday cards. Now that they’re older, they may have trouble saving for the future when they’re focused on paying bills.

They may want and need advice, but may not be comfortable asking for it. You’re in a good position to share what experience has taught you about balancing priorities, which may include saving for short-term goals such as a home down payment and long-term goals such as retirement. You’ll also learn something about what’s important to them in the process.

You may even be willing and able to give money to your grandchildren to help them target their goals. While you can generally give up to $14,000 per person per year without being subject to gift tax rules, you may want to explore the idea of offering matching funds instead of making an outright gift. For example, for every dollar your grandchild is able to save toward a specific goal, you match it, up to whatever limit you decide to set. But avoid giving too much. No matter how generous you want to be, you should prioritize your own retirement.

2. Weathering market ups and downs

Your grandchildren are just starting out as investors, while you have likely been in the market for many years and lived through more than one challenging economic climate. When you’re constantly barraged by market news, it’s easy to become too focused on short-term results; however, the longer-term picture is also important. As the market goes up, novice investors may become overly enthusiastic, but when the market goes down they may become overly discouraged, which can lead to poor decisions about buying and selling. Sharing your perspective on the historical performance of the market and your own portfolio may help them learn to avoid making decisions based on emotion. Focusing on fundamentals such as asset allocation, diversification, and tolerance for risk can remind you both of the wisdom of having a plan in place to help you weather stormy market conditions.

3. Using technology wisely

TechnologySome people avoid the newest technology because they think the learning curve will be steep. That’s where your grandchildren can help. With their intuitive understanding of technology, they can introduce you to the latest and greatest financial apps and opportunities, including those that may help you manage your financial accounts online, pay your bills, track investments, and stay in touch with professionals.

Unfortunately, as the use of technology has grown, so have scams that target individuals young and old. Your grandchildren might know a lot about using technology, but you have the experience to know that even financially savvy individuals are vulnerable. Consider making a pact with your grandchildren that if you are asked for financial information over the phone, via email, or online (including account or Social Security numbers); asked to invest in something that promises fast profits; or contacted by a person or business asking for money, you will discuss it with each other and with a trusted professional before taking action.

4. Giving back

Another thing you and your grandchildren might have in common is that you want to make the world a better place.

Perhaps you are even passionate about the same special causes. If you live in the same area, you might be able to volunteer together in your community, using your time and talents to improve the lives of others. But if not, there are plenty of ways you can give back together. For example, you might donate to a favorite charity, or even find the time to take a “volunteer vacation.” Traveling together can be an enjoyable way for you and your grandchildren to bond while you meet other people across the country or globe who share your enthusiasm. Many vacations don’t require experience, just a willingness to help–and learn–something you and your grandchildren can do together.

Stop Worrying About How Much Money You Have for Retirement

stopInstead of being concerned with the value of your retirement account, you should be more concerned with the income that account provides.

Income maintains your quality of life so you may live in retirement as you did when you were working. You need to have the income so you can travel, see your grandkids and live whatever retirement dreams you may have.

If you would like to see how you can maximize your income for life, call us today at 225-293-9471 (Baton Rouge) or 985-727-0778 Mandeville) to request your Retirement Compass Report. There are options available that many Americans don’t know about. Give us one hour to see if we can help you maximize your income for life.

7 Types of Fruit Trees You Can Grow In Your Living Room

If you’re looking for an indoor plant that’s both decorative and edible, look to the world of fruit trees! While many grow to be enormous in the wild and are native to perpetually sunny conditions, there are a number of dwarf plants that will do just fine—and even produce fruit!—in a big pot in your living room.

  1. FigTrees
  2. Lemon
  3. Lime
  4. Olive
  5. Avocado
  6. Banana
  7. Mulberry

Event2

The 7 reasons you do not want to be Medicaid eligible

You have all probably seen the ads for seminars that talk about ways to make yourself Medicaid eligible. They usually include bullets points about nursing homes taking everything you own, and so on. I have had numerous clients call me who have been to these seminars and want to know why I don’t have similar seminars. The answer is simple, in my view the strategy of using a trust to become Medicaid eligible is just not going to work.

Leaving alone for the moment why they won’t work, we have seven reasons we go over in our seminar as to why you don’t want to ever make yourself Medicaid eligible in the first place. Here is just one:

Reason 6: You have spent your life working towards the goal of making your retirement the best it can be. Why would you deliberately make the final three years of your retirement miserable?

What they don’t tell you in these seminars, and this is a pet peeve of mine, is that the better nursing homes do not accept Medicaid. So, you deliberately impoverish yourself to be accepted by a welfare program without knowing what you are getting.

First, Medicaid does not pay for a private room. So, you share a room with someone you have never met separated only by curtain. Not only do you have to put up with roommate, you also have to put up with however many visitors your roommate may have. Did you know that?

Second, the best nursing homes usually do not accept Medicaid -and more nursing homes are dropping Medicaid as the Medicaid system is cutting the amount they are willing to pay nursing homes. There are some good nursing homes that still accept Medicaid, but you owe it to yourself to see which ones do and which ones do not. Do you know how to check on nursing home rankings? Do you know which ones are ranked basically as filthy, or don’t have skilled personnel?

The way to check the rating of nursing homes is at https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html. This government site ranks nursing homes across several categories. You simply enter the zip code of the area you are interested in. Here’s the ranking of a local well-known nursing home:

nursing

Now, another nursing home, just 10 miles from the nursing home above, has these rankings:

nursing4jpg

 

Now, here’s a question for you: Can you guess which of these two nursing homes accepts Medicaid and which does not?

So, why did I start off saying that making yourself Medicaid eligible could make the last three years of your retirement miserable? It is just this simple: the average stay in a nursing home is about three years. Ask yourself this: do you want your last three years on this earth to provide you the best of care or the worst of care? If it doesn’t matter to you, then Medicaid is your answer.