Planning for your estate whileplanning for longevity can mean some specific choices and compromises. Thisfact of life is never truer for married couples, especially when one spouseoutlives the other. In this context, Social Security is little understood andthe consequences can be disastrous.
The title of a recent article inMarketWatch says it all - â€œWidows getting cheated out of SocialSecurity.â€
The longevity calculus isoftentimes missing as it concerns women who rely on Social Security. Especiallyamongst earlier generations, wives may be more reliant upon their spouseâ€™s SocialSecurity and, therefore, on their spouseâ€™s work history. This is almost a givenif the wife was a homemaker.
If the married couple beginstaking Social Security early, then it may adversely affect the spouse who didnot work outside the home (or worked for a short duration, usually at reducedcompensation), but who will survive longer. Even aside from Social Security, this disparity between the sexes is not something thatshould escape a prudent financial plannerâ€™s attention. Unfortunately, this isan easy fact to forget.
In addition to the MarketWatch article, a recent Forbes article titled â€œSudden Loss: Financial Advice For Widowsâ€provides some practical pointers to widows and those who advise them.
Idaho Estate Planning is part of the SeniorResource Network of Idaho, a non-profit network of elder care professionalsavailable to provide information on what we discussed above and much more. Letus know your concerns and we will help you find the resources you need.