I was reading this article about a husband worrying about his wife from his deathbed. It is an all too familiar story. For some of us, it was our father looking out for our mother, or Uncle Jim concerned about Aunt Susan, or any other combination. I was reminded about a couple I spoke to recently.
My friend, Eddie was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago. And while he was determined to fight it with everything he had, Eddie knew that there was a very high likelihood of his wife, Cindy, living their retirement years without him. Fortunately, he had saved quite a bit of money of the years to provide for their needs upon retiring. Unfortunately, Eddie did not have the first idea where to start in putting together a plan to make sure that if he did not make it through the cancer treatment; he could rest in peace knowing she was provided for.
He knew she needed income. But, when? How much? Those were the questions he thought of…but there were many he did not even consider. Questions like, how do we make sure that income will last a lifetime (no matter how long that is)? How do we make sure the income she received today in her early sixties would still provide enough income at 70, 80, 90 or even 100 years of age? How do we prepare for any potential health scares she might have? Providing for potential nursing home care? Since she was a homemaker, what about Eddie’s social security? These were just a few of the questions they had not even considered.
Thoughtfully, we were able to spend time to develop a plan that addressed each of their personalized and individual concerns and goals. One plan was built with Eddie and his wife’s income needs and goals, another without. We used a significant portion of their retirement nest egg in an income annuity that could provide a lifetime income, protected from market risk, protected from inflation, and with benefits that kicked in should Eddie or his wife ever need in-home care or nursing home care later on in life.