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Annuity investment, at age 87

By Terry Savage on August 21, 2019 | Wild Card

My wife and I are 85 and 87 years old, and are considering selling our home in the historic district, near downtown Florence, AL. We have been leaving it vacant each winter, while we are an RV park in my home town in Florida. After we sell our house (hopefully next spring), I’m considering the possibility of purchasing an annuity, which would be stable income for the rest of our lives. We are both in good health, but realize that could all change in a flash! Are there annuities available which would be immune to catastrophic demands, such as expensive health or nursing care, major accident, lawsuits, etc.?

Terry Says

Oh, no, no!  Don’t even consider an annuity at your ages!  There is absolutely no reason to give a life insurance salesperson a big commission — taking care of his/her retirement and  not your own!

You DO need to do some financial planning.  And you need a financial planner who is a FIDUCIARY– not a salesperson!  Consider Wealthramp.com or NAPFA.org (click on the blue links) to search for a planner with your best interests at heart.

Here’s what you need done:

1) a will or revocable living trust, identifying someone to act if you are deceased or cannot act on your own.  Then remember to title your home and all your accounts in the name of the trust  ( or at least the proceeds from the sale of your home).

2.  Healthcare power of attorney and living will. The former allows someone to make health decisions if you are incapacitated, and the latter gives  your instructions about extraordinary end-of-life care.  Be sure to give a copy of these powers to your physician.

3.  Nursing care –it’s too late to buy insurance now, and if one of you needs assisted living it will cost a lot of money.  But the remaining “community” spouse is allowed to keep a home and other assets and income, depending on your state of residence.  At this stage it is not something you can plan for — only pray to stay health and die in your home.

And that brings me to the final question.  Before you sell your home, which is your primary residence, have you considered the impact on your residency.  If state Medicaid programs took over your care, would you want that to happen in Florida or Alabama?  Where do you have friends/family. Who would look after a surviving spouse?  These are all things to consider as you make your decision.  But if you change your permanent residence to Florida you will have to make sure your estate plan conforms to Florida law.  If that’s your goal, then hire a Florida attorney to do your estate plan. Go to www.NAELA.org — the national association of elder law attorneys to find an expert, not only on estate planning but on asset planning.

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