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Dispelling Retirement Myths

Retiring in comfort is getting more and more difficult. The costs of retirement are spiraling while the income of the average American has flattened out or is declining. There are many retirement myths that are simply untrue. Following is the discussion of some retirement issues that all potential retirees should be aware of.

How much will be enough? Do you have enough savings to retire? Will one million or two million dollars be enough in the bank to retire? According to Re Keithen D. Miller, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta, Georgia, “With most people living longer and the continuing rise of the cost of living, a million dollars no longer guarantees a five star retirement. Most people will need to have enough money to support them for twenty five to thirty years in retirement. Depending on the lifestyle you want to maintain and where you live, a million dollars may not go so far.”

Your Expenses Won’t Go Down In Retirement

Most retirees anticipate their expenses will decrease once they retire. According to Nicole Rutledge, a certified financial planner with Resource Consulting Group inOrlando, Florida, “in my experience this is not always the case. Typically we see clients spend more money when they initially retire. This is the time in their lives when they are still healthy and full of energy. They travel more, focus resources on hobbies and other interests and do many of the things they have been putting off during their working years. We call this the go-go years.”

According to Rutledge, although spending increases initially when individuals retire the spending does decrease in the later retirement years. “That’s when the health issues, energy and just a general desire to travel the world and focus on these just aren’t what they used to be.”

The Declining Value of Social Security

Social security has never been meant to be the primary source of income for Americans who retire. Social Security provides a safety net for Americans. The average Social Security benefit is twelve hundred dollars per month. This is not enough money to live on! This will put you at the federal poverty level.

Investment Income

Individuals when they retire shouldn’t be overly aggressive with regard to their investments. However investing too conservatively can also be problematic. Individuals who retire should have a balanced program of dividend bearing stocks as well as fixed income return investments. Interest rates are at an all time low right now and investing in Certificates of Deposit at one and a half to two percent will not earn enough interest to secure you in your retirement years.

Retiring Too Early

It was once thought that all Americans should retire as they approach their sixties. With life expectancies increasing and savings having to last longer in retirement it is recommended today that you retire at an older age. This will expand your working years and give you additional years to accumulate savings. You will also maximize the amount you receive from your Social Security benefits.

New York Wills and Trusts Lawyer

For more than thirty years, the Attorneys of the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have handled estate planning needs for their clients. The Attorneys drafts wills and trusts. They draft special needs trusts for special needs children. The firm also has extensive experience with regular preparation of revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts.

The law office also probates wills and litigates contested will contests. They advise executors as to what to do in the handling of estates. They deal with Medicaid issues such as nursing home abuse, Medicaid planning techniques, the drafting of Health Care proxies and Powers of Attorneys. Feel free to call us for a consultation. The firm’s more than thirty years of experience can be utilized to see to it your loved ones are protected and your estate is not subject to inappropriate taxation.

Surrogate Judge Accused of Letting Lawyer Friends Overcharge

legal-150x146The investigators have accused Bronx Surrogate Judge Lee Holtzman of letting his attorney friends overcharge Bronx residents who died without wills for the handling of their estates. Judge Holtzman has been accused of letting lawyers, including his chief campaign fundraiser, responsible for client’s estates to remain with him for more than ten years without the appropriate legal action being taken.

The commission investigating Judge Holtzman has made recommendations that disciplinary action be taken against him. The disciplinary actions can result in the Judge’s removal and/or other penalties.

Cronyism in the Bronx

Judge Holtzman’s top fundraiser lawyer friend is Michael Lippman. Mr. Lippman raised $125,000 for Judge Holtzman’s 2001 judicial campaign. He was appointed as the attorney for the Public Administrator of Bronx County. His job was to oversee the estates of individuals who died without wills and closely related next of kin. The complaint by the Judicial Commission states that between the years 1995 and 2009, Judge Holtzman approved legal fees for Michael Lippman without appropriate documentation that Attorney Lippman had completed the necessary legal work to earn these legal fees. Mr. Lippman was allowed to collect advances on his legal fees at a time when he was in financial difficulty. His financial difficulties included over a $1,000,000 in gambling debts and owing more than $400,000 on a mortgage.

Michael Lippman, Esq. Arrested

Michael Lippman was arrested in 2010. He was charged with billing $300,000 for legal work he didn’t perform. He pled not guilty and the case is still pending in the courts.

The complaint against Surrogate Judge Holtzman stated that he had “allowed a social political… relationship to influence his judicial conduct.” The commission, in its investigation, found Judge Holtzman ignored the fact Michael Lippman was inappropriately billing estates for legal services. Judge Holtzman, through his attorney, David Godosky, claimed the commission’s allegations were untrue, and Judge Holtzman was deceived by Michael Lippman.

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Wills, Trusts and Estates Law Firm

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has used his expertise, experience and knowledge of the courts to handle probate and will contest matters before the Surrogate’s Court for more than three decades. In addition, he handles estate planning, elder care matters, Medicaid planning issues, special needs trusts and all other issues involving executors and the beneficiaries of estates. Feel free to call our office for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344- 6431 or 718-350-2802.

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