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Monday, May 02, 2011

The Benefits of a Retirement Trust

Most of us start thinking about retirement as soon as we get our first job.  Even if we can’t start saving as much as we’d like right away, we know it’s there, looming on the horizon, and we think about it.  The closer we get to retirement age the more we begin to consider our options and make specific plans.  But even with all these years of thought and planning, U.S. News and World Report thinks that there may be a few things you haven’t considered in regards to your retirement. Although not specifically mentioned in the article, one of the things you probably haven’t considered is how your retirement savings will fit into your estate plan.

The first and most common option for distributing your retirement benefits upon your death is simply to name your spouse or children as the beneficiary (beneficiaries) of your retirement benefit plan; however, there is another way.  A Retirement Benefit Trust (or Irrevocable Retirement Trust) can be used to keep retirement assets out of your spouse’s taxable estate upon your death.  This may not be a big deal if your retirement assets are waning, but if retirement assets comprise a large portion of your estate then this can be a huge benefit.

A Retirement Trust also has the advantage of allowing your beneficiaries to stretch out the financial opportunities of your retirement assets.  Instead of withdrawing the entire amount of your retirement savings right away (and paying taxes on the income) a trust allows your beneficiaries to make withdrawals over the course of their entire lives; not only stretching out the investment opportunity, but also helping to keep them in a lower tax bracket.

For more information on Retirement Trusts, and whether one could benefit you and your family, contact our office today.


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