Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, November 16, 2019

Drug therapy alone may save lives as effectively as bypass or stenting procedures, a large federal study showed.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

This is the conundrum.

I sit here, typing away, with a bad heart. Inherited from Dad's side of the family. Mom's family had most rugged hearts. They live to 80 or 90. Not so on Dad's side. A year from now, I may not be here.

So while this news may be good news to me, or not. What do I do.

Do I, as my doctor recommends, throw myself onto the mercy of our for-profit healthcare system? A local hospital that seems to specialize in putting liens upon and foreclosing peoples' houses?

Our for-profit healthcare system is broken. Broken in a major way.

New medical advances are not the solution people need.

A new healthcare system, focused upon improving the health of people, and not profit, is what the people need.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-11-16 09:09 PM | Reply

LAMP

"A local hospital that seems to specialize in putting liens upon and foreclosing peoples' houses?

If I was you I'd start looking into quit-claiming my house over to someone I trust.

#2 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-16 09:29 PM | Reply

@#2 ... If I was you I'd start looking into quit-claiming my house over to someone I trust ...

I just went through that with my Mom.

But I have to ask, why do I need to protect myself from our healthcare system?

Really, why do I need to even ask that question?

That concept just seems so wrong to me.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-11-16 09:42 PM | Reply

LAMP

Of course it's wrong. But you're not important enough to fight uphill battles. Your first obligation is to yourself, your assets and your family.

Quit-claim your house and get a long term, ironclad lease-back for $1.00 a year.

#4 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-16 09:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And put your bank account into a Trust. A Trust can't be sued. If you're collecting social security or a pension, make sure that money goes direct deposit into the Trust.

A Revocable Trust isn't fool-perfect. It can be violated by a court order. But it isn't easy.

Keep in mind that any action you take has to be before a lawsuit.

#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-16 10:09 PM | Reply

@#4 ... Quit-claim your house and get a long term, ironclad lease-back for $1.00 a year. ...

Lawyers are expensive.

It is easier and less expensive to just sit in this house until I cannot.

That way my descendants get the house, and not the local hospital.


But I repeat...

Why do I need to do this in order to protect myself from our healthcare system?

It makes absolutely no sense to me.

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-11-16 10:12 PM | Reply

"Lawyers are expensive."

The alternative is more expensive.

Too many people stick their head in the sand because they think it's "too hard" or "too expensive."

When I managed my own mother's estate, I did the whole Trust thing myself. If I can do it, so can you and it cost me nothing except my time, some printer ink and a whole lot of burning the midnight oil. Tax I.D. numbers are free and instantly available on the internet. I have two ~ one personal and one for the Estate.

The fact that I didn't have a clue what I was doing didn't even slow me down. It's on-the-go education. You just have to be aware of State laws ~ they're not complicated.

There are a lot of different kinds of Trusts. Look up the rules. You can be the Trustee of your own Trust. Look them up and pick one that suits your situation. There are also lots of samples you can read. Other than some standard qualifiers for a Trust Document, you can pretty much make it say anything you want.

Good luck.

#7 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-16 10:39 PM | Reply

@#7 ... Good luck. ...

Thank-you.

My issues aside....

The concern here is ...

Why does someone have to engage legal assistance in order to protect themselves from the healthcare system in this Great Country?

It is such a simple question.

I have yet to see it answered.


#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-11-16 10:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Move to Texas. A homestead is exempt from creditors and may only be foreclosed upon by a mortgagee and tax authorities. www.lonestarlandlaw.com

Also, most states, if not all, and the feds have laws about moving (deeding, transferring and "quit claiming")property, both real and personal, around to avoid creditors. Absent good legal advice you do so at your peril.

#9 | Posted by et_al at 2019-11-16 10:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"most states, if not all, and the feds have laws about moving (deeding, transferring and "quit claiming")property, both real and personal, around to avoid creditors. Absent good legal advice you do so at your peril."

Agreed, 100%. Some laws revolve around X years of lookback if you gave anything away.

#10 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-16 11:07 PM | Reply

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@#10 ... Some laws revolve around X years of lookback ...

Yup.

For New York it is 5 years.

But that does not answer my germane question...

Why do I need to care about this in order to be healthy or, bluntly, live for more than the next year?

What is wrong with our health care system that it encourages people to die instead of being treated?


#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-11-16 11:17 PM | Reply

I am not a "gifts and stiffs" lawyer (Wills and Trusts) but everyone should put their main assets into a revocable Family Trust ASAP. Regardless of look back periods in various States, if you do it in good faith while in good health most judges will not pierce it. Like Twin says, it is pretty easy, especially with this thing you may be familiar with called "Goooooogle"

Just sayin...

#12 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-11-16 11:55 PM | Reply

#12

I'm not either but one of the lawyers in my former firm is, over 35 years. He's not a litigator so when the "gifts and stiffs" went south I got involved. Learned quite a bit, meaning what can go wrong, by osmosis and necessity. My memory is that a revocable trust is basically useless, at least in Texas. The idea is you still have control and can end the trust on a whim, so why can't a creditor. That's why I said good legal advice is required, especially if you have significant non-exempt assets, and the average person ain't gonna find the nuance on google.

Just sayin...

#13 | Posted by et_al at 2019-11-17 12:42 AM | Reply

I wish I understood business, law and finances as well as you guys do.

Reading through this thread makes me feel unprepared for my future.

I mean. I know I'm unprepared. But. It's reading threads like these that really emphasizes why an art degree leaves you underprepared.

I love being an editor. But I haven't a clue about finances and savings.

#14 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 12:47 AM | Reply

"I haven't a clue about finances and savings."

Do NOT beat yourself up about that; no one knows this stuff coming out of the womb. And there's nothing out there anyone knows, that you can't learn. Here are the keys to saving for retirement:

1. Max out your employer's match. As good as everything else is, the employer match is light years ahead.
2. Max out 401(k) at work; if you (or you & spouse) avg over $51K per person, use a regular 401(k); if $50K or below, choose a Roth 401(k) if your company offers it.
3. Max out your Traditional IRA or Roth IRA
4. Same 1-2-3 for your spouse.
5. Buy a house in a good location instead of renting.
6. No matter what, START an automatic savings plan. Studies show those who start, almost NEVER stop.

Ultimately, remember the Chris Rock line: "Being rich ain't about havin' money, it's about havin'options."

#15 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 01:05 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks for the advice Danforth. I just copied your post and will start looking into it ASAP.

Any advice for freelancers like myself who don't have a regular employer? (I work at a few different post production companies throughout the year as shows start and end for the season.)

#16 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 01:14 AM | Reply

I know I'm unprepared.

Then get prepared. And what Danforth said.

If you think you have significant non-exempt assets to protect see a competent professional. An hour or so of their time will be well worth it. You can then decide how to go from there, meaning how much more time, effort and money to spend.

#17 | Posted by et_al at 2019-11-17 01:35 AM | Reply

If you think you have significant non-exempt assets to protect see a competent professional. An hour or so of their time will be well worth it.

Will do.

Between your advice and Danforth's I got some homework to do this week.

Thank you.

#18 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 01:40 AM | Reply

"Any advice for freelancers like myself who don't have a regular employer"

Actually, I teach a seminar on exactly that subject, about a two dozen times a year.

Regarding retirement savings, you can do both an IRA (Roth or Traditional), based on all earned income, and a SEP-IRA, based on your self-employed profits. You can put away ~18% of profits into the SEP. If that's not enough, you can open a Solo 401(k), and that lets you put away up to ~92% of your profits.

What's the diff between Roth and Traditional? With a Roth IRA, taxes are paid upfront, and all gains are tax-free. With a Traditional IRA you get a tax break today, and it growth tax-free until the day of withdrawal, when it's becomes taxable income. I usually suggest the former if you're in the lower bracket, and Traditional if you're in a higher bracket. It's not a hard & fast rule, especially since the younger you are, the better deal the Roth looks, and the closer to retirement, the Traditional looks better. Regardless, start saving, and treat it like a bill you'd NEVER not pay, like rent or a cell phone bill.

One more thing, I'll paste from a post of mine a few nights ago. The issue was folks who make $100K a year, but don't save a dime.

Every time I see this in a client, I warn them. I tell them I see equations all the time, and theirs scares the sh^t out of me. One time, it was a couple making about $260K, and they couldn't seem to pay a bill on time, or save a dime for retirement; a big, hot mess. When I warned them they're in for a nasty shock when they retire, he responded by saying, "Well, I've penciled it out, and if I stay at this job another 20 years, I'll retire with a pension of $100,000 a year!" (btw...he's gone from the job already) I congratulated him, but then wondered aloud: since that was only HALF of what they were spending now, "Exactly what are you planning on giving up when you retire?" Clearly, no one had ever couched their predicament in those terms. They were both a bit shaken, and as a result, he started putting away $250/month. Two months later he calls me: "We got a problem," he said, "I told them to take out $250, and they only took out $175." I asked him what his paystub showed, and he said $250/month. "But," he added, "my take-home only dropped by $175." I had to silently chuckle, and then point out the additional $75 would've gone to taxes, and for them, putting away $250 a month didn't cost $250 a month. I use this example all the time to teach folks saving money isn't as expensive as you think. Saving $250 didn't cut $250 from their budget, only $175.

#19 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 01:44 AM | Reply

Other quick stuff:

Put away about 25% of your gross for taxes. You probably don't have the same expenses your dad's era did for inks, charcoals, gels, specialized paper, etc. Now, you only have software and internet connection as expenses. And cell phone use for biz.

BTW, when I teach the seminar to a ceramics class, I tell them 15% is enough, since all my potters have huge expenses for clay, throwing, booth rental, and shipping. Oy, shipping! But you, and writers...25%. Remember, even in the low bracket, they want a third of your gross. Oh, you have expenses? Okay, subtract those, and whatever is left as profit, they want a third.

But that's only until you hit ~$51K of profits. Above that, and it's much closer to half.

Also...be sure to create an office at home. It has to be an easily identifiable space, used regularly and exclusively for business. If so, whatever % of your home you've given over to your office becomes the percentage you use, so if it's 8% of the square footage, you'd get roughly 1/12th--one month's worth--
of all your home expenses, like rent or mortgage interest, insurance, real estate taxes, utilities, repairs, maintenance, and general upkeep, like light bulbs, trash bags, and cleaning supplies.

Even better, the home office can become your first and last work-stops of the day. Since going from where you wake up to where you work is the commute, and not deductible, self-employed folks with home offices can stop at the desk first, do work, then head out to the freelance gig, and write off the mileage to the gig. Similarly, when you're done, the question becomes Where are you going next? Home, or back to your desk? If the former, that's your evening commute, and not deductible. But if it's the latter, your morning commute was going down the stairs to your office, and your evening commute was walking back up, and the mileage to-and-fro is fully deductible.

#20 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 01:59 AM | Reply

Also, most states, if not all, and the feds have laws about moving (deeding, transferring and "quit claiming")property, both real and personal, around to avoid creditors. Absent good legal advice you do so at your peril.

#9 | Posted by et_al

Even if the creditor is only a creditor following some future event?

Wouldn't seem like a local hospital suing to cover medical costs would qualify as a creditor to me, a simple layman.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 02:07 AM | Reply

When it comes to saving for retirement, slow and steady wins the race, but young trumps all.

Also: avoid credit card balances like the plague. The line I use in my seminars is I was stunned how much more I could afford when I only had to paid for things once. If you do it right, they pay you to use their cards.

Finally...remember, saving for retirement is like a jail sentence of your choosing. You can either do 15 years starting at 21, 35 years at 31, or 50 years at 41. My twin test: If you started maxing out at 21, and stopped at 35 while your twin began maxing out at 35, do you know how long it would take for him to catch up to you?

Here's a hint: whatever your guess is, it's too small. Your twin would never catch up.

#22 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 02:10 AM | Reply

"Wouldn't seem like a local hospital suing to cover medical costs would qualify as a creditor to me"

Read the fine print on any hospital sign-in form; they qualify.

#23 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 02:13 AM | Reply

Even if the creditor is only a creditor following some future event?

There are look back periods from the date the transfer.

Wouldn't seem like a local hospital suing to cover medical costs would qualify as a creditor ...

Anyone to whom a debt is owed is a "creditor." In your example, an "unsecured" creditor with no rights against your assets.

If they win the lawsuit they can become a "judgment creditor" with rights of judicial process against your assets to enforce the judgment.

YMMV according to your state's law.

#24 | Posted by et_al at 2019-11-17 02:30 AM | Reply

Dude! Thank you for all the advice in 19, 20 and 22.

I just hit 40 in June. So I'm never going to be able to save as much as my financially savvy twin. (He mocks me so) ;)

But you've given me some great advice to help me get saving. I'd probably do traditional ROTH because I'm at a high tax bracket currently. I'll look into SEP-IRA and solo 401k.

I'm saving all these posts.

Thank you again. You've given me a good direction to proceed.

#25 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 02:30 AM | Reply

2. Max out 401(k) at work

Is there a difference between 401k and 403b?

My understanding is no but I can't claim anything beyond a shallow understanding.

3. Max out your Traditional IRA or Roth IRA

Can you contribute to both a 401k or 403b AND an IRA? IIR my benefits package correctly you get one or the other.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 02:33 AM | Reply

Read the fine print on any hospital sign-in form; they qualify.

#23 | Posted by Danforth

Meaning for future debt.

Which is what Lamp seemed to worry about, unless I missed his post's meaning.

I didn't get the impression he already owed them, so the avoidance of a creditor issue didn't seem to apply.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 02:36 AM | Reply

#24 | Posted by et_al

See 27.

Twin seemed to be suggesting placing property/assets in a trust or with a quitclaim deed (can't claim any knowledge or expertise in either).

You guys stated that might be legally tenuous in the event a creditor sued.

My question was based on the understanding that the hospital mentioned is not yet a creditor as far as Lamp is concerned.

Or does the "look back period" mean his known heart condition would make it likely his trust would be dissolved because it would be assumed to be an attempt to avoid collection of medical debt?

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 02:43 AM | Reply

"Is there a difference between 401k and 403b?"

Not really; one is from a for-profit company, the other from a non-profit company, usually a school. 457g is governmental employees.

"403b AND an IRA"

Yes, though the 403b is through the school, and the IRA is you, personally, separately. I wouldn't expect a 403 to offer an IRA.

#29 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 02:51 AM | Reply

Yes, though the 403b is through the school, and the IRA is you, personally, separately. I wouldn't expect a 403 to offer an IRA.

#29 | Posted by Danforth

Hmm thanks. I'll look into an IRA as well once the wife and I finish clearing up some monthly outlays. Didn't know one could set those up independently of an employer.

Sincerely, thanks.

#30 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:01 AM | Reply

Twin seemed to be suggesting placing property/assets in a trust or with a quitclaim deed (can't claim any knowledge or expertise in either) before having a serious medical issue.

Sorry, shorted that first sentence.

#31 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:02 AM | Reply

"Or does the "look back period" mean his known heart condition would make it likely his trust would be dissolved because it would be assumed to be an attempt to avoid collection of medical debt?"

Yes. When you go on Medicaid, for example, on one of the forms you swear you haven't given away anything of value in the last 5 years: houses, jewelry, cars, cash, etc. If so, that MUST be paid back before Medicaid will kick in.

Although when asked, my MIL said "Yes, my late husband and I put $10 a month into each of our three great-grandchildren's college fund", the gal froze, looked at me, and lugubriously said, "Yeah, no, we won't be going after that."

#32 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:08 AM | Reply

"Sincerely, thanks."

Wait till you get my bill!

#33 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:09 AM | Reply

DANFORTH

"Read the fine print on any hospital sign-in form; they qualify. "

Most definitely.

But it would seem to me that if one was making a steady good faith effort to pay off the debt, the hospital would rather get the money in increments rather have than a house on their hands with all the accompanying cost of ownership ~ i.e. taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. Hospitals are not in the realty business.

Most likely, any debt like that would be sold for dimes on the dollar anyway and let somebody else handle the headaches.

Either way, I can picture a lien but not a foreclosure/eviction.

#34 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 03:10 AM | Reply

"401k and 403b"

I'd forgotten: There are also Roth versions of both; your employer may or may not offer that option. Again: the younger you are, and the lower the tax bracket, the more attractive a Roth looks. The higher the bracket and the closer to retirement, the better a regular 403b looks, since the bigger tax break is hard to pass up, and you don't have as many years to recoup the difference vs. the Roth.

Also...401k/403b = Required Minimum Distributions once you hit 70.5; Conversely, no RMDs ever required for Roth accounts.

And for your will: if you're donating to any non-profits, make sure they get the tax-deferred stuff, like a portion of your 403b or Traditional IRA. Roths should ALWAYS go to humans.

#35 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:18 AM | Reply

Yes. When you go on Medicaid, for example, on one of the forms you swear you haven't given away anything of value in the last 5 years: houses, jewelry, cars, cash, etc. If so, that MUST be paid back before Medicaid will kick in.

Hmmm interesting. Even if there's no evidence that you did so independently of any condition or even before you became aware of it?

Would I just be supremely unlucky if I took y'alls advice but came down with cancer or had an early heart attack 3 years from now?

Wait till you get my bill!

Do you accept character counts? Gratuitous insults to righties? A nice bottle of scotch and cigar?

#36 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:19 AM | Reply

"it would seem to me that if one was making a steady good faith effort to pay off the debt, the hospital would rather get the money in increments rather have than a house on their hands with all the accompanying cost of ownership"

Agreed. Frankly, if that's happening, I'm surprised the hospital is taking any action. My guess is there were lapses in the payments, which understandably freak out the comptroller.

#37 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:19 AM | Reply

Meaning for future debt.

You're over thinking this. An obligation to pay whether past, present or future, is a debt. How to enforce that debt depends, see 24.

No medical condition would decide dissolution of a valid trust. A look back period examines avoidance. We don't expect most people to go, "Yeah, I'm gonna have a disabling heart attack that costs f*****g astronomically in a few years so I need to hide my assets."

There are legitimate asset protection strategies.

Just sayin...

#38 | Posted by et_al at 2019-11-17 03:23 AM | Reply

" Even if there's no evidence that you did so independently of any condition or even before you became aware of it?"

Yep.

"Would I just be supremely unlucky if I took y'alls advice but came down with cancer or had an early heart attack 3 years from now?"

Depends...am I your named beneficiary? (Important: if you will says JPX gets it, and the beneficiary on the account is Danforth, I get the money. Named beneficiaries supersede a will.)

"Do you accept...A nice bottle of scotch...?"

Sure! When I started just helping friends back in the late 80s, they kept asking what I wanted, and I'd say bring me a bottle of Scotch. After waaaay too many bottles, I started charging $25 bucks a pop, until I realized the same price for one hour or three hours was silly. Now, I've got ~450 clients, and it's taken over my life for 5-6 months out of the year.

#39 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:28 AM | Reply

the younger you are, and the lower the tax bracket, the more attractive a Roth looks. The higher the bracket and the closer to retirement, the better a regular 403b looks, since the bigger tax break is hard to pass up

I'll definitely be looking further into an IRA on top of my retirement plan. Academia offers nothing for trainees retirement wise and I'm finding out just how big those lost years were.

#40 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:31 AM | Reply

JPW

"Twin seemed to be suggesting placing property/assets in a trust or with a quitclaim deed (can't claim any knowledge or expertise in either) before having a serious medical issue."

That's exactly what I'm saying. It's against the law to hide assets to avoid a debt.

I think most people think that they have to be rich to own a Trust because that's the only thing they ever hear about. But that's not the case. A Trust can hold any asset of any amount as long as the asset qualifies and doesn't depreciate. A Trust is a vehicle to protect monetary assets and especially important if it's the only asset you have. I think everybody should have one.

However, that recommendation is usually met with blank stares. No one wants to do the homework even though it's a painless process and requires practically no maintenance whatsoever.

I always use the example ~ "Too late can come sooner than you think."

#41 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 03:32 AM | Reply

"I'm at a high tax bracket currently.

Do a Solo 401k, and open it immediately. You must open it by December 31st of this year, to use it for 2019 tax returns...

...but, once it's open, money doesn't have to be in place until the due date of the return, including extensions. That means, if you file an extension, you have until October 15th to fund your Solo 401k for the prior year! You'll be able to shelter up to $56K/yr. Compare that to a W-2 worker where they have no 401k; all they can sock aside is $6K. Also, that way, you can put in the EXACT AMOUNT that'll get you down into the next lower tax bracket. See? You're catching up to your twin already!

Anyway, find a place with low fees; I opened mine back when I lived in Kansas City, at American Century Investors. $25/yr.

#42 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:40 AM | Reply

I learned early on how quick and easy it is to be financially ruined over a single mishap in your life.

Nobody had to hit me in the head with a brick to figure out what I needed to do to protect my own assets.

#43 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 03:43 AM | Reply

You're over thinking this. An obligation to pay whether past, present or future, is a debt. How to enforce that debt depends, see 24.

Well, I have been trained to develop an idea ...then develop X ideas against it.

However, I take issue with your future portion. How can somebody have an obligation to a "creditor" for something that hasn't happened yet?

Which is clearly the reason for the look back periods.

We don't expect most people to go, "Yeah, I'm gonna have a disabling heart attack that costs f*****g astronomically in a few years so I need to hide my assets."

Some people have that level of cognizance that it could appear that way.

In that case would anybody who has family history of a medical condition be f---ed, trust or not?

Not trying to overthink, I just find the law is pretty irrational and literal most of the time so I make no assumptions about how it functions.

#44 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:49 AM | Reply

"Academia offers nothing for trainees retirement wise and I'm finding out just how big those lost years were."

I see a lot of folks really supercharging their retirement accounts in the decade leading up to retirement. That's the time the mortgage might be paid off, and the kids out of college. It's never too late to make tomorrow better.

My favorite thing, though, is getting a new graduate who doesn't yet know what to do with that bigger paycheck. If I can convince them to start maxing out in their early twenties, I know that will make a bigger change in their lives than they can imagine. My saying when I've succeeded is Name the yacht after me...even if it has to be -------.

Old buddy of mine has a kid, 23. Two years ago he was a warehouse operator for a pal of his, who didn't want to handle Kratom any more, so he offered the line to Kid23. Kid went from $50K on a W-2 to $250K in Self-Employed profits in a year. I've got him putting in the max--$55K a year--so in ten years, with decent investing, he'll have a million bucks in his retirement account. At ------------------.

#45 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 03:54 AM | Reply

That's exactly what I'm saying. It's against the law to hide assets to avoid a debt.

If I take the thread properly, the above should say "avoid a future debt."

I.e. I should place my assets in a trust now while I'm healthy to avoid seizure in the future to pay certain incurred debts. Because waiting until it becomes more pertinent runs the risk of legal issues that void the point of the trust to begin with.

No?

#46 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 03:58 AM | Reply

JPW

"In that case would anybody who has family history of a medical condition be f---ed, trust or not?"

I would say NOT. Trust documents are very personal and there are dozens of legitimate reasons to establish a Trust. However, I think I would be very careful to outline the purpose of the Trust in the text. Do not leave anything up to interpretation. The less legal language you use, the better. My own includes a trusted Successor Trustee to step in should I become incapacitated to the point of not being able to handle my own affair.

BTW, I would not name an attorney as Successor Trustee. They count the zeros in your estate and immediately determine how much of that belongs to them.

I pointedly told the attorney for my mother's estate Trust ~ "you're not one of the heirs."

#47 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 04:12 AM | Reply

I see a lot of folks really supercharging their retirement accounts in the decade leading up to retirement. That's the time the mortgage might be paid off, and the kids out of college. It's never too late to make tomorrow better.

Well thankfully that's not me either.

Between retirement talk here (DR is useful for some things...) and general anxiety felt after exiting the academic trainee legal limbo I've maxed my contribution so as to attain my employers generous contribution.

Which is why I'll look into the the IRA to boost savings. Although I'll have to balance that with having cash on hand to use when needed.

#48 | Posted by jpw at 2019-11-17 04:14 AM | Reply

JPW @ 46

Basically, you are correct. It's against the law to start trying to protect your assets after the fact, in which case the Trust would not serve it's purpose.

I think LAMP might be concerned about anticipated debt once he's already had a diagnosis. In his case, he's only talking about family history, not absolutes.

Case in point: One might also argue that "funeral expenses" are an anticipated future debt even though nobody has been diagnosed terminal yet.

Granted, we don't know everything about his condition but at first blush, I think he's good to go.

#49 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 04:34 AM | Reply

JPW

"Although I'll have to balance that with having cash on hand to use when needed."

Good idea for everybody. I also keep a "stash" close by (that nobody knows about) for those same reasons.

#50 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 05:15 AM | Reply

Good idea for everybody. I also keep a "stash" close by (that nobody knows about) for those same reasons.

#50 | POSTED BY TWINPAC

Under the mattress, or in a shoebox?

#51 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-11-17 05:31 AM | Reply

Trust documents are very personal and there are dozens of legitimate reasons to establish a Trust.

One of the best ways to transfer land and other high value assets

#52 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-11-17 05:33 AM | Reply

When I managed my own mother's estate, I did the whole Trust thing myself. If I can do it, so can you and it cost me nothing except my time, some printer ink and a whole lot of burning the midnight oil. Tax I.D. numbers are free and instantly available on the internet. I have two ~ one personal and one for the Estate.

Seriously a heroic personal undertaking. Honestly really cool and thanks for sharing. I didn't know you could set one up as a regular non-lawyer person

#53 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-11-17 05:37 AM | Reply

Thank you, GONOLES

Absolutely you can.

If it's just a simple trust without a bunch of complicated issues, you don't need an attorney.

I did my homework, followed the basic guidelines: Name of Trust. Date Trust is Initiated, Trustee, Successor Trustee, Beneficiary, Purpose of Trust, etc. My Successor Trustee and Beneficiary are the same to facilitate a smooth transfer of authority to carry out the terms of the Trust should I die.

You'll have your basic opening lines ~ samples of useful ideas you're find in abundance on Google. Don't be afraid to steal the best lines from the samples.

Most state laws for Trusts are universal. It's a good ides to give them a look-see anyway. Education is your test tool. However, if you inadvertently do one thing wrong, that does not void the whole Trust. Only that one small part.

Once I pulled it together to my satisfaction (many re-writes) I presented it to my bank who filtered it through their legal department. Once that passed muster, I opened a Trust Account (with $1.00) and proceeded with the paperwork to start my automatic deposits into the Trust bank account which included an annuity that was due to annuitize.

My point is, if all you're doing is protecting your assets, there's no reason why you can't, with a few smarts, do it yourself. Anything more complicated, you should consult an expert ~ or maybe even a paralegal. I was fortunate to have some limited exposure to Trust documents a few years ago but there was much I still wanted to learn. (I'm a bit of a stickler for perfection).

#54 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 06:57 AM | Reply

GONOZLES

Give it shot. You have nothing to lose but your time. As I said above, education is your best tool. Use Google, suck it in like a sponge and you'll do fine. There's loads of information out there.

I still have my research file 1" thick and I don't regret a minute of it. I feel so smart now that I can hardly stand myself ~ LOL

#55 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 07:07 AM | Reply

GONOLES

"Under the mattress, or in a shoebox?"

OOOwww ~ how pedestrian

No, it's in a ziplock bag on the bottom of the kitty liter box. ~ LOL

Fortunately, I don't make very many "withdrawals."

#56 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 07:37 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

What is wrong with our health care system that it encourages people to die instead of being treated?
#11 | Posted by LampLighter

If you are 65 or older, you will be on medicare. If you are younger, why not sign up for obamacare?
Bottom line:
Get the heart health care you need.

#57 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2019-11-17 11:56 AM | Reply

This is a great thread. I thank everyone on it for a lot of great advice. I wish more DR threads would be as useful.

#58 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 12:33 PM | Reply

CLOWNS

We're all Americans under the hood. (with an exception or two)

We come together when we're needed.

#59 | Posted by Twinpac at 2019-11-17 01:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Twin

I really like that sentiment.

#60 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-11-17 01:36 PM | Reply

"I'll look into SEP-IRA and solo 401k."

SEP-IRA is the baby brother, Solo 401k is the 800 pound gorilla. Skip the SEP. And since you're in the higher bracket, put aside 40% of your (gross - Solo 401k contribution), plus 15% of your Solo 401k contribution. That should at least keep you safe.

"...a traditional ROTH"

It's either/or. (Or a combo of both, as long as you don't exceed your $6K limit.) "Traditional" denotes tax-deferred; "Roth" denotes taxes paid up front.

Ideally in retirement you'll have both, allowing you to take out amounts taxed, up to the bracket limit, and then tax-free Roth withdrawals above that break point.

#61 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 02:39 PM | Reply

"We're all Americans under the hood. (with an exception or two)"

You're right: some are just under the hood.

#62 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-11-17 02:40 PM | Reply

Hi Lamplighter. I empathize. My Dad's genes were of stout-hearted brave souls, many of whom passed before turning 65. It's scary. But I am 99% convinced that had stents been around back then, that he and his early-passing sibs would have lived longer.

So nuts to that study! Show it to a medical professional and I'm convinced most will drive holes through the premise that clogged arteries can be reopened with Meds alone.

On the other note about retitling assets, it's not a hokey idea. Medicare Trusts have been used for ages to protect assets of those at risk for long-term care. It involved titling assets to trusted younger generation family members, which after 5 years (under current law) cannot be clawed back by medical providers and nursing homes when otherwise unaffordable bills are levied. It's something everyone reaching their mid- to late-50s or higher should consider.

www.medicaidplanningassistance.org

#63 | Posted by Augustine at 2019-11-18 10:23 AM | Reply

Why does someone have to engage legal assistance in order to protect themselves from the healthcare system in this Great Country?
It is such a simple question.
I have yet to see it answered.

#8 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

One of the worst and most ignored problems facing everyone with a savings account in the U.S. We live in a system designed to make certain that below a certain class level, most of us will see our estates drained to nothing by healthcare and the expenses of dying. An entire industry is built around that exact business model.

At this point, we are very limited in our ways around the system. We can attempt to estate-plan around it; often an expensive endeavor that's still bound to fail. We can hope for a quick death that leaves most of our savings intact.

My own favorite; We can plan for our own demise. Personally, I'd rather put a bullet in my brain than live a long death at the hands of the healthcare industry, while they do everything possible to prolong my life as they drain my coffers. I only hope that I'm able to make that choice at the proper time.

Whatever you do, make certain that you have a detailed living will.

#64 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2019-11-18 11:18 AM | Reply

Think of the money Medicare could save by avoiding expensive heart surgeries and the early deaths.

#65 | Posted by visitor_ at 2019-11-18 12:24 PM | Reply

Other than having bad heart genes in his family, I don't understand what Lamp's problem is.

BTW, I have the same genetic issues....

His questions basically infer why our health care industry isn't easier......fair enough.

But we have a new advancement....which is good but he says, "New medical advances are not the solution people need."

That's strange...is he advocating that we don't try to advance medicine?

#66 | Posted by eberly at 2019-11-18 12:25 PM | Reply

Think of the money Medicare could save by avoiding expensive heart surgeries and the early deaths.
#65 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

I definitely agree with the former, but how does the latter save money? Wouldn't early deaths lead to forcing Medicare to pay for less sick people over time?

(Not attacking, sincerely interested in your logic here.)

#67 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2019-11-18 01:07 PM | Reply

I believe this and a host of similar studies will be used to deny life extending procedures. Medicare will save money in two ways, 1. Deny procedures, 2. We'll die earlier, requiring fewer services.

#68 | Posted by visitor_ at 2019-11-18 03:56 PM | Reply

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