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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 3, 2007 / 22 Kislev 5768

It's never too late to plan

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My aunt and uncle, who are in their late 70s, never had any children and were instrumental in raising my brother and me and putting us through college after our parents died at young ages. As a result of their generosity, they miscalculated or never even thought about their retirement years. My brother and I learned about this only when my aunt's health began to fail, and our uncle called to tell us his concerns about their future.


To our dismay, in addition to a home that is in need of a lot of repair and can't be worth more than $55,000, they have $65,000 in the bank, and their total monthly income comes from Social Security and a small pension (about $13,000 annually). Their return on investments — mostly CDs — has averaged about 3 percent to 4 percent per year, and they have been going into their assets for the last couple of years because of my aunt's prescription bills. They have no debt. We realize that it's a little late for them to plan, but it is obvious to my brother and me that they will soon run out of money. They have a lot of pride and have not asked for help, but we would like to know how we can help the people who helped us.


A: Even though they did not have the obligation, your aunt and uncle stepped up to the plate and probably spent a large portion of what would have been their retirement helping to raise and educate you and your brother. Helping them plan at this point in their lives, we agree, is something you and your brother should do, but it is much different than planning for your retirement because: 1) They don't have much time left to prepare; 2) Their income will not increase to any appreciable extent; 3) They can't afford to take market risks with their investments; 4) With age comes the harsh reality that acute illness and long-term care can quickly decimate assets; and 5) Age, health and money concerns may make them less capable of managing their money.


The first order of business is to help your uncle create a realistic budget that should be projected out for at least three or four years. By taking their expenditures during the past 12 months and increasing these amounts by 7 percent to 10 percent per year for inflation and increased needs, you should be able to get a rough estimate of what they will need in the future. Make sure to add in a sufficient amount to cover the potential cost of help and care at home.


Then tally up their income from all sources — in this case, Social Security, pension and interest — and increase these amounts by 3 percent per year.


Lastly, put together a balance sheet — assets less liabilities — to get a handle on their real worth. Don't include their furniture or other personal property that is not marketable.


Once you have these figures, subtract their expenses from their income to determine the shortfall that will be made up by spending assets. And remember that when assets are spent, the income generated by those assets will likewise be reduced, thus putting your aunt and uncle further in the hole each month. Simple arithmetic will tell you how long it will be before they will run out of money. And should one of them need long-term care or higher-level assisted living, the lights may go out earlier than anyone could anticipate. If they are going to remain at home for as long as possible, consider the use of a reverse mortgage to extend their ability to do so.


Taking the NextStep: Find out about assistance programs that may be available to help reduce the shortfall, such as Meals on Wheels, food stamps and the like; however, remember that since these and other local programs are "needs-based," your aunt and uncle may not qualify because they have too much money, believe it or not.


Then, as necessary, you and your brother can help them stem the shortfall by supplementation on a monthly basis, either through a gifting program, a program that could allow you and your brother to claim your aunt and uncle as dependents or through a loan that would be secured with a mortgage on their residence.


Without gift tax considerations, each of you and your wives could give your aunt and uncle $12,000 per year. While it is unlikely that they will need this much additional money, we suggest that you and brother consider picking up the shortfall each month in order to preserve their assets, thus allowing them to retain their interest. A gift of $250 per month from each of you would probably more than cover what is needed, and what better way to spend your money?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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