A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has just made estate planning a lot more cumbersome for some high-net-worth parents who want to leave tax-free money in a Roth IRA to a child.
Say there's an older adult - let's call her Judy - who has difficulty caring for herself. Judy's son, Charles, is her primary caretaker, but he abuses her, pinching her and refusing to give her dinner if she doesn't stay quiet during his favorite TV show. Judy's doctor notices that she has bruises on her arms and is rapidly losing weight; she reports Charles to family services, and Charles is eventually convicted of felony abuse.
Whither boomer's inheritances? Not coming, perhaps. "The post-war generation is living longer and increasingly using their savings to live out their retirement," the Wall Street Journal notes. Which could mean many boomers are in for an unpleasant wake-up call soon.
The estate tax has long enjoyed far more notoriety than its size merits, subject to ample political debate despite the relatively small number of American families it affects (for now, those who inherit more than $5 million). With $7 trillion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect next year unless Congress acts to stop them, debate about this politically-charged tax--opponents have labeled it the "death tax"--could rev up again soon.
Discussions of social safety net programs for older adults tend to evoke images of some exemplary past, where things like Social Security and Medicare weren't needed because adult children lovingly took care of aging parents, multigenerational households were so common that no one even bothered labeling them that, and sick seniors never got carted off to nursing homes. But "such accounts often draw on a deeply sentimental view of the past," writes history professor and author Hendrik Hartog. And today's caregiving situation might actually be preferable.
The Takeaway: Confronting Mild Memory Loss, Quick Desk Workouts, and Why Wealthy Boomers Aren't Keen on Inheritances
How Much Memory Loss Is Normal? Misplacing keys or forgetting who was in that movie you just saw doesn't necessarily mean you need a one-way ticket to the Alzheimer's ward, but it could be more than 'just aging,' Jane Brody at the New York Times writes. Mild cognitive impairment comes from "subtle deficits in cognitive function" and results in things like difficulty finding words, remembering names, or following one's train of thought. According to Mayo Clinic neurologist Ronald C. Petersen, mild cognitive impairment has been found in 10- to 20 percent of people 65+ and, while not always a precursor to more severe brain diseases, it often is.
Search AARP Blogs