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Old 09-04-2021, 07:38 PM   #141
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There is a Buddha saying: live your life as if you are going to die tomorrow. Both people ($1M versus paycheck to paycheck) can be equally happy depending what they do today…and not tomorrow. I make sure that I share my wealth with my family and my community which I work as an unpaid volunteer. If I die tomorrow then I will be satisfied that I made a positive impact on other people’s lives. I made a lot of friends in Afghanistan but they recently told me not to contact them. My wealth cannot help them so money is not everything. I now realize enduring friendships and my community matters more.

I like what you said , however as far as this topic if I thought I was going to die tomorrow I would hand over all my money to causes I believe in so from a planning standpoint that would be foolish. I do however , on an ongoing basis , devote time and money to those in need.
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Old 09-05-2021, 12:02 AM   #142
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I like what you said , however as far as this topic if I thought I was going to die tomorrow I would hand over all my money to causes I believe in so from a planning standpoint that would be foolish. I do however , on an ongoing basis , devote time and money to those in need.
I forgot the point Buddha was trying to say: If this was your last day, would you be a good person or a bad person? In any case, I agree with your rationale that you can’t give away your money since you are likely to live beyond today.
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Old 09-05-2021, 02:24 AM   #143
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I forgot the point Buddha was trying to say: If this was your last day, would you be a good person or a bad person? In any case, I agree with your rationale that you can’t give away your money since you are likely to live beyond today.
We are struggling with what happens to our $Million (or whatever) AFTER we die as we wish to bless our charities, more than our very independent family members (beyond decent sized "tokens.") It's not as easy as we thought. Finding the right fiduciary to carry on our wishes is proving problematic. YMMV
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Old 09-05-2021, 06:25 AM   #144
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We are struggling with what happens to our $Million (or whatever) AFTER we die as we wish to bless our charities, more than our very independent family members (beyond decent sized "tokens.") It's not as easy as we thought. Finding the right fiduciary to carry on our wishes is proving problematic. YMMV
Have you considered POD or payable upon death accounts? Most financial institutions allow converting accounts into POD. My mom set up numerous accounts for family members which a specific beneficiary on that account. In California, POD accounts are distributed outside of probate. Impossible to challenge since it is similar to a named beneficiary on a life insurance policy. A POD account is called a poor man’s living trust in that an attorney is not necessary to set it up. I suggest contacting your local county probate court on the local rules of POD accounts and whether charity organizations can be named as a beneficiary. Probate court clerk will provide this information because the courts prefer less probate court cases. The designated exsecutor must distribute any wealth outside of POD accounts according to your will. If the total value of this wealth (outside POD accounts) is less than a certain amount, the distribution can be done without probate court supervision. These rules should also written down online in the probate regulations for your state. A beneficiary goes to the financial institution of the POD account with their ID and a copy of the death certificate and the financial institution transfer the POD account in their name which can then be withdrawn by the beneficiary.
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Old 09-05-2021, 06:38 AM   #145
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We are struggling with what happens to our $Million (or whatever) AFTER we die as we wish to bless our charities, more than our very independent family members (beyond decent sized "tokens.") It's not as easy as we thought. Finding the right fiduciary to carry on our wishes is proving problematic. YMMV
For property, you can change the title to what is called a “lady bird” deed which also named beneficiaries to that property. Lady bird property and POD accounts are excluded from probate court in California. This gets a little tricky because POD accounts can easily be done in person while changing title, you may need an real estate expert or attorney to make sure the title cannot be challenged in probate court. A lady bird title means that the beneficiary owns the title to the property after you pass away but gives you the right to revoke the “lady bird” deed at any time before your passing. Lady bird deed is named after the wife of LBJ and you can read about it online.
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:50 AM   #146
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For property, you can change the title to what is called a “lady bird” deed which also named beneficiaries to that property. Lady bird property and POD accounts are excluded from probate court in California. This gets a little tricky because POD accounts can easily be done in person while changing title, you may need an real estate expert or attorney to make sure the title cannot be challenged in probate court. A lady bird title means that the beneficiary owns the title to the property after you pass away but gives you the right to revoke the “lady bird” deed at any time before your passing. Lady bird deed is named after the wife of LBJ and you can read about it online.
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Originally Posted by vchan2177 View Post
Have you considered POD or payable upon death accounts? Most financial institutions allow converting accounts into POD. My mom set up numerous accounts for family members which a specific beneficiary on that account. In California, POD accounts are distributed outside of probate. Impossible to challenge since it is similar to a named beneficiary on a life insurance policy. A POD account is called a poor man’s living trust in that an attorney is not necessary to set it up. I suggest contacting your local county probate court on the local rules of POD accounts and whether charity organizations can be named as a beneficiary. Probate court clerk will provide this information because the courts prefer less probate court cases. The designated exsecutor must distribute any wealth outside of POD accounts according to your will. If the total value of this wealth (outside POD accounts) is less than a certain amount, the distribution can be done without probate court supervision. These rules should also written down online in the probate regulations for your state. A beneficiary goes to the financial institution of the POD account with their ID and a copy of the death certificate and the financial institution transfer the POD account in their name which can then be withdrawn by the beneficiary.
I'll look into these potential options. So far, I've been looking into a trust - but can't seem to figure out what happens AFTER we are both gone. Lawyer suggests a family member as trustee but that seems a bit dicey. Thanks to all. Aloha
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:54 AM   #147
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I'll look into these potential options. So far, I've been looking into a trust - but can't seem to figure out what happens AFTER we are both gone. Lawyer suggests a family member as trustee but that seems a bit dicey. Thanks to all. Aloha
The beneficiaries in a POD account and a lady bird deed CANNOT be changed by a trustee, a relative, or anyone else after you have passed away. Anything outside POD accounts and a lady bird deed has to be distributed according to a will or trust. If you do not want a family member to distribute property according to a will or trust, you have to identify a friend, a church member, another lawyer, or even a neighbor who you can trust. You may have to set aside some money in your will or trust to compensate the trustee in your will or trust. The trustee should co-sign the will or trust. A secondary trustee should also be named if the primary trustee passes away or the primary trustee can not perform this duty. Another lawyer can be a trustee if you compensate that lawyer with enough money but he may want that money upfront.
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Old 09-06-2021, 07:52 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by vchan2177 View Post
Have you considered POD or payable upon death accounts? Most financial institutions allow converting accounts into POD. My mom set up numerous accounts for family members which a specific beneficiary on that account. In California, POD accounts are distributed outside of probate. Impossible to challenge since it is similar to a named beneficiary on a life insurance policy. A POD account is called a poor man’s living trust in that an attorney is not necessary to set it up. I suggest contacting your local county probate court on the local rules of POD accounts and whether charity organizations can be named as a beneficiary. Probate court clerk will provide this information because the courts prefer less probate court cases. The designated exsecutor must distribute any wealth outside of POD accounts according to your will. If the total value of this wealth (outside POD accounts) is less than a certain amount, the distribution can be done without probate court supervision. These rules should also written down online in the probate regulations for your state. A beneficiary goes to the financial institution of the POD account with their ID and a copy of the death certificate and the financial institution transfer the POD account in their name which can then be withdrawn by the beneficiary.
We've been working on this lately too. Basically all of our IRA's, 401ks have beneficiaries, primary and contingent.

Our bank accounts & after tax brokerage account now have a POD document tied to them too. Not sure why they don't have the same easy setup as the retirement accounts...

The last thing we need to do is a will for all properties & an executor. If we left anything out, it's small enough to not care...
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:37 AM   #149
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We've been working on this lately too. Basically all of our IRA's, 401ks have beneficiaries, primary and contingent.

Our bank accounts & after tax brokerage account now have a POD document tied to them too. Not sure why they don't have the same easy setup as the retirement accounts...

The last thing we need to do is a will for all properties & an executor. If we left anything out, it's small enough to not care...
Your strategy is exactly what I advocate. If any bank account or retirement account that does NOT have a designated beneficiary, it usually goes to probate court where relatives fight over money and the lawyers eat away at the estate. Any assets outside of POD accounts and Lady Bird deeds and are less than $100K (in California) can be distributed by the trustee without probate court supervision. All major assets should have a beneficiary.

The name of the game is setup your estate so anything left over should be handled by the trustee which should be nickel and dime stuff such as cars, furniture, tools, clothes, etc. Even the ownership of a car can be changed to joint ownership by the DMV. A will can be challenged in court so you want to set up the will so that the value distributed by the will is so low that it is not worth the effort to challenge the will in a lawsuit. POD accounts and Lady Bid deeds are generally bulletproof against anyone who wants to challenge the beneficiary. This thread is about the relative worth of $1M but any estate over $1M without any named beneficiaries will likely attract lawsuits in Probate Court.

One final note: My mom set up $15K in an separate account to pay for her funeral expenses by the trustee (her oldest son). My Mom hired a good estate lawyer who guided her toward POD accounts, Lady Bird Deeds and paying for her funeral expenses.
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Old 09-06-2021, 01:36 PM   #150
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Given that 4% is often quoted safe withdrawal rate, anyone who has $40k of income from wages, social security & pension, or whatever source, is living like a millionaire, whether they know it or not.
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Old 09-06-2021, 02:58 PM   #151
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Given that 4% is often quoted safe withdrawal rate, anyone who has $40k of income from wages, social security & pension, or whatever source, is living like a millionaire, whether they know it or not.
I think that is the reason why many consider $1m is no longer enough in several parts of the US especially for FIRE during the gap between current age and when the SS/pension kicks in.

It may be difficult to relate for people like me who spend peanuts (e.g. 6k / yr) to get by but I start to believe some live in HCOL area that 40k annual expenses figure is probably without food or transportation.
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Old 09-06-2021, 03:25 PM   #152
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Given that 4% is often quoted safe withdrawal rate, anyone who has $40k of income from wages, social security & pension, or whatever source, is living like a millionaire, whether they know it or not.
I think the idea is about living the millionaire lifestyle. Serious wealth is not $40k a year. But $40k is enough to live on being frugal in flyover country.

A serious money millionaire lifestyle in 2021 is first-class travel, A ski condo at Park City or maybe Breckenridge, A Tesla or maybe a Porsche, golf membership, maybe a boat, and a million dollar residence. $10k bicycle lol

It's about affording luxury without touching your huge army of dollars that delivers high income to live a serious money lifestyle.

No happiness guaranteed! With stuff you don't really need.

Obviously the millionaire next door used delayed gratification and great income to achieve serious wealth and doesn't want or need the lifestyle mentioned above.

This multi-millionaire might live in Littleton Colorado or Salt Lake City Utah and you would never know they have millions of dollars of net worth.
But a luxury life is expensive and connecting the dots is not hard.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:05 PM   #153
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Given that 4% is often quoted safe withdrawal rate, anyone who has $40k of income from wages, social security & pension, or whatever source, is living like a millionaire, whether they know it or not.
I've trued mentioning that to my friends who have public pensions- that a $40K/year annuity would likely cost $1 million at age 65 so a public pension amount would make someone a millionaire.

They really don't like that because, you know, millionaires are evil people who accumulated their wealthy by lying, cheating and exploiting the masses.
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Old 09-06-2021, 07:15 PM   #154
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I've trued mentioning that to my friends who have public pensions- that a $40K/year annuity would likely cost $1 million at age 65 so a public pension amount would make someone a millionaire.

They really don't like that because, you know, millionaires are evil people who accumulated their wealthy by lying, cheating and exploiting the masses.
There is evidence of wall street Financial engineering which involved lying and cheating and exploiting pension funds. It’s crazy to think about how much wealth Has been created on Wall Street thanks to all the public pension funds.

So did your public worker friends contribute out of their paychecks directly into their pension fund during their working career?

I know several teachers and they contribute to their pension fund.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:27 AM   #155
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So did your public worker friends contribute out of their paychecks directly into their pension fund during their working career?

I know several teachers and they contribute to their pension fund.
It almost doesn't matter- if their employers contributed, it probably meant they were getting less in their paychecks. Either way it was part of their pay put aside for their retirement and is likely to be a million-dollar asset even if it's not sitting in a brokerage account with their name on it.

And yes, some awful things are going on/have been going on with pension funds. I really feel for the retirees who end up getting their pensions slashed AFTER retirement. One of my neighbors had that happen twice- they had to sell their house.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:46 AM   #156
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It almost doesn't matter- if their employers contributed, it probably meant they were getting less in their paychecks. Either way it was part of their pay put aside for their retirement and is likely to be a million-dollar asset even if it's not sitting in a brokerage account with their name on it.

And yes, some awful things are going on/have been going on with pension funds. I really feel for the retirees who end up getting their pensions slashed AFTER retirement. One of my neighbors had that happen twice- they had to sell their house.
No expert here but have not heard of public pensions defaulting without a backup. Is that common? Are the public pensions not a part of the PBGC (or an equivalent)? That would be a bummer.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:51 AM   #157
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I think that is the reason why many consider $1m is no longer enough in several parts of the US especially for FIRE during the gap between current age and when the SS/pension kicks in.

It may be difficult to relate for people like me who spend peanuts (e.g. 6k / yr) to get by but I start to believe some live in HCOL area that 40k annual expenses figure is probably without food or transportation.
I don't recall your intro, but am somewhat amazed if I'm reading this correctly. You "exist" (all in) on $6K/year? I think that might be the record here though It's been a long time since we've had a thread on that topic. Just curious so no reason to respond to my curiosity (nosiness!)
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:00 AM   #158
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Being able to give away more (to charity, family) than I ever made in salary, without it affecting my lifestyle, gives me a great deal of gratification in retirement. The generous market gains have made it possible and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up, but it feels good.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:09 AM   #159
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Being able to give away more (to charity, family) than I ever made in salary, without it affecting my lifestyle, gives me a great deal of gratification in retirement. The generous market gains have made it possible and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up, but it feels good.
I agree. I (apparently) over saved for FIRE and the benefit has gone to family and favorite charities. "Luxuries" don't seem to appeal to me all that much but, compared to my parents, I would say I live a "luxurious" life (travel, HCOL location, FIRE, etc.)
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:18 AM   #160
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Being able to give away more (to charity, family) than I ever made in salary, without it affecting my lifestyle, gives me a great deal of gratification in retirement. The generous market gains have made it possible and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up, but it feels good.
Absolutely agree!!
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