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Dealing with Diminished Capacity in Your Railroad Retirement Planning Thumbnail

Dealing with Diminished Capacity in Your Railroad Retirement Planning

Video Retirement Financial Planning Estate Planning


Take steps today to protect your railroad retirement future. Welcome everyone to another edition of the Highball Advisors Railroad Retirement Whiteboard. My name's John McNamara of Highball Advisors and today we're going to talk, not a great subject, I usually have a couple of those that aren't great subjects, but this is another one, diminished capacity. We all have our expiration dates and there's certain ways that things happen. Some things happen slower to some people and some things will happen quicker. This one I want to address that slower process as we eventually pass. So what I'm talking about is diminished capacity. So let's just start with a basic question, who will decide for me if I am unable to decide for myself? That's a great question. As you age, you say to yourself, "Okay, well, you're not as sharp as you once were," and then maybe something else happens and now you might have big decisions that you have to make and you're not on top of your game, basically, so somebody's got to help you make that.

It's not even just about Alzheimer's. The way they talk about it is it's just that subtle, slow decline in your mental capacity, even your physical capacity. That's called diminished capacity and that's what I'm talking about here. And, obviously, the first ones to notice that are the people around you. So your friends and family, those are the ones. People that you deal with on a day to day basis, they'll notice that diminished capacity. So I wanted to address that. In my practice, I call these icebergs, things that can sink the ship. You've worked so hard building this great life for yourself and these are just one of those things that I just like to tuck away so that if something happens, it's addressed. So here's some legal steps that I outline that you can do to address the possible dealing with diminished capacity.

Set up a power of attorney. Designate someone who's going to help you make financial decisions if something unfortunate happens to you. Now, there's multiple ways you could do it. You can have that durable power of attorney or springing. Springing means it only happens if you get ruled incompetent, that type of thing, you'll have a springing power of attorney. So there's durable and spring. And then also trusts. So for those who maybe have acquired some significant wealth, you can remain in control of the trust, and then if you have your diminished capacity and you're not on top of your game sort of thing, then the trustee will take over and run the trust and protect all the assets inside there. It's all about protection, protecting the nest egg, protecting everything that you've worked hard for. So that's on trusts and then guardianships. This is big. Who's going to take care of you? Have you talked about that? There's always, Yeah, my daughter will take care of me. My son will take care of me."

Yeah, well, is that official? I mean, understand who's going to take care of you during diminished capacity. That's very, very important stuff. Don't put your family in difficult decisions, I like to say. And then finally is the representative payee. This is important because you're getting railroad retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. If you have your diminished capacity and your agent needs to talk to the Railroad Retirement Board, they don't acknowledge or accept powers of attorneys. So you need to fill out a Representative Payee Application in advance of, obviously, before you have diminished capacity. So that should go along with your power of attorney. That way, that agent can talk to the Railroad Retirement Board. If there's any benefits you guys need to talk about, this person will have the authorization to do that for you.

Now, if you don't have that, the Railroad Retirement Board's going to appoint someone for you in their place. So if you want to have your person there, I'm sure the Railroad Retirement Board's going to be in your best interest. There's no reason not to think they won't be, but if you want to have your own individual in there, get that Representative Payee Form in so that way it's on file and they know when your agent calls that they can discuss all your details. So this is a good overview of how to handle diminished capacity. Like I said, it's going to affect some of us that's for sure, no doubt about it so it's just something you need to get prepared. Address those icebergs. I'm big on that. Take that away from any rick to your nest egg, that's for sure.

So I hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to reach out to me. This is also part of stuff that I do in my Railroad Retirement Process. I outline those icebergs that are going to possibly sink the ship. So reach out to me if you want to go through that boarding for Railroad Retirement Process. If you're nearing retirement or in retirement, it's really, really good stuff for you to help your planning. Please subscribe the YouTube channel. Click on the notification bell to get the latest Whiteboard Video. Until next time, everyone, please stay safe, stay on track, and take care. So long, everybody. Bye.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. Highball Advisors encourages you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved from Highball Advisors, and all rights are reserved.