When helping disabled clients and potential clients with disability claims, it has become obvious that a good portion of our society does not have a good grasp of their own financial situation before becoming disabled, much less in the fallout after becoming so. In a great article provided by Jason Alderman, director of Visa USA’s financial education programs, Mr. Alderman outlines helpful items to look at to help your mom this Mother’s Day, instead of making the cruel mistake of purchasing her a household appliance, or some chocolates from the grocery store down the block. To learn more, go to, Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com).
Why not offer to spend a few hours helping to sort through your mom’s financial, legal and medical paperwork so she – and you – know where she stands and can take appropriate actions if necessary?.
Retirement income sources
A few key areas to explore might include retirement income sources. Gather the following documents so she’ll have a better idea of what income will be available throughout retirement:
• If still working, your mom should receive an annual statement from Social Security showing estimated benefits at varying retirement ages. You’ll also need your dad’s statement to determine any potential spousal or survivor benefits for which she might be eligible. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.
• Annual statements from any pension plans for which she’s eligible, showing updated benefit estimates. This might also include potential spousal death benefits if your father has a pension.
• IRA, 401(k) or other retirement savings plan statements.
• Statements for banking products such as checking, savings and money market accounts, CDs, etc.
• Company stock and bond certificates and statements for other investment accounts.
If your mother is disabled but has NOT applied for Social Security benefits, help her apply on line at the social security website above, or contact our law firm and let us help you. She will appreciate your efforts, and you will be giving her much more than a gift which will be gone in a few days!