According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Pass On This Advice About Retirement Planning

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pass On This Advice About Retirement Planning

My wife Kathleen attended a retirement planning forum one night this week. I didn’t go. I’m already retired.

Kathleen came home with this binder that had sections on Life Planning for Retirement, Retirement Expenses, Retirement Roadblocks, Income Sources and stuff like that. The first session lasted three hours and Kathleen will attend two more sessions of three hours each. Sam and I can’t help wondering why the people putting this show on need nine hours. Kathleen said most people attending the forum looked pretty old though, so maybe the event sponsors feel like they need to go real slow.

Eh? What’s that you said sonny? Speak up!

Sam and I are more concerned about who’s going to inherit our Twitter, Blogspot, Google and other electronic accounts. Really! According to the Wall Street Journal , “Digital assets could be lost to heirs - unless people start making the assets part of their estate planning.” Sam and I didn’t see anything about that in Kathleen’s binder.

If this doesn’t boggle your mind Sam and I don’t know what will, but according the WSJ story by Arden Dale, people are surprised when asked about their plans to pass on things like financial and social-media accounts. When financial planners ask people to detail their digital assets in making estate plans, the clients are totally unaware that rules for establishing procedures to protect and grant access to passwords, and to transfer ownership vary widely. Quoting from the WSJ story again, “Apple Inc.’s iTunes says it doesn’t have a policy that allows anyone to will or inherit an iTunes account” (as if you’d want to).

According to a Naomi R. Cahn, a law school professor, many digital accounts are owned through a license limited to the account holder and are non-transferable. A will and placing a digital account in trust might be needed to pass the account on if you die. But beware, say other attorneys, a will can become public, so listing digital assets and passwords should probably be done in a separate letter. Apparently, some states are now trying to address this situation. But just think, you could have a couple million dollars stashed in some off-shore account (if the IRS and the Justice Dept. haven’t found them) and you die before giving your loving spouse passwords and access. Oh Crap! Now, the poor widow will be broke. On the other hand, you might want to purge some of your accounts and passwords before you die because you don’t want mama and the kids finding out about that Meet-A-Slut dating site.

I don’t worry about estate planning so much. I have a will and not much else. I don’t have a pile of cash to pass on. I get paid once a month by Social Security and the State of Washington and I spend that money, usually before the month is over (a lot of it goes to take care of Sam - love you Sam).

I’m wondering if Kathleen has a stash I didn’t know about though. I better get access to her passwords! Two bags of poop on being left out in the cold. I don’t look good in icicles. Move over here closer to me Sam, the rain from this freeway overpass is getting me wet.

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