Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill - March 2020

Retire in Style 3 Places to Retire Internationally

Even if you’ve always planned for a comfortable retirement in the United States, choosing to live internationally could be a smart alternative to improve your standard of living in retirement. International Living Magazine’s Retirement Index has tracked objective retirement metrics — like the cost of living, democratic stability, and health care — for the last 40 years. They also take into account reports of correspondents actively living abroad. Here are some of their top picks for international retirement destinations. Panama Panama ranks No.

excellent health care, and low tax burden, it’s easy to see why. In Panama City, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 a month in living expenses, but housing costs are substantially lower outside of major metropolitan markets. Panama also offers excellent discounts, up to 25% off of things like airline tickets, hotels, and energy costs through its Pensionado program. Costa Rica If it’s a textbook paradise you’re looking for, look no further than Costa Rica. Thanks to a 1948 decision to abolish their military and direct all of those funds to health care and education, Costa Rica is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America.”Known for its stable democracy, safety, and socialized health care that’s only available once you’ve obtained residency, Costa Rica also offers climates for just about everybody — from the lush jungles of the south to the hot, dry beaches of Guanacaste in the northwest. Expect to find large communities of expats to help you acclimate. Mexico The first things that come to mind for most people when you mention Mexico are margaritas and beach umbrellas, but this country offers a lot more than that. For starters, Mexico features an enticingly low cost of living. International Living estimates a couple could live in Mexico on anywhere from $1,500– $3,000 per month, depending on location, including health care expenses. Once you’ve obtained residency status, you can sign up for national health care plans that offer full coverage for just a few hundred dollars annually.

2 in International Living Magazine’s list of best places to retire internationally. With its tropical climate, proximity to the United States,

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Plans to Help Your Families Save for Higher Education and the Future

Many parents and grandparents want to provide their children and grandchildren with better lives than the one they had. Saving for college and your loved ones’ futures can be a powerful way to ensure you are giving them the best chance at a better life. The easiest way to save for your child or grandchild’s future is through a Section 529 Educational Savings Plan. These plans are intended to cover the cost of tuition and are traditionally comprised of investments inmutual funds or cash equivalents. While the amount and earning capabilities of the plan can fluctuate with the market, 529 plans grow tax-free. Likewise, beneficiaries can withdraw the money for tuition- related expenses without getting taxed. However, college isn’t for everyone, and your 529 plan won’t be wasted on those who choose not to attend college. The only caveat is that when the money is withdrawn for reasons other than college payments, it will be taxed. This is a minor inconvenience for plans up to $50,000. When plans start to reach $50,000–

$100,000 and beyond, that’s when our team suggests taking a harder look at other options.

If a 529 plan is not the most viable option for your family, we can establish a trust to house the money you

have put aside for your children and grandchildren’s futures, regardless of what that looks like. This trust can have parameters establishing who is eligible for payments, possible criteria for receiving payment, and other factors to protect your money for its intended use. We can also help you place someone in charge of the trust who can dole out the funds as needed. The bottom line is that saving for your children and grandchildren does not have to be complicated. Regardless of how you do it, putting aside less than 10% of your assets can be the easiest way to protect your family’s future. Our team at Sheppard Law Firm can help you create savings plans and trusts that will protect and grow assets for your family’s future by finding the route that’s going to best serve your family. If you have questions about your plan or want to get started, please call (239) 265-9779. Visit to learnmore about saving for college and your family’s future.


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