Keystone Law Firm - January 2018


As you approach retirement, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is tailored to fit the end of your working life. This concept, known as “rightsizing,” can make your savings last longer, which provides you with the freedom to enjoy your later years. Kathy Gottberg, author of “Rightsizing: A Smart Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement,” defines the concept as “conscious choices for a better lifestyle that more closely fits your new needs in retirement.” The earlier you can begin rightsizing, the more prepared you’ll be for the days when you no longer have an income from work. For most of us, what really matters when we retire is spending time with loved ones and having memorable experiences. Nobody’s greatest regret is not having enough stuff. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will prepare you for a fruitful and fulfilling retirement. Clear Out Unneeded Goods If you’ve been in the same home for years or decades, you probably have more stuff than you need. Start by discarding anything that’s broken, damaged, or simply not getting any use. You should also make sure you’re not acting as a storage unit for friends or family members. If they don’t have the space for something, it shouldn’t be your job to hang on to it. Eliminating clutter will free up your space and allow you to treasure what you have. Move Into a House You Can Fill Once all of your children have left the nest, you’ll often find that you don’t need as many rooms. Selling your home and moving into one that isn’t

half-empty will generate some extra cash and help you to live more efficiently.

As an added bonus, you’ll often find that a cozier home increases happiness. The less time you have to spend on home maintenance, the more you can devote to the activities you love. Change Your Mindset

Too often, we suffer from the urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” If our neighbor buys something, we want it too. But to really rightsize, you should resist the urge to

meet other people’s standards. Retirement should help you make the most of your life, not anyone else’s. Before you make a purchase, especially a large one, ask yourself what’s motivating your decision. If it’s not going to make your life better, leave it on the shelf.

Every Stage of Life

How Debra Found Keystone

Debra Lee’s search for an estate planner began across the street from a Starbucks. She and her husband, Tony, wanted to put their first documents in order. The practice they chose was a modest one. As she recalls, “For 500 bucks, it was a start.”

Then, Tony fell ill. Debra had to split her time between visiting her husband at the hospital and raising their two daughters. To make matters worse, their distant attorney sent them a bill out of the blue. “We were quoted $400 and received a bill for $1,500 with no explanation.” This was the last thing Debra should have had to worry about. Tony soon succumbed to his illness. Debra had to wrestle with her grief along with the financial burden of raising her daughters without her husband’s income. Overwhelmed with the paperwork of settling Tony’s estate, she turned to a firm recommended to her by a friend — Keystone. “I love everything about Keystone, especially their integrity,” Debra says. “With something this important, I needed someone who would take their time with me and listen to what I want. I knew I had found the law firm I was looking for.” Today, Debra is forging a life for her daughters. She knows she won’t need Keystone’s help often, but she says it feels good to know we’ll be there when she does.

A few years passed, and then Solange was born. Having had their first daughter, Debra realized it was time to get serious about planning for their future. The couple found a new attorney to add Solange to their plans. While they did receive better documentation, they were not at all satisfied with the service they received. The attorney treated Debra and Tony like strangers. This was an affront to Debra, who values professional relationships. “My husband and I wouldn’t even go into a coffee shop if we didn’t like the customer service.” It was a shame to lack any sort of connection with someone responsible for something as personal as estate documents.

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