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Your Decision To Retire Could Save Your Family Immeasurable Heartbreak


Every year, when you visit your siblings (or perhaps, every week on the family Zoom call), you enthuse about your job, and your siblings tell you, seriously or in jest, that you could have retired years ago.  Maybe you make a joke about how your spouse has expensive tastes or about how work keeps you young, but the truth is that you dread the thought of retirement, of sitting at home and watching yourself grow old.  You tell yourself that you are going to live past 100, and that the longer you work, the more savings you will have.  The second proposition is almost always true, and the first one might be, too, but in any justification you can come up with to delay retirement indefinitely, you are hiding from a scary truth.  What happens if, at some point, you are no longer healthy enough to work, and you are the last to find out?  A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you and your family avoid this nightmare.

The Worst-Case Scenario

A recently published article on Bloomberg tells the story of Robert Fritzshall, a lawyer in his late 70s.  Fritzshall was in no hurry to retire, but his law practice was in disarray.  It was sinking deeper and deeper into debt, and most of the office staff had quit.  Recent law school graduates kept applying to work at the law firm, and Fritzshall would hire them enthusiastically, but all of them quit after a short time, too.  The reason was that Fritzshall was already showing signs of dementia.  Like many other seniors in the early stages of dementia, he made impulsive, ill-advised business decisions and was not about to be talked out of them.  Because of his memory issues, he mismanaged his cases, causing his clients financial losses and plenty of stress.

The people who suffered the most from Fritzshall’s decision to keep working until after his professional abilities declined were his family.  Think about how hard it is to tell your dad it’s time to surrender the car keys.  It’s even harder to tell your dad it’s time to surrender his office keys.  Don’t put your children in this position.

Retirement Makes Sense from a Financial Standpoint, Too

The moral of the story is quit while you’re ahead.  Make the decision several years in advance, so you have time to make peace with it.  If, for example, your medical license will expire when you are 68, decide when you are 65 that you will not renew it, and spend the next three years slowly saying goodbye to your colleagues and looking forward to your post-career friendship with them.  It’s better to end your career on good terms.

Yes, later retirement theoretically means more income.  It can backfire, though, if the twilight of your career is plagued by lawsuits and allegations of professional malpractice.  Quitting while you are ahead is a sound financial decision.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Your Clearwater estate planning attorney can help make difficult retirement decisions easier.  Remember that being proactive about estate planning and retirement makes life easier for everyone.  Contact William Rambaum for help today.



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