Talking about Estate Planning Needs to Happen Sooner Rather Than Later

There are subjects in life that need to be discussed, but many of us tend to avoid them. Issues like mortality and money top the list. As parents and children grow older, a must-have conversation should be the topic of estate planning, but do we know all that we should?

According to Fidelity Investments’ “ Family & Finance Study,” the answer is a resounding — and rather scary — “no.” In fact, seven out of 10 of children underestimated their parents’ estate by an average of $278,000. That’s a big number between knowing what is going on and not understanding at all. It illustrates a breakdown in communication that Kevin Ruth, head of Fidelity’s wealth planning and personal trust, says badly needs addressing through ‘frank conversations” between parents and their adult children.

Unsure What to Do With Your Old 401(k)? Fidelity Can Help

If you recently started a new job or if you’re between gigs and “exploring other opportunities,” you still need to decide what to do with your old 401(k) from your previous employer.

It’s been estimated that there are about 15 million such accounts left behind by former employees, mainly because of either inertia or confusion over strict rules for moving the money. And since the IRS doesn’t allow procrastinating on a key decision — if you withdraw even a dime, you’ve got just 60 days to reallocate into a different tax-advantaged account — here’s a rundown of your options to avoid what could be a costly mistake:

Kids Willing to Step Up to Help Aging Parents, Study Finds

Do you wonder if your kids will have your back when you’re older? Apparently the answer is a surprising yes.

That’s the good news in a conversation many people are having these days — around aging parents — that comes courtesy of the third biennial “Fidelity Investments Family & Finance Study.” Less heartening is that nearly 4 in 10 families seem to be suffering from what can only be described as — hats off to “Cool Hand Luke” for this — a failure to communicate.

Family vacation at the beach

Let’s start by paying homage to at least certain offspring and giving them their due credit:

Retirement Readiness Improves from Generation to Generation

personal retirement score online Are people becoming more savvy about ensuring their retirement won’t be like something out of the “Hunger Games?”

Perhaps.

Two years ago, Fidelity Investments (fidelity.com) created a unique way of measuring not only how close working Americans are to meeting their post-retirement expenses, but also how different generations — Baby Boomers, Gen Exers, and Gen Yers — compare to one another. The one stand-out back then was Boomers.

Now that same measure, the Retirement Preparedness Measure (RPM), is signaling more widespread improvement — due in large part to what John Sweeney, Fidelity’s executive vice president of retirement and investment strategies, ascribes to “across-the-board savings, and investments being allocated in a more age-appropriate way.”