Exciting summer travel plans are coming up, and many individuals and families are running through the usual checklists and questions.
- Have we chosen a destination?
- If traveling internationally, are our passports all up to date? Does our bank know so our credit cards aren’t flagged for fraud? Do our cell phone plans have an option to use them in the countries we’re visiting?
- Do we have all our medications ready, and have we figured out what we need to pack?
- Is the dog sitter, or house sitter arranged and budgeted for?
As we get older, we tend to develop a bucket list of places to see, and the checklist for retirement travel may require additional considerations.
Planning for travel in retirement.
Creating a retirement travel plan involves more than just identifying destinations. Additional factors to consider are health, stamina, and the ability to participate in events that require an active lifestyle. Over time, aging out of certain activities during retirement is likely. Therefore, it may be important to frontload early retirement with more expensive and physically demanding travel activities, such as hiking in the Grand Canyon, despite the need to conserve capital and keep it growing in the market for as long as possible.
More lengthy stays in foreign countries are a popular retirement option for many individuals. If you are renting a villa in Europe for three months, rather than taking three shorter trips, you will likely save money on airfare costs. Plus, long-term rentals can be cheaper, and an extended stay could give way to a more leisurely experience when exploring your surroundings.
Another lengthy stay that allows for more places to visit is an extended cruise. According to Cruise Market Watch, the average spend for a cruise ship passenger including lodging and food is $214.25 per day, or $78,201.25 annually. Some retirees consider a three-month or even year-long cruise! Some cruise ships cater to seniors, and have more medical options available as well as accessibility and wheelchair options.
Reducing financial anxiety during travel in retirement.
But wait—how is it possible to spend three months abroad, while still taking care of financial management responsibilities?
Given modern bill-paying choices, typically some financial supervision is possible if you are simply within range of the internet. But what about the investment portfolio? Who needs those headaches during a vacation?
Arvest offers an Investment Management Account, which provides full portfolio management aligned with each client’s risk and return objectives. Asset allocation models may be constructed to meet current and future retirement income needs, while providing a measure of inflation protection. Whether your retirement travel is for one month or six, Arvest’s investment managers provide active management, taking care of your portfolio and adjusting as needed. .
Another financial management option during retirement, even while you travel, is the revocable living trust. Arvest acts as an agent in the Investment Management Account, or as trustee for a living trust. A trustee has a wider scope of responsibility, and can handle the full range of financial management tasks, so you have less to think about. A trustee, whether a corporate trustee or an individual, is also constrained by a variety of duties to trust beneficiaries:
- Duty to administer a trust by its terms. Every trust agreement should clearly state the purposes of the trust, as this provides critical benchmarks for evaluating the trustee’s actions.
- Duty of skill and care. A high standard of performance is required, even if an amateur is named who has no prior experience as a trustee.
- Duty to give notices. Notices may concern legal rights of the trust beneficiaries, such as a power to make withdrawals, or they may cover such ministerial matters as designating a successor trustee or an agent to assist in trust administration.
- Duty to account. A written accounting of the assets, liabilities, receipts and disbursements of the trust must be provided to the beneficiaries regularly.
- Duty of impartiality. The trustee must not favor one beneficiary over another, unless the trust document directs that providing for a particular beneficiary is a principal purpose of the trust.
- Duty to invest. Trust assets must not be left idle. In addition to making the trust investments, the trustee has a duty to diversify the investments and develop an asset allocation plan. This is a job for professional investors or corporate fiduciaries.
- Duty of confidentiality. Normally, the terms of a trust, the identity of its beneficiaries and their respective interests, and the nature of the trust assets cannot be disclosed to anyone except the beneficiaries and those who need such information in order to be able to administer the trust.
Knowing that you have the highest level of care for your financial accounts while you’re traveling may make those trips both a little more adventurous and a little more relaxed. Trusts are not just for the rich and famous, or for those of ultra-high-net-wealth, they can be beneficial in many circumstances and lifestyles. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a conversation with one of our trust officers today to see if you’re retirement ready and can fit all your travel plans into the mix.
This content has been prepared by The Merrill Anderson Company and is intended as a general guideline.
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Arvest Wealth Management does not offer tax or legal advice – consult licensed professionals for advice.