Modeling the loss of a spouse in My Plan

This article describes how to model the loss of a spouse in My Plan

Nancy Gates avatar
Written by Nancy Gates
Updated over a week ago

An essential part of creating a financial plan is to understand the effects that losing a spouse may have on your plan.

If you would like to evaluate the impact of losing a spouse in My Plan, the first step is to create a new scenario. Then, you may enter a shortened longevity date for one spouse. After that, adjust other relevant items.

Here are a few areas you may wish to adjust:

Income: If you have entered income streams from work, pensions or annuities for a spouse, they will end at the spouse's longevity date if there is no survivor benefit.

Savings: At the spouse's longevity date, accounts will become the assets of the surviving spouse and subject to the appropriate RMD tables for the surviving spouse.

Expenses: Although each plan is different, you may wish to modify expenses at the spouse's longevity date. For example, the loss of a spouse may bring on a need for home maintenance or personal care otherwise provided by the spouse. Or, the loss of a spouse may entail a reduction in travel and entertainment expenses.

Home and Real Estate: Some individuals relocate to a smaller residence or retirement community after the loss of a spouse. You have the ability to model a variety of real estate changes in My Plan.

Social Security The Social Security Administration will pay a portion, or all of the benefits, of a deceased individual to their surviving spouse. This is intended to ease the financial strain caused by the loss of the deceased spouse’s benefit. The Planner will automatically adjust for the survivor benefit at the longevity date of one spouse.

IRMAA: When one spouse passes the Planner will use the AGI for the survivor in calculating IRMAA.

Taxes: When one spouse passes the Planner will use the AGI for the survivor in calculating income taxes.

Life Insurance: You may wish to enter the death benefit of any relevant life insurance policies in My Plan > Income > Windfalls.

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