Proper estate planning requires a lot of forward thinking and financial discipline. However, the payoff for good estate planning is huge. Individuals not only enjoy a better and more comfortable retirement, but they may also be able to leave behind assets to loved ones.

Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry came under scrutiny for drawing retirement income from his state pension plan, but he defended his decision by simply calling it good estate planning.

Perry receives around $6,500 each month as part of his retirement income from the state. It may come as a surprise to some, but Perry and his campaign staff say it is perfectly legal.

Perry has been governor for the last 11 years, and previously served in other capacities with the state.

The governor’s income was unveiled after financial disclosure forms were released. In addition to the state pension, he also makes $150,000 a year as governor. He also has assets in real estate, trust funds and money market funds.

From the financial disclosure forms, it is clear that Governor Perry has taken the right steps to plan for his future. He has accumulated a sizable fortune for his family. With the right estate planning, he can be assured that his family will be provided for when he is gone.

Even those who aren’t running for public office would do well to begin estate planning. Estate planning isn’t only for the rich, and allows individuals to properly plan where their assets will go when they die. Although it is difficult to think about death, planning for the future is a wise decision.

Source: Star-Telegram, “Perry drawing five-figure retirement pay from Texas,” Maria Recio, Dec. 16, 2011