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Second Marriages and Medicaid

When people marry for the second time (or more), losing assets to pay for their new spouse’s serious illness is probably the last thing on their minds when they say “I do.” But that could happen. Current costs for long-term care facilities can run between $70,000 – $150,000 annually. Studies show that 70% of Americans will need that kind of care, perhaps for three years or longer. If one spouse in a marriage becomes ill, the assets of both spouses are, by and large, required to be spent on the ill spouse’s care before Medicaid benefits become available. This could be a big problem, especially if the money that the well spouse had saved for her children’s inheritances goes to pay for the ill new [...]

2020-01-30T09:59:20-05:00January 30th, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on Second Marriages and Medicaid

There’s an Epidemic of Immobility

There is an entire senior industry built around preventative measures and responses to protect older people from falling, and with good reason. According to the National Council on Aging Falls Prevention Facts, “falls remain the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans.” Aside from grievous and sometimes fatal injuries, falls are costing money, lots of money. In 2015 Medicare and Medicaid paid 75 percent of the 50 billion dollars in total cost due to fall injuries. With an ever-aging US population, the financial toll is projected to reach 67.7 billion dollars in 2020. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made a declaration that falls should never happen in a hospital environment and created penalties that became effective in 2008. The [...]

2020-01-23T09:36:26-05:00January 23rd, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on There’s an Epidemic of Immobility

DID THE SECURE ACT RUIN YOUR ESTATE PLAN?

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enrichment Act of 2019 or the SECURE Act, was set into law on January 1, 2020. The Act changed many of the long-standing rules about Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The new rules that went into effect include: Increasing the age for withdrawing required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts from age 70 1/2 to age 72. Eliminating the previous age restrictions for contributing to traditional IRAs. Eliminating the ability of most non-spouse beneficiaries to 'stretch out' the RMDs on inherited retirement plans The elimination of the "stretch out" is what we find most concerning. Traditionally, at the age of 70 1/2 people were required to begin withdrawing funds from their retirement plan(s). The withdrawal amount was based on [...]

2020-01-20T13:05:28-05:00January 20th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on DID THE SECURE ACT RUIN YOUR ESTATE PLAN?

You’d Be Surprised What Technology Can Be Hacked

The internet of things (IoT) is responsible for many conveniences via embedded electronic devices, and many seniors are making use of these technologies. It is becoming increasingly common for everyday items like refrigerators, thermostats, and doorbells to be internet-connected making our homes and personal information subject to hacking. A hacker will subvert computer security for malicious purposes. Seniors who employ IoT devices for safety and convenience may be less wary of all the ways their devices can be compromised. If you are a senior or have a loved one who is, it is imperative to have them, or a trusted friend, update software from device manufacturers and routinely monitor their devices. A Smart TV provides many hacking opportunities. The problem can be an annoying prankster [...]

2020-01-16T18:30:46-05:00January 16th, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on You’d Be Surprised What Technology Can Be Hacked

Lifestyle Diseases on the Rise

Health experts have been advising people for years about unhealthy habits being the cause of "lifestyle" diseases that are increasing across the US. These lifestyle diseases become more common with age and include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and Alzheimer's disease. Around the globe, these diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths. New Scientist magazine is reporting evidence suggesting bacteria are to blame for the diseases and that this finding will herald the coming of a revolution in medicine. However, don’t stop healthy habits just yet; findings in disease after disease indicate that bacteria are covertly involved which complicates the problem. Bacteria will invade bodily organs and then co-opt the immune system in a sort of parasitic relationship as the bacteria boosts [...]

2020-01-10T11:15:44-05:00January 10th, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on Lifestyle Diseases on the Rise

Google Has a New Use for Your Health Records

When Google Inc became a publicly-traded company in 2004, its founders wrote a letter that said, in part, Google and its employees are "committed to significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible." Google is famously known for its search engine and is part of many inter-related technology companies under the parent company Alphabet. High tech companies are becoming more plural in their pursuits and more pervasive in our daily lives than ever before. The mission of Google is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." This mission now includes your health data. Without explicit permission, Google's Project Nightingale, under the corporation’s Cloud Division, is gathering the health records of millions of Americans to data-mine and 'crunch' comprehensive [...]

2020-01-03T10:43:02-05:00January 3rd, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on Google Has a New Use for Your Health Records

Seniors More Indebted Than Ever

America experienced its worst financial crisis since the great depression between 2007 and 2010. Known as the subprime mortgage crisis, it happened because home prices fell in 2006, triggering loan defaults. Then the risk spread into pension funds, mutual funds, and corporations who owned the derivatives. It also spread into the global credit market resulting in higher interest rates and reduced availability of credit. Quantitative easing was necessary for several years to lower interest rates and spur economic growth. The cautionary tale to all Americans was learning to live beneath their means and do not carry excessive amounts of debt. Many Americans did not take heed and as a result, they are in substantial debt. One of the saddest cases of all of the debtors [...]

2020-04-15T09:13:47-05:00December 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Seniors More Indebted Than Ever

Possible Dementia Indicated by Poor Financial Decisions

Diminishing brain function due to the onset of dementia can lead to the destruction of your financial well-being. If you are age 50 or older, easy access to your financial assets like stocks and bonds, checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and other assets can lead to loss of these funds if an unauthorized person gains access to them, or if they are mismanaged. Family members are often unaware their loved one needs help before the unintentionally mismanaged assets, now gone, bring about devastating consequences for both the person living with dementia as well as their family. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that from diagnosis to death, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) care will cost an average of $424,000 per individual, and 70 percent of that cost [...]

2020-04-15T09:11:12-05:00December 17th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Possible Dementia Indicated by Poor Financial Decisions

More Seniors Adopting Emotional Support Animals

Most of us know what a service animal is, but the use of emotional support animals is becoming more and more common. So, what is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides benefits to a person who has an emotional or mental health disorder. In order to be characterized as an emotional support animal, documentation from a health professional must be obtained for the animal. Most commonly, these animals are dogs, but other animals can serve as emotional support animals. It is becoming more evident that these emotional support animals can provide some real benefits to the health and wellness of the senior population. Whether depressed, dealing with ongoing disabilities, or chronic illnesses, emotional support animals can be [...]

2019-12-11T10:29:31-05:00December 11th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on More Seniors Adopting Emotional Support Animals

Benefits of Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior

We live in a world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded electronics with internet connectivity simplify tasks and are a pervasive part of our daily lives. Typically, the younger generations are very adept at navigating the IoT while many seniors feel overwhelmed by technology, devices, and the internet in general. The good news is that learning the basics and becoming a tech-savvy senior is not that hard, particularly if you take a couple of weeks to get acclimated and have some guidance in the form of online tutorials or personal assistance. Digital literacy training will give a senior the confidence and skills they need to access information and online services. What is a computer anyway? It is an electronic device that manipulates information in [...]

2019-12-04T09:51:20-05:00December 4th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Benefits of Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior