Medicare Premiums to Increase By Almost $10 a Month in 2020

After small or no increases the past couple of years, Medicare’s Part B premium will rise sharply in 2020. The basic monthly premium will increase $9.10, from $135.50 a month to $144.60. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium increase on November 8, 2019. Not everyone will pay the whole increase,

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2020 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the

Should 529 Funds Be Transferred to an ABLE Account?

Thanks to recent changes in the tax law, families can now make limited transfers from existing 529 accounts to ABLE accounts with no tax consequences. Families with special needs children may be thinking about rolling existing 529 funds into ABLE accounts. Perhaps on the birth of your child, you started a 529 account to save up for college.

Don’t Let Medicare Open Enrollment Go By Without Reassessing Your Options

Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don't let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you. During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug)

The 2020 Social Security Increase Will Be Smaller than 2019’s

The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.6 percent increase in benefits in 2020, nearly half of last year's change. The small rise has advocates questioning whether the government is using the proper method to calculate the cost of living for older Americans and those with disabilities. Cost-of-living increases are tied to the consumer price

What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult

Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one's well-being and you have a duty to act in his or her best interest. If an adult becomes mentally incapacitated and is incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision

The Saga of Clarence and Elsie – If you think you did everything right, think again

Clarence and Elsie were the envy of all who knew them.  Friendly, kind, and content, this happily married couple were sometimes asked for the secret to their long and happy life together.  “We never argued about money,” replied Clarence. “We worked hard, spent prudently, saved, and invested wisely with professional help.”  Observed Elsie, “We put our kids through school, paid for their weddings, and managed to set aside a nice little nest egg.  Now, in retirement, we live comfortably without struggling to pay our bills.  We travel and we spend quality time with our grandchildren. What’s to argue about?”

What is Long-Term Care and Who Needs It?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lives.  “Long-term care” refers to those services and supports that might become necessary to perform everyday tasks and personal care needs. Determining the Level of Care Everyday tasks, sometimes

Funding a Special Needs Trust with Life Insurance: The Basics

Among the many challenges for families is making sure there will always be enough money to provide lifetime care for their special needs children. The costs are daunting: therapies, housing, medical care, and education, to name just a few. One way to plan for this challenge is to set up a special needs trust. Families of