Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Fri, 06/14/2013 - 3:00pm
When one or both parents have children by a prior marriage, estate planning calls for special tools. The situation raises interesting questions about how to divide marital assets when one of the parents dies. The best way to deal with these is through a qualified terminal interest property, or QTIP, trust.
Here’s an example of how a QTIP trust works. Daryl has three children by a prior marriage, as does his wife Toni. Both have considerable assets from before they got married.
Submitted by Matthew Illian on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 9:00am
Medicare Advantage has disadvantages that make healthcare more expensive for seniors. Recent changes to the laws such as Obamacare are likely to raise costs. Most retirees are better off with regular Medicare.
Medicare Advantage (MA) is an option that replaces Original Medicare parts A (hospital care) and B (doctor visits) and often includes part D (Rx coverage) as well; it goes through a private operator, while the government runs part A, B and D.
Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:00pm
Here’s a retirement tip: Use some of your hard-earned money to take your family on trips, particularly the grandchildren.
Sure, conserving the money necessary to sustain income throughout retirement is a valid concern. But some retirees become financially paranoid, unduly tight with spending to the point that they fail to enjoy the fruits of their saving.
Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Tue, 03/12/2013 - 3:00pm
You need to keep the Social Security Administration abreast when major changes occur in your life, as soon as possible. Many people do not know that, to their later regret.
The reason to notify the SSA is that, quite often, these changes result in adjustment to your Social Security benefits. Be sure to tell them about death, marriage, other income streams and address changes.
Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Tue, 03/05/2013 - 9:00am
The price of long-term care insurance is rising. What can you do to cope with that? Answers range from self-insuring to applying early for the coverage.
The single woman in her early 70s got a shock when her insurer told her that her premium was going up by 76%, from $2,626 per year to $4,632. She bought the policy back in 2000, when it was more affordable. This boost is an outlier: Increases more typically are in the mid-single digit, and hers stems partly from the demise of the insurer that sold her the policy. Another company took it over.
Submitted by Rick Kahler on Tue, 02/26/2013 - 3:00pm
Is it a good idea to give control of your finances to someone else through a power of attorney? Maybe. Or maybe not. The key is that you can be flexible over how much autonomy you give up.
It's foolish to sign away complete authority to someone who may or may not be trustworthy. It's equally foolish to refuse to consider a power of attorney in circumstances where it could serve you well.
Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 3:00pm
As we age, our bodies wear down. Many baby boomers are finding this out firsthand. That’s usually in their joints, often in the knees. Call it a preview of the worst part of retirement, which you must plan for..
Jim Fixx was a baby boomer guru. His best-selling books extolled the virtues of running, preaching that an active lifestyle extended life and the ability to enjoy it. For most of us, that is true. Sadly, for James Fixx, in 1984 at age 52, he died on a Vermont country lane while on a solitary run, felled by a massive heart attack.
Submitted by Ken Weingarten on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 12:00pm
Now, more than ever, the wisest move for dealing with Social Security is to delay filing for as long as possible.
Right now, people born between 1943 and 1954 receive full retirement benefits at age 66. If they filed early at 62, the earliest most can claim a benefit, their Social Security payment gets reduced 30% of what they would earn by waiting until 66. If they wait until after 66, they get more than the full benefit.
Submitted by Catherine Seeber on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 9:00am
Medicare recipients are in the latter part of the open enrollment period, when they can change their mix of programs to better suit their needs. If you are in this medical plan for those 65 and older, the new health care law gives you a chance to save money and get better coverage.
The enrollment period for 2013 coverage runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Any changes made during open enrollment are effective as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 3:00pm
Next year’s inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits lags behind actual price rises. Why is this? Because the complicated formula used to calculate your benefits draws from your past earnings years, and it not strictly focused on the past 12 months.