Submitted by Brad Mueller on Wed, 11/06/2013 - 12:00pm
You know the day’s coming when you need extra care – at home, in a hospital, in a special residence. You also know your care in those times will cost big bucks. Here’s how big, and how to prepare.
Long-term care insurance (LTC) covers nursing-home care, home-health care and personal or adult day care for those older than 65 and with a chronic or disabling condition that needs constant supervision. Private LTC also often offers better flexibility and options than many public assistance programs.
Submitted by Larry Frank Sr. on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 12:00pm
Social Security officials often encourage starting benefits as soon as you are eligible. But they can’t counsel you on filing strategies. Convenient for them but inconvenient for those who don’t know the ins and outs of filing and may file too early in life.
If you or someone you know started benefits early, strategies exist to still enhance monthly benefit checks or even let the recipient take a job without losing benefits. Knowing the filing rules helps maximize retirement income.
Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 3:00pm
A traditional will or a trust transfers material possessions. An ethical will bequeaths wisdom, vision, values, life lessons, moral guidelines and personal reflections to family members and other loved ones.
Ethical wills have roots in religious traditions. Elaine Tiller at Baptist Senior Adult Ministries in Washington, D.C., counsels: “Ethical wills are windows into the souls of those who write them. It is this that makes them so cherished by family members from generation to generation.”
Submitted by Joe Pitzl on Mon, 08/19/2013 - 3:00pm
A plan for taking over the finances of an older, ailing relative is best made when both sides are healthy. Once stricken by illness or frustrated by the loss of mobility and freedom, an older relative may not understand questions or state details of their wishes. Lack of a plan often ignites family arguments without even knowing what the older relative would really want.
These talks should also go beyond just the money to include the relatives’ future independence; decision-making regarding finances, health care and other subjects; and basic preferences for day-to-day living.
Submitted by Scott Thompson on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 3:00pm
Long-term care insurance is a necessity for retirees, who run a risk of depleting their savings on medical costs. Trouble is, what if you never use this costly protection? Fortunately, there are new policies that also provide a death benefit to your heirs.
Submitted by Tom Orecchio on Tue, 07/09/2013 - 12:00pm
Whether they want the role or not, adult children often find themselves in the position of primary caregiver for their parents. Unfortunately, many of us are not prepared for that role.
We often find ourselves so engrossed in how fast our children are growing up that it’s easy to sometimes forget that our own parents are also aging. Finances can be very dicey for members of the “sandwich generation,” which simultaneously cares for children and parents.
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 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.