The Financial Fiduciary Rule Is In Effect June 9

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After initially delaying a rule intended to prevent financial advisers from steering their clients to bad retirement investments, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the rule will go into effect on June 9, 2017, but its future is still unclear. Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order delaying the so-called fiduciary rule, the first part of which was scheduled to go into effect in April 2017, and calling for a review. The DOL is still reviewing the rule and can still make changes to it or repeal it based on the review, but the agency said there…

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Beware Medicare’s Penalties for Late Enrollment

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People generally become eligible for Medicare at age 65, when they can receive benefits under Part A (Hospital Coverage), Part B (Medical Coverage), and Part D (Prrscription Drug Coverage). But Medicare doesn’t want you to delay enrollment.  If only those who needed insurance signed up on time and healthier people waited, the healthy beneficiaries’ premiums would not be available to help underwrite the costs of the less healthy ones. For this reason, Medicare imposes fairly significant penalties for those who postpone enrolling.  To encourage everyone to sign up when they first become eligible, the program increases premiums based on how…

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Owe Back Taxes? The IRS May Grant You Uncollectable Status

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Sometimes seniors find themselves owing past-due federal taxes they cannot afford to pay.  Although notices from the IRS can be especially frightening, there are solutions. If the sum owed is less than $50,000, the IRS will accept monthly payments over five years. For example, if $6,000 is owed to the IRS, monthly payments of around $100 can be made.  There are also laws in place that provide that persons unable to pay their taxes can be placed on Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status with the IRS and not have to pay their past-due income taxes.  My experience with the IRS…

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How Medicare and Employer Coverage Coordinate

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Medicare benefits start at age 65, but many people continue working past that age, either by choice or need. It is important to understand how Medicare and employer coverage work together. Depending on your circumstances, Medicare is either the primary or secondary insurer. The primary insurer pays any medical bills first up to the limits of its coverage. The secondary payer covers costs the primary insurer doesn’t cover (although it may not cover all costs). Knowing whether Medicare is primary or secondary to your current coverage is crucial because it determines whether you need to sign up for Medicare Part…

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Finding Your Home Sweet Nursing Home

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It is import to select the right nursing home, a daunting process at best.  The search should begin with the determination of your loved ones life style preference and medical needs.  Once you know the type of care your loved one requires, you should evaluate nursing homes to identify those that meet your criteria.  Arm yourself initially with as much information about all nursing homes under consideration as possible.  You may be able to eliminate some with preliminary screening; for example, if they do not offer the type of care your loved one must have.  Also, geographical locations can also…

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Nursing Home – Patients’ Bill of Rights

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Information Disclosure – You have the right to receive accurate and easily understood information about your health plan, health care professionals, and health care facilities.  If you speak another language, have a physical or mental disability, or just don’t understand something, assistance will be provided so you can make informed health care decisions.  Choice of Providers and Plans – You have the right to a choice of health care providers that is sufficient to provide you with access to appropriate high-quality health care. Access to Emergency Services – If you have severe pain, an injury, or sudden illness that convinces…

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Don’t let your life savings be diminished by the high cost of probate or destroyed from ever increasing long term care expenses.

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We can help protect your legacy. We handle a great deal of probate cases at my office. In fact, if someone has passed away in your family, we can probably help you. However, whenever I work on these cases I often wonder why so many people allow their assets to go through probate. Did they not know there were other choices? Did they not know how expensive probate can be? I am also often saddened when I see a person’s Will that leaves the assets equally to all the children, but the assets pass outside of the Will and do…

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HOW DO I QUALIFY FINANCIALLY FOR MEDICAID

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If you have no assets or money, then Medicaid (“Medical Assistance”) will usually pay for your care. In the nursing home setting, Medical Assistance covers room and board, pharmacy and incidentals. Basically, Medical Assistance provides for your basic care, but does not cover certain expenses like haircuts, beauty shop charges and clothing. However, if you qualify for Medical Assistance, you can only retain seventy-seven ($77) dollars per month from your income / social security to meet any of these needs. Medical Assistance planning is to offset the concerns of seniors regarding the high cost of long term nursing care. Generally,…

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4 Ways to Survive the Costs of a Nursing Home Stay

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The need for nursing home care almost always seems to be a surprise and that’s why most people are incredibly unprepared when a loved one needs care. But even if you only have time to do crisis planning, you can still increase your chances of finding the right nursing home, getting good care there, and saving a significant portion of the family’s hard-earned assets. The first thing people need to remember when a loved one needs care is to not panic. First of all, stabilize the medical situation and then, as soon as possible, you should contact an elder law…

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