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December 2016
Dollar Sense

New Costs for Medicare in 2017

If you don’t buy Part A when you first become eligible, your monthly premium when you do sign up may be 10% higher. You’ll have to pay the higher premium for twice the number of years you could have had Part A but didn’t sign up.

Dollar Sense

Potpourri: Stuff You Should Know to Protect Your Assets

What should you do? The FTC says you can just hang up. I like to tell the caller, “Okay, but this sounds important so I want to record the call.” That results in an instant hang up on their end.

What should you not do? Absolutely do not press any buttons, on the phone or computer. Even if the call says you can opt out of future calls by pressing a button, don’t. Remember these are thieves and pressing any button may be giving them permission to bill you somehow.

Dollar Sense

The Psychics Appear to Know All – But Do We Know Them?

If this sounds ridiculous, keep in mind, it’s been enormously successful. Federal officials say before being stopped by alert family members, some of the elderly victims were sending envelopes full of cash every week.

Legal Ease

Teach Your Children Well: The Importance of Estate Planning

One misconception about wills is that having one will avoid probate. Unfortunately, that is not the case because probate will be required any time a person dies with assets titled in the person’s name alone regardless of whether that person left a will.

November 2016
Dollar Sense

Some Seniors Get an Extra Year for Medical Tax Break

If you are 65 or older in 2016, you will still be able to use the 7.5% threshold. For people with significant medical expenses, this should save a lot in taxes. However, be prepared for this to end. Beginning in 2017, all taxpayers will have to use the 10% threshold, regardless of age.

Legal Ease

Sound Complicated? The Consequences of Not Planning Ahead Can Be Even Worse

The better plan, however, would be for the two of you to establish a trust now which would protect you in the event of a common death. As it stands now, if the two of you died at the same time or one of you died shortly after the other, there would be a probate of those investment accounts because they would be owned by the last one of you to die.

Financial Fortitude

Making All Those Medicare Choices – It’s Complicated, Confusing, and Crucial

Here is an essential point: Medicare Advantage is a whole different system than Medicare. It is managed care, which results in all sorts of different cascading decisions. When you choose MA, you are opting out of Medicare proper. You can only redo that decision once in your life (with some exceptions).

October 2016
Dollar Sense

Life Insurance Is Vital for Many, But Beware the Pitfalls

Companies that had reason to know the policyholder had died did not try to contact beneficiaries, but continued paying itself premiums out of the cash value. Once the cash value was depleted, they simply canceled the policies, said investigators. Some of the policies were actually marked with notations of the date of death.

Dollar Sense

When the Adult Kids Move Back in, or Never Leave

Remember when you were in high school and couldn’t wait to get out on your own? Maybe you planned to go to college and live in a dorm or get some roommates and have your own space? These days, the number of young people (age 18 to 34) who lives with their parents is greater than the number of those moving out on their own… for the first time in 130 years.

Legal Ease

Vital To-Do List When Death Is Imminent

I know from having had to deal with my own husband’s death several years ago, that there are many things that she will need to address after he passes away, and I know that this will be an overwhelming burden for her to have to deal with. What might make this process easier for her?

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