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Health savings accounts front and center amid Obamacare repeal efforts

January 12, 2017

With Republicans in Congress moving aggressively toward replacing all or major parts of Obamacare, health savings accounts are expected to become a centerpiece of managing health care-related expenses going forward. As part of the campaign to...

Where will Medicare costs go in 2017?

November 7, 2016

People are asking me where Medicare costs, specifically Part B premiums and Part B and D high-income surcharges, are going in 2017. While the final numbers have not yet been released, we know that Medicare costs have been going up dramatically....

My client's Medicare coverage has been canceled, now what?

October 7, 2016

This is the time of year when everyone who already has a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Part C Advantage plan that includes Part D gets a letter from their current plan. There are two types of letters. Most...

Self-funding employee health care pays off for some small businesses

October 5, 2016

The rising price of health-care premiums has more companies paying for their employees' medical expenses themselves rather than buying traditional health plans from insurers. Advisers should be aware of what the option entails for their small-business-owner...

Nationwide to buy Jefferson National

September 28, 2016

Nationwide has agreed to buy Jefferson National, a distributor of variable annuities for clients of registered investment advisers. The acquisition, which expands Nationwide's ability to sell financial products through Jefferson National's network...

Grappling with retirement health costs

September 25, 2016

It is fairly well-known that Americans are living longer and that medical costs are climbing. How advisers are dealing with these two trends is less clear. There is a good reason why, in the opening paragraph of his cover story last week, InvestmentNews...

Advisers face big challenges in helping clients prepare for health-care costs in retirement

September 18, 2016

Health-care costs are the great unknown of retirement. Not only are health expenses rising quickly overall, but medical needs and conditions vary dramatically from person to person. There are several moving parts, from combinations of different...

Now is the time for an annual Medicare check-up

September 9, 2016

Just like it's a good idea to have an annual check-up for your health, it's smart to have a Medicare check-up to make sure the coverage will work when folks need it, and not break the bank. The best time of year for everyone in Medicare to have...

The alphabet soup of Medicare enrollment periods

August 12, 2016

There are many enrollment periods for the various parts of Medicare. These windows of opportunity provide beneficiaries the chance to sign up for Medicare coverage. It is critical to understand these enrollment periods, which involve requirements...

Health savings account limits to increase for some in 2017

July 29, 2016

Health savings accounts, which were established in 2003 to allow individuals and families to save money from their paychecks in tax-deferred accounts, have been touted as a great way to save for medical expenses both today and in retirement....

Make clients aware of filial laws that could wreak havoc on the financial security of millions

June 5, 2016

Longer life expectancies, coupled with skyrocketing nursing home costs, mean more retirees face the prospect of outliving their savings. The situation also jeopardizes the retirement security of their children, many of whom are members of the...

Life insurance helps with retirement planning, but beware of the pitfalls

May 29, 2016

Cash-value life insurance could prove to be a valuable asset for clients looking to couple an insurance need with tax and portfolio diversification in retirement. But there are some major caveats involved — namely, product considerations are...

Retiree medical expenses could outpace Social Security benefits in 20 years

May 23, 2016

A new report projecting health care costs for current and future retirees is chock full of scary numbers that should keep most financial planners up at night. But just as hiding under the covers during graphic horror flick scenes won't change...

Advisers' role in retiree health care

May 15, 2016

What's the single biggest expense that your clients will face once they've retired? Housing? Recreation? How about health care costs? Between Medicare premiums and the portion of medical bills Medicare doesn't pay, health care costs are actually...

How to help clients save big bucks on health and Medicare costs in retirement

May 3, 2016

In an environment of swelling health care expenses and inflation, examining ways to mitigate those costs, especially as they relate to Medicare, is becoming an increasingly important way for advisers to add value for clients. Not only are health...

Debunking the top myths and misconceptions about Medicare

April 20, 2016

When it comes to Medicare, there are many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings. I hear about them from advisers and their clients on a daily basis. I thought it would be helpful to describe some of the most common fallacies and dispel...

How to properly defer Medicare enrollment

April 19, 2016

As the retirement age in our country continues to push into the late sixties and early seventies, many individuals are realizing that delaying Medicare enrollment may be a prudent plan. Considering the significant impact health care costs have...

Is securitizing health care loans a workable solution for accessing high-cost medical treatments?

April 17, 2016

Can securitized debt instruments, those same products that helped inflate the housing-market bubble and played a major role in the 2008 financial crisis, be used to finance the cost of catastrophic health care expenses? A small group of big...

Health care costs squeeze retirement savings

April 13, 2016

Once upon a time, workplace-based savings accounts were focused largely on retirement. Contributions to 401(k) plans or similar employer-sponsored plans helped employees build a retirement nest egg while reducing their current tax burden. But...

How to effectively use health savings accounts for health care in retirement

March 7, 2016

A recent theme of my articles has been to focus on maximizing retirement cash sources that do not generate higher-income Medicare surcharges. The surcharges, officially known as the income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA), create higher...

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