Results for "medicare"

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Social Security benefits lost 34% of their buying power since 2000

June 21, 2018

Social Security benefits have lost more than one-third of their buying power since 2000, according to a new study released Thursday by The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan advocacy group. "This is the biggest loss of buying power recorded...

Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2026, three years earlier than expected

June 5, 2018

The main trust fund behind Medicare, the U.S. health-care program for the elderly and disabled, will be exhausted in 2026, three years earlier than was projected a year ago, the government said Tuesday. Medicare's Board of Trustees blamed the...

2019 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment could top 3 percent

June 4, 2018

The annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 could top 3% in 2019, which would be the largest increase in seven years, according to a new estimate released by The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan advocacy group representing...

Roth conversions can boost Medicare premiums

May 22, 2018

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created generally lower tax rates for 2018 through 2025, presenting an enticing opportunity to convert traditional retirement savings to Roth accounts at today's lower rates. Under current law, individual income...

Countdown to retirement

May 3, 2018

I celebrated a major milestone with a group of friends recently. We met as newly minted teenagers in 1968 when we were freshmen in high school. Today, with most of us on the cusp of retirement, we took a trip to Charleston to commemorate 50...

Recent rule changes to boost retiree health costs

April 30, 2018

Individually, recent updates to Medicare and Social Security rules may not have seemed like a big deal. But when taken together, seven changes to Medicare means testing, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and Social Security...

Social Security benefits losing buying power

March 20, 2018

Automatic cost-of-living adjustments are supposed to help Social Security benefits keep pace with inflation, but years of low inflation and rising Medicare costs are threatening the adequacy of a key component of seniors' income. Over the past...

Even the strongest retirement plans can be derailed by health care costs

February 26, 2018

Rising health care costs have long been the bane of working Americans, but most people don't give enough thought to how escalating health care costs in retirement can derail even the most solid financial plan. "While the exact cost varies for...

Timing is crucial for Social Security and Medicare

January 29, 2018

Sometimes the most important advice I can give readers is, "Don't do it!" For example, one reader wrote to me recently asking if she should collect benefits on her ex-husband's earnings record now, at age 65, and later switch to her own larger...

Beware: Medicare surcharges can change throughout year based on latest tax return

January 17, 2018

It's a new year and time for another dispatch from the retirement front, an occasional series of columns where I chronicle life with my retired husband and describe our personal retirement decisions. I hope it provides some insights to advisers...

January surprise of vanishing Social Security COLA

January 5, 2018

Now that it's January, financial advisers should prepare themselves for an onslaught of questions from clients asking why their monthly Social Security check stayed the same or even declined this month. After all, weren't Social Security benefits...

Tax bill may change your clients' health-care costs

December 29, 2017

The newly signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect how much your clients pay out of pocket on health care, in several ways. The effects will be both short term and medium term: • The "Individual Mandate" will be eliminated by Jan. 1, 2019....

Clients need help filing Social Security disability claims

December 27, 2017

When financial advisers discuss Social Security benefits, it is usually in the context of counseling clients when to claim retirement benefits and the impact of that decision on the amount of survivor benefits for the remaining spouse. But one...

Medicare surcharge notices are shocking retirees

December 5, 2017

There's a new Grinch in town and her name is IRMAA. That's shorthand for the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount notices that the Social Security Administration sends at the end of each year to inform Medicare enrollees how much they will...

Last chance for clients to save on drug costs

December 1, 2017

There are only a few shopping days left—and I'm not talking about storming the local mall or clicking your way through Amazon.com to fulfill your loved ones' holiday wish list. I'm referring to something that can save older Americans significant...

Medicare premiums and Social Security COLAs: Here's why retirees will pay up in 2018

November 21, 2017

Here's a riddle: How can Medicare premiums remain the same in 2017 and 2018 yet result in a 23% increase for millions of retirees? That's the quandary that many financial advisers will face next year when they try to explain to some retired...

2018 Medicare changes will erase Social Security COLAs for many

November 17, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday that the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services and doctor's bills, will remain at $134 per month in 2018. While it may seem counterintuitive,...

8 scary retirement facts

October 30, 2017

On the spookiest holiday of the year, investors need look no further than the global stirrings with North Korea or the uncertainty about healthcare costs in the U.S. to produce some shivers. But here are 8 frightening retirement facts to inspire...

How to take the Medi-scare out of retiree healthcare costs

October 23, 2017

I don't think it's a coincidence that Halloween and Medicare open enrollment season occur at about the same time each year. Although some people like to celebrate Halloween by dressing up as ghosts and zombies, for seniors, no costumes are needed...

Social Security benefits to increase by 2% in 2018

October 13, 2017

Monthly Social Security benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase by 2% in 2018, the largest increase in retirement and survivor benefits for workers and their families since 2012. The higher payments will begin in January. The...

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