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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,...

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...

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...

Medicare rules are needlessly complex

October 9, 2017

People who collect Social Security benefits early are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65. But as increasing numbers of Americans delay claiming Social Security benefits until older ages when they are worth more, many of them...

How to appeal higher Medicare premiums

September 6, 2017

It's time to prepare higher-income clients for a nasty surprise that awaits some of them this fall. Notices of monthly surcharges involving both Medicare Part B and Part D premiums in 2018 will be sent to affected Medicare enrollees in October....

Stay up on Medicare enrollment with annual reviews

October 2, 2017

The last quarter of the year is a busy time for financial advisers. It's a time to review investment portfolios with clients to identify possible tax-loss harvesting opportunities and to encourage working-age clients to maximize their annual...

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...

Social Security COLA could get wiped out by Medicare costs

September 15, 2017

Consider this perverse scenario. Next year, typical retirees could see their expected Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2018 virtually wiped out by a big jump in Medicare premiums, but premiums for many higher-income clients could...

What Medicare changes will mean for clients in 2017

December 14, 2016

Recently, I wrote about the estimated 22% escalation in Medicare Part B premiums and Parts B and D high-income surcharges. Contrary to what the Medicare Trustees projected, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a 10%...

Courses available to become a Medicare pro

April 12, 2017

Like it or not, clients near retirement often have burning questions about when to enroll in Medicare, particularly if they are still working. If they are enrolled in Medicare already, they may have questions about their premiums. Wouldn't it...

Medicare decisions get personal

January 13, 2017

This is my latest dispatch from the retirement front, an occasional series of articles where I chronicle my personal retirement decisions that I hope can offer some insights for advisers working with retired and soon-to-be-retired clients. This...

How to help clients minimize the sting of 2016 Medicare premium rates

November 13, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a host of new Medicare costs for 2016. Among them were the highly anticipated Medicare Part B 2016 premiums, Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA), deductible and $3 monthly...

Hedging against triple whammy of Medicare price hikes

October 18, 2015

The price tag for Medicare is expected to swell dramatically Jan. 1 as the result of several factors. It's expected that: •Medicare Part D premiums will grow 8% on average and by as much as 20% for some of the most popular Medicare prescription...

Tips for managing clients' health care expenses in retirement

March 27, 2017

Survey after survey shows that health care expenses in retirement are a top concern for clients, and financial advisers are finally taking notice. According to a 2017 Survey conducted by The American College of Financial Services, advisers reported...

Milestone birthday triggers crucial financial decisions

May 5, 2017

It all began with my husband's surprise party. I planned an intimate dinner with close friends and family at a local restaurant to celebrate his 65th birthday. Mission accomplished. He was surprised, and we all had a good time. Little did we...

Gray divorce presents Social Security challenges

March 10, 2017

While overall divorce rates in the U.S. remained stable between 1990 and 2010, gray divorce among spouses age 50 or older doubled during the same 20-year period, jeopardizing the retirement security of millions of baby boomers. Now, one in four...

Low Social Security cost-of-living adjustment keeps Medicare premiums lower for most

November 11, 2016

Seventy percent of people with Medicare are protected from a large rise in premiums next year because of the low cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits, leaving the rest to absorb higher health care costs. The standard monthly...

Social Security cost-of-living adjustment unlikely for 2017

June 6, 2016

If inflation continues at its current low pace, 2017 may turn out to be another year when Social Security recipients will not receive an automatic increase in their monthly retirement and disability benefits. If that happens, it would mark the...

Big gap between Social Security cost-of-living adjustment and retiree inflation

October 24, 2016

One of the great values of Social Security benefits is that they are supposed to increase each year to keep pace with inflation and protect seniors' buying power. Unfortunately, that's not the way it has worked out in recent years. The rising...

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