Results for "medicare"

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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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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....

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...

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%...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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