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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...

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%...

Mary Beth Franklin: These retirees will see a substantial increase in their Medicare premiums in 2017

November 30, 2016

Retirees who are not protected by the hold harmless provision of the Social Security Act could see the base amount of their Medicare premiums increase by 20% or more, according to InvestmentNews contributing editor Mary Beth Franklin.

Advisers and clients worry about Obamacare changes under Trump

November 17, 2016

Financial advisers who have Obamacare policies for their families and staff, or have clients with the plans, are nervous about the specifics of President-elect Donald Trump's intention to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. About 20...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Social Security timing can affect Medicare premiums

September 26, 2016

Social Security benefits are expected to increase slightly next year, and most retirees who have their Medicare premiums deducted directly from their Social Security benefits will be protected from a net decline in monthly benefits. However,...

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...

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...

New Congressional bill addresses Medicare enrollment confusion

August 30, 2016

In the past, the traditional retirement age of 65 was the trigger age for a host of crucial decisions: claiming Social Security benefits, enrolling in Medicare, retiring from a job and, if you were lucky, the start of collecting your pension....

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...

Make Medicare easier by using auto pay

July 22, 2016

Summertime is the time to kick back, relax and take it easy. Whether you are on Medicare yourself or are a caregiver for someone who is, one thing you can do to make things easier is to set up auto payment of premiums. Using auto payment for...

Baby boomers reach required minimum distribution milestone for retirement accounts

June 20, 2016

The first of wave of baby boomers will hit an important milestone beginning July 1. Those earliest boomers born at the start of 1946 will turn 70½ in mid-summer, and will be followed at the rate of 10,000 people per day for the next 18 years....

Skeptical advisers should reexamine their attitudes toward reverse mortgages

June 19, 2016

Many financial advisers have jaundiced opinions about reverse mortgages, but as Mary Beth Franklin noted in last week's issue of InvestmentNews, many of the weaknesses of the original reverse mortgages have been fixed. In other words, these...

How to optimize Medicare for those who have served in the military

June 7, 2016

In honor of those who have served in the military, including active duty and veterans, I am focusing this column on Medicare and the military. Whether active duty, retired military or veteran, there are important points of intersection and interaction...

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...

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...

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