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Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive a 2 Percent Increase in 2018

In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums. Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means recipients…

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Now Is the Time to Review Your Medicare Options

Are you happy with your current Medicare plan or plans? Now is the time to think about whether you are in the right plan or whether a new plan could save you money. Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, in which you can enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. During this…

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Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth’s 2017 Cost of Care survey, which the insurer conducts annually. Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775, up 4.44…

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How to Reverse Medicare Surcharges When Your Income Changes

What happens if you are a high-income Medicare beneficiary who is paying a surcharge on your premiums and then your income changes? If your circumstances change, you can reverse those surcharges. Higher-income Medicare beneficiaries (individuals who earn more than $85,000) pay higher Part B and prescription drug benefit premiums than lower-income Medicare beneficiaries. The extra…

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Be Aware of the “Kiddie Tax” Before Leaving an IRA to Children

Many grandparents may be tempted to leave an IRA to a grandchild because children have a low tax rate, however, the so-called “kiddie tax” could actually make doing this less beneficial. An IRA can be a great gift for a grandchild. A young person who inherits an IRA has will need to take minimum distributions,…

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Using a Prepaid Funeral Contract to Spend Down Assets for Medicaid

No one truly wants to think about his or her own death, however, a little preparation in the form of a prepaid funeral contract can end up being very useful. In addition to easing the burden on your family after your death, a prepaid funeral contract can also be a good way to spend down…

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Why You Should Use a Lawyer for Medicaid Planning

Many seniors and their families don’t use a lawyer to plan for long-term care or Medicaid, often because they are afraid of the cost. But an attorney can help you save money in the long run, as well as make sure you are getting the best care possible for your loved one. Instead of taking…

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Long-Term Care Scorecard Finds States Have Room for Improvement

A new report finds that states have made incremental improvements in providing long-term care, but need to make more improvements in order to meet the needs of the growing number of people who require long-term care services. According to the 2017 Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard, while long-term care remains unaffordable for middle class…

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Medicare Preventive Services: What’s Free and What Isn’t?

When we’re young we believe that we’re invincible, which makes it harder to admit as we age that our bodies naturally need more care. Normal aging affects the heart, bones and joints, so preventive care is key to avoiding aging that could be harmful to your health. Medicare-eligible Americans who are signed up for Medicare…

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