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Estate Planning for Substance Abuse

Estate Planning for a Loved One with Substance Abuse Issues

An estimated two million people in the United States are struggling with a substance abuse disorder related to prescription opioid pain medications, and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These are shocking statistics and constitute only a portion of society dealing with drug abuse. If you…
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Unmarried and No Children? You Still Need an Estate Plan

Estate Plan for Single with no Kids If you are unmarried and have no children, you are probably not financially responsible for anyone else. Does this mean you are exempt from having an estate plan? The answer is a resounding no. You still need to have a plan in place to ensure your wishes are…
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Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trust – Important Info You Need to Know

If you are a caretaker for a loved one with special needs, you may be concerned about what will happen to them if you were to suddenly become incapacitated or pass on. This concern is perfectly understandable. You want to make sure that your loved one is taken care of and receives the benefits they…
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General Power of Attorney

Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

Imagine that you become incapable of handling your own finances and affairs because you are diagnosed with a mental disability.  Imagine that you get into a car accident and cannot leave your house to go to the bank.  Imagine that you are on vacation or a business trip and need your spouse to sign on…
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Crisis Medicaid Planning

What is Crisis Medicaid Planning?

I recently met with a client whose husband had to be admitted to the hospital because of a fall.  The husband had been diagnosed a couple of years earlier with early onset dementia, and unfortunately, they had not planned in advance for what might happen if the husband could no longer live at home. After…
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Estate Planning for Disability

Estate Planning for Disability

Ask yourself – what will happen to me if I become disabled?  What does that look like?  Who makes that decision?  Who will care for me?  These are all questions that everyone has to consider.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11.2% of Americans aged 45 and older are living with cognitive impairment.  Among…
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What is Estate Planning

Estate planning is, at its simplest form making decisions in advance on whom to leave your property and assets to at your death.  The simple definition is not what estate planning really is, nor what we want it to be though.  Estate planning is much more.  In fact, estate planning composes more than most people…
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What is a Medical Power of Attorney and Do I Need One?

A medical power of attorney is perhaps the most important tool in your personal estate planning arsenal.  A medical power of attorney is a document that you create to name someone to make medical and health care decisions for you when you cannot.  Without it, no one has the legal authority to make those decisions…
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Americans Increasingly Avoiding Medical Care

Despite the fact there are increased numbers of insured Americans, fewer are going to the doctor’s office. Why is this happening? The answer is lack of affordability. Even with the benefits of health insurance, many are struggling to afford medical costs. Kaiser Health Foundation polls since 2015 show continued rising costs.  37% of those polled…
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When Should You Take Social Security Benefits?

The Social Security Administration has changed the formularies for benefit payouts. Seniors and near seniors need to understand what these changes are in order to optimize their benefit. If you are sixty years of age or more, you are in the forefront of a big change in social security. The full retirement age (FRA), when…
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Medicare Adapts to Coronavirus Limitations

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it has increased access to Medicare telehealth services. This means that Medicare beneficiaries can receive more benefits from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. The terms “telehealth” and “telemedicine” refer to the ability to…
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Shoring Up Spousal Protection from Impoverishment

Federal spousal impoverishment protections were set to lapse in March 2019. Two bills were proposed to deal with that issue. H.R. 1343 is still sitting in the House, but H.R. 3253 was enacted on August 6, 2019. H.R. 1343, or the Protecting Married Seniors from Impoverishment Act, would have made certain impoverishment protections permanent. It…
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Better Ways to Treat Alzheimer’s Patients

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Library of Medicine reports the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all diagnosed cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s is also one of the most expensive diseases to treat and often results in financial strain on families trying to find and pay for the…
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Understanding the Qualifications for Social Security

Anyone can become either temporarily or permanently disabled. Some projections are estimating that Americans in their 20s today have an approximate 30 percent chance of experiencing a disability profound enough to cause them to miss three or more months of work before retiring. Despite the risks, most Americans do not carry short or long-term disability…
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The New World for Long-Term Care Insurance

You have probably heard about the astronomical costs of nursing-home care if you become seriously ill or injured. You might also know that Medicare would cover only a minimal amount of those costs. Private insurance doesn’t seem like a good bet either if you’ve heard horror stories about skyrocketing premium costs and difficulties in even…
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retirement

The Retirement Crisis of the Baby Boomers

A study conducted by The Blackstone Group, an independent research firm, on behalf of Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement outlines some very unsettling data regarding middle-income baby boomer retirement care preparedness. According to the survey above, the bleak financial reality of this demographic is that 79 percent of middle-income baby boomers have NO…
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The Escalating Long-Term Care Crisis

Americans are facing an escalating long-term care (LTC) crisis. Industry driven, massively underpriced policies are playing fiscal catch up with hefty premium rate increases. This price increase is forcing some aging Americans to abandon their policy while others struggle to reduce their amount of LTC coverage to keep their rates affordable or reduce their future…
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How to Know When You Need a Trust

This is a common question we hear. Read on for information to help figure out whether you need a trust and, if so, what kind fits your specific situation. For example, maybe you have a disabled child and you want a trust to permit that child to inherit without losing government benefits. Maybe your own…
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Second Marriages and Medicaid

When people marry for the second time (or more), losing assets to pay for their new spouse’s serious illness is probably the last thing on their minds when they say “I do.” But that could happen. Current costs for long-term care facilities can run between $70,000 – $150,000 annually. Studies show that 70% of Americans…
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There’s an Epidemic of Immobility

There is an entire senior industry built around preventative measures and responses to protect older people from falling, and with good reason. According to the National Council on Aging Falls Prevention Facts, “falls remain the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans.” Aside from grievous and sometimes fatal injuries, falls are costing…
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Inherited IRAs

DID THE SECURE ACT RUIN YOUR ESTATE PLAN?

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enrichment Act of 2019 or the SECURE Act, was set into law on January 1, 2020. The Act changed many of the long-standing rules about Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The new rules that went into effect include: Increasing the age for withdrawing required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement…
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technology

You’d Be Surprised What Technology Can Be Hacked

The internet of things (IoT) is responsible for many conveniences via embedded electronic devices, and many seniors are making use of these technologies. It is becoming increasingly common for everyday items like refrigerators, thermostats, and doorbells to be internet-connected making our homes and personal information subject to hacking. A hacker will subvert computer security for…
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diseases

Lifestyle Diseases on the Rise

Health experts have been advising people for years about unhealthy habits being the cause of “lifestyle” diseases that are increasing across the US. These lifestyle diseases become more common with age and include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Around the globe, these diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths.…
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health records

Google Has a New Use for Your Health Records

When Google Inc became a publicly-traded company in 2004, its founders wrote a letter that said, in part, Google and its employees are “committed to significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible.” Google is famously known for its search engine and is part of many inter-related technology companies under the parent company…
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seniors indebted

Seniors More Indebted Than Ever

America experienced its worst financial crisis since the great depression between 2007 and 2010. Known as the subprime mortgage crisis, it happened because home prices fell in 2006, triggering loan defaults. Then the risk spread into pension funds, mutual funds, and corporations who owned the derivatives. It also spread into the global credit market resulting…
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dementia

Possible Dementia Indicated by Poor Financial Decisions

Diminishing brain function due to the onset of dementia can lead to the destruction of your financial well-being. If you are age 50 or older, easy access to your financial assets like stocks and bonds, checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and other assets can lead to loss of these funds if an unauthorized…
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support animals

More Seniors Adopting Emotional Support Animals

Most of us know what a service animal is, but the use of emotional support animals is becoming more and more common. So, what is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides benefits to a person who has an emotional or mental health disorder. In order to be…
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Benefits of Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior

We live in a world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded electronics with internet connectivity simplify tasks and are a pervasive part of our daily lives. Typically, the younger generations are very adept at navigating the IoT while many seniors feel overwhelmed by technology, devices, and the internet in general. The good news is…
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Elderly men playing chess.

Comparing and Contrasting Medicare and Medicaid

Most people who work in healthcare may recognize the acronym LASA, which stands for “look-alike-sound-alike” and is usually seen when referencing medications. When it comes to federal programs, Medicaid and Medicare, in written form, look alike and they do sound alike but work very differently. Both Medicare and Medicaid were started in 1965 under Lyndon…
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Medical Power of Attorney

Choose the Right Nursing Homes in 4 Easy Steps

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is an important decision and should be carefully considered. It is important for families to take the time to explore nursing home options and to carefully assess the nursing home facilities in order to choose the best care for the loved one.  Below are some steps designed…
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