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Charitable Giving Options Under the New Tax Law

The new tax law makes it harder to claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions. While charitable giving should not be only about getting a tax break, if you want to reap a tax benefit from your contributions, there are a couple of options. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, nearly … Continue reading

Do You Have Private Insurance and Are You Turning 65? You Need Sign Up for Medicare Part B

If you are paying for your own insurance, you may think you do not need to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65. However, not signing up for Medicare Part B right away can cost you down the road. You can first sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which is the … Continue reading

Can You Put a Surveillance Camera in a Nursing Home Room?

Technological advances have made it easier to stay connected with loved ones all the time. This has included the ability to install cameras in a loved one’s nursing home room. These so-called “granny cams” have legal and privacy implications. The benefit of putting a surveillance camera in a nursing home is the ability to monitor … Continue reading

The IRS is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2019 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance.

Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax-deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 7.5 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income.  (The 7.5 percent threshold is for the 2017 and 2018 tax years.  It is scheduled to revert to 10 percent in 2019.) … Continue reading

Medicare’s Different Treatment of the Two Main Post-Hospital Care Options

Hospital patients who need additional care after being discharged from the hospital are usually sent to either an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) or a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Although these facilities may look similar from the outside, Medicare offers very different coverage for each. While you may not have complete say in where you go … Continue reading

Social Security Has Moved A Lot of Their Services Online!

With the aging population becoming increasingly tech savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help. To access most of the online services, you need to create a my Social Security account. This account allows you to … Continue reading

Don’t Make the Mistake of Not Signing up for Medicare Supplemental Coverage

You are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, but as a healthy senior do you really need to also sign up for Medicare’s supplemental coverage? Not signing up initially can be very costly down the road. Medicare pays for only about half of all medical costs. To augment Medicare’s coverage, you can purchase a supplemental … Continue reading

For First Time, Median Cost of Private Nursing Home Room Hits Six Figures in Annual Survey

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States increased to $100,375 a year in 2018, up 3 percent from 2017, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care survey, which the insurer conducts annually At the same time, Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is … Continue reading

Medicare Premium to Edge Up in 2019

After staying the same last year, Medicare’s Part B premium will increase slightly in 2019. The premium will increase $1.50 from $134 a month to $135.50. Some Medicare recipients have been paying a lower premium because they are protected by something called the “hold harmless” rule from any increase in premiums when Social Security benefits … Continue reading

2019 Will Bring Social Security Beneficiaries the Biggest Increase in Eight Years

The Social Security Administration has announced a 2.8 percent increase in benefits in 2019, the largest increase since 2012.  The change will put an additional $468 annually in the pocket of the average retired beneficiary. Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and an upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means … Continue reading