How Much Do You Really Know About Long-Term Care?

How Much Do You Really Know About Long-Term Care?

How much does eldercare cost, and how do you arrange it when it is needed? The average person might have difficulty answering those two questions, for the answers are not widely known. For clarification, here are some facts to dispel some myths.

True or false: Medicare will pay for your mom or dad’s nursing home care.  

FALSE, because Medicare is not long-term care insurance.

Part A of Medicare will pay the bill for up to 20 days of skilled nursing facility care – but after that, you or your parents may have to pay some costs out-of-pocket. After 100 days, Medicare will not pay a penny of nursing home costs – it will all have to be paid out-of-pocket, unless the patient can somehow go without skilled nursing care for 60 days or 30 days including a 3-day hospital stay. In those instances, Medicare’s “clock” resets

Older women may be the most vulnerable to all this.A new Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study notes that after age 65, women have twice the projected risk of Alzheimer’s that men do.

In the best-case scenario, parents or grandparents acknowledge the risk. They lay out financial maps and instructions, telling adult children or grandchildren who love them dearly about the details of their finances.

Wealth Management and Memory Disorders

Wealth Management and Memory Disorders

Just how many older adults have memory disorders? Well, here are two recent estimates. The Chicago Health and Aging Project figures that nearly a third of Americans 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institute on Aging sponsored a study, which concluded that 14% of Americans age 71 and older have dementia to some degree.

Older women may be the most vulnerable to all this.A new Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study notes that after age 65, women have twice the projected risk of Alzheimer’s that men do.

In the best-case scenario, parents or grandparents acknowledge the risk. They lay out financial maps and instructions, telling adult children or grandchildren who love them dearly about the details of their finances.

Financial Elder Abuse: Perception vs. Reality

Financial Elder Abuse: Perception vs. Reality

What actions can be taken to try and shield your parents from such abuse? As a first step, you and your parents can meet with an estate planning attorney to put a signed financial power of attorney in place (if one is absent). Should your mom or dad lose the capacity to make financial decisions on their own, this document can authorize you (or another family member) to make worthy decisions on their behalf.

What Women Shouldn’t Retire Without

What Women Shouldn’t Retire Without

When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life, and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. The Social Security Administration estimates that today’s average 65-year-old female will live to age 86.6. Given these projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.1,2

Are you prepared for a 20-year retirement? How about a 30- or 40-year retirement? Don’t laugh; it could happen. The SSA projects that about 25% of today’s 65-year-olds will live past 90, with approximately 10% living to be older than 95.2

How do you begin? How do you draw retirement income off what you’ve saved – how might you create other income streams to complement Social Security? How do you try and protect your retirement savings and other financial assets?

The Case for Women Working Past 65

The Case for Women Working Past 65

The median retirement age for an American woman is 62. The Federal Reserve says so in its most recent Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (2017). Sixty-two, of course, is the age when seniors first become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. This factoid seems to convey a message: a fair amount of American women are retiring and claiming Social Security as soon as they can.1

What if more women worked into their mid-sixties? Could that benefit them, financially? While health issues and caregiving demands sometimes force women to retire early, it appears many women are willing to stay on the job longer. Fifty-three percent of the women surveyed in a new Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies poll on retirement said that they planned to work past age 65.2

Staying in the workforce longer may improve a woman’s retirement prospects. If that seems paradoxical, consider the following positives that could result from working past 65.


A Retirement Gender Gap

A Retirement Gender Gap

What is the retirement outlook for the average fifty-something working woman? ​As a generalization, less sunny than that of a man in her age group. Most middle-class retirees get their income from three sources. An influential 2016 National Institute on Retirement Security study called them the “three-legged stool” of retirement. Social Security provides some of that income, retirement account distributions some more, and pensions complement those two sources for a fortunate few.1 For many retirees today, that “three-legged stool” may appear broken or wobbly. Pension income may be non-existent, and retirement accounts too small to provide sufficient financial support. The problem is even more pronounced for women because of a few factors.

Financial Mistakes to Avoid During Divorce (Part 1)

Divorce can be devastating, but with careful planning and avoiding these all-too-common mistakes, you can help save your client from financial mistakes that could affect them for the rest of their lives.

1) Not getting a copy of the parties’ credit reports.

This may seem obvious, but I seldom see attorneys and clients review these reports.

2) Not having details about life insurance policies.

Life insurance will be needed in many cases to provide assurance that child support and maintenance are paid.  All current policies should be reviewed to be certain that they will secure payment of this obligation upon death of the payor. The amount and term need to be sufficient. The party to be responsible for the premium payments, and beneficiaries need to be determined.

3) Not reviewing the individual holdings in investment accounts.

There are many reasons that an analysis must be done. Each holding will have dividend income, taxable consequences and investment risk to be considered.

New Tax Law May Undermine Prenups

New Tax Law May Undermine Prenups

As a regular part of your family law practice, you may have created or reviewed many prenuptial agreements in the past. They have been filed away by your former client never to be looked at again unless a “situation” arises.

However, in light of the new tax law, these contracts should probably be pulled out and reviewed. Certain provisions may no longer achieve what was intended by your client. Certain terms may now be disadvantageous to the very party who sought protection in the first place.

I suggest that you contact clients who have prenuptial agreements to determine how they may be impacted by the recent tax bill.  At the very least, this will be an opportunity to reinforce you as a valued resource for future work and referrals.

DOL Fiduciary Rule is Dead.

DOL Fiduciary Rule is Dead.

In a 2-1 decision on June 21st, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a group of financial industry plaintiffs to effectively put an end to the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which would require all financial advisors to act in clients' best interests with regard to retirement accounts.

Managing Student Loan Debt

Managing Student Loan Debt

No one wants to carry five figures of education debt into middle age or retirement, but some do. The burden is not just financial. Last fall, the Madison Capital Times asked student loan borrowers in the state of Wisconsin how they felt about their education debt. Sixteen percent said they were “terrified” of it, and another 30% indicated they felt only slightly less so. Fortunately, you may have possibilities to manage and reduce the debt load and the anxiety it breeds.