Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home

Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home for a family member are: 1 Slow down. 2 Do your homework. 3 Visit all the facilities you are considering ideally at night or the weekend. 4 Ask for the facility’s emergency management plan. 5 Ask for help. For the complete NYT article follow our link. Five Tips for Choosing a Reliable Nursing Home By Katie Thomas | New York Times The news that eight Florida nursing home residents died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has prompted a criminal investigation and spurred widespread outrage. But it also poses unsettling, difficult questions Continue Reading

When it comes to banking, words prevail over numbers

When writing a check, what does the bank pay out of your account – the words you write out or the numbers in the box? Madeleine Maldonado, age 81, found out the hard way when she wrote out “three thousand three hundred and 99/100” but entered “$3399.91” in the amount box on her check to pay for her annual long-term care insurance premium. The invoice was for $3399.91 but her bank paid the amount written so her payment was short $98.92. Her insurance company cancelled her policy for nonpayment 3 months later after not hearing from her or family members Continue Reading

Bereavement policies in the workplace

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly while they vacationed in Mexico. In her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, San Beth writes of how she coped following her husband’s untimely death. In February, she announced changes to Facebook’s bereavement leave policy so that Facebook employees will have 20 days paid leave to grieve an immediate family member, up to 10 days paid leave to grieve an extended family member and will be able to take 6 weeks to care for a sick relative. Jim Santucci, Executive Director of Kara, a grief counseling Continue Reading

Aging Drivers and the Law

For better or for worse, our current culture is very car-dependant; in many places, cars are the only convenient link to the outside world. Unfortunately, as people age, driving can become more difficult and more dangerous. The elderly drive less, but have more crashes per mile than younger drivers. This is partially because elderly individuals are more likely to be affected by poor eyesight, chronic disease, and medications that might impair driving. States vary widely on how they treat older drivers.  (For information each state’s license renewal procedures, click here.) While no state will revoke a driver’s license based only Continue Reading

Things Seniors Should Remember at Tax Time

Tax day, which is April 18th in 2017, is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T’s and dotting I’s in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you’re entitled to. Following are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your tax form. Gifts. Did you give away any money this year? The gift tax can be very confusing. If you gave away more than $14,000 in 2016, you will have to file a Form 709, the gift tax return. Continue Reading

Why You Need A Will

A recent survey found that just 36 percent of adults with minor children had a will. One important function of a will is for parents to name a guardian to care for their children, in the event of their death. Other functions include the distribution of wealth according to your wishes. Many people fail to realize that if they die without a will, a myriad of issues may like ensue causing time, money and stress to those you’ve left to deal with it. To learn more, read the following NYT article. Why You Should Get Around to Drawing Up a Continue Reading

The Freedom of Planning for Your Own Death

Read this interview with Amy Pickard, founder of “Good to Go!” who has developed an instruction manual for “death duties” associated with someone’s passing like funeral planning and other end of life issues: When Amy Pickard’s mom died in 2012, Pickard found herself totally inundated with details to handle—in addition to a funeral that needed planning, there were endless logistics associated with settling her mom’s affairs. Who had keys to her house? Passwords for her cable and utilities accounts? Who was entitled to all her personal items, like photos and journals—and whose job was it to sort through them? Pickard—like Continue Reading

Is It Better to Remarry or Just Live Together?

Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Whatever you decide to do, you may want to consult with your lawyer to make sure your wishes will be carried out.Here are some things to think about: Estate Planning. Continue Reading

Understanding the Tax Consequences of Inheriting a Roth IRA

Passing down a Roth IRA can seem like a good idea, but it doesn’t always make the most sense. Before converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA to benefit your heirs, you should consider the tax consequences. Earnings in a traditional IRA generally are not taxed until they are distributed to you. At age 70 1/2 you have to start taking distributions from a traditional IRA. Contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed, but the distributions are tax-free. You also do not have to take distributions on a Roth IRA. Leaving your heirs a tax-free Roth IRA can be Continue Reading

About to Turn 65? Your Health Insurer May Be Automatically Enrolling You in Its Own Medicare Plan

As people approach age 65, they should be thinking about their Medicare enrollment choices, including whether to sign up for traditional Medicare or with a Medicare Advantage plan, and if so, which one.  But it turns out that some Medicare-age people are having these important decisions made for them, often without their knowledge. Before they become eligible for Medicare, many Americans are covered by a commercial or a Medicaid health care plan run by an insurance company. These insurers often also operate Medicare Advantage plans, which are the privately run managed-care alternative to traditional Medicare. Under a little-known process authorized Continue Reading