Gap years aren’t just for kids anymore

Dr. Dennis Sinar remembers when it dawned on him: He was ready for a break from work. A gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., Dr. Sinar was working on a research paper in the university library when it happened. “I just said to myself, ‘I’m really sick of doing […]

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Originally posted 2017-07-17 08:17:27.

Gap years aren’t just for kids anymore

Dr. Dennis Sinar remembers when it dawned on him: He was ready for a break from work. A gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., Dr. Sinar was working on a research paper in the university library when it happened. “I just said to myself, ‘I’m really sick of doing […]

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Originally posted 2017-07-17 08:12:10.

10 Things to Locate Before Your Parent Has a Health Crisis

As long as aging parents are handling their own finances and managing day-to-day living at home, adult children don’t think much about needing to know the location of their parents’ important documents. However, a parent’s unexpected health event could precipitate an immediate need to get your hands on key information and secure valuables. Following her…

The post 10 Things to Locate Before Your Parent Has a Health Crisis appeared first on Next Avenue.

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Originally posted 2017-07-14 11:40:48.

Medicare’s Gaps for Dental, Hearing and Vision Coverage

(This article previously appeared on PBSNewsHour.org.) Editor’s Note: On PBSNewsHour.org, journalist Philip Moeller provides answers on aging and retirement. His weekly column, “Ask Phil,” aims to help older Americans and their families by answering their health care and financial questions. He is the author of the new book, “Get What’s Yours for Medicare,” and co-author of “Get What’s…

The post Medicare’s Gaps for Dental, Hearing and Vision Coverage appeared first on Next Avenue.

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Originally posted 2017-07-14 11:40:38.

Before Retiring, Try Spending Like a Retired Person

In planning for retirement, many people may develop what they believe is a realistic budget. Yet they have no palpable way of knowing whether they’ll be able to make changes necessary to stay within that budget and keep from prematurely exhausting their retirement resources. As many near-retirees underestimate spending in retirement — no matter how…

The post Before Retiring, Try Spending Like a Retired Person appeared first on Next Avenue.

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Originally posted 2017-07-14 11:40:28.

How Republican health reform could damage Medicare’s long-term solvency

The Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be a disaster for older Americans not yet on Medicare – but they also endanger Medicare itself.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) under consideration in the U.S. Senate would mean higher premiums and reduced cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income older people. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated, for example, that under this bill the annual premium for a 64-year-old person who earns $56,800 would skyrocket by $13,700. And the Medicaid cuts will put the squeeze on states’ ability to fund long-term care.

Meanwhile, tax cuts for the wealthy contained in some of the Republican proposals would bring closer the projected insolvency date of the Medicare Part A trust fund, which pays for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice benefits. Insolvency would require either a new revenue source or a reduction of healthcare services the program provides.

The trustees of Medicare and Social Security released their respective annual reports on Thursday on the health of the programs. The news about the Part A trust fund was encouraging: the Medicare report said that lower-than-expected program spending in 2016 has pushed out the predicted date of insolvency for the Hospital Insurance Trust fund by one additional year, to 2029.

But the Republican reform efforts could worsen that outlook. The American Health Care Act approved by the House of Representatives in March would repeal the Medicare payroll surtax on high-income workers, which was added under the ACA to shore up the hospital insurance trust fund. The first version of the BCRA also repealed the payroll surtax.

On Thursday, however, Senate Republicans scrambling to save their struggling proposal unveiled a new version that would keep the tax – along with the net investment income tax. That tax imposes a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for joint filers with more than $250,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI), and single filers with more than $200,000 of AGI. (Receipts from the investment tax go into the federal government’s general revenue coffers.)

Both of these tax cuts could easily reappear as the horse trading continues. So it is worthwhile to consider how elimination of the payroll surcharge, in particular, could damage Medicare’s financial health. Learn more in my Reuters Money column.

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Originally posted 2017-07-14 02:20:23.

How Republican health reform could damage Medicare’s long-term solvency

The Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be a disaster for older Americans not yet on Medicare – but they also endanger Medicare itself.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) under consideration in the U.S. Senate would mean higher premiums and reduced cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income older people. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated, for example, that under this bill the annual premium for a 64-year-old person who earns $56,800 would skyrocket by $13,700. And the Medicaid cuts will put the squeeze on states’ ability to fund long-term care.

Meanwhile, tax cuts for the wealthy contained in some of the Republican proposals would bring closer the projected insolvency date of the Medicare Part A trust fund, which pays for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice benefits. Insolvency would require either a new revenue source or a reduction of healthcare services the program provides.

The trustees of Medicare and Social Security released their respective annual reports on Thursday on the health of the programs. The news about the Part A trust fund was encouraging: the Medicare report said that lower-than-expected program spending in 2016 has pushed out the predicted date of insolvency for the Hospital Insurance Trust fund by one additional year, to 2029.

But the Republican reform efforts could worsen that outlook. The American Health Care Act approved by the House of Representatives in March would repeal the Medicare payroll surtax on high-income workers, which was added under the ACA to shore up the hospital insurance trust fund. The first version of the BCRA also repealed the payroll surtax.

On Thursday, however, Senate Republicans scrambling to save their struggling proposal unveiled a new version that would keep the tax – along with the net investment income tax. That tax imposes a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for joint filers with more than $250,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI), and single filers with more than $200,000 of AGI. (Receipts from the investment tax go into the federal government’s general revenue coffers.)

Both of these tax cuts could easily reappear as the horse trading continues. So it is worthwhile to consider how elimination of the payroll surcharge, in particular, could damage Medicare’s financial health. Learn more in my Reuters Money column.

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Originally posted 2017-07-14 00:20:22.

Sweepstakes Entries And Your Aging Parent: Know The Danger

Your #agingparent may be unwittingly giving out private information that is not secure by entering sweepstakes and lottos. Not all these companies are honest. Watch their mail. If a loved one is confused, don’t allow them to continue as sole trustee on the family trust. Get legal advice.x

Originally posted 2017-07-13 23:03:38.