SENIOR CITIZENS TO RECEIVE A RAISE!
There is good news for senior citizens in 2012! Government officials recently announced that Social Security recipients will receive a cost of living adjustment of 3.6% starting in January. This will be the first “raise” recipients have seen in three years, and most welcome the increase. Many seniors have felt the effects of the economic recession; the stock market decline and the fact that banks are paying almost no interest on savings accounts has eroded many seniors’ retirement accounts. This increase in income will be a boon, especially to any seniors who may see a hike in their Medicare premiums in the next year. In the past many seniors were shielded from the increase in Medicare premiums because of a “hold harmless” provision that protects more than 70% of beneficiaries, although high-income beneficiaries and new enrollees not covered under the “hold harmless” provision did see a reduction in benefits. Even with the expected increase to Medicare premiums, most seniors are simply glad to see evidence that The-Powers-That-Be recognize the rising cost of living. While most recipients of Social Security do have an alternate form of income, with their SS benefits representing a little less than half of their earnings; there are some who rely on the monthly checks for a good majority of their total income. For more complete information about the coming changes in Social Security, or for help understanding how this change may fit in with your other benefits or affect your estate planning, please contact our office.
New York State has implemented new regulations effective September 8, 2011 that have “Expanded” Medicaid Estate Recovery.
In the past, New York State (NYS) was limited to recover against the estate of the Medicaid recipient as to assets passing under a Will or by intestacy (when there is no will). As a practical matter, generally, Medicaid recovery would occur when a Medicaid recipient retained ownership of his or her home while receiving Medicaid benefits. There are other restrictions on NYS as to Medicaid estate recovery which is not covered in this article.
It’s now been over five years since Terry Shiavo passed away in front of our eyes on the national stage.
Sitting on the beach, I wondered… how many grains of sand are there?
So, was it fair that Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers did not get his perfect game.
It ain’t over til it’s over
– The great Yogi Berra
Time is on my side – Yes it is
Great lyrics by the Rolling Stones!
Hey boomers……interested in reaping financial success in your retirement years?
Consider converting your 30 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage at the current low interest rates and build equity in your home for the future.
Also, you can take steps to protect your home if you should need long term care.
My Planning Tip of the Day is create a savings plan for your retirement years.
Our law firm can provide you with solutions.
Wishing you health and happiness!
This is Vincent J. Russo. Have A Great Day!
When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
I love this mantra –
On a recent trip to Sicily, we drove down a single road where we came upon a raven picking at a rat.
I quickly swerved around the rat as the raven flew away.
My father was having a cup of coffee with his buddies the other day.
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) is not part of a natural evolution of the Medicaid program that was created along with Medicare and the Older Americans Act in 1965 in order to prevent the elderly from living their final years in poverty. Instead, the DRA is an unnatural partisan product of those determined to scare boomers and their parents into purchasing long-term care insurance. It contains the most regressive and punitive changes to the Medicaid program since its creation. These new rules will hurt seniors, the nursing home industry, and may or may not drive boomers to purchase long-term care insurance out of fear from what their parents are about to experience. That remains to be seen. And certainly the ethical question of denying care to chronically ill older Americans and people with disabilities in order to strengthen the demand for a private sector product must be evaluated by policy makers and the American people in the years ahead.
Vincent Russo discusses elder abuse in its many forms and what attorneys and other professionals should be aware of when dealing with seniors and their families.
Should you give away your nest egg to your heirs – and then stick Medicaid with your nursing-home tab when the time comes? Outrageous though it might seem, it is a perfectly legal estate-planning strategy.
John: I do not understand why I need to make things so complicated. If anything should happen to me, my wife of 40 years, Sally, will take care of me. She knows what is best for me.
Sitting down with your parents to discuss legal, financial, and long-term care issues can be uncomfortable. Adult children often do not know much about their parents’ financial situation, whether they have enough money to live on, or to pay for the care they would want. Often, families have not had discussions about how they view the end of their lives, and what preparations they have made.
Are you in need of home care services but are afraid to get the necessary care because of cost! Are you aware that you may be able to access the Medicaid Community Based Home Care Program (Medicaid Home Care) for these services?
Vincent J. Russo, along with Susan Russo, visited the Good News television program. Vincent and Susan discussed The Theresa Foundation, why it was an important to start the foundation, the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts, and how can people get more information.
Rite Aid Giving Care for Parents featuring elder Law Attorney Vincent J. Russo and elder care expert and Geriatric Care Manager
Dr. Marion Somers, PhD.
1. Mr. Russo, as an elder law attorney can you to tell me what is the number one concern of seniors today?
Vincent J Russo: Seniors are most concerned about being impoverished if they need long term care and have to spend down all of their assets to pay for it. Medicaid is the only government program available to seniors to pay for long term care, but there are strict financial eligibility requirements.
2. Who pays for New York’s Medicaid bills?
MSN.COM Liz Pulliam Weston
Congress is making it a lot tougher to shield assets in order to qualify for government nursing-home coverage. That means more families could face huge bills and wiped-out inheritances.
Congress seems determined to wipe out welfare for the well-to-do — the practice of seniors artificially impoverishing themselves so they can qualify for government help with nursing-home expenses.
Vincent J. Russo was featured on the July 21, 2008 edition of the “The New Old Age” blog, recently launched by veteran journalist Jane Gross of The New York Times.
Read it here.