Finances Articles

How much does it cost to live in a senior community? This is the first and most important question for most families beginning their search for senior living options. Understanding your loved one’s typical expenses and then budgeting appropriately are necessities with which a Senior Living Advisor can provide help. After reviewing the costs of living alone or with in-home care, you may find senior community living more affordable than you would expect.

Parents Have Long-Term Care Insurance? Check That Coverage

Just because your parents have long-term care insurance doesn’t mean their long-term care will be covered.

Fulfilling claims has turned out to be more costly than the insurance industry anticipated, explains MainStreet.com. When big providers like Metlife stopped offering this type of insurance, other companies took over, “managing existing policies and selling new ones while trying to stem their own growing losses by raising premiums and cutting benefits,” the site reports.

This …Read more ›

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Before Quitting Work for Caregiving, Know All Your Options

Quitting work to care for an elderly parent may seem like the right thing to do. But before making the leap, make sure you understand all your options, advises MetLife’s Mature Market Institute. You may have more than you think.

The financial blog The Best Life lists MetLife’s 10 tips related to finances and caregiving. Numbers three and four involve figuring out your options:

3. Make a caregiving budget. Before making a lifestyle decision …Read more ›

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Average Medicare Part D Premiums Increasing Slightly

Average Medicare Part D premiums have gone up—but not by much. By next year, they’ll be at $31, the Associated Press reports. “The increase comes after three stable years in which the average premium hovered around $30 a month.”

Of course, that means some of these drug plans ring in above that $31—sometimes by quite a bit. “Last year seven of the top 10 plans raised their 2013 premiums by double-digit percentages,” …Read more ›

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These Retirement Community Fees Could Get You a Tax Deduction

Though even some financial advisors don’t know it, big tax breaks are often available for people who move into continuing-care retirement communities, reports The Best Life blog. Adult children who help parents pay the communities’ fees may also be eligible for the breaks.

Because CCRCs provide health care services, parts of both the entrance fee and the monthly fee may be deductible.

The percentage of CCRC payments that may …Read more ›

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Can You Give Away Assets to Qualify for Aid and Attendance?

When you apply for Medicaid, you may face penalties if you’ve given away money or assets within the last few years. So does the same go for the veterans Aid and Attendance pension?

No, says attorney Michael Hodes in a column featured on the website for CBS Baltimore. Gifts don’t cause problems for VA pensions. But keep those Medicaid penalties in mind because you never know when you might need it:

Any time …Read more ›

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Lawyer: In Hospital, Beware the Word “Observation”

Hospitals have been keeping more and more Medicare patients on observation status rather than admitting them. That has serious ramifications for many patients. Observation status can be more costly than admission, and Medicare may not pay for a nursing home stay afterward.

So elder law attorney Ellen Morris offers some advice in an article at the Florida news site Telegram.com:

Morris said she’s advising her clients to be aware of their status, …Read more ›

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How Much In-Home Care Does Your Parent Really Need?

If you’re thinking about hiring in-home care for your aging parents, do you know how many hours they’ll probably need?

At the Forbes website, senior-care expert Carolyn Rosenblatt writes about an interesting report from the Congressional Budget Office. It reveals the average number of in-home care hours seniors are receiving.

People under 85 who need help with three or more “activities of daily living,” or everyday must-dos, get an …Read more ›

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The Financial Signs of Dementia

When Mara became concerned about her mother’s finances, she looked into the books—and found that things were bad. Yet Helen, her mother, kept spending down her savings as if nothing were wrong, writes Carolyn Rosenblatt at Forbes.com.

Mara had her mother go to a doctor, who did an MRI of Helen’s brain. It showed multiple areas of problems, consistent with a dementia diagnosis. Helen was tested by a neuropsychologist who found that …Read more ›

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Expert: When Taking Over Aging Parent’s Finances, Have Them Help Plan

If your parent can’t reliably handle their finances anymore, it may be time for a family member to take over. But to make this transition go smoother, let your parent help direct the financial plan, advises Paul Golden, spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education.

A Q&A at FoxBusiness.com poses this question: “Should family members involve their aging parent in the process of developing a financial plan for them?” Golden …Read more ›

Some Finding Red Tape, Frustration When Filing Long-Term Care Claim

If your parents bought a long-term care policy way back when, that’s wonderful. But there’s a “but”: Times have changed, and insurance policies bought years ago have not.

An article at the website for The New York Times reveals struggles people have been having when filing long-term care claims with these old policies—some of which were sold by companies no longer in business. Some claimants have a better time than others. Of …Read more ›

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