Category Archives for 2012

Retire Without A Mortgage

Other than health care, one of the most substantial drains on retirement funds can be an outstanding mortgage.  Years ago when homes were less expensive and older adults rarely moved, mortgage issues were less common.  Today, mortgage debt among retirees seems more likely than in the past.  Here are some plans, some of which take […]

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Resolve to Find “Wow” Experiences for the New Year

Often at the end of the year I reflect in my columns on a New Years’ Eve experience I shared with my mother which was the last one we knew together. Even in a nursing home we were able to recognize and celebrate the coming of the New Year in our own way. Recent events […]

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Gifting Strategies and the Fiscal Cliff

As American taxpayers wait for the champagne bottles to pop and the first refrain of Auld Lang Syne for the 2013 New Year, we are no closer to knowing whether we can gift only up to $1 million without being subject to gift tax or up to $5.12 million or some other amount yet to […]

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Home For the Holidays

An old song “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” brings to mind the pleasure and the conflict inherent in this time of year from Thanksgiving through Christmas, Hannukah, New Years, and the related holidays for many groups and religions. Pleasure comes with reestablishing old ties. Conflict might come with reminders why some old […]

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When Will We Get Off the Fiscal Cliff Roller Coaster

Now that the 2012 elections are blessedly over, our attention has been directed to another roller coaster ride popularly named the “fiscal cliff.” This would be the time, when the clock strikes 12 for New Years Day, 2013, a series of laws, including but not limited to what are referred to as the Bush tax […]

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Know the Basics to Decide on Long Term Care

Senior living arrangement choices have changed dramatically in the sixteen years since I first began practicing elder law. Back then, there was generally a single choice between assisting parents at home or their going to a nursing home. Now there are multiple variations. The choice in the past was difficult with almost all home care […]

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Needing Help and Not Alone – Hurricane Sandy

One piece of advice I might give to readers is not to engage in heavy yardwork at home while preparing for a major storm or hurricane. It could be that or it could simply be what one person said to me which is that I am “just a klutz.” In any event, as Hurricane Sandy […]

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Why Block Grants Are Bad for Medicaid

Sometimes we become so accustomed to things as they are we cannot conceive of them differently. At this point we have become so accustomed to believing that government will contribute to the cost of serious care if we need it that we take it for granted. This could change. Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s budget […]

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There Are Many Choices When Using Real Estate to Pay For Care

Seniors who are cash poor but high in real estate equity may have more options than they realize when dealing with long term care – and they might not always be the obvious ones. A common immediate reaction is to want to transfer the house to the children and then immediately apply for Medicaid either […]

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Points to Note In Signing Long Term Care Agreements

When moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community or Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing facility, one of the last things that families might consider is the legal effect of documents signed on admission.  This is not surprising.  Between scheduling the movers and cleaning out the home, remembering to pack the glasses, medications and hearing aids […]

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What Happens To Nursing Home Residents If Ryan Plan Becomes Law

As the country readies for the 2012 Presidential election, stark differences emerge between the parties on some of the most basic programs affecting Americans.  One of these is Medicaid. Although most of us are not affected by Medicaid, the medical program designed primarily for the poor, one striking exception for middle America is Medicaid since […]

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Payment for Parents’ Long Term Care Could Shift to Children

Some notions are so ingrained in our consciousness that we cannot imagine them being handled differently.  One of them is that, if we run out of money paying for long term care in a nursing home, even if that is after years of private payment, the government would pick up the cost under Medicaid. Suppose […]

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The Medicaid Spenddown Is Counterintuitive – Get Help

One of my clients noted as I explained the Medicaid spenddown that, logically, the result did not necessarily make sense.  Actually, the review of a Medicaid spenddown will likely be the most illogical financial exercise clients have ever encountered.  It does not make sense to most financial planners or investment advisers and, frankly, advice given […]

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Trusts in Wills Can Deal With Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Suppose you are a parent with children close in age but one is addicted to alcohol or drugs.  You have tried, over the years, to encourage rehabilitation but have generally been unsuccessful.  He may have even served time in prison.  You may have been out of touch for long periods and then he or she […]

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What Obamacare Got Right

Sometimes surprises arrive in the mail that quietly tell you how a new law is working or not.  This has recently been true for me of the Affordable Care Act,  popularly referenced as Obamacare.  Honestly, it is rare when I receive mail at home from my health insurer and it brings good news.  I expected […]

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