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Protecting Your Family

The True Cost of Waiting to Buy Long-Term Care ...

Jun 10 2011 12:00 AM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
I had to share a story of a mom who contacted me recently because she had just read Suze’s advice in The Money Class about the importance of long-term care insurance. At the beginning of the chapter, Suze makes it clear that she used to advise consumers to wait til age 59 to purchase long-term care insurance but now she believes that is the LATEST anyone should wait. That’s really great advice, and I was glad to have the opportunity to reiterate it with this mom. Here’s the story:

Rachel* is a 48-year-old single parent of two daughters in high school. She believes she should consider long-term care...
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Natural Victims

Jun 06 2011 06:20 PM | Eva Rosenberg in Protecting Your Family
My mother is a Holocaust survivor, rapidly approaching ninety years of age. She told me that someone called her, saying he is a volunteer with one of the reparation organizations, and wants to help her get some money. It’s always nice when one of those groups pop up and another tiny trickle of dollars comes her way.

But he said something very odd, and disturbing. He told her that he can arrange for my mother to receive a steady pension for the rest of her life - providing she pays back what she has received in the past. He’ll be happy to come out to her home and help her make the arrangements.

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Helplessness Can be Overcome

May 24 2011 05:50 PM | Eva Rosenberg in Protecting Your Family
A recent question to TaxMama was very disturbing. It was particularly disturbing because I know how commonly this kind of thing happens. So do you.

After a bad marriage, undoubtedly full of bullying and anger, the couple gets divorced. The court orders the pension plan to split or awarded to the wife. He steals it or spends it. He files a tax return early, forges her name or PIN (on an electronic return) and steals the refund. Or leaves her stuck for HIS big tax bill without her knowledge or consent. He doesn’t bother to pay child support or alimony, except where it’s convenient. Or he hides his assets in someone else’s name.<...
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Ask Your Employer to Offer LTC Insurance

May 17 2011 03:00 PM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
My previous blogs have explained why long-term care insurance is the most cost effective way to pay for long-term care, something that most of us will need at some point in our life. It was necessary to lay that groundwork because every major survey comes back with similar responses: a third of consumers think Medicare or health insurance pays for long-term care (LTC) and a significant number of respondents have no idea what pays for long-term care. Prudential’s 2010 LTC cost survey showed that only one out of four even listed long-term care insurance as a payment option (p. 21). Read story →    0 comments    -----

When Your Child Just Won't Listen

May 12 2011 06:50 PM | Sabrina O’Malone in Protecting Your Family
There are some situations when obedience can mean the difference between life and death. Imagine the dangers to a child in a parking lot who tends to jerk away when told to hold Mommy’s hand. Or the dangers to a child who likes to run away when Mommy calls. Or even the older child who tends to lie about buckling their seat belt. They can all spell disaster.

So what do you do with the child who simply will not listen? I realize that every child has moments of defiance - those are not the children I’m talking about. I’m referring to the child that 9 times out of 10 simply will not do what they are told.

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When You’re Working - But Still Poor

May 03 2011 07:00 PM | Sabrina O’Malone in Protecting Your Family
The term “working poor” is a term you may have heard. In fact, more and more people who have never been “poor” before are suddenly finding themselves in situations where they just don’t know how they’re going to survive.

If this is you, then you are not alone. In fact, the number of people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, EBT cards or what used to be called “food stamps”) reached 44.2 million this year. Now one in seven Americans receives food stamps. (The highest percentage ever.) More startling is the fact that one out of every three American households is actually eligible - but not availi...
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What Does Long-Term Care Cost?

Apr 14 2011 07:00 PM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
A lot, you’re thinking? Sometimes, yes.

Prudential released a study in 2011 that said “Americans tend to overestimate the costs associated with long-term care, which amplifies their level of concern about paying for it.” That’s a nice way to say we get the “deer in headlights” fear whenever we think about it, so it’s easier not to think about it.

Big mistake. Huge mistake.

How do you get rid of the monsters under your child’s bed? Mommy or Daddy flips the light on and look under the bed to prove there’s nothing there.

So let’s shine the light on how much long-term care costs.

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Will Medicaid Pay for Long-Term Care?

Mar 21 2011 07:00 PM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
Most long-term care expenses are paid out of people’s pockets: out of the savings they have accumulated for other reasons, such as college tuition or retirement; or by Medicaid, which is the welfare program that pays for long-term care after you spend down your own money to the qualifying levels.

To get the Medicaid program to pay, single individuals can keep about $2,000 in assets. Couples can keep up to an additional $109,560 in assets, not counting the home and car. You should also know that federal legislation has made it extremely difficult to transfer assets to family members or others to try to qualify for ...
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Will Medicare Advantage Pay for Long-Term Care?

Mar 08 2011 08:00 PM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
The newer Medicare Advantage plans cover all the services of the traditional Medicare program with smaller co-pays and deductibles so that a Medicare supplement isn’t needed. Most people pay a premium for their Medicare Advantage (MA) plan but it can be significantly less than a Medicare supplement premium. Some MA plans pay for extra benefits not covered by Medicare such as benefits related to vision and hearing care, and you can buy them with or without prescription drug coverage (Part D of Medicare). The trade-off is you are willing to use the health care providers in their network for all non-emergency services. You can learn more abo...
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Will Medicare Supplements Pay for Long-Term Care?

Feb 27 2011 08:00 PM | Phyllis Shelton in Protecting Your Family
No. It is a misconception that Medicare supplements pay whatever Medicare doesn’t. The reality is that a Medicare supplement won’t pay anything for care at home or in a skilled nursing facility unless Medicare pays first.

Medicare supplement policies are designed to pay the deductibles and co-pays after benefits from the traditional Medicare program have been provided. Here are amounts patients who are enrolled in traditional Medicare have to pay in 2011:

• the first $1,132 deductible for a hospital stay
• a $162 deductible before receiving benefits for doctor bills ...
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