1. What is the difference between spousal benefits and survivor benefits when taking Social Security? I get this question asked a lot from clients and prospects. While spousal benefits are capped at 50% of your spouse’s benefit amount, survivor benefits are not. If you’re widowed, you’re eligible to receive the full amount of your late spouse’s benefit, if you’ve reached full retirement age. The same is true if you are divorced and your ex-spouse has died.
  2. In 2022 most Americans on Medicare pay $170.10 each month for their Part B premium. However, if your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount, you’ll pay the standard premium amount and an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), an extra charge added to the premium of high-income individuals. For specific information go to Medicare.gov and look for Part B costs.
  3. Medicare Advantage plans have some loopholes. The USA TODAY reported in late April about a government watchdog report that found private Medicare plans routinely rejected claims that should have been paid and denied services that reviewers found to be medically necessary.
    The report, completed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general investigators, discovered private Medicare plans denied 18% of claims allowed under Medicare coverage rules. The denials often were a result of errors in processing claims, the report found.
    The review also found private Medicare plans turned down 13% of authorizations for medical services that government-run Medicare would have allowed.
  4. Five Important Reasons to purchase Disability Insurance while you are healthy.
    1. Disability insurance is the toughest form of insurance to acquire because of stringent underwriting requirements. Your good health purchases the policy and you pay for it with
    monthly premiums.
    2. Protects your lifestyle and the lifestyle of anyone else who relies on your income.
    3. Protects your retirement plans and your savings.
    4. Individual disability insurance is yours to keep and goes with you from job to job.
    5. Individual disability insurance benefits, in most case, are received tax free.
  5. The Importance of a Living Will
    • It answers the question of who makes your healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
    • It empowers you to direct what actions to be taken by medical professionals in case you are unable to make those decisions.
    • Making decisions today doesn’t mean you can’t change your directives in the future.
    • Avoids family disputes because courses of action are predetermined by you.
    • Having your Living Will in place means you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared.

Recommendation: Secure an advisor, understand these concepts, and let him or her guide you to a worry free and successful retirement!