How your state lets insurance companies screw you

ScrewedYou did everything right. You picked a doctor within your health plan network. You made sure the hospital was in your network. Yet you suddenly face a bill for thousands of dollars for doctors or anesthesiologists who were not in your network. Bait and switch, anyone?

Only about a quarter of the states have even the smallest protection for this. A few states — California, Connecticut, Florida and New York — have passed laws since 2015 giving stronger protections. If you live in another state — your politicians care more about donated campaign money from insurance companies than they care about you.  Continue reading “How your state lets insurance companies screw you”

What if Your Retirement Income Isn’t Enough?

Before panicking, we need to know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out.

Money you receive: This consists of your social security, any pension (if you have one) and interest income. It also includes what you can take out each year from your investments. See How much $ can you withdraw each year without running out?

Money you will spend: See You need just 3 numbers to Budget Expenses for Retirement. 

The result: Can you live on the net of these two? If so, congratulations! If not, read on…

Continue reading “What if Your Retirement Income Isn’t Enough?”

Should you buy an RV?

RV at Nashville ShoresSometimes it seems like senior citizens have all bought RVs and have all hit the road, including myself. But… should you join us?

The answer is very dependent on you and your circumstances — social, medical and financial.

If you are a single woman, don’t stop reading — you may be surprised at the benefits of owning one. I certainly was. The only reason I got one originally was because my dad’s wife suddenly banned animals inside her house. Which meant I couldn’t visit her or my dad, unless I was willing to get a local hotel room and leave my two small dogs inside for hours.

Instead, I got an RV and parked it on her land by the house. Win for my dogs, win for me, and win for her.  Continue reading “Should you buy an RV?”

How much $ can you withdraw each year without running out?

After spending 60+ years trying to GROW our nest eggs, we’re suddenly faced in retirement with SHRINKING them. This sudden about face can give us whiplash — and scare the heck out of us. In fact, one financial advisor told me his clients were more afraid of running out of money in retirement than they were afraid of dying(!)

So… regardless whether we have $50,000, $500,000, or $5 million — what is our number? Just how much can we withdraw from our funds/investments each year — and still feel confident we won’t run out?  Continue reading “How much $ can you withdraw each year without running out?”

You need just 3 numbers to budget expenses for retirement

RetirementPlan feet up_shutterstock_562786591
Shutterstock

Hogwash describes a lot of what we have read about financial planning for retirement. I’ve read articles and completed calculators that say if we don’t have at least $1.5 million in the bank — forget retiring. (Gee, I wonder how the 96% of us who are not millionaires ever manage?)

I’ve also read that we’ll spend about 65-85% in retirement of what we spent before. More hogwash — certainly for the first 5-10 years of retirement. Many people spend MORE then. Continue reading “You need just 3 numbers to budget expenses for retirement”

States which grab more of your retirement income

shocked at taxes_shutterstock_191071439How much of your hard-earned interest, pension, and/or social security income can you keep?

Be very careful in picking the state where you will retire. The wrong choice could cost you thousands of tax dollars — every single year!

First in line to grab some of your hard-earned retirement income is, no surprise(!), the U.S. government. Continue reading “States which grab more of your retirement income”

Are you better off from the Tax Cut Act? Not so fast!

By Regan Garey, CPA, DBA

At first glance, seniors may believe they are better off for taxes in 2018. But it may not be true for you. Given that taxes are complex and ‘no one size fits all,’ let’s explore the new Tax Cut Act.

The hype is that nearly everyone will benefit from the tax law changes but that has not been proven. For example, the standard deduction will be doubled starting in 2018. Fantastic, right? But… the personal exemptions will be phased out temporarily. Where will that leave you? Tough to say but odds are most are not better off regarding their tax liabilities. It depends a lot on family size and taxable income levels. 

Continue reading “Are you better off from the Tax Cut Act? Not so fast!”