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The Future of Social Security and Medicare: Here’s What Trustees Are Projecting

Lavelle & Finn


Most Americans will eventually receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy reports to Congress that assess the health of these important programs. The newest reports, released on April 22, 2019, discuss the current financial condition and ongoing financial challenges that both programs […]

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2020

Lavelle & Finn


IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2020 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2019. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains at $1,000. You can contribute to both a traditional IRA and a […]

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2020

Lavelle & Finn


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2020 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the […]

Home Care Costs Rise Sharply in Annual Long-Term Care Cost Survey

Lavelle & Finn


When it comes to long-term care costs, the charges for home care are now rising faster than those for nursing home care, according to Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care survey. In the past year, the median annual cost for home health aides rose 4.55 percent to $52,624, while the median cost of a private nursing home room […]

Medicare Premiums to Increase by Almost $10 a Month in 2020

Lavelle & Finn


After small or no increases the past couple of years, Medicare’s Part B premium will rise sharply in 2020. The basic monthly premium will increase $9.10, from $135.50 a month to $144.60.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium increase on November 8, 2019. Not everyone will pay the whole increase, […]

Medicaid’s Power to Recoup Benefits Paid: Estate Recovery and Liens

Lavelle & Finn


Federal law requires the state to attempt to recover the long-term care benefits from a Medicaid recipient’s estate after the recipient’s death. If steps aren’t taken to protect the Medicaid recipient’s house, it may need to be sold to settle the claim.  For Medicaid recipients age 55 or older, states must seek recovery of payments from the […]

What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult

Lavelle & Finn


Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one’s well-being and you have a duty to act in his or her best interest.   If an adult becomes mentally incapacitated and is incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute […]

Don’t Let Medicare Open Enrollment Go By Without Reassessing Your Options

Lavelle & Finn


Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don’t let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you.   During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription […]

The 2020 Social Security Increase Will Be Smaller than 2019’s

Lavelle & Finn


The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.6 percent increase in benefits in 2020, nearly half of last year’s change. The small rise has advocates questioning whether the government is using the proper method to calculate the cost of living for older Americans and those with disabilities. Cost-of-living increases are tied to the consumer price […]

Year-End Tax Planning

Lavelle & Finn


As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good understanding of your current tax situation. This is particularly true for year-end planning. You can’t know where to go next […]