Designating a Power of Attorney is a Critical Step – Just Make Sure You Don’t Start a Family Feud in the Process

Over the years here at AgingOptions we’ve dealt with hundreds of families, and we’ve seen some of the harm that poor planning combined with toxic family dynamics can create. Estate planning done poorly offers limitless opportunities for family tensions. A prime example: as you approach retirement, you may be thinking about designating one of your…

Finding the Right Doctor Means Taking the Process Seriously – and Taking the Time to Do Your Homework

Few professionals in our lives have more influence on us than our doctors – yet many of us probably spent very little time doing our homework before choosing the doctor we’re presently seeing. Oftentimes we pick a doctor based on location, or referral, or online reviews, and we never change until we’re forced to by…

News from Washington: President Trump’s Proposed Budget Would Trim Social Security Benefits for Some Beneficiaries

Anyone who’s paying attention to the political arena knows we live in highly contentious times – and few government programs provoke more argument than Social Security. Politicians left, right, and center all claim they want to preserve this program which is critical to the livelihoods of roughly 64 million Americans. Yet as is so often…

Medicare Plan Finder Confusion

New York Times Report: Medicare Advantage Plans Are Gaining in Popularity, but Some Policy-Holders Discover a Downside

Americans turning 65 – if no longer receiving workplace insurance – have three basic health insurance options. They can take traditional Medicare, potentially leaving themselves exposed to high co-pays and deductibles. They can choose Medicare plus a supplemental plan, referred to as a Medigap plan, offered by private carriers – plans which (as the name…

Kiplinger: Paying for Long-Term Care from Your 401(k) Could Put You in Danger of a Major Tax Bite

If you’re like most retirees, a significant portion of your retirement savings is in pre-tax accounts such as a 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. And like most retirees you’re probably concerned about how best to cover any future long-term care costs that might arise. According to this 2019 article from Kiplinger, if you were counting on…

Seniors and Opioids, Part 1: How the Epidemic of Opioid Use is Undermining the Physical and Mental Health of America’s Elderly

From time to time, everyone experiences physical pain. Because pain is so common, it’s easy to dismiss it as something that’s easy to deal with, merely a minor inconvenience. But pain, especially chronic pain, can be far more debilitating than many people realize, which is why more Americans visit the doctor because of pain than…

Seniors and Opioids, Part 2: The Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction Among the Elderly, and Some Safe Pain-Relief Alternatives

As we said in part one of this AgingOptions report on seniors and opioids, everyone experiences physical pain, but we often tend to dismiss it as a minor inconvenience. However, pain is the leading cause of disability, and it’s the number one reason people see their doctor. Pain, especially chronic pain lasting weeks or months…

The Capitol Building is where they debate social security benefits.

If You Have a Large IRA, Beware: the Just-Passed SECURE Act May Have Created a “Big Tax Bomb” for Your Heirs

It was a rare bi-partisan moment two months ago in Washington, DC, when the SECURE Act passed both House and Senate by a wide margin. This important piece of legislation, which took effect January 1, 2020, was the first major retirement-related legislation since the 2006 Pension Protection Act. In classic “Washington-speak,” SECURE is an acronym…

“A Uniquely American Phenomenon” – Crippling Medical Debt Puts Millions Under Severe Financial Pressure

It’s a financial burden that in other countries would be “unfathomable,” say the health care policy experts. Millions of Americans, even many with insurance, are finding themselves with “crippling amounts of medical debt.”  Those are some of the sobering phrases we found in this 2019 article from The Atlantic that we first shared with you…

Supporting Mom and Dad: AARP Survey Finds One-Third of Adults in Their 40s, 50s and 60s Give Financial Help to Aging Parents

They helped you when you were little and supported you through your teens, your college years and possibly into young adulthood. Now it seems that a significant number of adult kids are returning the favor and helping to support their aging parents financially. That’s the conclusion from a newly-released AARP survey, highlighted in this New…