Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gov't Borrows Money to Give to Banks to Give to People who Can't Pay Back Current Loans???

Category: Miscellaneous Musings

According to Yahoo News, the US government is borrowing an additional $27 BILLION dollars. This is because the business that is our country spends more than it takes in. President Bush also just signed the new housing law package. "As part of the housing measure, Congress voted to increase the national debt limit by $800 billion from $9.815 trillion to a new limit of $10.615 trillion."

So, the US government is borrowing money to give to banks, so that the banks (who ran out of money due to their own bad lending practices) can give money to borrowers, who already can't pay back the money they already borrowed?

What??? And who is going to be responsible at the end of the day? You, me and anyone else who pays taxes, as that is the only way to raise revenue.

See Government announces plans to borrow $27 billion

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Resources for sunset planning for aging parents

Category: Elder Law,

This question was asked on
What approach have you taken when faced with sunset planning for aging parent(s)?I am looking for information related to resources available for helping surviving children understand and execute their aging parent(s) wishes in the sunset years. Specifically, what resources did you turn to and/or what research did you do to determine the ideal solutions related to your aging or terminally ill parent(s) living conditions, medical benefits and options, estate planning, funeral arrangements, etc?

My reply:

When dealing with these issues, the family needs to consider a team of professionals to educate them on the options that will best meet your parents goals. There are a host of people out there who can help you, but their existence isn't always well known, and the type of care depends on your family’s needs. Speaking as an elder law attorney, I often work with and refer to various other professionals as needed. I have listed them below.

Note that the single most important thing is to find one of more of these professionals who you feel comfortable with who can be your trusted advisor and get you to other professionals as needed.

Elder Law Attorney - will advise you on what documents to have in place to give authority to execute the wishes, as well as how to structure assets to best pay for long term care (using private assets, long term care insurance, Medicaid) and the pros and cons of transferring assets.

Financial Planner - Where children may find themselves in the position of managing parents assets, it is critical that the assets be gathered and centrally located and the investments critically reviewed sooner rather than later. Consolidate investments to a single location, with on-line access for children to monitor. Make sure the investments are appropriate for the seniors age and income needs - many times we see seniors who have entered into investments that may not really be appropriate to their income needs.

Geriatric Care Manager - This is essentially a private social worker who can make an independent assessment of the seniors needs and create a plan of action to fulfill those needs in the reality of a family. They address the tough questions of if mom can live at home and what kind of assistance might be necessary to make that a reality, or what if they move in with a child or to a continuing care community or just senior community, as well as facilitate referrals to home care agencies, assisted living and nursing facilities and/or hospice.

Other professionals you may want to bring in:
  • Insurance Professional - Long Term Care insurance may be appropriate depending on the ages and needs.
  • Reverse Mortgage Specialist - To reach their goals, it make may sense to use the equity in the home.
  • Home Care Agency - These will provided nursing and companion care at home or at an assisted living or nursing home facility.
  • Realtor specializing in Seniors - He or she can maximize the value of the largest asset by addressing the marketing realities of a home that has likely been lived in and not updated for decades (cleanout, donation, upgrades, staging).
  • Therapist - Parenting your parents in hard. A qualified therapist can give family members tools to cope with emotional issues.
  • Accountant/Bookkeeper - Bill paying services and tax information.


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Friday, July 25, 2008

A Check-Up on your Health Care Provider

Category: Elder Law

Sometimes I run across the question of if a senior (or any person for that matter) is receiving the best possible health care. A site I was introduced to gives consumer feedback on health care ( ). Health care is a choice - just because you saw a doctor once doesn't mean that he or she is best for you needs. Like any decision, you should feel you are getting the most value for your dollar. With health care, value often comes in the form of surroundings, staff attitudes, waiting times, communications, and approach to health care.

Welcome to CiteHealth

Give your Health Care Providers a Check Up
Ensure you are receiving the best care. Give your hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, home care agencies and other providers a free check up with our reports. We combine data from government and commercial data sources, direct verification, and people just like you give a complete picture of each provider.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Longer Life Puts Women at Risk in Retirement

Category: Financial Planning

We ladies have it hard enough dealing with glass ceilings, boys networks, balancing family and careers, and caring for older family members. Even with balancing all this, we statistically live longer than men. The problem with this? Our "family first" and "go along to get along" attitudes can cost of down the road when we live longer, save less, and have higher health care costs.

Longer lives, less pay — women not saving enough - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK - Women may not earn as much as men or fly up the corporate ladder as quickly, but They get the last laugh since they live longer. Right? ADVERTISEMENT As it turns out, women probably aren't saving enough to bankroll those extra years in style.

They invest more conservatively, start saving later and are more likely to be in and
out of the work force, according to a study released Wednesday by Hewitt Associates, a human resources consulting firm. Suddenly, retirement isn't looking so rosy.

Women live an average of 22 years after retirement versus 19 years for men and medical costs are rising, so women will need to save 2 percent more than men every year over 30 years to maintain their standard of living upon retirement, the study found."

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