12/6/2013 – Money and mortality, or why to wait to start taking Social Security

Social Security doesn’t care when you begin taking your money because people getting lower payments for longer periods cost the system the same as people getting highers payment for shorter periods. But when you take your money can make a huge difference to you and your survivors, as you’ll see.

Read the full article at Washington Post.

12/4/2013 – More 401(k) plans add retirement planning advice

Don’t know where to turn for retirement planning advice? The good news is more employers are offering retirement planning advice through their 401(k) and other retirement plans. But is this something you’ll want to take advantage of? Like many other retirement planning tasks, the answer is — it depends. Let’s take a look.

Read the full article by Center on Longevity Research Scholar Steve Vernon at CBS MoneyWatch.

12/4/2013 – Retirement saving: the Great Divide

Only about half of boomers are saving enough to cover at least their basic retirement expenses — as are about 45% of Americans overall — but the news is even worse for younger savers, according to a new study that asked people to detail their savings habits and retirement plans.

Read the full article at MarketWatch.

12/1/2013 – Keeping dementia at bay

Finding ways to stall the problem, even for a few years, can add up to big health cost savings.

Read the full article at USA Today.

11/26/2013 – A New Way to Report Fraud

The new antifraud hotline started by the Senate Special Committee on Aging will not solve the problem, but it will give harried seniors and family members another place to turn besides local law enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission and adult protective services agencies.

11/26/2013 – Let’s Operate 401(k) Plans as True Retirement Plans

A defined-contribution retirement plan should not be just a savings vehicle. It should also generate retirement income.

Read the full article by Center on Longevity Research Scholar Steve Vernon and Anna Rappaport at CFO.

11/22/2013 – Expanding Social Security

“A funny thing has happened in the past year or so. Suddenly, we’re hearing open discussion of the idea that Social Security should be expanded, not cut. Talk of Social Security expansion has even reached the Senate, with Tom Harkin introducing legislation that would increase benefits. A few days ago Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a stirring floor speech making the case for expanded benefits.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/20/2013 – Medicaid Help Without Falling Into Poverty

Tactics to keep elderly people’s assets and income within their family’s control while still qualifying them for Medicaid were common. Loopholes were exploited.

But legislative changes in the late 1980s and a major overhaul in 2003 have closed some loopholes, and the eligibility requirements for Medicaid have been eased; they will relax further on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, in an expansion that some but not all states have embraced. Such changes allow elderly people to keep more assets and income and still qualify for Medicaid.

11/19/2013 – You Plan Your Retirement, Then You Get the Health Bill

As the American population ages and insurers try to rein in costs, the share of health and medical costs that retirees can expect to shoulder is becoming more formidable.

A look at estimates of retiree health costs suggests that, if long-term care costs are included, it is not difficult to come up with a situation in which a couple’s tab for out-of-pocket costs post-retirement could approach — or even exceed — $1 million.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/19/2013 – Federal cuts hit seniors who want to live at home

For seniors desperate to avoid nursing homes, government-funded services such as free rides to doctors’ appointments are key to independent living.

But the $80 billion in deep federal budget cuts this year has trimmed many such services, putting seniors more at risk of losing their ability to live at home, according to a survey of agencies that work with the elderly.

Read the full article at CNN Money.