3 Changes to Social Security Benefits in 2016 that Could Affect You

The “Claim and Suspend” strategy, also known as “File and Suspend,” allows a worker to claim their social security benefit and immediately suspend benefit payments. This has been an effective tool to maximize a worker’s benefits. However, based on a new budget act and a few emergency messages published by the Social Security Administration (SSA), […]

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5 Important Tax Changes You Need To Know For 2016

For most people, tax season means going through the motions of another filing. But some tax changes implemented in the New Year could affect long-term financial planning. Stay updated on estate tax exemptions changes and 401k and IRA contribution income limit changes. 1 – Leave behind more of your estate, tax free. Last year, individuals could […]

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Why Your Loved Ones’ Medicaid Planning Needs to be Done by An Attorney

While it may seem harmless to have a social worker or expert staff member at a loved one’s nursing home help with Medicaid planning, this practice is actually illegal according to Texas law. Why is it illegal? According to the Texas Human Resources Code Section 12.001, any person who is not licensed to practice law […]

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How To Prepare for No Social Security COLA in 2016

For the first time in five years, seniors and retirees will not be receiving an annual raise in Social Security benefits in 2016 due to a decline in inflation driven by falling gas prices. While the Consumer Price Index has fallen over the last year causing the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) to remain unchanged, many expenses that […]

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The End of Valuable Social Security Strategies

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law a federal budget agreement that will throw a wrench into retirement plans for many married couples. Two different Social Security “strategies” will take the brunt of it: file-and-suspend and restricted application. What is file-and-suspend? If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age […]

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HIPAA’s Role in Medical Power of Attorney

If you are caring for a loved one, you need to know about HIPAA. Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA for short, was established in 1996, it wasn’t until 6 years later, in 2002, that the Privacy Rules were enacted. Prior to the rules, personal health information could pass between anyone; […]

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Can Trusts Help Medicaid Qualification?

The short answer is YES! One of the ways that you can protect a loved one’s assets and establish Medicaid eligibility is through a properly drafted trust. This type of trust can minimize the deterioration of an estate by safeguarding assets for loved ones and establish Medicaid eligibility. Certain trusts allow individuals with income over […]

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Can My Loved One Benefit From Memory Care?

If you’re loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, researching their long-term care options as early as possible is essential. One care option that has become increasingly more common is memory care. What Is Memory Care? To know if your loved one could benefit from memory care, you’ll first have to understand what type of […]

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Why the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act is Essential

With unanimous approval by The Senate, the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act is on its way to helping those individuals with disabilities who are able to help themselves. What is a special needs trust? Medicaid is a program that can help pay for health care costs, housing and support services. Many individuals need Medicaid to help pay […]

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