You’re 70 ½ and beginning to take your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

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By Robin Crouch

All the hard work you put into saving for retirement is starting to pay off. How long will your nest egg last? Retirement planning doesn’t end when you retire.

It’s April 2014, so many of you are have had your taxes prepared for 2013. Maybe you had your taxes done by a professional tax-preparer, or maybe you’re doing it yourself – hello Turbo Tax! [Read more...]

What happens if your parents forget to pay their LTC insurance?

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By Robin Crouch

  1. The policy lapses resulting in no coverage. This may happen when they need the coverage the most!

  2. They would not qualify for a new policy if they had developed health problems since the policy was originally issued.

  3. Your parents may end up “spending down” everything they have taken a lifetime to earn before they can qualify for public assistance, or

  4. Unless you are independently wealthy and can ensure they have care when needed, they may not receive the care they need.

[Read more...]

Earth Day 2014

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Going green is good for the planet and good for your wallet. Here are some changes that can make a big impact.

$23-38

If the average household lowers the thermostat by two degrees, from 70 degrees to 68, they could save $23-$38 a year. 

$270

Switch all the light bulbs in your home to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can save about $270 in one year. 

$200

Unplug appliances and electronics that glow when you’re done using them. You could save $200 a year. 

$150

For someone who typically buys a $1.50 bottle of water twice a week, the annual saving of drinking from a reusable BPA-free water bottle can top $150. 

$109

Repair a leaky toilet and you can save $109 a year with water at $1.50 for every 1,000 gallons. A leaking toilet leaks up to 73,000 gallons a year. 

$900

By upgrading the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement to R-50 standard, you can save up to $900 a year. 

$650 – $1,000

By car pooling with just one friend, you can each save about $650 a year. If four of you carpool, you can each save nearly $1,000. 

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Is divorce a good solution if my spouse goes into a nursing home?

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By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Many clients come into the office asking if their only option when faced with a catastrophic medical situation is divorce. They have heard that this is the only way to not be required to spend everything in the Nursing Home. Thankfully, that isn’t the only way. While there may be a rare case where divorce is the best option, for the vast majority of people there are more palatable ways to protect assets from a Nursing Home spend down. Through strategic use of the rules relating to Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, an elder law attorney can protect assets without resorting to divorce.

[Read more...]

Your Estate Plan Should Reduce Your Legislative Risk, Not Increase It

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By Senior Associate Attorney, Dan Vu

Too often estate planners do not consider their client’s legislative risk. In other words, they plan without consideration to the very high probability that the current rules will change. In Washington and Columbus, every new bill passed by the legislature is touted as the new permanent law of the land, but in reality it is only “permanent” until the next time they decide to change it. So if your plan does not provide the flexibility for the changing rules, you can actually be in a worse position than you would without any plan. [Read more...]

Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home

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By Lori McBride

Over the past few months, we have been rolling out a new seminar to help education seniors and their families throughout Ohio, most recently in Chillicothe, Johnstown and Delaware. Here are some of the topics: [Read more...]

Scam Alert: Bogus Funeral Notifications

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By Carmen Potterton

It seems that every time you turn on the news, there is yet another scam being reported and unfortunately, many of them tend to target senior citizens.

Senior Planet recently posted a scam alert concerning funeral notifications. An email is sent that is supposedly a notification that a friend has died. In order to get the details, you have to click on the link provided and once you do, the scammers infect your computer with malware. Malware generates viruses and spyware that allows the scammers access to your computer. [Read more...]

Purchasing A New Life Insurance Policy – Two important questions

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By Senior Law Clerk, Steve Wright

Shopping for a new life insurance policy can be daunting with all of the options available. Not only do different rules apply to each policy, but the premiums that you will have to pay will vary depending on a multitude of factors. Choosing the wrong policy could have negative financial consequences, so knowing what you need out of a life insurance policy can mean the difference between purchasing the correct policy for you and your family or shelling out large amounts of cash for premiums on a policy that may expire or provide inadequate benefits for those you leave behind. [Read more...]

Should you always delay taking your Social Security retirement benefits until age 70?

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By Roy Whited

This information was taken in part from a March 16, 2014 post from the Wall Street Journal where two financial advisors locked horns over which is the smarter move; taking the sure thing now, or holding out for the larger payment down the road. One of the advisors said it is better not to wait, while the other advisor said that waiting is by far a better option. [Read more...]

Pet Trusts – Not Just For Cats & Dogs

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By Attorney Keith Stevens

What do you think of when you hear the word “pet”? Dogs, cats, goldfish, maybe parrots are the first things that occur to most of us. Some people may also think about their geckoes, pythons, and tortoises. There is a staggering variety of creatures being kept as pets and it is only growing.

Our tools for dealing with a variety of animals should be equally flexible. If you were to pass away tomorrow, would your family have access funds to get veterinary care for your horse? If you became mentally incapacitated, would they know how to properly maintain your chinchilla? [Read more...]