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How Medicare Surcharges Can Cost You Over $80,000 Annually


When saving for retirement, it is critically important to factor health care costs into projections and plans. Due to upcoming changes in Medicare, this will be even more important. Medicare’s coverage is separated into four Parts: A, B, C, and D. The changes will primarily affect Part B, which covers doctor appointments, emergency room visits, [...]

Retirement Health Care Costs and Income Replacement Ratios Summary


Last week, we published a white paper that focuses on income replacement ratios (IRRs), health care inflation rates, and strategies to bridge the savings gap caused by unplanned retirement health care costs. Today, I will highlight some of the paper’s major points. First, readers must understand that financial advisors use IRRs – a percentage of [...]

New Rule From the DOL


The past few weeks have been awash with the turmoil of changes to Social Security and Medicare, which were completely unexpected. It’s understandably been the main focus of many in the retirement planning industry, myself included. But there is another piece of legislation on the table that precedes the Bipartisan Budget Act, one that could [...]

Notice of Changes to Social Security and Medicare Benefits (Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015)


Social Security: It is important to note that anybody currently taking advantage of any or all of the strategies, File and Suspend, Claim Some Now; Claim More Later, or the Combined Strategy, will continue to be able to do so.   Within the six month period after November 2, 2015, applicants will be able to [...]

Changes in Legislation Affecting Social Security & Medicare


(PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this Update is to provide notification that recent proposed legislation, which was passed by both Houses of Congress, could significantly impact Social Security and Medicare. When the legislation is signed into law, HealthView will distribute an official change notice.)   In the world of politics, legislative changes are often a [...]

No COLA and Hold Harmless


  The big retirement news this past month?  In 2016, Medicare Part B premiums are set to increase by 52%, and there will not be a Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The COLA decision should come as no surprise. For the third time in the past seven years seniors will have to make ends [...]

Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing


This past week, I was invited to participate in the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s Annual Health Care Cost Trends hearing. It is no secret that rising health care is a hot topic.  From personal, local, and state budgets to the national economy, paying for quality health care has emerged as one of the biggest conundrums [...]

I Like Transparency, Don’t You?


Transparency: the ability to transmit light through a substance so that bodies situated behind it can be seen. Or, in relation to health care, the practice of transmitting or disclosing all fees associated with a medical procedure. Is providing the cost of services truly that difficult in the medical field? Let’s ponder this for a [...]

Employer Health Care Coverage Changes: 2016


On Saturday afternoon, I sat on the couch with my daughter, Taylor, half watching SpongeBob Squarepants while penning this week’s Update on my iPad.  In this episode, SpongeBob’s pet snail, Gary, shatters his shell, but sadly, SpongeBob doesn’t have the necessary savings to purchase a new one. I guess SpongeBob must have gotten clobbered in [...]

China Devaluation and What it Means for You


Many of you are aware of the bold economic move made by China early last week. In an effort to increase growth, keep employment rates high, and compete in the global economy, China devalued its currency, the renminbi1 (人民币), or the “people’s money.” Historically, the greatest comparative difference between the renminbi’s unit of currency, the [...]