Last Year for Couples to Use 'Claim Now, Claim More Later' Social Security Strategy This is the last year that spouses who are turning full retirement age can choose whether to take spousal benefits or to take benefits on their own record. The strategy, used by some couples to maximize their benefits, will not be available to people turning full retirement age after 2019. The claiming strategy -- sometimes known as "Claim Now, Claim More Later" -- allows a higher-earning spouse to claim a [...]



Protecting Your House After You Move Into a Nursing Home While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it is possible the state can file a claim or a lien against your house for the amount expended on your behalf while on Medicaid, so you may want to take steps to protect your house.  If possible, you should consult with your attorney before entering a nursing home, or as soon as possible afterwards, in order to discuss [...]


Understanding Medicare's Hospice Benefit Medicare's hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare's most comprehensive benefits and can be extremely helpful to both the terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead of time may help Medicare beneficiaries and their families make the difficult decision to choose hospice if the [...]


Make Sure Your Plan Beneficiary Choices Are Up to Date Many people periodically update their wills or other estate plans, but don't update who will receive distributions from their retirement plans (such as IRAs and 401(k)s) upon their deaths. Every year you should review your entire estate plan, and the review should include retirement plan "beneficiary designations" to make sure they aren't outdated. The following are some tips for naming a retirement plan beneficiary: It is important to [...]


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