Medicaid Planning: How Is My Spouse Impacted?

There is a great deal to take into consideration when you are planning ahead for your senior years. You may be under the assumption that Medicare will take care of all of your health care expenses, and you may also assume that Medicaid is not relevant to you. In fact, Medicare does not pay for everything in full. There are out-of-pocket expenses that you should be aware of when you are budgeting for your retirement years. These would include co-payments, deductibles, and monthly premiums. The out-of-pocket expenses are only part of the equation. Most senior citizens will eventually need help with their activities of daily living, and Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Medicaid does pay for living assistance, and this is why it is relevant to a significant percentage of senior citizens. Medicaid Planning It takes careful planning to qualify for Medicaid coverage, because it is a need-based program. Most people retire with some resources, and the income and asset limits are very
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When Will I Become Eligible for Social Security?

Social Security is going to be very important for most people who are planning ahead for their retirement years. You should understand the facts as you look toward the future so that you can create a sensible retirement budget. You become eligible for Social Security through the accumulation of retirement credits. It is possible to earn up to four credits in a year. In 2014, you accumulate one credit for each $1200 that you earn. If you pay taxes on $5000 or $5 million in 2014, you still get four retirement credits. Once you have at least 40 credits, you will qualify for Social Security when you reach the age of eligibility. The exact date of Social Security eligibility will depend on the year of your birth. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, you will be eligible to receive your full benefit at the age of 66. The eligibility age then rises by two months each year. To clarify, someone born in 1955 would become eligible for their full benefit at the age of 66 years and two months.
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2015 Estate Tax Exclusion Increase Announced

At the end of 2010 a tax relief act was passed, and provisions within this legislative measure set the estate tax exclusion at $5 million in 2011. The credit or exclusion is the amount that you can transfer to people other than your spouse in a tax-free manner. Because of the existence of the unlimited marital deduction, you can leave any amount of property to your spouse free of the federal death tax. An inflation adjustment was applied for 2012 that set the exclusion at $5.12 million. At the end of that year, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was enacted. This measure retained the same exclusion with ongoing inflation adjustments. Throughout 2014 we have been working with a $5.34 million federal estate tax exclusion. Because the year is rapidly coming to a close, the Internal Revenue Service has released the amount of the inflation adjustment for 2015. During the 2015 calendar year, the federal estate tax exclusion is going to be $5.43 million. Unified Exclusion To prevent pe
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Free Report: What Is Included In My Estate Plan?

When people ask about the components that would comprise an estate plan, they may not understand the fact that every case is different. There is no universal, one-size-fits-all estate plan that would be ideal for every person. At the same time, there is a certain basic structure. In this free report, we will dissect the structure, and we will drill down a bit further along the way to examine some of the specific circumstances that can require the implementation of more advanced estate planning techniques. Click here to read the whole report or download the PDF.
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Does the State Take My Assets If I Go on Medicaid?

Long-term care costs are very high across the country, and they are particularly high in our home state of Connecticut. The average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is well in excess of $100,000 in Connecticut at the present time. Medicare will not pay for long-term care, but Medicaid will assist with custodial care expenses. Because Medicaid is a program that is only available to people who can demonstrate financial need, people who retired with some resources are not going to qualify for coverage. There is an upper asset limit of $2000 for an individual in most states. However, we should point out the fact that many things that you own are not considered to be countable. Your home, up to $828,000 in equity in 2015, is not a countable asset for Medicaid purposes.You could also retain ownership of one vehicle, your wedding rings and heirloom jewelry, your household goods, and your personal effects. However, in spite of this, most of the elders who are residing in nur
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Estate Tax Would Be Expanded Under Budget Proposal

High net worth families may be in a position to make things easier on succeeding generations, but there is an impediment. The federal estate tax is looming, and with its 40 percent rate, it can certainly be felt if you are exposed. You determine your level of exposure by comparing the value of your estate to the amount of the federal estate tax exclusion. At the end of 2010,  a legislative measure set the estate tax exclusion at $5 million for 2011, and it set the rate at 35 percent. The same rate was called for in 2012, but there was an inflation adjustment that brought the exclusion up to $5.12 million. At the end of 2012 you may recall the so-called fiscal cliff situation. It was resolved through a compromise that became known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Provisions contained within this measure retained the federal estate tax exclusion, but there have been ongoing adjustments to account for inflation. The act raised the top rate to 40 percent. During the current c
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