• Medicare Remains Focus Of Attention To Cut Federal Spending

    Members of Congress receive their benefits through the District of Columbia's small business health options program (SHOP) exchange that was established under the 2010 health law. Effective January 1, 2014, Members of Congress had to give up their previous health benefits received through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and get their insurance through the exchange. However, they remain eligible for employer contributions from the federal government (i.e., U.S. taxpayers) toward coverage, just as they previously received for their FEHB coverage. .Most people who spend the night in the hospital would say they have been an inpatient. But over the past six years, rapidly growing numbers of Medicare beneficiaries have learned that they were never admitted as an inpatient — even though they have stayed in a hospital bed, received treatment, diagnostic tests, and drugs. ."The ability to withstand major downturns in the economy is particularly important in retirement, yet extraordinarily difficult for today's retirees and those nearing retirement," says Johnson. "There are a number of factors that are reducing available retirement income from traditional sources," Johnson says. … Continued

  • Ask The Advisor May 2014

    But it's no "small change," warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. In fact, it could reduce lifetime Social Security benefits by tens of thousands of dollars over a retirement. .On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing titled "Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits: What You Need to Know." The Committee heard from a panel of experts, including Virginia Reno – Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration (SSA) – and William Meyer – CEO of Social Security Solutions, Inc., a private firm that provides financial advice to retirees. .Housing Survey, a survey of landlords and tenants used to provide rent data for CPI's shelter indexes. … Continued

The information you do get can seem contradictory. The one piece of advice almost all retirement advisors do agree on is this — starting Social Security at 62 is a bad idea unless you are terminally ill with only a few more years to live. Your benefits will be permanently reduced up to 30% depending on your full retirement age, and if you are working, your benefits could be reduced due to earnings restriction rules. .The SEC chairman would appoint a director to lead the task force, which would include staff from several offices at the commission. Task force members would not receive additional compensation. .On Thursday, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction held their second public hearing, which focused on revenue options and reforming the tax code. The Committee heard testimony from Thomas Barthold, Chief of Staff of the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxations. .This issue has just popped up and TSCL will be in contact with members of Congress to do all we can to prevent these looming cuts and we will keep you advised as to how things are going. .This is not the end of the story, however. More legislation will be needed to stop additional Medicare payment cuts that are scheduled in 2022. .The order covers certain medical supplies that are deemed essential, as well. .Although immigration law forbids work without authorization, immigrants do find jobs and employers report their earnings to SSA. Currently there are no official published data on the amount of money paid into the Social Security system by aliens whether legal or illegal.(5) Social Security's Chief Actuary, Stephen C. Goss, however, has been quoted in the news media as saying that about three quarters of "other–than–legal" immigrants pay payroll taxes.(6) .TSCL Estimates 2019 Social Security COLA .Do COLAs overpay seniors? Ask TSCL Chairman, Larry Hyland. "The idea is hogwash," he says. "There's simply no evidence that the CPI has overpaid the people who depend on those COLAs to protect the buying power of their benefits. The Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) that surveys the market basket more typical of the majority of Social Security recipients, has shown a significantly greater rise over the CPI used to calculate COLAs through 201The CPI-E would provide a more accurate, and adequate COLA, one more in line with the costs experienced by seniors," Hyland says.