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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dance to Keep Your Brain Sharp


During the next few months, we will offer some ideas that are considered helpful to keep you sharp and active as you age. The source for many of these ideas will be the AARP series on Staying Sharp.

We start with dance, which is considered a great way to protect brain tissue, improve focus and help navigational skills. In fact, according to studies done at Colorado State University, activity using specific dance types is effective in different ways.

The study starts with country dance, which is considered very useful for protecting brain tissue.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Seniors and the New Tax Law


There has been a lot written over the last month or so about the impact of the new tax law on seniors.

Passed and signed into law in December, this new law marks the first time the tax code has been changed significantly in more than 30 years. With that said, there is still much we are learning about the implications of the new law.

We have taken an article from January The ElderCounselor™, a bi-monthly newsletter from ElderCounsel and placed it Read more . . .


Monday, January 29, 2018

No Medicare Cuts in 2018


 

As the new tax law was being considered in Congress late last year, there were legitimate concerns about the impact the legislation could have on Medicare.

In fact, the legislation that was passed had the potential to include a $25 billion cut to Medicare. But that changed when the House and Senate recently voted to waive the required cuts as part of the temporary spending bill approved a few weeks ago.

That means Medicare will continue to cover the approximately 56.8 million people it has been covering, including 47.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 22, 2018

Seniors and IRS Scams


Scammers work year-round and often victimize our seniors more than any other age group. But now, with tax season upon us, we always see an increase in the number of these scams and the creativity.

We have recently seen an alarming increase in the number of telephone calls from people claiming to be IRS agents. These callers tell people that they owe the IRS money from past years, and will even claim there is a warrant out for the person’s arrest. They will try to get you to pay immediately – usually by credit card – or they will come and arrest you.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 8, 2018

Are Your Estate Planning Documents in Order?


With the holiday season just passed, many of us were fortunate to be able to visit with relatives we only see a few times a year. As always, we remind you to make sure that, especially if some of those relative are older, that you take the time to make sure their estate planning, medical and other important legal documents are in order.

But if you are a caregiver for an older family member or a child with special needs, it’s important to remember that your documents are in order as well.

Too often we focus on those for who we are caring, and we do not pay attention to ourselves. As a caregiver, that includes focus on your emotional and physical well-being.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reducing Falls with Yoga


We are well aware that falls are particularly problematic for people as they age. Injuries and other health-related issues are compounded when a fall occurs for someone in our older population.

Studies show that among people aged 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death, as well as the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital trauma admissions. Thirty percent of this age group has a fall each year. By age 80 that rate increases to 50 percent.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Medicare Costs Going Up in 2018


Medicare recipients should be preparing for increased costs in 2018 that may or may not be covered by their Part B coverage.

Seniors on Medicare can anticipate an increase in premiums of 23 percent on doctor visits and outpatient care depending on how they are covered.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the standard monthly premium will jump from $25 a month to $134 a month if they are paying a lower monthly premium as part of a hold harmless legal provision.  This includes approximately 70 percent of Medicare Part B enrollees.  

The purpose of the hold harmless provision was to keep Medicare Part B payments from rising more than the recipient’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, commonly known as COLA.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scammers Targeting Veterans


Scammers are always looking for the easiest victims of their crimes, and now they have found a new group – our veterans.

A series of scams targeted at veterans of any age, but especially older ones, have become prominent in recent months. Most of the scams focus on two areas – benefits or identity theft.

The benefit scams include offers to make an upfront payment in cash in exchange for future disability or pension payments but at a fraction of the value, fraudulent investment advisors suggesting the veteran can get additional benefits by overhauling their investment holdings, creating a phone number similar to the ones veterans actually use to find approved health care providers in the VA system and charging for military records.

The identity theft scams include people calling and saying they work for the VA and need to update records.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Consider Interviewing an Older Family Member for the Holidays


Have you ever wondered about the great stories that exist in the minds of your older family members? Why not get those stories out of their minds to the rest of the family – and do it before their memory becomes too challenging to capture them.

Credit for this idea comes from Michelle Woo who recently wrote a story for Lifehacker.com about her own experience doing this a few years ago with her grandmother, Annie.

Woo, an experienced editor and writer, included some suggestions from her experience that could make this possible for anyone to do.

First, if you have more than one older relative from which to choose, pick the one who likes telling stories the most.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Tax Code Proposal Could Hurt People with Health Issues


The recently introduced Republican proposed tax code plan could have catastrophic results for those who are chronically ill.

The proposed legislation included an end to the medical expense deduction (MED). NAELA (The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) has already expressed its concern about this elimination, saying it would result in serious problems for people faced with the high cost of any type of long-term, health-related services.

MED has been part of the tax code since 1942. Without it, our older population and their families will suddenly be faced with additional costs for chronic illnesses, long-term care expenses and the unique and costly care needed for individuals with disabilities.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

National Caregiver Month


November is recognized as National Caregiver Month with a theme this year of “Caregiving Around the Clock.”

This theme is fitting as caregiving is a full-time job, and for most people it comes on top of what already may be a full-time job.

The Caregiver Action Network, in creating the theme for National Caregiver Month 2017, highlighted just some of the activities in an average 24-hour period for caregivers.

It starts early in the morning. On top of dealing with the person for which you may be the primary caregiver, you are likely dealing with a spouse and children – making sure everyone has what they need to get off to work or school.
Read more . . .


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