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How LTC Insurance Can Help Protect Your Assets

Create a pool of healthcare dollars that will grow in any market.

How will you pay for long term care? The sad fact is that most people don’t know the answer to that question. But a solution is available.

As baby boomers leave their careers behind, long term care insurance will become very important in their financial strategies. The reasons to get an LTC policy after age 50 are very compelling.

Your premium payments buy you access to a large pool of money which can be used to pay for long term care costs. By paying for LTC out of that pool of money, you can preserve your retirement savings and income.

The cost of assisted living or nursing home care alone could motivate you to pay the premiums. Genworth Financial conducts a respected annual Cost of Care Survey to gauge the price of long term care in the U.S. The 2010 report found that:

  • In 2010, the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $75,190 or $206 per day – $14,965 more than it was in 2005.
  • A private one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility has a median cost of $3,185 a month – which is 12% higher than it was in 2009.
  • The median payment to a non-Medicare certified, state-licensed home health aide in 2010 is $19 per hour, up 2.7% from 2009.

The most recent (2009) estimate of LTC costs from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was even higher than the Genworth survey – $219 per day for a private room in a nursing home, or $79,935 per year.

Can you imagine spending an extra $30-80K out of your retirement savings in a year? What if you had to do it for more than one year?

Let’s take that $79,935 figure from the government and factor in inflation. At 5% inflation, that private room will cost you $130,206 per year by 2019 and $212,091 annually by 2029.

AARP notes that approximately 60% of people over age 65 will require some kind of long term care during their lifetimes.

Why procrastinate? The earlier you opt for LTC coverage, the cheaper the premiums. This is why many people purchase it before they retire. Those in poor health or over the age of 80 are frequently ineligible for coverage.

What it pays for. Some people think LTC coverage just pays for nursing home care. That’s inaccurate. It can pay for a wide variety of nursing, social, and rehabilitative services at home and away from home, for people with a chronic illness or disability or people who just need assistance bathing, eating or dressing.

Choosing a DBA. That stands for Daily Benefit Amount – the maximum amount that your LTC plan will pay per day for care in a nursing home facility. You can choose a Daily Benefit Amount when you pay for your LTC coverage, and you can also choose the length of time that you may receive the full DBA on a daily basis. The DBA typically ranges from a few dozen dollars to hundreds of dollars. Some of these plans offer you “inflation protection” at enrollment, meaning that every few years, you will have the chance to buy additional coverage and get compounding – so your pool of money can grow.

The Medicare misconception. Too many people think Medicare will pick up the cost of long term care. Medicare is not long term care insurance. Medicare will only pay for the first 100 days of nursing home care, and only if 1) you are getting skilled care and 2) you go into the nursing home right after a hospital stay of at least 3 days. Medicare also covers limited home visits for skilled care, and some hospice services for the terminally ill. That’s all.

Now, Medicaid can actually pay for long term care – if you are destitute. But are you willing to wait until you are broke for a way to fund long term care?

Why not look into this? You may have heard that LTC insurance is expensive compared with some other forms of policies. But the annual premiums (about as much as you’d spend on a used car from the late 1990s) are nothing compared to real-world LTC costs.5 Ask your financial or insurance professional about some of the LTC choices you can explore – while many Americans have life, health and disability insurance, that’s not the same thing as long term care coverage.

 

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

This material was prepared and written by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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Important IRS Adjustments For 2013

IRAs & workplace retirement plans have higher contribution limits.

The IRS has set annual contribution limits for IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans higher for 2013, and made other important adjustments for inflation as well. Here is an overview of some notable changes just announced.

The 2013 IRA contribution limit: $5,500. This is a $500 increase from 2012, and it applies to both Roth and traditional IRAs. The IRA catch-up contribution limit for those 50 and older remains $1,000.

The 2013 contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b), TSP & most 457 plans: $17,500. For the second year in a row, we see a $500 increase. The catch-up contribution limit on these plans for participants 50 and older remains $5,500.

The phase-out range on Roth IRA contributions has increased. It starts $5,000 higher in 2013 than in 2012 for married couples filing jointly ($178,000-$188,000) and $2,000 higher for single filers and heads of household ($112,000-$127,000).

The phase-out range on deductible contributions to traditional IRAs has risen. In 2013 it increases by $1,000 for single filers ($59,000-$69,000) and $3,000 for married couples filing jointly ($95,000-$115,000), provided the spouse making the contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan. If not, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $178,000-$188,000 – up $5,000 from 2012.

The annual gift tax exclusion rises to $14,000 next year. The IRS has kept this at $13,000 for several years; no more. In 2013, a taxpayer can gift up to $14,000 each to as many different people as he or she wishes, tax-free.

You may be able to deduct a greater portion of LTCI premiums. For 2013, the deductible portion of eligible long term care insurance premiums that may be included as medical expenses on Schedule A rises. The new limits are $360 for taxpayers 40 or less, $680 for taxpayers aged 41-50, $1,360 for taxpayers aged 51-60, $3,640 for taxpayers aged 61-70, and $4,550 for taxpayers age 71 or older.4

The kiddie tax exemption increases to $1,000. It was set at $950 in 2012.

The foreign earned income exclusion rises to $97,600. That is a $2,600 increase over 2012.

In addition to these 2013 IRS adjustments, Social Security recipients will see a 1.7% rise in their benefits next year.

 

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

This material was prepared and written by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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The Top 10 Retirement Planning Excuses

Ten common “reasons” why someone does not plan for retirement.

#10: “I’m too busy”
Stop procrastinating. How does the saying go? The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago. The second best time is … TODAY.

#9: “It’s too soon”
It’s NEVER too soon. The sooner you start planning, the better chance you stand of having the kind of retirement you want.

#8: “It’s too late”
Think again. Even if you’ve already retired, it’s important to consider how you’re receiving income and how long it will last.

#7: “I don’t need to”
This one baffles me. If you’re simply giving monthly to a savings account and hoping for the best, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise someday.

#6: “I don’t have enough money to get started”
Starting small is better than not starting at all, and if you plan well, you’ll eventually have more to work with.

#5: “My finances are a mess”
Consider speaking with a Financial Professional who can look at your complete financial picture and help you to develop a plan to make your “mess” work for you.

#4: “The Government will take care of me”
If you’re planning to retire on Social Security alone, I would advise you to create a back-up plan at the very least.

#3: “Between my savings and my 401(k), I’ll be fine”
Saving for retirement without an income distribution plan could be a mistake. Have you considered inflation? Taxes? If you live to 100, will the money last?

#2: “I don’t want to think about it”
If you bite the bullet now and put a firm plan in motion, you may not have to think about it again for quite some time.

#1: “I don’t know how”
If you knew everything there was to know about financial planning, you’d probably be a financial advisor yourself. If you’re putting off retirement planning because you don’t know how to begin, consider speaking to a professional who does.

 

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

This material was prepared and written by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

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Why Is The Market Advancing?

The summer of 2012 has defied expectations.

On August 21, the S&P 500 hit a 4-year high. It climbed 3% in the first three weeks of the month following a 1.26% July gain. Across the past four weeks, the index’s total return has been just under 4%.1,2,3

Unexpected? You might say so. You can’t predict how the market will behave. This summer, stocks are managing to advance despite lingering threats.

Shouldn’t Wall Street be more pessimistic? After all, the “fiscal cliff” is drawing closer, the risk of a crack in the eurozone hasn’t exactly faded, and the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve have not yet boldly responded to disappointing economic signals. Did Wall Street just collectively dismiss all of this in recent weeks?

Few saw this rally coming. The prevailing opinion – at least in spring – was that stocks would limp along through the summer, possibly retreating in reaction to news from Europe and subpar U.S. indicators. That was essentially the story in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the S&P saw an April-May selloff and didn’t recover until that November. In 2011, a May-June selloff preceded a disastrous July; it took until February 2012 for stocks to get back to where they had been ten months earlier.4

This year, the S&P hit a peak in April and a valley in June – and just two months later, it returned to its YTD high.4

What factors are buoying the market? ECB President Mario Draghi’s (vague) pledge to do whatever is necessary to support the euro has certainly calmed some nerves. Investors continue to anticipate that the Fed will ease in the near term. The real estate sector appears to be healing, even as other economic indicators show sluggishness.

Some analysts think that the market simply wants to move higher – bullish sentiment has prevailed, even with all this uncertainty. In fact, a few analysts wonder if this summer’s advance mirrors a longstanding pattern.

Will history repeat? While it is far too early to answer “yes” to that question, it is interesting to note some past tendencies of “mature” bull markets. According to research from Bespoke Investment Group, we are now in the ninth longest and ninth strongest bull market since 1928 (nearly 1,300 days old with 110% appreciation).4

Mature bull markets witness corrections. In June, we more or less saw one – the S&P dropped 9.9% from its April high, actually 10.9% on an intraday basis. According to Bespoke, this was the twentieth bull market correction in the past 84 years. In the 19 previous corrections, the S&P took an average of 98 days to fully rebound from its low. This year, only 81 days were required.4

So what happened once the S&P recaptured its highs after these corrections? The index rose during the following month in 84% of these instances, with the average gain in those 30 days being 2.1%. Stretch that window of time out to three months, and data shows the index advancing 65% of the time with an average gain of 1.3%. Six months after such a rebound, the S&P was higher 84% of the time with the average advance at 5.5%.4

This data suggests that once a bull market is entrenched, a correction doesn’t shake the confidence of investors. There is still the perception of an upside.

A steepening VIX curve may be cause for concern. The CBOE VIX (the so-called “fear index” indicating expected volatility) fell below 14 in mid-August. This month, the VIX futures curve has shown a steepness not seen in several years, with VIX futures prices for October above 20 and in the vicinity of 25 for January. Some analysts wonder if complacency is about to give way to greater anxiety, since the VIX has shown longer-term volatility at a higher premium than short-term volatility.5

Yesterday’s statistics don’t equal tomorrow’s reality; nobody knows what the market will do this fall and winter. What we do know is that this summer, stocks have nicely exceeded expectations.

 

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

This material was prepared and written by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations
1 – www.cnbc.com/id/48737245/ [8/21/12]
2 – www.bloomberg.com/markets/stocks/ [7/31/12]
3 – news.morningstar.com/index/indexReturn.html [8/22/12]
4 – www.cnbc.com/id/48740766 [8/21/12]
5 – www.cnbc.com/id/48692307 [8/16/12]

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How Much Retirement Income Will You Really Need?

Many people underestimate lifestyle costs, medical expenses and inflation.

What is enough? What is not enough? If you’re considering retiring in the near future, you’ve probably heard or read that you need about 70% of your end salary to live comfortably in retirement. This estimate is frequently repeated … but that doesn’t mean it is true for everyone. It may not be true for you.

You won’t learn how much retirement income you’ll need by reading this article. You’ll want to meet with a qualified retirement planner who can help you plan to estimate your lifestyle needs and short-term and long-term expenses.

That said, there are some factors which affect retirement income needs – and too often, they go unconsidered.

Health. Most of us will face a major health problem at some point in our lives – perhaps even multiple or chronic health problems. We don’t want to think about that reality. But if you’re a new retiree, think for a moment about the costs of prescription medicines, and recurring treatment for chronic ailments. These minor and major costs can really take a bite out of retirement income, even with a great health care plan. While generics have slowed the advance of prescription drug costs to about 1-2% a year recently,1 one estimate found that a 65-year-old who retired in 2007 would need $215,000 to pay for overall retirement health care costs – up about 7.5% from 2006.2

Heredity. If you come from a family where people frequently live into their 80s and 90s, you may live as long or longer. Imagine retiring at 55 and living to 95 or 100. You would need 40-45 years of steady retirement income.

Portfolio. Many people retire with investment portfolios they haven’t reviewed in years, with asset allocations that may no longer be appropriate. New retirees sometimes carry too much risk in their portfolios, with the result being that the retirement income from their investments fluctuates wildly with the vagaries of the market. Other retirees are super-conservative investors: their portfolios are so risk-averse that they can’t earn enough to keep up with even moderate inflation, and over time, they find they have less and less purchasing power.

Spending habits. Do you only spend 70% of your salary? Probably not. If you’re like many Americans, you probably spend 90% or 95% of it. Will your spending habits change drastically once you retire? Again, probably not. Most people only change spending habits in response to economic necessity or in pursuit of new financial goals. People don’t want to “live on less” once they have had “more”.

Social Security (or lack thereof). In 2005, SSI represented 39% of a typical 65-year-old retiree’s income. But by 2030, Social Security may only replace 29% of that income, after deductions for Medicare premiums and income taxes. Since 1983, retirees earning more than $25,000 in SSI have had to pay income tax on a portion of their benefits.3 This is all presuming Social Security is still around in 2030.

 So will you have enough? When it comes to retirement income, a casual assumption may prove to be woefully inaccurate. Meet with a qualified retirement planner while you are still working to discuss these factors and estimate how much you will really need.

 

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.  Member FINRA/SIPC

This article was prepared and written by Peter Montoya Inc., not the named Representative or Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information.

Citations

1 nytimes.com/2007/09/21/business/21generic.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

2 marketwatch.com/news/story/health-care-costs-retirement-rise/story.aspx?guid=%7bEF2B6CDA-E176-4747-B528-76AC814051C5%7d&print=true&dist=printTop

3 money.cnn.com/2007/05/14/pf/retirement/nasi__report/index.htm

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