November 26th, 2012
Job growth in the United States has been weak for a number of years. However, there is one group in the American population that has a higher level of employment than in previous decades. This group encompasses “older Americans.” More than 7.2 million Americans over the age of 65 are now working. This is more than twice as many that were employed 18 years ago. Why are a lot of older Americans working today? Simply speaking, they have to!
Savings In 401K’s Are Down
The amount of money in 401K plans and equity in homes of older Americans has decreased during the recent recession. During this period of time, the expenses for senior citizen’s health care and daily living expenses have increased.
Americans today are living longer than they have in the past. This makes working beyond 65 years of age much easier. Many Americans work to stay active and productive. However, the most significant factor in Americans working well into their seventies is financial need.
In a study regarding retirement financial confidence conducted by Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 14% of Americans polled felt they would have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Is retirement no longer an option?
About The Author
July 24th, 2012
Planning for retirement is difficult. Today, nest eggs are much smaller than they have been in the past. Many individuals and families plan for retirement at the last minute. This can cause problems.
Save And Invest
Americans need to save today, not tomorrow. It takes a lot of will power to forego today’s pleasures and have money for the long run.
Retirement Is Not A Permanent Vacation
Some TV advertisements present retirement as a permanent vacation. You see pictures of individuals playing golf in a Shangri-La type atmosphere. Americans are living longer today. The Shangri-La atmosphere presented in those pictures can become boring and stale. Even if you can afford living in a retirement community of that type, life expectancy can stretch retirement for as long as thirty or forty years.
A Study by Fidelity Investments indicates a couple who are 65 years of age when they retire will need more than $250,000 to pay for medical expenses throughout their retirement. These medical expenses do not include nursing home care. The study found the average medical expenses for a 65 year old couple amounted to more than $530 per month. It should be noted Medicare is not free and doesn’t cover all medical expenses!
Be Careful With Your 401K Plan
A 401K Plan is retirement plan. Many people borrow large sums from their 401k plans and are not able to pay these sums back. Depleting your 401K plan can have a significantly negative impact on your ability to retire.
Be Careful Of Your Priorities
Steven Cuhna, a certified financial planner with Bay Street Financial Services, suggests you remember the 5 P’s regarding retirement, Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. You should have a plan that analyzes your financial goals, retirement needs, investment and estate plan. You may live a long time but you will not live forever. Having a will and/or irrevocable trust may be necessary to help you preserve your assets. Another solution is to never stop working!
March 29th, 2012
The Garden of Eden Nursing Home is located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. The residents of this adult facility have been forced to live in a poorly maintained residence and under unsanitary living conditions. Multiple lawsuits have been brought related to complaints of mistreatment from the residents. The State Health Department has sited the facility for numerous violations during the course of 2011.
Pay Your Rent Or We’ll Put You On The Street
Linda Benjamin, age 58, who has been living at the facility for the past nine years, has said “they have black hearts – all of them.” She claims to have been bullied and threatened by administrators during the entire 9 year period she has been living at the facility. Benjamin recently asked the administrators of the facility to reduce her rent so she could purchase a new set of dentures. She was told that if she didn’t pay her rent she would be out on the street.
Residents of the facility claim the administrator Martin Amsel bullied patients into attending optional treatment meetings. They would be threatened with eviction or unnecessary hospital stays if they didn’t do as requested.
The State Health Department documents indicate that residents complained they were being served stale and moldy food.
Jeff Sherrin stated “Garden of Eden and its Administrator were wrongfully accused by the Department of Health inspector of overzealousness in trying to encourage residents to attend programs and take medications that their doctors had order for them”. He further stated that the facility has one of the best inspection records of any adult facility in the State of New York.
Numerous residents of the facility disagree with Jeff Sherrin’s analysis. They claim they are bullied, harassed and tormented by the management of the facility
The Elder Care Lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot S. Schlissel have been helping seniors with numerous issues for over two decades. The law firm had extensive experience with Medicaid, Medicaid planning techniques, drafting special needs trusts for special needs children, representing executors in the probating of wills, contesting wills and drafting wills and trusts. The firm also prepares guardianship documents for submissions under Article 81 under the New York Mental Hygiene Law. In addition the firm drafts revocable living trust and irrevocable trusts for their clients. Call us for a free consultation regarding all elder care and wills and trusts issues.
January 10th, 2012
End of life issues are difficult to face. Everyone that lives will eventually die. If you want to make your own choices as to how you’re cared for, should you become gravely ill, it is important that you have a Living Will. A Living Will is an advance directive that explains to your loved ones and your physicians what type of life prolonging medical treatments you want and don’t want if you become incapacitated, are placed on a resperator, or are unable to express your concerns due to illness or injuries.
Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) in the State of New York, is considered a “ high spending” medicare area of the country. Most individuals without health care proxies on Long Island will find themselves dying in a hospital. Individuals with Living Wills can choose to spend their final days in a hospice facility.
Hospice Facilities are designed to make patients facing end of life diseases comfortable by treating their pain and allowing their illnesses to run a natural course. Treatment in hospitals is organized around the theory of prolonging life. This can involve aggressive procedures even if the illness is considered by the treating physicians to be terminal. The treatment in hospitals for terminal illnesses can greatly reduce the quality of the individuals life. Sometimes the difference between hospice care and hospital care relates to the quality of the individual’s life while dealing with a terminal illness.
Lauren Hersh Nicholas is a health professor with the University of Michigan. She has conducted a study of involving living wills. She states there’s a benefit to the family of the patient. “Family members have a somewhat easier decision making process, because they have greater guidance.” The hospice treatment can eliminate pain and reduce medical procedures that are unlikely to work.
The Elder Law and Wills, Trusts and Estate lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have been helping their clients deal with end of life issues for more than 3 decades. The law firm drafts Wills, Trusts and Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. They represent individuals involved in will contests. They explain to executors of wills their duties. In addition, they draft revocable living trust and irrevocable living trusts. The firm is also involved in assisting clients with nursing home issues as well as medicaid planning technigues. Call for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718- 350-2802.
November 9th, 2011
Have Sufficient Assets and Cash Flow
You should not retire unless you have enough savings, pension, funds or 401K funds to support your lifestyle. Social Security alone will not be sufficient to fund your retirement goals. Social Security pays approximately $14,000 a year to retirees. This is simply not enough money to live on!
Be Active In Your Retirement
Researchers show that retirees who maintain an active lifestyle have a longer life expectancy. Exercise is important to seniors. Stimulating your body and your mind will keep you healthy, happy and extend your life.
Stay Close With Friends and Family Members
Don’t retire to your room. Have an outgoing social life and lifestyle. Stay in touch with the people you love and whose company you enjoy.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Studies indicate that approximately 14% of all Americans over the age of sixty-five suffer from some form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In the long run. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia negatively impact your brain, which in turn has a negative impact on your life and may land you in a nursing home. Medicare will not cover nursing home stays. Nursing homes can cost as much as ten to twelve-thousand dollars per month. To avoid the potential of an uncovered stay at a nursing home from impoverishing you, you should consult with an attorney who handles elder care work.
The Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel provides elder care legal services to our clients. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We deal with Medicaid planning issues. We assist our clients with nursing home issues. We provide all types of elder care legal representation. We also draft special needs trusts and supplemental needs trustsfor our clients. Should you need a will, trust or an elder care attorney, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
October 14th, 2011
Republican politicians have recently referred to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme”. This is an absurd misrepresentation of a program that has helped keep many of America’s senior citizens out of poverty. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, in a recent debate, stated “it is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and that’s not right.” What’s not right is that Governor Rick Perry is clueless as to the nature and makeup of the Social Security system!
Governor Rick Perry
The Social Security Trust Fund will have a surplus that will reach it’s peak in the year 2022. At that time, the surplus in the fund will be 3.7 trillion dollars. Social Security is a program that has worked for more than 50 years. Politicians shouldn’t mess with a system that already works well.
July 28th, 2011
It now costs more than $400 a day to stay in a semi-private room in a nursing home in the Metropolitan New York area. The cost of nursing home care in the state of New York is rising at a fast pace. It is estimated that in ten years the rates for a semi-private room in a nursing home will be in excess of $600 a day.
High Cost of Nursing Home Care
An annual stay in a nursing home in a semi-private room on Long Island costs approximately $150,000. The cost of living in a one bedroom assisted living facility would be $52,000. Living in your home and having a health care aid for approximately 40 hours a week would cost approximately $50,000. With these high costs and anticipated higher costs in the future, Americans can’t afford to grow old unless they can take care of themselves.
Stay At Home
Although nursing homes try hard to provide comfortable living conditions for their residents, it is strongly recommended that you stay in your home and avoid nursing homes, if at all possible. Men and women feel more comfortable at their residences. Living in ones home provides a sense of security and self worth. Sometimes when men and women move into nursing homes, they become depressed at the loss of their freedom.
Medicaid and Nursing Homes
The large majority of men and women in nursing homes can’t afford to pay ten to twelve thousand dollars a month for their own care. The rely on medicaid to pay for the expenses of staying in a nursing home. Qualifying for medicaid is no longer simple.
I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law attorneys. I meet with men and women and their children on a regular basis to discuss long term planning. Unfortunately, many families come to me right on the eve of one of their parents requiring nursing home care. They are under the mistaken impression they can immediately transfer all of their assets out of their parents’ names and put one of their parents in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a five year look back rule in medicaid. This means the asset has to be completely out of the parents name for a period of five years prior to submitting a medicaid application. If the medicaid application is submitted during this five year period, the person requiring the medicaid benefits is subject to a penalty period in which the individual must self-pay for his or her nursing home care.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel has been assisting senior Americans regarding wills and trusts issuesfor more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children.
June 29th, 2011
When Is The Right Time to Retire?
It’s hard to say when it’s right time to retire; however, it is easy to say it is the wrong time to retire. You shouldn’t retire unless you have sufficient funds to carry you through your golden years. In the past, most people retired in their sixties. With declining savings and living costs going up, many Americans will have to wait till they’re in their seventies.
Instead of quitting your job, you may be able to negotiate reducing your working days or working hours. This will allow you to live without drawing on your savings. Downscale your life style. If you want to retire, you need to try to live more modestly. If your home is large, you can sell it and buy a smaller home or rent an apartment. You can move from an expensive state, such as those located in the Northeast, to cheaper, less expensive states in the South and Southwest.
You need to prioritize your needs. Instead of eating out once or twice a week, it is much less expensive to cook your meals and eat at home.
Losing your job or being downsized may force you into retirement. Employers may no longer want experienced employees in their fifties and sixties. This tends to raise the cost of their group health care and other group benefit packages. What do you do if you’re downsized and no one wants to hire you?You need to see a job counselor. You need to train yourself to work in another industry. Unfortunately, you also need to downsize your expectations as to what you’ll be earning.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel has been assisting senior Americans regarding wills and trusts issues for more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children.
May 13th, 2011
Fewer doctors in the United States are going into family practice. Solo medical practitioners involved in family practices are becoming scarcer. The American Academy of Family Physicians, in 1986, represented forty-four percent of the practicing doctors. As of 2008, only eighteen percent of practicing physicians are in family practice and that number continues to grow smaller.
In 2007, twenty-eight percent of the doctors in private practice described themselves as being self-employed. In 1970, almost sixty percent of all doctors were self-employed.
New Doctors Don’t Want Family Practices
Many of the doctors graduating medical school have no interest in small family practices. They seek better life styles, which involve shorter working days and weekends off. They want to avoid patient emergencies.
New Doctors Have to Deal With Debt Obligations
Many doctors going into medical practice today borrowed large sums to help pay for their medical school expenses. These young doctors are looking for steady pay checks that have no risk attached to them.
Will Patients Suffer?
There are benefits for patients who use larger medical practices. These larger practices can provide more preventive medical services. They have the financial ability to use technology to enhance their practice, which gives them greater capabilities.
Loss of the Personal Touch
Generations of Americans have had personal, confidential relationships with their physicians. Physicians were trusted individuals. Patients felt they had a personal relationship with them. Newer, larger medical groups may lack this personal touch. Doctors who are part of larger medical groups have the ability to pool their resources to provide more sophisticated, higher levels of medical care.
There are pluses and minuses involved in a demise of the local family sole practitioner. Although there is a loss of the personal relationship, the patient may end up with more sophisticated medical care!
The attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel have more than 70 years of combined legal experience. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for our clients. Elliot Schlissel is a member of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
We represent individuals with regard to issues concerning medicaid, medicaid planning techniques and developing special needs trusts for special needs children. We also deal with issues involving nursing home abuse. Feel free to call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
April 19th, 2011
Today, there is a new phenomenon in medical care. Individuals are paying their doctors a fixed annual fee. They pay their doctors this fixed annual fee whether they use their services or not. The fixed annual fee is usually in the area of $1,500 a year. The annual fee is for what is now referred to as concierge medicine.
Concierge medicine refers to situations where doctors limit their medical practice to those patients that pay the annual fee. This type of concierge medical practice can create a two tier system for medical care in the United States. Unfortunately, Americans who can’t afford to pay the $1,500 retainer fee to their doctors may be stuck in what may be considered a lower tier of medical care.
It is estimated there are approximately two thousand doctors in the United States that are utilizing this concierge medical care system. The large majority are primary care physicians. It is estimated that more than 300,000 individuals and families have paid these retainers and are utilizing concierge care physicians.
Concierge Care Provides Better Medical Service to Patients
Concierge care physicians claim that this system provides more personal attention and promotes a better doctor-patient relationship. If a concierge care physician has two hundred patients at a $1,500 retainer basis, he or she starts the year with a minimum of $300,000. This is a very hefty sum of money. The theory behind concierge care is if the doctor has less patients to treat, each of those patients will receive a higher standard of medical care. In addition, the doctor also bills medicare, medicaid and private insurance companies for covered medical services.
Two Tiered Medical System
John Rother, policy director for The American Association of Retired Persons, feels that this may create a dual medical system and that it would have a negative effect on middle class Americans and individuals on medicare. When you take into consideration the fact that, under President Obama’s new health care program, it is estimated that as many as 34 million more Americans are qualified for medicaid in the United States, a two tiered system for medical care is becoming a real possibility. In the two tiered medical system, Americans with financial resources will receive high quality medical care. The question is what will happen to the quality of medical care for those who can’t afford the annual fee.
Our law office has assisted our clients with regard to wills, trusts and estate issues for more than three decades. We probate wills and we litigate contested wills and estates. We handle estate administration, estate taxes and we do estate planning for our clients. We also draft revocable living trusts, irrevocable living trusts and all other types of trusts. We handle elder care matters for our clients involving nursing home abuse, medicaid applications and medicaid planning techniques. We are experienced in drafting special needs trusts for special needs children. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.