October 27th, 2011
Who prepares better for retirement, married couples or single individuals? The answer is married couples. More than 85% of married couples have saving plans related to their retirement. This compares with only 67% of single individuals who have established retirement savings programs.
Americans who have worked during the course of their lives are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. Social Security is an entitlement program. Another entitlement program working Americans have the benefit of is medicare. Medicare is a program that pays for a variety of medical treatments for senior citizens. It pays for hospital stays, doctors visits and prescription drugs. Medicare is not designed to pay for nursing home care. If a senior is placed in a nursing home for rehabilitation purposes, Medicare will cover up to 100 days of the expenses of the nursing home facility. However, if a senior needs to go into a nursing home because he or she just can’t take care themselves, Medicare is not designed to pay this expense. Seniors can buy catastrophic health care insurance to cover this type of expense.
Retirement Savings Plan
There are various types of retirement savings programs. Some employers have pension plans for their employees. Another type of savings program through employment is called a 401K plan. This allows the wage earner to save without paying current income taxes for a portion of his or her income. Individual retirement accounts are yet another type of retirement savings program that provides tax benefits.
How Much Is Necessary To Save For Retirement
The amount of money an individual or family needs to put aside for retirement varies with the lifestyle and cost of living of the people involved. Most financial planners suggest that retired Americans will require between 75% and 80% of the income they had during their working lives for their retirement. This is a figure that is hard for most Americans to meet. Most families and singles reduce their expenditures and live simpler lives in retirement, thereby preserving their limited assets.
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 trusts for 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.
July 20th, 2011
When Americans face financial stress they turn to their retirement accounts for liquid assets. Pensions, 401K plans and 403B plans are where Americans are turning to for quick infusions of cash.
In this past year borrowing from retirement accounts hit new highs. It is estimated that more than 15% of all individuals who have money in retirement accounts have borrowed from these accounts. Are Americans borrowing to the point that they won’t have sufficient funds when they retire? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, more than a quarter of all retirement plans have outstanding loans against them.
The Effect of Borrowing From Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts are designed to maximize compounded returns on your investments. Financial advisers believes most people do not have the discipline to pay back the loans against their retirement accounts and are therefore discounting the funds available when they retire. If you lose your job or change your employment, you will be unable to pay back the outstanding loan on your retirement account. If you borrow money against your retirement account and pay a portion of it back and thereafter are fired or moved to a new job, the unpaid portion will be considered a taxable distribution and taxed at income tax rates. You can also be stuck paying a 10% penalty if you default on paying back the loan against your retirement account.
New York Estate Planning Lawyer
Everyone will eventually die. The issue we face is we don’t know when this will take place. From my point of view, the later the better! When you pass on you want to simplify the issues your loved ones will face on your estate. The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel can help you achieve this goal. We draft wills. We probate wills. We litigate contested will issues. We can advise you regarding issues concerning estate taxes.
We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts. We also draft special needs trusts for special needs children. We can advise you concerning medicaid planning techniques and other medicaid issues. We litigate nursing home abuse cases.
July 18th, 2011
With the exception of the government, everyone will pay more money for medical insurance and medical benefits if the medicare age is raised to 67. A number of years ago, the Social Security retirement age for individuals born in 1960 or later was raised to 67. At the time they raised the social security age, they left the medicare eligibility age at 65.
47 Million Americans Receiving Medicare Benefits
There are more than 47 million Americans receiving medicare benefits today. These benefits impact on seniors, as well as disabled individuals. Most experts believe the current medicare system is simply unsustainable given it’s current structure.
If medicare benefits are raised to age 67, seniors who are 65 and 66 will be paying for two more years for their health insurance. If they stay at work their employers will pay more for their health insurance. There are estimates that raising the medicare age to 67 by the year 2014 will cost employers over 14 billion dollars a year. Even young people buying medical insurance will pay higher premiums because some of their premiums will be subsidizing the older members on their medical plans.
President Obama’s Health Care Plan
Many of the assumptions about medicare assume President Obama’s health care plan will go into effect and not be modified by Congress or struck down by the courts. The costs of raising medicare eligibility to 467 may be high, but it is necessary! Americans are living longer. The program is now based on young Americans supporting older Americans that are receiving benefits. As the graying portion of our population increases, there will be too many seniors for the next generations to support. Raising medicare benefits to age 67 is a step in the right direction.
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 28th, 2011
Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment for Americans. The current economic situation in the United States may require a re-thinking of retirement issues. A recent study has shown that one in four individuals approaching retirement have saved nothing for their retirement years! The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently revealed that nearly 50% of all individuals who are close to retirement, age 56 through 62, will run out of money if they are retired for twenty years or more.
Planning for Retirement
Planning for retirement is a complicated process. You never know how long you’re going to live! It is difficult to anticipate future medical expenses.
In the year 2011, the average individual receiving social security benefits will take in about $1,200 a month. Studies show you’ll need approximately eighty-percent of your pre- retirement income to maintain the same level of life style you maintained in your pre- retirement days. If you are nearing retirement, it is strongly suggested that you obtain literature and/or professional advice concerning retirement. Some retirement organizations offer community seminars. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has an enormous amount of information concerning what you can expect your expenses to be during the course of your retirement.
Are You In Debt
One of the first things that is recommended to individuals approaching retirement is to eliminate debt. The best way to do that is to review your expenses and take affirmative action to reduce these expenses. Examples of reducing expenses would be eating out in restaurants less often. You may have to change your life style and live a simpler, less expensive life.
Can You Downsize Your Home Expenses?
You may be able to sell your home and move into a smaller home. In some situations, you may be forced to sell your home and live in an apartment.
Who says sixty-five years of age is the magic number to retire! People are living much longer today. Working into your early seventies may be the solution to your retirement issues. Another alternative is to simply not retire. I’m sixty-one years of age and I have no intentions of retiring anytime in the near future. I simply wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I retired. I anticipate I would be bored to tears!
Our law office has been handling estate planning matters for our clients for more than thirty years. We draft wills and trusts for our clients. We assist our clients in estate administration and probating wills. We deal with elder care matters involving nursing homes, nursing home abuse, medicaid, medicaid planning and medicaid planning techniques. We also assist our clients in developing 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.
March 31st, 2011
Governor Cuomo has set up a medicaid re-design team. On the team, there are a number of hospital administrators. These administrators have used this opportunity to press for capping malpractice payment for hospitals. Governor Cuomo has decided to go along with the hospital administrators’ request concerning capping malpractice payments in medical malpractice cases.
Hospitals and physicians have complained about decisions in medical malpractice cases. They claim the awards have been too high. They also claim that they must now practice defensive medicine and perform unnecessary tests to protect themselves.
There has been a proposed cap for “non-economic damages.” This cap would be $250,000 for pain and suffering for each medical provider guilty of malpractice. In 2011, $250,000 is a grossly insufficient amount to pay to individuals who will have a diminished quality of life because of hospital or physician negligence. Some of these individuals will be left blind, paraplegics, and completely unable to care for themselves.
The best way to deal with medical malpractice is not to penalize the injured parties by limiting their recovery. The more perfect solution is to reduce the number of errors and bad decisions made by medical providers.
A medical malpractice cap should not be part of the budget being submitted by Governor Cuomo. The better solution would be for medical providers to be more careful regarding the decisions they make concerning patients. Our law office represents individuals who have been in car & truck accidents. We aggressively litigate slip and fall and wrongful death cases. We deal with issues concerning no-fault insurance. We also litigate dog bite cases. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.
January 26th, 2011
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, it is your hope that they are going to be cared for. The nursing home is responsible for meeting their needs for food, shelter and medical care. There has been a significant number of cases in recent years where nursing homes have not provided the high-level of care that is their obligation. In some situations, the seniors have been physically abused. Other cases involve the theft of money and valuables from seniors.
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
There are many types of elder abuse of seniors in nursing homes. They can be verbally abused, physically abused and sexually abused. They can be neglected to the point that it has a negative effect on their mental and physical health.
Seniors who rely on wheelchairs, crutches or walkers can be abused if these items are not made available. They can then become captives in their rooms, subject to false imprisonment. There have been instances that our office has been involved with where seniors valuables seem to develop feet and walk away on their own. Usually another resident or staff member of the nursing home is involved in the theft of the senior’s possessions.
What to Look for Regarding Nursing Home Abuse
To start with, you should always have access to a loved one at a nursing home. There is no reason why a staff member should prevent you from spending time with a loved one.
The following are signs of physical abuse: sudden weight loss, dehydration, bed sores, marks from restraints, broken bones and other injuries from falls as well as over- medication. These are indications of sexual abuse: bleeding or bruises in the genital area or rectum, torn or bloodied garments or the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
Verbal abuse can involve seniors regressing. This is when the senior enters an infant-like state, such as sucking their thumb or mumbling. Seniors can show an excessive fear or apprehension around other people. Visible depression or anger can also be related to verbal abuse.
What do you do if you believe a senior has been abused? The first thing you must do is try to obtain documentation or evidence of what actually happened. If you find abuse has taken place, it is strongly suggested that you remove the individual from the facility. You should thereafter notify the administrators of the facility and agencies regarding what transpired. You should also hire an attorney and sue the facility.
There are several types of lawsuits that can be brought against nursing homes. Lawsuits can be brought to deal with financial abuse, verbal abuse, false imprisonment, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Nursing homes must provide reasonable care to their residents. Nursing homes are held to a very high standard of care. The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987 requires that nursing homes maintain a specific high level of care if they are receiving reimbursement from either Medicare or Medicaid.
The federal statute regulating nursing homes is called the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA). This statute has specific regulation requiring all nursing facilities in the United States that receive either Medicaid or Medicare to maintain facilities that are safe, clean and well-managed for the nursing home residents. Federal regulations require that all nursing homes residents have a right to be free from verbal, physical, sexual or mental abuse. The rules stated in the NHRA are contained in a pamphlet called the “Residents’ Rights”. An overview on the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reforms website is www.NCCNHR.org. This Federal statute allows the recovery of “compensatory damages”. These damages are calculated at 25% of the daily per-patient statutory rate of payment which has been established for the facility.
We sue nursing homes. Our office sues nursing homes that fail to provide the required high-level of care to their residents. We will deal with issues involving nursing home abuse. We also assist our clients in contested wills and estate proceedings as well as the drafting of wills and trusts. We assist our clients if they have special needs children with drafting a special needs trusts and supplementary needs trust. Should you, a friend or loved one have a need for an elder care attorney, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561- 6645 or 718-350-2802.
January 21st, 2011
Individuals who reach the age of retirement are usually on a fixed income. It is important for these retirees to receive the biggest bang for their buck. They need to live on a moderate level so they do not live longer than their money can support them.
According to the Pew Center for States Report, the ten worst states for retirees to live in are Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island , Wisconsin and California. Hooray for New York! It didn’t make the list with the other bad boys.
The report did indicate that New York has “very high taxes”. It stated that New York has the second highest tax rate and the fifth highest per-capita property taxes. The report also indicated that New York has a “dysfunctional legislature”. The report also pointed out that there was a benefit to living in New York because pension income is exempt from income taxes.
The report involving the worst states to live in focused on the fiscal health, taxation and climate of the states in the United States. It considered factors regarding which state to retire in involving taxes, climate, typography, the crime rate, recreational opportunities in the state, the quality of transportation and healthcare, as well as the cost of living and the physical health of the state itself. Individuals, before they retire, should take into consideration all of these factors and how it will effect the quality of their life. From my point of view, I would rather be happy and poor than have more money and be miserable.
The Estate Planning lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel have been assisting their clients in drafting wills and trusts for more than thirty-three years. We represent our clients with regard to the drafting and implementation of revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts. Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq., is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law attorneys. Our office provides all types of elder law assistance. We deal with issues involving nursing home abuse, Medicaid, Medicaid planning, special needs trusts, as well as supplemental needs trusts. Call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718- 350-2802 for a free consultation.
November 16th, 2010
President Obama’s healthcare reform law will increase medicaid enrollments in the year 2014.
If New York and other states are going to survive, they must find a way to reduce their medicaid expenditures. New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch has recognized the need for a comprehensive strategy to deal with the cost of long term care for New York residents. Mr. Ravitch points out that long term care accounts for almost 50% of all medicaid spending in the state of New York.
Mr. Ravitch has suggested that New State establish an “innovation center to develop new ways to deliver and pay for healthcare, increase support for preventive care and reform medical malpractice”.
Mr. Ravitch has requested that the state’s political leaders change the medicaid financing formulas that exist in New York. Mr. Ravitch is right. Medicaid is bankrupting the state of New York as well as many other states. A detailed study must be immediately undertaken to determine what methodology needs to be used to reduce medicaid expenditures throughout the United States. Individuals need to be personally responsible for their long term medical care. In our society individuals should have appropriate medical treatment available to them; however, this medical treatment and long term care must not be at an unlimited cost!
In the event you have elder care issues involving wills, trusts, medicaid eligibility, probate or contested wills and estates. Contact the law office of Elliot Schlissel at 1-800-344-6431, or by email. We can help you!