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Dispelling Retirement Myths

Retiring in comfort is getting more and more difficult. The costs of retirement are spiraling while the income of the average American has flattened out or is declining. There are many retirement myths that are simply untrue. Following is the discussion of some retirement issues that all potential retirees should be aware of.

How much will be enough? Do you have enough savings to retire? Will one million or two million dollars be enough in the bank to retire? According to Re Keithen D. Miller, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta, Georgia, “With most people living longer and the continuing rise of the cost of living, a million dollars no longer guarantees a five star retirement. Most people will need to have enough money to support them for twenty five to thirty years in retirement. Depending on the lifestyle you want to maintain and where you live, a million dollars may not go so far.”

Your Expenses Won’t Go Down In Retirement

Most retirees anticipate their expenses will decrease once they retire. According to Nicole Rutledge, a certified financial planner with Resource Consulting Group inOrlando, Florida, “in my experience this is not always the case. Typically we see clients spend more money when they initially retire. This is the time in their lives when they are still healthy and full of energy. They travel more, focus resources on hobbies and other interests and do many of the things they have been putting off during their working years. We call this the go-go years.”

According to Rutledge, although spending increases initially when individuals retire the spending does decrease in the later retirement years. “That’s when the health issues, energy and just a general desire to travel the world and focus on these just aren’t what they used to be.”

The Declining Value of Social Security

Social security has never been meant to be the primary source of income for Americans who retire. Social Security provides a safety net for Americans. The average Social Security benefit is twelve hundred dollars per month. This is not enough money to live on! This will put you at the federal poverty level.

Investment Income

Individuals when they retire shouldn’t be overly aggressive with regard to their investments. However investing too conservatively can also be problematic. Individuals who retire should have a balanced program of dividend bearing stocks as well as fixed income return investments. Interest rates are at an all time low right now and investing in Certificates of Deposit at one and a half to two percent will not earn enough interest to secure you in your retirement years.

Retiring Too Early

It was once thought that all Americans should retire as they approach their sixties. With life expectancies increasing and savings having to last longer in retirement it is recommended today that you retire at an older age. This will expand your working years and give you additional years to accumulate savings. You will also maximize the amount you receive from your Social Security benefits.

New York Wills and Trusts Lawyer

For more than thirty years, the Attorneys of the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have handled estate planning needs for their clients. The Attorneys drafts wills and trusts. They draft special needs trusts for special needs children. The firm also has extensive experience with regular preparation of revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts.

The law office also probates wills and litigates contested will contests. They advise executors as to what to do in the handling of estates. They deal with Medicaid issues such as nursing home abuse, Medicaid planning techniques, the drafting of Health Care proxies and Powers of Attorneys. Feel free to call us for a consultation. The firm’s more than thirty years of experience can be utilized to see to it your loved ones are protected and your estate is not subject to inappropriate taxation.

Baby Boomers Need Wills

Death is unpleasant. Why would anyone want to think about such an unpleasant subject. However, as unpleasant as death may be, everything that lives will eventually die. End of life issues are difficult to face. However, the failure to face end of life issues can create untenable, difficult, and painful situations for your loved ones.

Living Will

A Living Will is a document that spells out an individual’s wishes with regards to the type of medical care he or she wants to have. It is only utilized when the individual who drafts the document is no longer capable of communicating with doctors directly. It deals with issues such as life support and medical treatments that do not prolong life but only prolong death and suffering.

Health Care Proxy

A Health Care Proxy is sometimes called a health care power of attorney. This allows an individual to select someone he or she trusts to make decisions about medical care during a period of time when they are in incapacitated or unable to communicate their wishes.

Cathy Brant is the senior vice president in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization states that living wills and health care proxies are a good idea for everyone whether they are healthy and young or older and not so healthy. She states further that these two documents can spare families painful fights and ensure patients receive – or don’t receive – the medical treatments they wish should they end up in a situation where they can’t speak for themselves.

Avoiding The Terri Schiavo Situation

Terri Schiavo collapsed in 1990, in her home. She did not have any advance directives regarding end of life care issues. Her heart stopped. She suffered irreversible brain injuries. She was left in a vegetative state. Her husband, who loved her very much, stated she had told him she would not want to live in a vegetative state. He parents vehemently disagreed with Terri’s husband. They wanted her kept alive without regard to the quality of her life. Her husband and parents litigated for years concerning the issue of turning off her life support system. The case eventually went to the Supreme Court. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees were expended concerning this issue. In 2005, the court ordered her feeding tubes removed and she died two weeks later.

There are many issues individuals face as they grow older. Drafting health care proxies, will and living wills are issues that Americans should face up to.

Elder Care Lawyers

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has more than thirty years of experience in handling all types of Estate related matters. We probate Wills. We litigate Will contests. We draft Wills and Trusts. We create guardianships for clients. We have developed expertise concerning Estate Tax issues, Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Elder Care issues, nursing home abuse matters, Medicaid, Medicare planning techniques, Special Needs Trusts and Supplement Needs Trusts for our clients. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Child Pornography and Criminal Charges

Susan Powell has been missing since 2009. She had two children, ages 4 and 6. The children had been staying with her husband, Josh Powell during her absence. Recently the Washington State Children’s Administration removed the children from Mr. Powell’s home. It seems that Josh Powell was also living with his father Steve. Steve has been charged with possession of child pornography and voyeurism. This has caused the children to be removed from Josh’s custody and placed in the custody of his wife’s parents. This action was taken by the Washington State Children’s Administration, even though Steve advised them “I have nothing to do with any kind of illegal pornography.” Josh claimed that he’s a loving father and good to his children. He alleged his children were not at risk and they had not been exposed to any type of inappropriate material such as pornography.

Steven Powell Charged With Crimes

Steven Powell has been jailed on 14 charges of voyeurism and pornography possession. His bail has been set at $200,000.00.

Child Custody and Pornography

If you have custody of your children it is important to make sure that the other individuals residing in your household are not engaged in activities that may create a dangerous or inappropriate environment for your children. Children need to be protected and individuals involved with child pornography are considered to be very poor role models and guardians.

Father’s Rights Lawyers

Father’s rights are protected by the lawyers at our law office. For 30 years we have been assisting fathers in matrimonial and family law matters and family court proceedings. We represent fathers involved in divorce proceedings, orders of protection, child custody, child visitation matters, changes in child custody, child support matters, spousal maintenance, child abuse and child neglect proceedings. In addition, we help our clients to reduce child support payments, we defend the in paternity actions and deal with parental alienation situations. We also negotiate prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements for our clients. In amicable situations we negotiate separation agreements and participate in arbitration and mediation of marital issues. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. Our phones are monitored 24/7.

Prisoner’s Death Results In Large Damages Award

Philip E. Parker, a former inmate in a Baltimore jail, was being transported by correction officers in a jail bus when he was murdered by a fellow inmate. His family brought a lawsuit claiming that the four correction officers and the State had acted negligently in the supervision of the prisoners on the bus, and as a result of their failure to supervise, that another inmate, Kevin Johns, killed Mr. Parker during the bus trip.

18.5 Million Dollar Jury Award

A jury in the Baltimore City Court awarded Parker’s family 18.5 million dollars based on this incident that took place in 2005. The State argued the situation on the bus was not foreseeable and therefore they were not negligent. The State claimed that the incident happened very quickly, and that the bus was dark, further preventing the correction officers from intervening.

The State’s Appeal

The attorneys for the State have indicated they plan to appeal the verdict. The 18.5 million dollar verdict involved 7.5 million to Parker’s mother, 1 million payable to his father and 10 million dollars to be paid to his estate. The attorney for the Parker family, Samuel M. Shapiro, stated “inmates in prison are human beings. These human beings, while incarcerated, need to be treated as human beings and if necessary, protected by the prison personnel from being murdered by other prisoners.”

New York Personal Injury Lawyers

For more than 30 years the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has represented New Yorkers with regard to all types of personal injury cases. We have extensive experience in handling both car and truck accidents. Our office can provide legal representation in cases involving slip and fall accidents, premises liability, wrongful death matters, construction accidents, as well as nursing home neglect situations. We also have handled dog bite cases. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7, and we can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Medicaid and Legal Malpractice

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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.

Malpractice Awards

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.

blog2-150x150Reducing In-hospital Errors

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.

CONCLUSION

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.

Bank of America and Foreclosures

BankOfAmericaBank of America is the largest bank in the United States. They have recently taken action to stop moving forward with foreclosures throughout the United States. Allegations have arisen with regard to how the bank is handling the foreclosure process. Bank of America is among many large financial institutions which also include Chase Manhattan and GMAC that are reexamining how they handle foreclosures.

Document Problems

Bank of America, GMAC and JP Morgan Chase have uncovered problems with the documents they have utilized in processing foreclosure proceedings. Attorneys representing homeowners who homes have been foreclosed upon are developing new and innovative defense techniquess to deal with the document crisis created by the financial institutions.

Attorney Generals in California, Connecticut and Florida are investigating the materials submitted by various financial institutions in foreclosure proceedings. The Associated Press recently reported that a Bank of America official acknowledged that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents per month without reading them. Consumer advocates claim that there are numerous problems with the foreclosure process.

Should you find your home in foreclosure, please call our offices 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email. Our law firm has represented individuals in debtor/creditor matters for more than 30 years. We are experts in handling foreclosure defense, foreclosure conferences, mortgage modifications, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The Use of Incorrect Documents in Foreclosures

Numerous financial institutions are finding that the documents they anticipated using in foreclosure proceedings are flawed! GMAC and JP Morgan Chase are among two large financial institutions that have acknowledged that mistakes were made with regards to the processing of mortgages. Both companies have suspended all foreclosure proceedings.Attorneys in many states are demanding legal action to investigate foreclosure proceedings brought by financial institutions. The treasury department is looking into these new disclosures.

Motions In A Foreclosure Proceeding

The financial institutions have acknowledged that the affidavits that they have been supplying to their attorneys in summary judgement motions may not be accurate. These motions are made to obtain quick judgements in foreclosure proceedings. If the financial institution is not successful on a summary judgement motion, then the case must go to trial.
Lawyers representing homeowners have repeatedly indicated that there has been carelessness and fraud in the foreclosure proceedings brought by lenders. Defense counsel are pressing lenders with regard to the actions they are taking related to foreclosure proceedings. As a result, foreclosure defense counsel are causing the foreclosure machinery to slow down.

Contact us regarding foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications, filing mortgage modifications, foreclosure conferences, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Slow Home Sales

The economic crisis in real estate in the United States is impacted by the number of foreclosed homes that come on the market. Home values are undermined when many homes in an area are foreclosed upon and sold. Throughout the United States, home values have gone down. Many homes are “under water”, meaning that the homes are worth less than the mortgages on them. Homeowners in some communities have simply given up and have stopped paying their mortgages.
Our office has been involved in representing individuals sued by creditors for three decades. We have numerous cases throughout the New York metropolitan area pending where we are defending homeowners from foreclosure proceedings. Our office has an expertise in handling foreclosure defense. There may be legal defenses available to you to stop your home from being foreclosed upon.

Feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or contact us by email to discuss your personal situation concerning foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications, foreclosure conferences, bankruptcy and reestablishing credit.

Lesbian Obligated To Pay Child Support

lesbian_parents1-300x200Under current law, if a heterosexual male has a one night stand with a woman and she becomes pregnant, the man is legally obligated to pay child support. Furthermore, in situations where a male is paying child support to a woman even when he is not the father, he cannot discontinue payments under the doctrine of “equitable estoppel“. This doctrine states that a man with no biological or adoptive connections to a child cannot stop paying child support if he has established a history of providing for the child.

In the case of H.M. v. E.T., the mother had conceived a child through artificial insemination. She had relied on her lesbian partner’s assurances that she would receive child support for the baby. When her partner backed out on her commitment to provide financial support, the mother brought the matter to court.

The Second Department of the Appellate Division (an appeals court) held that the assurances of support by a non-adoptive, non-biological adult who engages in a same sex relationship is also subject to the doctrine of equitable estoppel. Therefore, the lesbian woman would have to continue paying child support even though her relationship with her lover had ended.

New York does not grant the non-biological woman in a lesbian relationship visitation unless she formally adopts the child. Query: will the courts look differently on a lesbian partner’s request for child visitation where the partner is obligated to pay child support?

Should you have issues concerning child support, custody or visitation, feel free to contact the family lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, by email or at 1-800-344-6431.

Nursing Home Expenses & Medicaid

nursing-homeAmerica has a healthcare crisis. President Obama is now battling with Congress to deal with long term issues involving healthcare.

An area of healthcare that is very often overlooked deals with what happens to Americans when they can’t care for themselves.

The best way to maintain a senior is to keep them in their home under circumstances that they are comfortable with. Seniors live longer when they can stay in their home. If they need help beyond what relatives and friends can provide, home healthcare aides can assist them. As individuals age, sometimes their needs exceed those what can be provided for them in their home.

The needs of seniors are often met by assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Assisted living facilities are generally speaking private pay living arrangements. Seniors who do not have problematic medical needs and have the financial ability to sometimes choose to live in these facilities. The cost of assisted living facilities can be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 per month in the metropolitan New York area.

Seniors who have greater medical needs often go to rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes. Nursing homes can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 per month depending on the level of service the senior needs. How does a middle class person go to a nursing home without all of his assets utilized to pay for his or her care?

There is a program that under certain circumstances pay for long term rehabilitation and/or nursing home stays. This program is called Medicaid. The rules and circumstances involving Medicaid are complex and detailed. The most important rule for the public to understand is that there is a 5 year look back concerning the transfer of assets.

If you have assets and you wish to protect them for future generations, it is important that you see an attorney that handles estate work. Planning can be done to insure that if you do end up in a nursing home, all of your assets including your home, stocks, bonds, pensions, 401(k) and savings won’t be utilized to pay for long term nursing care. You cannot wait until you are very elderly and sick to use this type of estate planning. It must be done a minimum of 5 years prior to the need for nursing home or rehabilitation care.

Should you have questions, contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We can provide you with further information concerning Medicaid and estate planning. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Picture courtesy of levinperconti.

Hospitals, Do They Help Us Or Kill Us

hospitals1More than 48,000 people die each year from illnesses and diseases picked up during hospital stays. Approximately 20% of the patients in hospitals who develop sepsis, a blood infection, following surgery die. Patients who develop sepsis stay approximately 1 ½ weeks longer in hospitals than their original planned hospital stay. It is estimated that 1.7 million infections related to health care procedures are diagnosed each year.

Most hospital stays are for fairly routine procedures. Should the patient develop pneumonia or sepsis as a bi-product of this hospital stay, these infections can be deadly.

Hospitals should make a greater effort to improve hygiene, cleanliness and take other effective measures to prevent unnecessary hospital caused infections.

Should you have a problem related to a hospital stay, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo to discuss this matter at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot Schlissel, Esq.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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