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Retirement Planning Mistakes

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Americans do not save enough money during the course of their working years to have the retirement life experience  they have dreamed about. In a recent study by the Employment Benefit Research Institute, fifty-six percent of the workers interviewed stated that the total value of their household savings and investments, without including the equity in their residence, was less than $25,000. Twenty-nine percent of those interviewed had savings of less than $1,000. How are these people going to afford to retire?

Rethinking Retirement Issues

Many Americans look at retirement as a long term vacation. However, very few Americans can afford this long term vacation. Saving funds for retirement must be done over long periods of time to accumulate the type of capital necessary to stop working. The retirement age of sixty-five is  unrealistic for the majority of Americans currently in the work force. Sixty-five is no longer the magic retirement number. Matthew Tuttle, a certified financial planner with Tuttle Wells Management, stated, “with life expediencies increasing, playing golf and going to early bird dinners every day can get [old] after 35 years. Rethink what retirement means. It could be working fewer hours or changing jobs to something that you like more.” Americans will either have to work longer, until 70 or 72, or, after retiring, might have to obtain a part time job to supplement their income.

Medical Expenses

Individuals who are over sixty-five  years of age have more medical expenses as they grow older than when they were young and healthy. A Fidelity Investments study indicated that a sixty-five year old couple who retire in 2010 will need a quarter of a million dollars to pay medical expenses during the period of their retirement. This $250,000 does not include nursing home expenses. This study found that the average monthly expenditures for health care will amount to $535 a month.

Set Reasonable Priorities

Americans need to down grade their expectations of their standard of living in retirement. They need to save and accumulate larger amounts of assets to cover their longer life expectancies. They must think twice about purchasing very expensive luxury items instead of putting those funds away for future needs.

Wills and Trusts Lawyer

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo drafts wills. We handle estate administration and estate tax issues. We deal with issues concerning business succession. We also draft living wills and help our clients with end of life issues, supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts. We prepare medicaid applications and handle medicaid issues for our clients. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Abuse of the Elderly for Financial Gain

elder-150x150In the year 2000, Howard Thomas suffered severe dementia. He also had terminal cancer. In early 2001, his daughter, who was his primary caretaker, took a short vacation. He was left in the care of a Nidia Thomas. While Mr. Thomas’s daughter was away, Nidia arranged for a $150,000 bank account in Mr. Thomas’s name to be retitled from his name to a joint account with her. She had herself named as sole beneficiary on his pension and she married him. He died several months thereafter.

Howard’s Children Challenge Nidia’s Inheritance

Howard’s three children brought a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in the State of New York to declare the marriage between their father and Nidia null and void. They also proceeded in the Probate Court against her. Ms. Thomas filed a Notice of Election under the estates, powers and trust law, section 5-1.1-A. She asserted her right as a surviving spouse to receive a portion of her deceased husband’s estate. In the Supreme Court proceeding, the court eventually issued a decision stating that Nidia “shall have no legal rights and claim no legal interest as a spouse of Mr. Thomas.” She filed an appeal claiming that, even if the marriage was annulled or voided post death, she is still entitled to receive her share of his estate as a spouse. In this case, an appellate court held that, because Mr. Thomas was incapable of consenting to the marriage due to lack of mental capacity, his spouse could be denied a right of election based on the equitable principal that a court will not permit a party to profit from his or her own wrongdoing. Nidia lost. She received no money from Mr. Thomas’s estate. It all went to his children.

Wills and Trusts Lawyer

Our law office probates wills. We represent individuals on contested wills and estate proceedings. We also draft wills. We provide estate administration services when

loved ones or friends die. We deal with estate tax issues, estate planning issues, and all types of elder care and nursing home issues. We prepare medicaid applications and we assist our clients in medicaid planning techniques. We draft revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts on behalf of our clients. Call us should you have an issue concerning a will, a trust or an estate matter.

Medicare Scams

On February 17, 2011, more than one hundred doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other medical providers were arrested as part of a huge, nationwide investigation dealing with medicare fraud. Approximately seven hundred law enforcement personnel were involved in the arrests of individuals accused with illegally defrauding medicare of more than $225 million dollars. The $225 million dollars represented illegal false billing of medicare for services that either were not necessary or never provided. Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States. It is one of the causes of the high expense rate for this program.

The February 17, 2011 medicare fraud arrests involved individuals in the following cities: Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Tampa, Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In Detroit, a pediatrist who performed unnecessary partial toenail removals by the name of Dr. Errol Sherman was accused of defrauding medicare out of $700,000 for these unnecessary procedures. His alleged partial toenail removals were actually Dr. Sherman simply cutting the toenails of his patients. Dr. Sherman had the audacity to bill medicare for twenty toenail removals on three toes for one patient! He charged medicare $110.00 for each of these non-existent treatments. Query – how many toes can a patient have?

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Scandalous Brooklyn Proctologist

Dr. Borus Sachakow, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a proctologist. He billed medicaid for ten hemorrhoid removals for one patient. This is impossible! Dr. Sachakow had been previously arrested last year on criminal charges for other fraudulent medicaid activities.

Three clinics in Brooklyn, New York, that specialized in physical therapy were also busted. These clinics were part of an organized crime ring operated by Russian immigrants. They paid recruiters to find senior citizens to come to their office for unnecessary treatment. They billed medicaid $57 million for physical therapy that consisted of back rubs.

Miami, Florida

Home Care, Inc., which was run by two Miami physicians, was charged with writing $25 million worth of fake prescriptions. In Miami, more than three dozen individuals were charged with medicaid fraud. They were charged with falsely billing medicaid for more than $56 million.  The busts on Thursday, February 17, 2011, were in addition to the arrests of twenty one people in Miami on Tuesday of that week for $200 million in medicare fraud.

John Gillis, the FBI Agent in charge, stated “we can arrest and charge people every day and it still won’t make a dent until changes are made to medicare.”

Unfortunately, medicare operates under a system that pays for medical services without investigating as to whether these services were actually necessary. Medicare is one of the largest medical supplier systems in the world. It has more than $1.3 million licensed suppliers nationwide. This is increasing by more than 18,000 new suppliers coming onto the system each and every month. This system program needs a better system of policing.

Medicare Needs To Be Reformed

America is going broke. Medicare is one of those programs that is contributing to the financial problems faced by state and local governments. The medicare system must be changed. Procedures must be developed to provide quality medical care. The system today promotes high quantities of unnecessary medical procedures. We simply can no longer afford this!

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Elder Care Lawyers

There are many issues faced by senior citizens. The elder care lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can assist seniors with these issues. We draft wills.  We probate wills. We litigate contested wills and estates for family members and friends of the decedents. We engage in medicaid planning. We deal with nursing home issues and we assist our clients when they feel there has been nursing home abuse. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children. We also provide tax planning advise for our high net worth clients concerning estate tax issues. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

Wills And Trusts Can Reduce Estate Taxes

home-150x150Individuals with significant assets can reduce their tax liability upon their death by using sophisticated wills and trusts. In 2010, the wills, trust and estate area is facing a unique situation. For the 2010 calendar year there is no federal estate tax. After 2010, the federal estate tax exemption will go back to one million dollars.

Well drafted wills and trusts can create schemes that minimize the estate tax faced by individuals. Should you have an estate of over a million dollars, it is important that you meet with an estate planning attorney. Appropriate action must be taken to see to it that your heirs receive the assets you have accumulated during the course of your lifetime without paying 50% of these assets in federal estate taxes.

Should you have any questions and wish to discuss estate planning, contact the estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or by email.

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

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