Navigating Healthcare When You Retire

Securing a Health Care Plan in retirement can be a challenge if you retire before age 65 and are Medicare eligible. If you are under 65, there are typically two options available. First, you can continue on your employer’s health insurance (assuming you had an employer who offered health care) for up to 18 months. This is called COBRA. With COBRA, you will pay 102% of the premium—the full cost of the insurance plus a 2% administrative fee. Second, you can obtain your own coverage through the marketplace paying the going rate and keeping that coverage until you are Medicare eligible at age 65. Note that with the first option, the 18 month COBRA period may not take you to age 65 so you might still need to obtain your own policy for some period of time.

A Surprise in Your Tax Bill?

Will There Be A Nasty Surprise In Your Tax Return?

Given the time of year, you may well be in the midst of gathering data for your 2013 tax return. As you embark on this project, you should be aware of a few new taxes you may have to pay. While I can’t cover everything, here are some of the bigger changes you might encounter.

(The changes outlined in this article were implemented in 2012 with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act (ATRA) of 2012, or with the Affordable Care Act).

How to Take a Tax-Deductible Vacation

As my clients, friends, and colleagues know, I love to travel. While my vacations have not (unfortunately) been tax-deductible, they have been memorable experiences that will stay with me forever. For that reason, I often encourage my clients to take vacations; after all, we don’t know when our health will change and we’ll no longer even be able to travel. You don’t want to be one of those people who will someday look back with regret on the things you didn’t do.

Planning for the Fiscal Cliff: Advice from the Wealth Managers

The 2012 election is over, and Americans find themselves in an unsure financial environment. The country is heading toward a “fiscal cliff” — a series of significant tax increases and automatic spending cuts that will be triggered at the end of the year. Congress and the President are negotiating a compromise solution to prevent that, but no one knows what it will involve, or if they’ll be successful at all.

Surviving the Death of Your Spouse: Advice from a Financial Planner

On July 29, 2011, my father died in a single car accident, leaving my 73 year old mother — and his children and grandchildren — behind. While my mother has a great network of friends, this is a time of change and transition for her. She must get used to cooking for one, being alone in the house, and managing what used to be done by two (while my father was not all that helpful, he did do some things). Fortunately for her, she was already handling the household affairs, so she has a good understanding of the domestic finances. Not everyone is so lucky.