These are the 5-Star Medicare Advantage Plans for 2021 in Florida

These are the 5-Star Medicare Advantage Plans for 2021 in Florida

If you are a Medicare patient, you have undoubtedly noticed a recent torrent of ads from Medicare insurance providers. This is an annual event, coinciding with Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. During this period, seniors can easily sign up for a new plan, switch plans or leave a plan. When the enrollment period ends, all of these options become more difficult, if they are available at all. During this time, seniors may enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan if they have been enrolled in original Medicare (Parts A and B) or move from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. These Medicare Advantage or “MA” plans are rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, enrollment in MA plans has doubled in the past decade, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts that nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries will be in MA plans by 2029. There are good reasons for this trend. It has always...
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This is the ideal retirement lifestyle investment for travel lovers

This is the ideal retirement lifestyle investment for travel lovers

Retirement is the perfect time to make dreams of extended travel come true, but it is not always easy on the wallet. Flights, hotels and rental cars can be a headache. More and more retired Americans are looking to owning an RV because of its hassle-free nature but have no idea where to begin with their search. The size and unit type (motor home or travel trailer) can be hard to determine. Plus, there are many considerations for potential RV owners. Who will be doing the driving? What lifestyle features are essential (i.e. multiple beds, bathrooms, washer/dryer, dishwasher, or large screen TV)? How often will it be used—only on weekends, a month or two out of the year or for long periods of driving and touring? Where will the RV be stored when it’s not in use? Thankfully, there is someplace local that can help with all those questions and more—Giant Recreation World. They are a trusted and recommended RV dealer...
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Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

Will you have to pay income tax on the Social Security benefits you receive? It depends on many variables. The IRS uses a measurement called “combined income” to determine if you need to pay taxes on any part of your Social Security benefits. Combined income is made up of two parts: 50% of your Social Security benefits and; ALL of your other income. Your “combined income” equals ½ of your Social Security benefits + your adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest or other nontaxable income (if any). For many taxpayers, there is no difference because they do not have income that need to be excluded from their “Adjusted Gross Income” (AGI) total. If you are married, filing jointly and your total combined income is between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay an income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. If your combined income is more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable. If...
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What is a revocable living trust and do I need one?

What is a revocable living trust and do I need one?

| Written by Andrew C. Grant | One of the most frequent questions I get when meeting with new clients to plan for their estates is whether they need a trust or not.  This question is usually prompted by a lack of information, or misinformation, as to what a trust does as part of a person’s estate plan.  This article will attempt to provide a little clarity on the subject. A trust is most commonly used as a means of avoiding probate at the grantor’s death.  These trusts are referred to as revocable, or living, trusts.  As the name implies, they are created during a person’s lifetime and are fully revocable or amendable during that lifetime.  All assets transferred to the trust are treated as if the grantor (who is usually also the trustee) still owns them directly with no loss of control.  Upon the grantor’s death, assets that are already in the trust pass to the grantor’s beneficiaries without having to...
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Plan now for the 2021 Medicare open enrollment period

Plan now for the 2021 Medicare open enrollment period

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. The choices made during that time become effective the following January 1, remaining in effect for the coming year. During the OEP, Medicare patients may make changes that can substantially affect the way they receive and pay for medical care. This topic can become confusing, even scary. The torrents of marketing material received, and the critical importance of this issue lead many seniors to freeze in place and do nothing. This is a mistake; nothing is more important to seniors than getting the very best out of Medicare. Each year, the Medicare OEP should be a time to reevaluate your personal situation and make an intelligent decision. Advertisements aimed at Medicare patients sometimes cloud this issue. The changes coming to Medicare in 2021 are not great, but this does not mean that seniors should let the enrollment period pass without considering their own circumstances. A senior’s personal...
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Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

| Written by Brett Porter, EA for Winter 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | Every year you hear it. You may even say it yourself. “I can just write it off on my taxes,” but can you really? Most people are completely confused as to whether or not all their tax deductions are even making a difference. Why is this? Most people find their tax return to be a huge burden—they do not want to think about it throughout the year, they do not want to do it come April, and they most certainly do not want to review what all those numbers are on their 1040. They just want to hand in their information to their accountant and be done with it. Do you know if you itemized last year? A lot of people do not even know that there are two options—itemizing or the standard deduction, or what these options mean. They just hear throughout their life that certain items are...
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New law allows seniors to establish IRAs after 70

New law allows seniors to establish IRAs after 70

| Written by Linda D. Carley, Attorney and Former Judge for Spring 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | A new federal law has expanded the ways seniors may contribute and withdraw monies from their retirement accounts. Under the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) just signed by President Trump and effective January 1, 2020, Americans in their seventies will have greater access and flexibility for retirement planning. The new law also extends the age for seniors to begin to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) by two years, and may require seniors to review how monies in a living trust are distributed to beneficiaries after the grantor’s death. Repeal of Age restriction for IRAs Prior to SECURE, seniors were restricted from establishing traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) after the age of 70. The new law, which is the broadest retirement reform in 13 years, repeals the age restriction for the establishment of traditional IRAs for tax years 2020 and beyond. It allows...
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Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Tom Yarbrough is not exactly your typical 85-year-old retiree. Tom still enjoys riding his classic Ducati motorcycle, a sleek machine that comes all the way from Bologna, Italy. When asked if he was still an active rider, Tom seemed amused by the question and replied, “I’m still young enough to ride!” Born 85 years ago in Gadsden Alabama, Tom attributes his continued youth, good health and ability to ride a motorcycle to a life time of hard work.  At a young age, Tom moved to Coral Gables, Florida where he went to school. He had his first job at age 13, a paper delivery route for the Miami Herald.  After school, he would help his uncle in a shoe store on Coral Gables’ famous Miracle Mile shopping strip. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he spent 25 years in America’s service. During that career, he saw a lot of the world, including spending 3 years...
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Amazing Senior: Mirta Ramos

Amazing Senior: Mirta Ramos

| Originally published in the Spring 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | Mirta Ramos has experienced love, pain, fear, separation and a reunion. She grew up as an only child in Havana, a vibrant city filled with culture, music, nightlife and tight-knit neighborhoods, one that went from a democracy to communism in her lifetime. Her father traveled to the United States regularly for business and came home with stories about the country located just 90 miles across the Florida straits. Although she had never been there, it was a place she wanted to see. She deeply loved her homeland. But that changed dramatically in 1959, when Mirta was only 23 years old. Fidel Castro took power after a military coup, and life was never the same. Her father lost his restaurant to the regime. Mirta’s closest friendship ended when her best friend became a government “snitch.” Food dwindled. Meat became a rare commodity and life as she knew it was lost forever. “The first year...
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Amazing Seniors: Jerry and Esther Krueger

Amazing Seniors: Jerry and Esther Krueger

Stories from veterans are some of our favorites at OurSeniors.net, as each story is unique from others and all experiences are one of a kind. That’s why our Amazing Senior for this issue is Jerome (Jerry) Krueger, along with his wife Esther Krueger. They have been married for 72 years and moved to Daytona Beach to live closer to family in the area. These two have stayed active since they met in 1946, with a life full of extraordinary careers behind them and now, a busy schedule working with WISE (Wisdom In Senior Education) at Daytona State College. Jerry is also treasurer of Temple Israel in Ormond Beach. Jerry is a WW2 veteran who served in the Army Air Corps as a flight radio operator. He started in Miami, FL, for testing, flew to Sioux Falls, SD, for radio school, then to Long Beach, CA, to wait for assignment. He flew overseas to Australia for delivery of new aircraft. From there,...
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