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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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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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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