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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Working with Medicare

Blog posting provided by Michael Snowdon, CFP

Most seniors use Medicare to handle a large portion of their medical expenses. Unfortunately, Medicare is not always the easiest to work with. Do something wrong and you may find yourself in bureaucratic limbo. Especially when you're not used to managing financial matters, handling these issues can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, there are some resources available to help.

First, Medicare has a website and it's a pretty good one: has a lot of useful information. One indispensible reference is Medicare and You ( This is a good starting place to determine potential benefits. For a more personalized version of your benefits, create an account on You will then be able to see your benefits, check on claims, look for medical providers and see services that are available to you.

You may prefer to talk with a real person instead of looking on the web. The Medicare helpline number is 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can order Medicare publications, listen to recorded questions and answers, as well as talk with someone about your Medicare questions.

Sometimes you may need extra help in getting a claim handled. That's where a patient advocate may come in handy. Patient advocates can help address issues related to health care, medical debts, insurance claims and similar concerns. Many states and hospitals have patient advocates. There is also a national Patient Advocate Foundation that may be able to provide help. You can contact them on the web at: or by phone at 1-800-532-5274.

Michael Snowdon, CFP, President
T: 303-721-1140; 888-326-5557 Ext. 4 / F: 866-437-3843 / W:
Wealthridge / 8400 E. Crescent Parkway, Suite 600 / Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Guide - How Healthcare Reform Affects Seniors

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors is excited to announce our newest white paper, How Healthcare Reform Affects Seniors. This guide was created in order to answer some of the most often-asked questions about the new health care reform bill, titled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Each year the bill is slated to roll out new provisions that affect individuals, businesses, insurance companies, health care providers, and the government. We've created this easy-to-read guide in order to help seniors, their families and the professionals who work with them navigate the complexities of how healthcare reform affects seniors.

While it is possible that the bill will be modified over the years, whether by lawmakers or by the courts, it is important to understand the approaching provisions and what they mean for you. Many people will be affected in areas such as federal income taxes, adjustments in existing health care coverage, access to health care coverage, access to information and requirements of employers.

The topics covered within include:
  • How will my Medicare benefits change?
  • What happens to my Medicare D coverage?
  • How are my income taxes affected?
  • What new assistance is available for long-term care?
  • How are seniors protected against abuse under health care reform?
  • Is there a timeline for when all of these take effect?
  • Where can I go for more information?

We hope you find this information valuable and that you will share it with other seniors or professionals who work with seniors.

Download your copy of this guide by visiting our website at or by clicking here.

Blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retirement Plan Limits

Blog posting provided by Frank Vidin, CFP(R), CSA
Faculty, Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Each fall the IRS issues updated numbers for income tax and retirement plan/IRA contributions. The tables below list some of the retirement plan changes that could be of interest to a CSA. Because of the uncertainty regarding tax provisions, the IRS has indicated that some income and transfer tax adjustments may not be available until as late as February 2011.

(1) IRS News Release IR-2010-108 (Oct. 28, 2010), IRS Notice 2009-94, 2009-50 I.R.B. 848 (December 14, 2009).

To print a hard copy of this table, visit

Friday, November 12, 2010

SeniorCare Organizational Systems (SOS): Alzheimer's Disease Warning Signs

SeniorCare Organizational Systems (SOS): Alzheimer's Disease Warning Signs: "The Alzheimer's Association is so good about getting the word out about warning signs for Alzheimer's Disease in an easy to understand format..."

blog posting courtesy of Karen Bazan, CSA

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


blog posting courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care

A brief survey has been developed by a group of leading eldercare and caregiver stress experts to help those who care for the elderly determine what level of stress they may be experiencing in their role as a caregiver.

All answers to this survey are completely confidential and there are no right or wrong answers. Once completed, an assessment of your responses will give you the resources to help you make your personal caregiving experience more rewarding and maintain your own health and spirits.

To take this survey, click on the following link

This assessment tool has been developed by Home Instead Senior Care, the world's largest provider of companionship and home care services for aging adults. This is not a diagnostic tool and is for informational purposes only.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Aging World - GE Data Visualization

Check out this really neat GE Data Visualization of our aging societies around the world. This visualization allows you to compare eight different industrialized nations and the shifts in population by age group ranging from 1950 - 2050.

blog posting provided by GE

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Retirement - Great Time or Bust?

blog posting by Richard Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors

Pension plans and asset accumulation are one side of retirement. But what about a retiree's shrinking social network and the possibility of loneliness?

Do you know clients who are dreading retirement because of concern how they will keep themselves occupied or fear of the 'honey-do' list?

Research shows successful retirees plan for happiness and productivity. They evaluate what's important and construct actions to satisfy their needs and wants. By creating a vision of a realistic retirement and building an action plan to achieve it, they are proactively and energetically seeking the results they desire.

As a financial advisor, you can assist clients create a realistic vision of retirement including how to build a balanced health and leisure strategy and the importance of a positive attitude.

As a first step towards building a retirement vision, ask a client:
  1. "Who do you know who is successfully retired? What are they doing that you admire?"
  2. "Who do you know who is unsuccessful in retirement? What are they doing or not doing that is hindering their retirement?"
  3. "What do you need to plan for and do to be a successful retired person?"
Encourage your clients to create their detailed vision of retirement and then together regularly review the vision. Ask questions such as "What's working?" "What's not working as you would like?" "What do you need to do differently?"

Be open and receptive to client concerns - this increases trust and understanding within the client relationship.

The added value can be monumental and it doesn't cost anything more than time.

Richard Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is also author of the best-selling book, Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It!

To contact Richard, call 416-282-7320 or write: 7 Blue Anchor Trail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. /