ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 9

  ELDERUPDATES.COM BLOG, NO.: 9 February 26, 2014 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF INDIVIDUAL INVESTORS cautions investors to be careful of 5 year returns advertised by funds as these no long include 2008, when stocks declined 37.1% instead of increasing 32.1% in 2013.  (AAII, February, 2014.) AARP REPORTS while 9% of seniors live below the poverty line today a greater percentage will be “poor or near poor” in the future.  Only 10% of boomers can expect a defined benefit plan and the increase of 1,000% by the S&P 500 over the last 20 years is unlikely to be repeated.  Fidelity Investments reports that the active 401k contributor has around $269,500 in their account.  The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College states that the “typical account for a worker nearing retirement is $42,000″.  (AARP, Februrary – March, 2014.) OBSERVATION STATUS may cost you.  If you are only on “observation status” and then transfer to a rehabilitation facility medicare will not pay for it.  For medicare to pay for your rehab, you must be admitted as a patient for 3 days and then discharged to the rehab facility.  (San Diego Elder Law Center, February 18, 2014.) HEROIN USE IS ON THE RISE and now affects both the middle class and the wealthy, as evidenced by the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  (The WEEK, February 28, 2014.) RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS causes joint pain and an increased risk of heart attack.  It also inflames the blood vessels (“vasculitis”).  Some other symptoms may be dry eyes, dry mouth, and peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves in the arms and legs, usually expressed as numbness or...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 8

ELDERUPDATES.COM BLOG NUMBER: 8 February 19, 2014 THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF INDIVIDUAL INVESTORS has released it’s to choices for internet research in its November, 2013 issue.  Some of these picks include: Marketwatch.com Morningstar.com Yahoo! Finance CNBC.com BigCharts.marketwatch.com Bankrate.com Bloomberg.com FreeStockCharts.com MSN Money Dow Jones Indexes Russell Indexes S & P Dow Jones Indexes Wilshire Index CEFConnect.com www.aarp.org and REIT.com. This list is not exhaustive and your financial adviser should be consulted before you rely upon any of these recommendations from AAII.  THERE IS A DEADLY RISE in bacteria that are resistant to our usual anti-biotics, as a result of over-prescribing these drugs in the past.  Drug resistant bacteria now infect about 2 million people per year.  (The Week, October 4, 2013.) THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FUND will be exhausted in three years, at which time benefits will be cut 20% unless Congress acts in the meantime.  Nearly 11 million workers, plus their spouses and children, currently receive benefits averaging over $1,100 per month.  (NAELA e-Bulletin, printed September 18, 2013.) IN A RECENT CALIFORNIA CASE, a court ruled that a deceased parent’s estate was responsible for the support of their surviving disabled child, under Section 3910 of the Family Code. (NAELA e-Bulletin, printed September 18, 2013.) THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS has put a hold on an advocate’s lawsuit to require CNN to put captions for the hearing impaired on news videos on its website.  The California State Supreme Court must now consider whether the California Disabled Person’s Act applies to websites as well as physical places.  (Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 6, 2014.) LEAVING YOUR DIGITAL DATA with...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 7

ELDERUPDATES.COM BLOG NUMBER: 7 February 12, 2014 OBAMACARE WILL EXTEND THE REQUIREMENT that businesses of 50 – 99 employees provide health care for another year, until January 1, 2016. (Washington, AP, as reported on America OnLine, February 10, 2014.) AMBULANCE SERVICES costs upwards of $1,000 and if you want to go to a specific hospital can cost even more. Ambulances are required to arrive in less than 9 minutes and will, if medically necessary, be paid for by Medicare. (L.A. Times, January 26, 2014.) A smartphone app (ice-bluebutton.com), enables users to create an emergency medical record containing critical information and emergency contacts. THE SURGEON GENERAL has added diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction and ectopic pregnancy to the list of diseases caused by smoking. (The Week, February 7, 2014.) BANKS ARE BEGINNING TO OFFER INTEREST RATE ONLY LOANS to “well-heeled” borrowers. These loans will not receive the protection of qualified loans, which protect lenders in borrower defaults. (L.A. Times, January 18, 2014.) How long until such loans go from the “well heeled” to other borrowers is a question that will only be answered over the next couple of years, but human nature being what it is, another bubble will come again. UCLA HAS AGREED to turn over a list of approximately 1,500 old buildings in Los Angeles that could be at risk in event of an earthquake. While emphasizing that the list is only a list of buildings that need to be examined, the team had earlier refused to divulge the list on grounds it could make them subject to liability from property owners. (L.A. Times, January 18,...

ELDERUPDATES.COM NO. 6

ELDERUPDATES.COM BLOG NUMBER: 6 February 7, 2014 IN HOME CARE WORKERS (IHSS), are entitled to overtime under law, but the Brown administration is proposing a 40 hour cap on their working hours.   Those requiring more than 40 hours of assistance will need to hire additional workers.  (L.A. Times, January 21, 2014.) THE RAND CORPORATION projects that “if nothing changes in the delivery of primary care, the United State may face a substantial shortage of primary care physicians… by 2025. M-HEALTH IS THE COMBINATION of smartphones with mobile technology that enables the patient to effortlessly transmit their medical information to their physician.  This can tell the doctor whether the patient is taking their medication before an emergency arises..  Furthermore, it can be economical.  The costs of treating a patient who fails to take their blood pressure medications is almost $4,000 more per year than it is to treat those who take their meds. (The Economist, February 1, 2014.) THIS NEW YORK TIMES report of September 17, 2013 is still relevant: A Harvard School of Public Health poll showed that 2/3 of all people believe their lifetime benefits equal their lifetime contributions… but nearly everyone gets back much more than they put in.  Calculations by the Urban Institute show an estimate of the benefits that will be received: Beneficiary            Taxes Paid            Benefits Received Single Man            $ 70,000            $197,000 Single Woman            $ 70,000            $230,000 One-earner couple        $ 70,000            $427,000 Two-earner couple        $102,000            $427,000 One earner couples get back six times what they pay in...

Elderupdates.com #5

ELDERUPDATES.COM BLOG NUMBER: 5 February 1, 2014 1)     Ezra Klein of Bloomberg.com argues that the reason health care costs are increasing is not health care insurers but hospital charges, doctor’s fees and drug companies.  Mr. Klein argues that health insurers have the lowest profit rate of the four groups.  (The Week, January 24, 2014.) 2)      According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, California and 20 other states got an “F” for access to emergency room care.  The report noted that there are only 6.7 hospital emergency rooms per million people in California, the lowest in the nation.  (L.A. Times, January 21, 2014.) 3)      The Obama administration is cracking down on doctors who repeatedly overcharge Medicare patients.  Officials estimate that 10% of payments made to doctors are improper, for a total of $6 billion a year.  Carrie Valiant, an attorney representing health care providers, said the new policy showed a “propensity to throw providers out of federal health care programs rather than work with them to correct mistakes” in billings and claims.  (New York Times, January 25, 2014.) 4)      Be careful if you see a piece of paper on your back windshield while backing out of your parking space.  Thieves are placing the paper to distract you and when you get out of the car, they get in and drive off. 5)      This is the 50 year anniversary of the “War on Poverty”.  During the 60s the poverty rate declined to from 22% to 12%, now it is 15%.  (The Week, January 24, 2014). Ironically, while he was President, Richard Nixon had proposed a...