ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 82

ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 82 July 29, 2015   LADWP looking to implement additional water restrictions, such as limiting watering from 3 days a week to 2.  (Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2015.) EARTH-like planet discovered only 1,400 light years away, but whether life exists on it is currently unknown.  (BBC, July 23, 2015.)  But what if that life is both more advanced than us and hostile to us?  What then? PICTURES of Pluto are being captured for detailed examination.  As one cartoon wag pointed out “we now know more about Pluto than we do about campaign finance”.  (The WEEK, July 31, 2015.) NBC local news reports that L. A. roads are the 2nd worst in the country.  (NBC news, July 23, 2015.)  Worse than Detroit?  Worse than Newark? SOCIAL SECURITY disability fund scheduled to deplete its reserves in 2016, after which SS will only be able to pay 81% of the scheduled benefit.  (Social Security Matters blog, July 23, 2015.)  The cuts will affect 11 M people. (New York Times, July 23, 2015.) “THOUGH still increasing, healthcare spending is rising far more slowly than it did before the 2008-09 recession, when annual increases averaged 9% through the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. Spending is projected to grow on average 5.8% annually over the next decade.”  (Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2015.) CALIFORNIA Exchange keeps rate hikes low again, with average increases of 4% for members of Covered California.  In Southern California rate hikes may be as low as 1.8% for Covered California members.  (KQED, NPR, July 27, 2015.) 2 new studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association conclude wider...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 81

ELDERUPDATES.COM.  No. 81 JULY 22, 2015 OBAMA Administration seeks restrictions on gun purchases by people who  receive Social Security benefits for mental health disabilities.  (Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2015.) CALIFORNIA Water Commission adopts new limits: -grass can be no more than 25% of a new home’s combined front, back and side yards; -existing homes will face limits on grass when they remodel; and -grass “all but banned” for new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.  (Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2015.) Naturally, just when the government finally gets serious about the drought, it rains. CALIFORNIA State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the largest defined benefit plans in the country, has 2/3 of its investments in index funds.  (Nightly Business Report, July 16, 2015.) LATINOS (14.99 M), have overtaken whites (14.92 M), as the biggest racial group in California.  (The WEEK, July 24, 2015.) HEROIN use has surged 63% in last 10 years, and 100% among women and affluent people, partly as a result of the abuse of painkillers.  (The WEEK, July 24, 2015.) Deposition transcripts of Bill Cosby are being released online, in which he admits to using drugs and fame and promises of future help to seduce women (New York Times, July 19, 2015), while in the same week President Obama stated that drugging someone to have sex with them when he or she doesn’t have capacity, is “rape”. ALTHOUGH inflation is less than 2%, the cost of services (cable tv), is going up more and the cost of goods (a television), has dropped (The WEEK, July 24, 2015.)  (Think how much computer power you can buy for $400...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 80

ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 80 JULY 15, 2015   END of life bill withdrawn in California Assembly due to lack of support.  (Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2015.) MEDICARE will pay doctors for “end of life” discussions with their patients, as of January, 2016. MEDICARE and MEDICAID turn 50 years old this month.  (New York Times, July 3, 2015.) SOME common money mistakes among 40-somethings: Not having a plan; Not maintaining liquidity (cash); Getting complacent about consumer debt; Prioritizing kids’ college expenses over your retirement savings plan; Dipping into retirement funds; Assuming your best earnings are in the future; Not diversifying. (AOL, Daily Finance, June 24, 2015.) THE Obama administration on Thursday revealed that 21.5 million people were swept up in a colossal breach of government computer systems that began last year and involved the theft of personal information, including Social Security numbers and some fingerprints.  (New York Times, July 9, 2015.) LOS Angeles Department of Water and Powers wants to increase water rates, especially on the 10% of heavy users who each consume more than 20,000 gallons a month.  By increasing from 2 tiers to 4 LADWP hopes to raise funds for water conservation and overdue pipeline repairs.  (Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2015.)  One hundred cubic feet equals 748 gallons. IN 2013, 20% fewer people are claiming their social security benefits at 62, than in 1996.  (Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, July, 2015.) 25 MILLION peoples’ files were hacked from the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management over the last few months.  (Los Angeles Times, July 11, 2015.) OVER the past 10 years, wages of American workers have increased 0.3% more than inflation per...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 79

ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 79 JULY 8, 2015 CALIFORNIA WATER use reduced by 29% in May, 2015.  (Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2015.) (DISOURAGING household conservation), electricity rates to increase for small to moderate users, as large users get cuts, for customers of investor-owned utilities (which does not include LADWP), pursuant to decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. (Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2015.) AUTISM Speaks reports increased risk of autism where either parent is a teenager and/or where there is a wide gap between the ages of the parents.  (Autism Speaks, June 16, 2015.) CALIFORNIA budget extends healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants under 18.  Additional funds are also set aside for child care and preschool. A proposal to increase public assistance grants to women who have more children while still on welfare was defeated. (Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2015.) MEDICARE will increase “value-based” billing to 50% in 2016.  For example, a single price will be paid for all care tied to a single event, such as a heart bypass surgery.  And payments will be reduced to hospitals with high rates of readmission or infection.  (The Kiplinger Letter, June 12, 2015.) MEN on Medicare, need prostate and colorectal cancer screenings to find cancer early, when treatment works best.  For men over 50, Medicare covers a digital rectal exam once every 12 months. Also, Medicare (and Obamacare), cover a variety of colorectal cancer screenings—like the fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy—and you pay nothing for most tests.  (Medicare.gov, blog, June 2015.) FBI reports arresting over 240 people in 17 cities, including doctors, in a case involving up to $71...