ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 102

ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 102 DECEMBER 17, 2015   CLIMATE change conference recognizes the problem, as countries’ pledges will only accomplish ½ of the emissions cuts needed to curb global warming to 2 degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Farenheit) over earth’s temperatures before the Industrial Revolution, (New York Times, December 11, 2015), but fails on 2 counts: There is no independent monitor to make sure countries are actually complying with the goals; There is no means to enforce the agreement if a country fails to comply with their obligations. “AMERICA spent $155.6 billion on nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities in 2014.  The percentage of costs paid by Medicaid and Medicare has gone up over the past 44 years (from 26.8% in 1970 to 54.8% in 2014, up 28.0 % of the total) while out-of-pocket costs have declined (from 49.2% in 1970 to 26.5% in 2014, down 22.7% of the total).  Source:  Table 15:  Nursing Care Facilities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities Expenditures; Levels, Percent Change, and Percent Distribution, by Source of Funds: Selected Calendar Years 1970-2014.”  (LTC Bullet, December 11, 2015.) With boomers aging it is ever more critical to find economical ways to keep them in their homes or in small communities.  At least one state has experimented with paying a family member for full time 24-7 care in the home, which is much cheaper than the $7,000+ that nursing home care costs. THIRD Avenue Focused Credit Fund (junk bond fund), is liquidating and “more companies have defaulted on their debt this year than at any point since late 2009, according to Standard & Poor’s”, an occurrence partly driven by...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 101

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 101 DECEMBER 10, 2015 As I write on December 7, 2015, I can’t help but note this is Pearl Harbor Day; a day which President Roosevelt said “would live in infamy”, and which lead to full U.S. participation in WWII.  As veterans of that war die off, days like Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day seem to receive less recognition in the popular press and peoples’ lives.  Yet without those real life heroes who fought this war, all of Europe, and maybe even the U.S., might be speaking German as their primary language. U.S. healthcare costs rose to $3 T (trillion) in 2014, partly because more people became eligible for health care under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).  (New York Times, December 4, 2015.)  It should be expected there be an initial jump in expenses, but it should also be expected the rate of increase will fall as more people get preventive care instead of opting for emergency room visits. LONLINESS – er – social isolation, can increase an adult’s risk of premature death by 45%.  (The WEEK, December 11, 2015.)  Lonliness leads to depression, which leads to not wanting to see people or go out, which leads to lonliness… FIDELITY Investments estimates that retirement health costs (not counting long-term care), will exceed $245,000 for a couple who are now 65 and live to the average life expectancies of 87 (for women), and 85 (for men).  (Kiplinger Personal Finance, January, 2016.)  Still, Medicare is not a bad deal; my wife pays $104 a month for coverage that costs me $800 per month. ALTHOUGH new law changes some...