ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 116

ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 116 MARCH 24, 2016   MAY 23rd is deadline to register to vote on June 7th.  Online registration is available through the Secretary of State.  To register you only need: Your California driver license or California identification card number The last four digits of your social security number Your date of birth (Woodland Hills Patch, March 19, 2016). NEW law allowing “transfer on death deeds” loaded with problems.  Since no one but the homeowner, recipient and the County Recorder needs know about these deeds, they “will become a new form of easy, convenient and cheap elder abuse”.   A side benefit to the State of California is that such deeds remain part of the estate of the decedent, and subject to Medi-Cal Recovery.  (The California Advocate for Nursing Home Reforms, Spring, 2016). CALIFORNIA Hospital and Caregiver Act took effect on January 1, 2016, “requiring hospitals to identify a family caregiver and engage that person in discharge planning” to ensure proper care of the elder returning home.  (The California Advocate for Nursing Home Reforms, Spring, 2016). TREASURY Department to establish independent authority to rate and create a market for non-government backed bonds based on mortgages to “certify that all mortgages going into new bonds were exactly what issuers promised”.  (The Kiplinger Letter, March 18, 2016.)  As noted in the last blog, rating these bonds is very complex and the creation of such an agency may set the government up as a defendant in lawsuits involving tens of millions of dollars, maybe even hundreds of millions, of dollars. NATION’S largest banks have paid approximately $110B in fines after the mortgage crisis.  (The WEEK,...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 115

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 115 MARCH 17, 2016 STATE Senator Fran Pavley reports an agreement has been reached between the legislature and the Governor to provide an additional $500 M for developmental services.  (Senator Pavley’s Newsletter, March 9, 2016.) MEDICARE considering proposal to reimburse doctors for prescription drugs based on the drug’s effectiveness, not its cost.  (New York Times, March 9, 2016.) 1/2 of adults in CA are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in CA.  (Los Angeles Times, March 10,2016.)  Yet stores selling food don’t sell, or make it hard to find, sugar-free food.  Maybe it is time for a tax on soft drinks and candy bars. KAISER, trying to include more minorities and train them on current medical technology, is opening a medical school in Pasadena.  (Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2016.) JUNE 9th is the day the “Aid-In-Dying” (assisted suicide), law comes into effect.  (Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2016.)  Last year a good friend of mine committed suicide – with a bullet through the heart – to end her chronic pain.  Had this law been in effect, she might still be alive knowing she had a humane alternative to a violent death. “RECENT tax extenders law makes permanent the provision allowing taxpayers age 70½ or older to make direct contributions from their IRA to qualified charities up to $100,000 per tax year. The transfer can count toward the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution. Many rules apply”, so consult with your accountant or financial adviser.  (March, 2016 Update, by Joyce A. Brykman, CPA). AFTER losing an estimated $1B in Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) investments, CalPERS has...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 113

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 113 MARCH 3, 2016   ADHD drug use and abuse is skyrocketing as college students and young professionals turn to the drugs for a mental edge.  (The WEEK, March 4, 2016.) GAS leak at Aliso Canyon stopped on February 18th.  (Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2016.)  Unknown health effects and possible declines in property values guarantee lawyers work for years. KKK held a rally in Orange County, with several persons being arrested and 3 stabbed.  Relatedly, smartest man in America Donald Trump had no opinion about being endorsed by the head of the Klu Klux Klan. FANNIE Mae and Freddy Mac will send $4.6B to the Treasury Department, in addition to the $240B already sent, for a net profit on the bailout of $58B to date.  (The WEEK, March 4, 2016.)  For a day by day view of the crisis, see “The Courage to Act” by Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. NAELA News reports “virtually all of the legitimate reasons that reverse mortgages were overlooked in the past have been addressed through recent regulatory changes and lender cost cutting.  It’s time to reset your thinking; this is the new reverse mortgage”.  (NAELA News, Jan/Feb/Mar 2016). NEEL Kashkari, formerly failed California gubernatorial candidate and key player in the TARP (Targeted Asset Relief Program), is calling for the breakup of larger banks, calling them “still too big to fail”.  (The WEEK, March 4, 2016.) FEDERAL Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gears up to challenge arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, arguing such clauses enable “companies to sidestep the legal system” (Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2016), even as...