ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 148

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 148 NOVEMBER 18, 2016   THIS year at least 2 M Americans will be infected by superbugs; 23,000 will die from the infection.  Development of antibiotic resistant bugs is partly due to overprescription.  Failure to complete the dosage is another problem; the weakest bugs are killed first, leaving the strongest bugs to infect someone else.  (AARP Bulletin, November, 2016.) 30% of Medicare enrollees face a 20% premium increase in Part B costs.  Congress will likely act to reduce the increase.  (The Kiplinger Letter, November 4, 2016.) PRESIDENT-ELECT Trump has indicated Reince Priebus, the former head of the Republican National Committee will be named, and Stephen Bannon, former editor of the controversial Breitbart magazine, will be a Chief of Staff and “counselor”, respectively. Perhaps Trump can carry his conciliatory attitude forward and the Presidency has a way of modifying the extremity of one’s views.  Nevertheless, each election seems to bring for the increasing levels of partisanship.  Hopefully, “Lock Her Up”, “Trump the Bitch” will be forgotten. On November 10th Trump and President Obama had a conversation that lasted 90 minutes instead of the planned 15, and was allegedly constructive. Trump now indicates he would like to keep parents’ rights to keep their children on their health insurance until age 26, and also prevent denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.  These things cost money, however, and may be contributing the Obamacare premium increases. DEMOCRATS are looking to areas where Trump disagrees with Republicans, hoping some deals may be made, particularly in areas such as social security, child tax credits (which, as proposed by Trump would only benefit those who itemize...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 147

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 147 NOVEMBER 11, 2016 PRESIDENT ELECT HILLARY CLINTON DONALD TRUMP will take office in a highly divided nation where many feel left behind.  He takes office after the most bitter and divisive campaign in memory.  Choosing enthusiasm over experience and idolatry over insight, the country voted for an isolationist leader who leaves the door open for Russian and Chinese aggression; a leader who believes climate change is a hoax; who threatens the very fabric of international trade agreements without apparently understanding countries have other trading partners than U.S., and that trade is a fabric that can help maintain peace and world order. Two of our earliest leaders, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, strongly believed in free trade as a necessary bulwark for a successful republic (Jefferson v. Hamilton, by John Ferling).  Yet now TPP is downed because the perfect is the enemy of the good. TRUMP did make conciliatory comments after his victory, while outlining what could easily be called a Keynesian economic program to build an infrastructure second to none and put millions of Americans to work in the process of doing so.  The program could have been called the WPA in earlier times, or more modernly, TARP.  The bold program he has promised in past comments will rely heavily on government borrowing (hopefully at current low interest rates), with the hope of increased revenues down the road, accompanied by massive tax cuts on the wealthy. Trump’s appeal had special resonance with the “white working class” which is approximately 40% of the electorate.  (For an excellent book on their alienation and general economic conditions see Coming...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 146

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 146 NOVEMBER 4, 2016   FAMILY court upheld after ordering child support of $15,000 a month rather than the $40,000 a month called for in support guidelines.  Court rationally provided for a standard of living “consistent with that of a financially privileged child”.  (Los Angeles County Bar Association EBriefs, October 28, 2016, S.P. v. F.G. – filed Oct. 27, 2016, Second District, Div. Five Cite as 2016 S.O.S. 5391) GROWING number of states, (apparently especially Pennsylvania), are holding adult children responsible for their parent’s care expenses.  In 1 PA case, the court ordered a child to pay $93,000 to cover unpaid nursing home bills.  Another court required one child to pay “filial support” to the caregiver child (Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, November, 2016.) A similar provision is found in the California Family Code, but government has hesitated to enforce this provision even though elderly adults can give away their homes or other assets to qualify for Medi-Cal while preventing the state from recovering against their estate. SOUTH American palm weevils have entered California from Mexico, which itself received them from central and south America.  The button sized beetles consume date palms and can kill a tree within months.  (New York Times, November 3, 2016.) CURRENT 7.5% medical spending requirement before deducting for medical expenses goes back to 10% next year.  (Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, November, 2016.) REQUIRED Minimum Distributions (RMD), can be paid by transferring IRA shares in mutual funds directly to a non-retirement account instead of taking a cash distribution and sending those funds to the non-retirement account.  (THREE SPECIAL REPORTS: The New Rules of Retirement, Bob Carlson.) RELATEDLY,...