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13Dec
Social Security Myth
Issues of Aging

soc-securityThere seems to be an increasing amount of misinformation circulating in regard to the Social Security system. The following information is sourced from: www.ssa.gov.

The purpose in writing this blog is to correct this myth:

The Social Security System is going to be bankrupt by 2034 (or any other year you may have heard).

Here’s why this statement is not true:

People who are employed will continue to contribute to Social Security from each and every paycheck.

In fact, we now know that those earning over $118,500 a year will pay Social Security taxes up to $127,200 of annual earnings.  This represents a 7.3% increase in the “maximum taxable earnings amount” from 2016 to 2017.

What is true is that the 2016 Social Security Board of Trustees report does anticipate the program will exhaust its $2.8 trillion-plus in existing spare cash by the year 2034.

What this means is the Social Security administration would pay out in benefits what it receives in payroll taxes.

Without other changes to the Social Security system, the trustees anticipate this could lead to a 21% reduction in benefits across the board.  Of course, there are many options that could be implemented between now and then to create better results for those receiving a Social Security check.

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05Dec
Practical Caregiving Tips for Advocates and Their Aging Loved Ones
Issues of Aging

caregivingAs many of you know, Resonate’s reputation is growing rapidly on a national level as we continue to provide resources and facilitate conversations on the Issues Associated with Aging.

In addition to many of you, I, too, have served in the roles of caregiver and advocates for aging parents.  I understand the stress, heartache, fatigue, and joy that often accompany these necessary roles.

I recently saw some very practical “Caregiving Tips” in the November issue of AARP.

  1. “Now which key is it?” When someone has difficulty sorting through the choices of keys (s) he owns, use nail polish to distinguish them.  Also, keep the number of keys to a minimum.
  1. “Remember sponge rollers?” In addition to proving a cushion for sleeping, they can also be used to push onto items such as pens, toothbrushes, and silverware to create an easy grip.
  1. “I broke another glass today.” Consider substituting plastic for glass.  Alternatively, place four to five ordinary rubber bands around a glass for easy gripping.

Now let’s focus on you… the advocate and/or caregiver.

These roles can be very stressful…especially because we so often feel inadequate or unprepared.  It is crucial for you to manage the stress before it manages you.  Here are some suggestions from the Brandywine Senior Living website:

  1. Know your stress triggers. Create a plan ahead of time regarding what you need to do when you feel these triggers activate.
  2. Attend a local support group specific to the situation with which you are dealing.
  3. Ask for help. To whom can you delegate or with whom can you share some of the load?
  4. Keep a journal. The simple act of writing to express your feelings is a wonderful outlet for stress.
  5. What actually needs to be done today, and what can wait?
  6. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. Consider respite stays, schedule massages, stay as flexible as possible, practice forgiveness.
  7. Find answers to your financial questions. Oftentimes, finances are major source of stress.  Having a plan for how best to use existing assets, navigating the world of long term care, and medical insurance can relieve much of that stress.

The Resonate team offers resources in each of the seven areas above.

We look forward to hearing from you, so that we can create a framework of support for you and your loved ones.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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02Nov
The Most Overlooked Issue in Retirement Planning – Part One
Health Care Costs

Whquestion-markat will you pay for health care in retirement?

Fidelity research suggests that a 65-year old couple retiring in 2016 will need an estimated $260,000 to cover their retirement health care costs.  Please note this represents a $15,000 increase from the 2015 estimate of $245,000 shown in the chart below.

Source: Fidelity Investments

health-care-graphWhile we know this can only be an estimate, here is how the costs break-down:

  • About one-third of the cost is for Medicare Part B (doctors’ services and out-patient care) and Medicare Part D (prescription drugs).  Even the most healthy of Americans incur these costs.
  • Then consider the out-of-pocket expenses of such things as hearing aids, increasing dental costs, and eye care.
  • Of course, the most expensive potential cost of all is the need for care at home or in a facility.  These expenses can easily crest $150,000.

While this information begins to address the importance of including planning for health care in retirement, each individual’s situation is unique.  Let’s talk about your situation and be sure that we plan correctly to meet your life and legacy goals.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.

(513) 605-2500

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27Oct
Serving the Full Diversity of an Aging Population
Issues of Aging
shingles-vaccination_364x200_155138886Michael Adams is the executive director of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders).

Here are the five main things he says must change for the U.S. to be prepared to serve the “full diversity of its aging population.”

  1. Basic Health Care: LGBT elders are half as likely as heterosexuals to have close family to lean on for home health care.  This means they are more dependent on professional caregivers and providers.  In addition to costing more, the risk of encountering prejudice also increases.
  1. Caregiving Issues: Unlike heterosexuals, the LGBT community members often need special arrangements to be recognized as having certain rights in the medical world.  For example, Resonate offers access to Personal Service Agreements when deemed appropriate.  (Source: AARP: “LGBT Advocate Sees Hurdles Ahead” August 2016)  It is crucial to understand what is needed and proactively put it in place – before there is need.
  1. Financial Insecurity: LGBT older persons are less financially stable than Americans are as a whole. (Source: SAGE Data August 2016)  Past discriminatory policies from taxation through Social Security have negatively affected financial well being today.
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21Oct
The Gift of Experience
Intergenerational Planning

gift-boxThe longer I am in this business, the more opportunity I have to see the results of our thinking and work manifest into clients enjoying a well-planned retirement. I also am privileged to share in the sacred parts of life transitions and the passing on of a treasured legacy.

We regularly talk with our clients about the two legacies we all create…. One is the legacy we live each day and the second is the cumulative result of the daily Living Legacy wrapped up in our Leaving Legacy.

This writing by Wayne Mueller beautifully describes the process we are grateful to share with our clients and their families. (Excerpted from A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller)wayne-muller

We make only one choice.

Throughout our lives, we do only one thing- again and again, moment by moment, year after year. It is how we live our days, and it is how we shape our lives.

The choice is this: What is the next right thing for us to do? Where, in this moment, shall we choose to place our time and attention? Do we stay or move, speak or keep silent, attend to this person, that task, move in this or that direction?

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12Oct
Seed Planting for Lasting Legacies
Intergenerational Planning

a person holding a small bonsai plant isolated

Over the years, I have worked to develop questions that are hopefully both engaging, compelling and that transcend the usual tax and financial discussion.

When it comes to intergenerational planning and leaving a legacy, we ask our clients to join us in a very special conversation focused on them.

Here are some of the questions we ask:

  1. Other than money and tangible assets, what do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?
  2. What do you consider to be your most important accomplishments?
  3. How is the world different because of you?
  4. What lessons do you still want to teach others?
  5. What knowledge or wisdom do you still have to share? With whom do you want to share it?
  6. What do you want people to say after you leave a room?
  7. What do you want to family to say when you are gone from this earth?

If you are interested in creating a legacy that includes and transcends the technical, then your Resonate team is excited to share a conversation with you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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04Oct
Resonate’s Enhanced Services
Intergenerational Planning

Richness of Life

 

 

As a natural result of our clients’ busy lives, it is becoming increasingly clear that planning to meet their life and financial goals is rapidly becoming more complex.

Therefore, to act on our dedication and commitment to our clients, I am pleased to share that we have enhanced our services to include the following:

  1. Tax strategies designed to optimized the tax efficiency of a retirement portfolio both current and in the future.
  2. An annual Medicare check-up.  Whether you are currently covered with Medicare or you know someone who is, here are items that need to be updated each year:
  • A change in prescription medications;
  • Gradual increases in the Medicare gap filler or Part D premiums;
  • If a current carrier has discontinued the Medicare Part C or D plan;
  • A change in legal name;
  • A change of residence.
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11Aug
When Life Shifts
Issues of Aging

Resonate

The Resonate team understands that change happens to us all and that the key to managing change well is all about one’s mindset.

For example, when “life shifts” for you, how do you feel and what do you say to yourself?

Compare “I have no idea how I’ll survive this,” to “I’ll find a way through this.”

“This is just too much; I am totally overwhelmed,” to “I am strong enough to make it through this day.”

One of the key actions people take who handle change well is that they choose to stay in control rather than give in to the powerful emotions caused by the change.  This is not to say those people shut down and stop feeling, rather they choose to feel and also to monitor the messages they give themselves in the midst of the transition, (Examples of this are above.)

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02Aug
While There’s Still Time: Questions for Your Elders
Intergenerational Planning

One moment my mother could speak and the next she suffered a devastating stroke that stole her voice for the remainder of her life.

Here are some of the questions I wish I had asked “while there was still time”…

  1. What is your most important life lesson?
  2. What advice do you have for me to help me avoid regrets in life?
  3. What are your top three values?
  4. Tell me about a difficult or painful time in your life and how you got through it.
  5. What did you learn from this experience?
  6. What beliefs do you hold that are timeless?
  7. What is an important question I did not ask?

These conversations are labeled with one word – “Priceless.”

May you make the time to give your loved ones – and yourself – this priceless gift.

If you are interested in more questions of this type, contact us and we’ll provide them for you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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19Jul
How Can LTC Insurance Help You Protect Your Assets?
Issues of Aging

Plan to create a pool of healthcare dollars that you can use when the time comes.

How will you pay for long-term care?  At the moment, you may not be able to answer that question – but long-term care insurance can provide an answer for you.

Why are baby boomers opting to make long-term care (LTC) coverage an important part of their retirement strategies?  The reasons to get an LTC policy at or after age 50 are very compelling.

Click link below for complete article.

How Can LTC Insurance Help You Protect Your Assets?

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