Dear Savvy Senior, I know there will be a small 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits next year but what about Medicare? What will our Medicare Part B monthly premiums and other Medicare costs be in 2019? Curious Jim Dear Jim, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced their cost adjustments for 2019, and you’ll be happy to know that the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium for most beneficiaries starting in January will be $135.50, a modest increase of just $1.50 per month … [Read more...] about What you’ll pay for Medicare in 2019
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you provide some tips on how to protect seniors from financial scams? My 76-year-old aunt was recently swindled out of $25,000 and I want to make sure my own mother is protected. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Financial scams that target the elderly continue to be a huge problem in the U.S. In fact, it’s estimated that one in five Americans over age 65 are scammed out of roughly $36 billion every year. Here are some tips that can help you spot a scam, and what you can do to protect your … [Read more...] about Can you provide some tips on how to protect seniors from financial scams? My 76-year-old aunt was recently swindled out of $25,000 and I want to make sure my own mother is protected. Concerned Daughter
Dear Savvy Senior, Do you know of any resources that help family caregivers monetarily? I have to miss a lot of work to take care of my elderly mother and it’s financially stressing me. Stretched Thin Dear Stretched, Caring for an elder parent can be challenging in many ways, but it can be especially difficult financially if you have to miss work or quit your job to provide care. Fortunately, there are a number of government programs, tax breaks, and other tips that may be able to help you monetarily while you care for your … [Read more...] about Financial aid for family caregivers
Dear Savvy Senior, What’s the best way to find good, trustworthy, qualified people who can help seniors with home chores or small jobs? Looking for Mom Dear Looking, Getting help at home for any number of household tasks is a lot easier than it use to be thanks to a number of web-based tools that can quickly and easily connect you and your mom to a wide variety of skilled, carefully vetted workers. Here’s what you should know. Finding Qualified Help One of the best ways to find qualified, reliable, trustworthy people that … [Read more...] about Where seniors can get help with home chores and small jobs
Dear Savvy Senior, Can my Social Security benefits be garnished if I have some outstanding debts? I just turned 62 and would like to start collecting my retirement benefits, but want to find this out before I apply. Worried Retiree Dear Worried, Whether your Social Security benefits are garnishable or not depends on whom you owe. Banks and other financial creditors, for example, can’t touch your Social Security checks. But if Uncle Sam is collecting on a debt, some of your benefits are fair game. Here’s what you should … [Read more...] about Can a debt collector take my Social Security benefits?
Dear Savvy Senior, What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? My aunt has dementia, but they don’t know if she has Alzheimer’s disease, which is very confusing to me. Trying To Understand Dear Trying, Many people use the words “Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia” interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. In fact, you can have a form of dementia that is completely unrelated to Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what you should know. Dementia versus Alzheimer’s Dementia is a general term for a set of … [Read more...] about What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?
Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any specific auto gadgets you can recommend that can help senior drivers? Both of my parents are in there eighties and still pretty good drivers, but due to arthritis and age they’re very stiff, which causes them some driving problems. Researching Daughter Dear Researching, To help keep senior drivers safe and prolong their driving years, there’s a plethora of inexpensive, aftermarket vehicle adaptions you can purchase that can easily be added to your parent’s vehicles to help with many … [Read more...] about Simple Gadgets That Can Help Older Drivers
Dear Savvy Senior, What resources can you recommend to help seniors with vision loss? My husband, who’s 76, has macular degeneration that has progressed to the point that he can’t do a lot of his routine activities anymore, and has become very discouraged. Looking for Help Dear Looking, Unfortunately, there are around 15 million Americans, like your husband, living with macular degeneration today. Over time, this progressive disease can rob people of their central vision, making everyday tasks like driving a car, reading the … [Read more...] about Tips for living with low vision
Dear Savvy Senior What are the cheapest cell phone plans available to seniors today? I’m 78-years-old and want it primarily for emergency purposes. Infrequent Caller Dear Infrequent, While unlimited high-speed data, video streaming and mobile hot spot are now standard for most cell phone plans today, there are still a number of low-cost wireless plans designed with seniors in mind. These plans offer limited talk time and text, which is ideal for seniors who want to stay connected without spending much money each month. Here are … [Read more...] about Cheap cell phone plans for seldom calling seniors
Dear Savvy Senior, What’s the best way to go about making a living will? I recently retired and would like to start getting my affairs in order, just in case. Approaching 70 Dear Approaching, Preparing a living will now is a smart decision that gives you say in how you want to be treated at the end of your life. Here’s what you should know, along with some resources to help you create one. Advance Directive To adequately spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment you need two legal documents: A … [Read more...] about How to make a living will