April 2016 Posts

  • Chart: Tracking the Fed

    Although the prime rate has been closely aligned to the federal funds rate over the past 20 years, rates on conventional 30-year fixed mortgages have followed a more independent trajectory, generally trending downward over the period. ...
  • What's New in the World of Higher Education?

    If you're a parent or grandparent of a college student or soon-to-be college student, you might be interested to learn what's new in the world of higher education....
  • What is the federal funds rate?

    In December 2015, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the federal funds target rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%, the first shift from the rock-bottom 0% to 0.25% level where it had remained since December 2008....
  • When Disaster Strikes: Deducting Casualty Losses

    Wildfires, tornadoes, storms, landslides, and flooding.... It's almost as if you can't turn on the news without seeing images of a disaster striking somewhere. If you've suffered property loss as the result of these events or other circumstances, you may be able to claim a casualty loss deduction on your federal income tax return. ...
  • How Does the Medicaid Look-Back Period Work?

    One area that causes a lot of confusion with regard to Medicaid is the look-back period. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a means-based program, which means that you are only eligible for it if you have very few assets. The government does not want you to transfer all your assets on Monday in order to qualify for Medicaid on Tuesday, so it has imposed a penalty on people who transfer assets without receiving fair value in return....
  • Hybrid Policies Allow You to Have Your Long-Term Care Insurance Cake and Eat It, Too

    As long-term care insurance premiums rise and fewer companies offer policies, alternatives to traditional long-term care insurance policies are springing up. Previously, we wrote about annuity “doublers” that help pay for long-term care. Another increasingly popular hybrid product combines life insurance with long-term care coverage and offers buyers solutions to a number of problems that have kept people from buying traditional long-term care policies. ...
  • Six Potential 401(k) Rollover Pitfalls

    You're about to receive a distribution from your 401(k) plan, and you're considering a rollover to a traditional IRA. While these transactions are normally straightforward and trouble free, there are some pitfalls you'll want to avoid....
  • Problems with Guardianship Abuse Leading to Calls for Reform

    A growing problem with adult guardianship abuse is causing calls to reform the system. Vulnerable elderly can get caught in the guardianship system, being harmed and exploited by the very process that is supposed to protect them....
  • 10 Ways the Elderly Can Avoid Financial Abuse

    Increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments can make seniors susceptible to financial abuse. Nest eggs accumulated over decades also often make seniors attractive targets for predators, whether the predator is an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage....
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