by Lauren Popham, PhD
“We weren’t surprised when more than half of women responding to a survey we conducted with Ipsos said they are worried about outliving their savings. Income is tied to lots of aspects of aging, but the way that plays out once you turn 60 is very different for men and women. One major reason: the gender pay gap.
“A lifelong problem
“Women are more likely to experience financial insecurity than men, and this discrepancy becomes even more pronounced later in life. Making less than their male coworkers means women have less money saved when they retired, and will draw less money from Social Security once they’re eligible. We’re left with sobering statistics like this from the Health and Retirement Study: half of women age 60 or older have household incomes below $39,600, yet the median income for men in the same age range is $55,000.
“Despite entering retirement age at a disadvantage, women tend to live longer and face more out-of-pocket costs for things like medication each year.”
“The United States of Elder Fraud – How Prevalent is Elder Financial Abuse in Each State?” – comparitech
by Paul Bischoff
“The vast majority of elder fraud cases in the US go unreported. Our research team set out to uncover the true cost of elder fraud in the US by analyzing and extrapolating data from government reports and registries.
“Comparitech estimates 5 million cases of elder fraud occur in the US annually resulting in $27.4 billion in losses.
“Elder fraud, also called elder financial abuse or elder financial exploitation, is defined as the misappropriation or abuse of financial control in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, resulting in harm to the elderly victim.
“More than 200,000 scams and financial abuse cases targeting the elderly are reported to authorities every year, and most experts agree that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our estimates show $1.17 billion in damages are reported to authorities, but the real figure likely dwarfs that amount when factoring in unreported elder fraud.
“To calculate the full scope of the problem, Comparitech aggregated data from multiple studies on elder fraud in every US state, including the number of reports to authorities and average loss per case. We then used those numbers to estimate the total number of cases and total damages in each state, adjusted for the proportion of unreported cases.”
October 3, 2019
Forest Room, Keystone Building
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is holding its first financial empowerment conference for people with disabilities on October 3, 2019 in Harrisburg and you’re invited!
“Vision for the Future: Financial Empowerment Conference for Individuals with Disabilities” will bring together individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers to discuss, collaborate, and learn about financial education.
The conference is a one-day, free, accessible event open to the public. Registration is required. A limited number of scholarships are available to people with disabilities and their families to help defray the cost of travel and lodging.
“Children can get quite expensive. silentalex88/Shutterstock.com”
by Heidi Steinhour
“The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing waysto address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.
“Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.
“Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college.”
Lest you think this cannot happen here in the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Counties area, do not be deluded. Romance scams do happen here and we have evidence that some people have lost lots of money in the pursuit of companionship. The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns about “Romance Scams | Online Imposters Break Hearts and Bank Accounts.”
“On the internet, you can become anyone you want to – at least for a while. And though deception doesn’t fit well with lasting romance, people lie all the time: Fewer than a third of people in one survey claimed they were always honest in online interactions, and nearly nobody expected others to be truthful. Much of the time, lies are meant to make the person telling them seem better somehow – more attractive, more engaging or otherwise worth getting to know.
“‘Catfishing’ is a more advanced effort of digital deception. Named in a 2010 movie that later expanded into an MTV reality series, a catfish is a person who sets up an intentionally fake profile on one or more social network sites, often with the purpose of defrauding or deceiving other users.
“It happens more than people might think – and to more people than might believe it. Many times in my own personal life when I was seeking to meet people online, I found that someone was being deceptive. In one case, I did a Google image search and found a man’s profile picture featured on a site called ‘Romance Scams.’ ”
You can read this article in its entirety at The Conversation, click here.
“Spending on pharmaceuticals is on the rise worldwide. And it well should be. Today, we are able to cure some diseases like hepatitis C that were virtual death sentences just a few years ago. This progress required significant investments by governments and private companies alike. Unquestionably, the world is better off for it.
“Unfortunately, as President Trump pointed out in the State of the Union address, the United States has borne a significant amount of the negative effects associated with this development. For one, its regulatory apparatus has focused largely on drug safety, yet regulators have failed to emphasize cost-effectiveness when it comes to both new and existing drugs.
“At the same time, the United States also pays significantly higher prices than the rest of the developed world when it comes to prescription drugs, due primarily to limited competition among drug companies.”
Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.
Read this related article: “Paying for Prescription Drugs Around the World: Why Is the U.S. an Outlier?” – The Commonwealth Fund
“The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019” – Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
“Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs—defined by Medicare as drugs that cost more than $670 per month in 2019—are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. Part D plans are allowed to charge between 25 percent and 33 percent coinsurance for specialty tier drugs before enrollees reach the coverage gap, where they pay 25 percent for all brands, followed by 5 percent coinsurance when total out-of-pocket spending exceeds an annual threshold ($5,100 in 2019). While specialty tier drugs are taken by a relatively small share of enrollees, spending on these drugs has increased over time and now accounts for over 20 percent of total Part D spending, up from about 6 to 7 percent before 2010.”
“Figure 1: Medicare Part D beneficiaries can pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for specialty tier drugs, with the majority of costs for many drugs above the catastrophic threshold.”
“Many people believe they have a plan for retirement – but there is a big gap between expectation and reality.”
by Brian O’Connor
“How much do I need for retirement?
“For many, it’s a question that ranks far down the list of more urgent priorities, like buying groceries, paying rent or student loans. But chances are, it’s more than you’d think – due to a number of reasons that reveal how our expectations of our later years don’t match up with the realities of living on a fixed income.
“Take the US, for example.
“Fewer than half of American baby boomers have more than $100,000 in retirement funds, even though one estimate puts healthcare costs in retirement for the average couple at $280,000. One Merrill Lynch report suggests that one in five Americans don’t know how much money they’ll need in retirement and that most under-save by nearly 20%.”
“Coping with the Cost of Care: Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions and Tips for Seniors and Their Families” – taxact.com
“As you get older, you may find you face more and more medical bills. No matter how great your insurance coverage is or if you are on Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs due to medical needs can add up. And if you or a loved one have a serious medical condition or disability, your costs can quickly get overwhelming.
“The average medical care cost for seniors retiring today is around $280,000. The average cost of long-term care needs for seniors and disabled individuals is around $4,000-$7,000 per month. Clearly, these expenses add up quickly and can drain the resources of those who need care most. That’s why individuals and their caregivers need to understand all of the potential tax benefits they qualify for to ensure they are taking all possible deductions.
“Thankfully, there are many tax deductions you can take for medical bills or the medical bills of someone in your care. In fact, around 9 million Americans currently claim tax deductions to help them lower their tax liability and pay for their medical care. But almost just as many taxpayers fail to take those deductions because they are simply uninformed.
“This guide is designed to give you all of the information you need to claim the deductions you are due. Whether for yourself or for someone you love and care for, here is what you need to know about tax deductions for medical care.”
Keep reading this article at taxact.com, click here.