Saturday, February 11, 2017

Recalled pharma can matter to seniors

A visitor has suggested that I mention a site “Recall Report”, that keeps track of medications  for which there are adverse reports, as with unexpected side effects or even with packaging safety.
The site is here.
The spokesperson says: 

"Recall report is one of the web's most comprehensive consumer recall sites, with focus on prescription drugs and their side affects. Recall Report also has hundreds of pages on health conditions associated with prescription drugs, including those listed at the site. 
With dedicated areas of our website for health conditions at ‘’, we have more medical information than any other consumer recall website. Likewise, you can find very comprehensive and targeted health information for different demographics in our Health Info section at " (i.e. students).”

I wanted to note that my 1099 from Social Security tells me I paid $760 in Part D premiums last year.

   I’ve gotten about $100 in benefits, as the Losartan is very cheap.  Most stuff I buy over the counter because I don’t like doctors.  The Zyclara, for an old squamous cell actinic keratosis in the temple are, though, costs almost $1000 (from England), most of it covered (but not refilled last year).

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Paul Ryan wants to privatize Medicare, slowly but eventually completely

Paul Ryan wants go gradually replace Medicare with an ACA-like system based on grants, which are larger for low-income people, people with less wealth, or more claims.

The NPR has a story here.  The changes would start in 2024, affecting people now 57.

Medicare has enough money until 2028. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

GOP mulls social security cuts for those retiring 2023 or later

News Groop reports on supposed drastic cuts in social security being considered now by the GOP.

Retirement age would gradually rise to 69.  But other changes in benefits would not affect anyone whose benefits start before 2023 (I presume that means full retirement age).
The “earnings test”, which was so controversial when I took early retirement, would be eliminated.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Popular book exposes "file and suspend" loopholes in Social Security, which Congress closed this fall

There’s an interesting account (by Ben Steverman) in the Chicago Tribune about how a book, “Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Social Security”, by Laurence Lotlikoff, Phillip Moeler, and Paul Solman (Simon and Shuster), explained who certain couples could squeeze more out of social security by certain fake delaying tactics.  The most notorious of these was called “file and suspend”.

Congress nixed these techniques this November, although some retirees may be grandfathered a little.

The book, which has sold over 300,000 copies, will be revised soon.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Republicans introduce Social Security reform bill with modest means testing

Republicans are considering a Social Security reform bill that raises the retirement age to 69, and gradually means tests benefits, especially for some spouses and dependents, apparently even for some current retirees.  But the means testing is “mild”:  it would eliminate COLA increases for singles earning over $85000 and couples over $170000 a year.

Criticism says that it places the burden of funding on the poor and middle class (often unaware of the actuarial  math when voting for Trump).

The bill was introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX).

It’s called the “Social Security Reform Act of 2016”, Johnson’s link . It is supposed to add 75 years of sovereignty to the Social Security Trust find.

The story by Sarah MacManus appeared in Bipartisan Report.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Filial piety has some limits; don't let your parents be reckless with money

In a column today (which I note is World AIDS day) Michelle Singletary, “The Color of Money”, comes out for filial piety by saying, “I absolutely believe that we all should be on standby to assist relatives in need”.   Take care of your own first.

That’s all in a column today, “Don’t let your parents drag you under financially”.  Singletary gives a couple of narratives of how parents became spendthrifts.  In one case, a parent declared bankruptcy after getting dental implants when dentures might have sufficed.  (Complete implants typically cost over $60000, spent over several months).   Were the adult kids on the hook for the bankruptcy? Probably not, but state laws can be tricky.

Many people just don't get the mathematical idea of compound interest, the stuff of middle school algebra tests today.  You're money lasts a lot longer if you avoid debt altogether.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Should empty nesters "downsize" or "rightsize"? Is high rise living more secure?

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Harriet Edelson wrote a detailed article for the Washington Post about empty-nest seniors downsizing. 
It’s interesting that an old house, even if paid for, can be a “burden” if there is constant concern of what can fail.  Seniors, especially those very mobile, may want smaller places, newer, more secure, and in areas accessible to public transportation and amenities.  A new place with onsite security makes long-term travel much easier. 

High rises may often be more secure for some people, but that isn’t always the case.  The condition of the property and the quality of management onsite is a major factor for security too.