Health costs may gobble up Social Security benefits: Retirement Scan

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Health costs may gobble up Social Security benefits
A recent study shows that the rising costs of health care can drain seniors' Social Security retirement benefits, especially among women, according to this article on CNBC. To reduce these expenses in retirement, seniors are advised to delay their Social Security benefits, get health insurance to complement their Medicare coverage, and hire a health care advocate and billing specialist. Another option is to contribute to a health savings account, which offers tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred growth on savings, and tax-free withdrawals if the money is used to cover qualified medical expenses.
5 ways a reverse mortgage can help your retirement
A reverse mortgage is a good option for retirees who experience dwindling returns from their portfolio because of negative stock market returns, according to this article on Forbes. Retirees may also find a reverse mortgage useful in creating an income source while delaying Social Security retirement benefits and in covering their tax liability for Roth conversions. A reverse mortgage also provides retirees with a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses as well as allows them to leave greater inheritance for their loved ones.

Should I delay taking Social Security?
Clients who opt to defer their Social Security benefits for bigger payouts are compelled to tap into their retirement portfolio, which means they will miss out on the earnings potential of their investments, according to this article on CNNMoney. However, clients who take this option should understand that they will be less dependent on their retirement savings when they start collecting their Social Security benefits, especially with the increased benefit value after delaying it for a number of years. How long they should wait to maximize their benefit depends mostly on their investment returns after inflation.

3 states to avoid in retirement
Clients who are considering moving to another state after they retire should not set their sights on New York, New Jersey, or California, according to this article on Kiplinger. Living expenses in New York is 29% higher than the national average, and a big percentage of its senior residents live in poverty. New Jersey has the second highest combined state and local tax burden in the U.S., as the state imposes 7% sales taxes and hefty property taxes. Income tax rates in California is among the highest in the country, with retirement income subject to state taxes.

Time to rethink your Medicare coverage
The open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, offers an opportunity for retirees to review their Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug coverage, and shop around for better coverage terms, according to this article on Money. This is because Medicare costs are likely to increase next year, and insurers will feel competitive pressure when people start asking for better terms. “It helps the system get better. When people shop, that consumer behavior helps discipline the marketplace and keeps it honest,” says an expert.

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