The Medicare quirk that can cost employees thousands: Retirement Scan

Register now

Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

The Medicare quirk that can cost you thousands
Medicare patients have the reason to worry about their hospital bill if they are not formally admitted into the hospital for three consecutive days and they are put under observation status, according to this article on Money. This is because their expenses will not be covered by the program. The number of Medicare beneficiaries placed under observation status is increasing, prompting a new law requiring hospitals to inform the patients that they have to stay in the hospital for more than 24 hours without being formally admitted. However, advocates say the new law is not enough. “It does half of what we would like to see. The notice should also allow patients to appeal their status,” says an attorney.
Older Americans are jeopardizing their retirement with divorce
As average life expectancy is increasing, more couples aged 50 and above are getting a divorce, putting their retirement security at risk, according to this article on Bloomberg. “The vast majority of older couples who divorce, even if they’ve both worked or are still employed, see their standard of living decline substantially,” says an attorney. “It’s a lot more expensive to live in separate households than in one home, and the retirement savings you’ve accumulated must be divided, leaving each spouse with less.”

Figuring out what safe and guaranteed really mean?
Retirement investors are advised to perform their due diligence before putting their assets into investments that are touted as safe, guaranteed and flexible, writes an expert on Forbes. This is because these terms could mean differently and investors will be disappointed with the results, as the investments fail to meet their expectations, says the expert. "Safe, guaranteed, and flexible investments can also come at a cost which in turn may affect overall performance, costs, and one’s ability to achieve their investment goals."

A fourth-quarter financial calendar for retirees
Retirees have numerous financial deadlines to mark on their calendar in the fourth quarter, according to this article on Morningstar. The Medicare open enrollment will kick in on Oct. 15 and end on Dec. 7, while the deadline for IRA recharacterization is set on Oct. 17. The mutual fund capital gains distribution season will be on Dec. 1-31, while retirees have until Dec. 31 to make a required minimum distribution, tax-loss sale or charitable contribution. The January quarterly estimated tax deadline is Jan. 17.

Do you really need a will?
Client may or may not need a will depending on their circumstances, according to this article on MarketWatch. “Certainly the simpler you are, the less of a complex estate plan you need,” but most people aren't, says an attorney. "If you have minor children, only a will names a guardian for those children. A will or a trust will allow you to name someone to watch over assets for a disabled or elderly family member or someone who may not have the financial sophistication to manage those assets.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.