Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to pay for rising LTC premiums

Are you considering buying a long-term care insurance policy? Hopefully you’ve done your homework to make sure such a plan is right for you. And don’t forget … premiums are sure to rise … simply because long-term costs continue to rise.

According to the insurance giant Genworth, the average annual cost of a semi-private room in the U.S. $80,300; and a private room will run you $91,250. The 5-year annual growth for both is 4 percent.

One idea is to set aside money in an account that includes quality dividend-paying stocks or mutual funds to help pay for any premium hikes. The average dividend yield for the S&P 500 is approximately 2 percent. Bonds, bond mutual funds, or real estate investment trusts (REITs) could boost that yield even more. Contact your financial advisor on the best way to structure this account. 

Would you like other funding ideas for your long-term care needs? Then click here to get a copy of A Boomer’s Guide to Long-term Care. It’s available for immediate download to your Kindle or in a paperback version. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chain-smoking tenant cost landlord $11,000

Do you allow tenants to smoke? If so, you should click here to learn why a tribunal in Sydney, Australia ordered a landlord to pay more than $11,000 to a tenant whose flat was made unlivable. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tenant’s car must go!

I’ve had tenants who drove cars and work trucks that were genuine clunkers. But as long as the vehicles had valid tags and ran, I never made a big deal of it.

However, one landlord apparently isn’t as open-minded as me … 

Fath Properties in Ohio is threatening legal action if a tenant doesn’t get rid of her rusty car. Click here for the full story and a picture of the amount of rust on the car. 

It doesn’t look that bad to me. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Banks create thousands of opportunities for real estate investors

Banks seized 133,811 homes in the U.S. during the third quarter of this year, roughly the same as in the second quarter. But the number spiked by 66 percent compared to the year before. 

A lot of these properties have been in default for a long time and are likely vacant. That means they may eventually sell at discounted prices that drag down overall home prices in their markets. These thousands of foreclosed homes may also provide an opportunity for investors. And according to RealtyTrac many of these homes will be hitting the market for sale in the next six to 12 months. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

IRS has good news for long-term-care policyholders

In A Boomer’s Guide to Long-term Care I included a chapter on how your long-term-care premiums might be deductible. The IRS recently announced an increase in those deductibility limits for 2016.

The limits depend on your age and range from $390 to $4,870. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

You only have 6 months to act!

As I wrote yesterday morning, the file-and-suspend strategy many Americans have used to boost their Social Security benefits is on the chopping block. And I warned that if you are considering using this idea, you better act quickly.

Well, later in the day news came out that a provision to eliminate this tactic is within a bill that averts a government shutdown. Congress has agreed to it, and the President is expected to sign it any moment.

But you’ll still have six months after the bill is signed to file-and-suspend your Social Security payments.

So now you have a deadline. Don’t dawdle. Once it’s gone it’s gone forever, which could mean losing thousands of dollars in benefits. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

File-and-suspend on Obama’s Hit List

File-and-suspend has become a popular strategy for married couples who want to get the most from their Social Security benefits. It lets them earn credits for delayed filing and bring in some Social Security income while they wait.

Here is the most common way to use file-and-suspend:

The spouse with the higher benefit files at his or her full retirement age (FRA), then immediately files a notice to suspend payment of those benefits. That permits the spouse with the lower primary insurance amount (PIA) to file for a spousal benefit, which is equal to half the higher earner’s benefit.

That gets some income flowing to the household while the higher earner continues to accrue higher benefits. The higher earner can wait until age 70 to begin benefits; the lower earner then converts to his or her own full benefit.

The couple receives higher individual benefits for the rest of their lives. If the husband dies first, the widow then converts to a survivor benefit, equal to 100 percent of her spouse’s benefit. 

But the White House has proposed eliminating it on grounds that it’s a loophole mainly benefiting upper-income households. So if you’ve been thinking about filing and suspending your Social Security benefits, you better do it while you still can.