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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pandemic Relief: Retirement Account Owners Do Not Have to Take Required Distributions in 2020


Retirement account owners, many of whose retirement balances have been pummeled by a stock market drop due to the coronavirus pandemic, do not have to take mandatory withdrawals this year. 

Federal law requires individuals who were age 70 1/2 before the end of 2019 to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement plan in April of the year after they turned 70. (Note that those who were younger than 70 ½ at the end of 2019 can wait until they turn 72 to take RMDs) The amount of the distribution is based on the value of the account at the end of the previous year, but the funds you withdraw are treated as taxable income in the year you take the distribution.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Creative Strategies to Help Clients Safely Execute Documents During Pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread through the country, more people are realizing the importance of getting their estate planning documents in order. Those over age 60 are particularly at risk for developing complications from the novel coronavirus infection. Having in place documents -- including a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a medical directive, a HIPAA release and a will -- is essential in the event that illness strikes.

Although planning one’s estate is a top priority, people don’t want to put themselves or others at risk while doing it. Elder law and estate planning firms across the U.
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

My Covid-19 "New Normal" Life by Katherine LaFollette


When the stay at home order took effect here in Indiana on March 23, 2020, I remember thinking that this was going to be so hard for a lot of people to do.  Not everyone likes to stay inside for long periods of time.  I remember going to the grocery store to get some much needed items and looking around in horror as the shelves were almost bare.  I have a two year old at home and I had to stop at three different stores before I found the size diapers my son wears.  I was always a homebody even before this, however, the only difference from then to now is that I couldn’t take my kids to the park or to the store with me.
Read more . . .


Thursday, April 30, 2020

How to Vote-by-Mail in the June Indiana Primary


The Indiana Primary election date has been moved to June 2, 2020.  By voting in the primary, you help determine what candidates will be on the ballot in November for your party, Democratic or Republican.   In addition, there are “Public Questions” on the Primary Ballot in Washington Township and Beech Grove in Marion County, that will decide whether these township schools will have adequate funding for future years. 

To vote by mail (absentee ballot) in the June 2, 2020 primary

  1. Check your registration and if you are not properly registered, register by May 4th.You can check your registration and register to vote at Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Will the Stimulus Check Effect Mine or My Loved One’s Medicaid Benefits?


Many Americans have received or are about to receive a stimulus check from the IRS.  While the majority are thankful and rejoicing the assistance, those who receive Medicaid or have a loved one who receives Medicaid benefits to help cover their health care costs are concerned of the impact these stimulus checks might have on their Medicaid eligibility. 

The good news is that the stimulus checks will not affect your or your loved ones Medicaid benefits.   The stimulus checks are being treated as tax refunds.  Tax refunds are not considered income and are exempt as a resource for 12 months for all federal means tested programs, which includes Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF and SSI benefits.
Read more . . .


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hydroponic Gardening - How to Bring the Garden In by Katherine LaFollette


Are you like me and love to garden but don’t have enough yard space to do so?  Every year I want to plant some vegetables but my yard is too small.  I was searching the internet one night and I came across something absolutely fantastic…. Hydroponic gardening! 

In case you are like me and don’t know what hydroponic gardening is, hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.  How is that possible?!  How can you grow plants without soil?  I was skeptical at first but then I continued to read.  It intrigued me so much that I spent a good portion of my night watching Youtube videos on how to create my own hydroponic garden.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FSSA (Indiana Medicaid Agency) Response to COVID-19


In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, On April 1, 2020, Indiana FSSA ( State’s Medicaid agency) announced that Medicaid programs such HIP, Hoosier Healthwise and Traditional Medicaid, which help with nursing home and in-home health care costs, will not be terminated during the state of emergency.  

A copy of the letter follows. 

Update on Medicaid policy changes re: COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, some policy and program changes have been made to help ensure members in our managed care programs (Healthy Indiana Plan, Hoosier Care Connect, Hoosier Healthwise) as well as our Traditional Medicaid members are able to maintain continuous coverage in this critical time.

 

Member Eligibility

Member health coverage will not be terminated during the public health emergency. Member coverage will only end if a member voluntarily withdraws or moves out of the state.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Estate Planning is Essential for Unmarried Couples


While estate planning is important for married couples, it is arguably even more necessary for couples that live together without getting married. Without an estate plan unmarried couples won’t be able to make end-of-life decisions or inherit from each other. 

Estate planning serves two main functions: determining who can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and who gets your assets when you die.  There are laws in place to protect spouses in couples that have failed to plan by governing the distribution of property in the event of death. If you do not have a will, property will pass to your spouse and children, or to parents if you die without a spouse or children.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Free Tax Preparation Help Is Available to Seniors


Seniors and retirees should know that they may be able to use online tax preparation software free of charge. Most low- and middle-income Americans qualify for the free help, but do not take advantage of it. And all seniors are eligible for free counseling assistance from the IRS.

The tax preparation software industry has had a decades-long deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make free versions of its software available to low- and middle-income individuals. However, a Read more . . .


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Caregivers Are Getting Younger, Making Planning for Long-Term Care Even More Important


As baby boomers age, more and more millennials are becoming caregivers. Many are taking on this role while just getting started in their own lives, leading to difficult decisions about priorities. Proper planning can help them navigate this terrain. 

The term “sandwich generation” was coined to refer to baby boomers who were taking care of their parents while also having young children of their own. Now millennials are moving into the sandwich generation at a younger age than their parents did.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

When Should I Review My Estate Plan?


You took one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones by creating a proper estate plan.   Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expenses, delays and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.   The next step is knowing when to have your estate plan reviewed.

A great time to review your estate plan is if you have experienced any major changes in your family situation, health or finances.  The addition of new family members is a time to rejoice and celebrate, but is also a good time to review your estate plan to assure that the newest members are properly accounted for in your estate.
Read more . . .


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