Top 10 Ways to Delay Your VA Pension Application

veteran in uniform

We’ve all heard the horror stories about working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, affectionately known as the VA, especially when it comes to VA pension applications. You send in your paperwork and it either drops into a black hole never to be seen again or you end up in an infuriating back-and-forth game of claim form whack-a-mole. Though you don’t have any control over the employees of the VA and their skill (or lack thereof) at processing applications, you do have control over what you submit. That’s why I thought it would be fun to talk about ways to

Continue reading

Annuities and Qualifying for Public Benefits

Do you own an annuity? Annuities are a complicated subject and even more so when it comes to their effect on the Medicaid or VA Aid and Attendance application process. How can an annuity impact a person’s ability to qualify for Medicaid or VA benefits in the future? Before I answer the question, let’s start with some basics. Annuities are creditor protected insurance products that guarantee income. A qualified annuity is a financial product that accepts and grows funds. Premiums for qualified annuities are generally paid with pretax dollars, as are any investments purchased for use in a qualified retirement plan. “Qualified” is a descriptor given

Continue reading

Can I Get Medicaid if I Transfer All of My Assets to My Spouse?

elderly woman isn't feeling well

In the past, to avoid exceeding Medicaid’s income and asset limits, many individuals transferred their assets into the name of other relatives, particularly when nursing home care was immediately needed.  Now, Medicaid takes into account all asset transfers made in the preceding five years prior to an application for Medicaid benefits (this period is called the “look-back” period).  If such asset transfers were made, Medicaid may assess a penalty period, which will delay the commencement of Medicaid benefits. However, as discussed below, it is crucial to understand that not all assets are counted for Medicaid benefits determination and that some

Continue reading

Tips on Saving Money for Retirement

A great question to ask when buying something, especially big ticket items, "Is this the best you can do?" It doesn't hurt to ask. A recent article at Money features Sam Parr, founder of The Hustle, a media company that produces a popular business newsletter, has raised over $1.3 million in funding. Parr credits most of his success to the smart money habits. Save More If you're frugal and shop smart, you can put what you save into a retirement account, don't just leave that extra money sitting in the bank. Put it in a savings account. Aside from saving

Continue reading

How can identity thieves use your personal information?

If an identity thief gets ahold of your information, it can be used in many ways. Your Social Security number can be used to create new accounts, take out a loan or apply for a job. Your bank account can be drained and fraudulent purchases can be made. Someone can use your information to see a doctor or get prescription drugs. If you lose your driver’s license or your wallet is stolen, someone might use your ID to avoid a DUI or speeding ticket or might try to purchase controlled items. If you’re a parent, teach your kids safe online

Continue reading

Ultimate Guide to Burial Insurance for Seniors

Ultimate Guide to Burial Insurance for Seniors

With about 40% of adults in the U.S. foregoing life insurance, it makes sense to discuss how this can affect family members and close friends. For those of you who have played a part in financing a funeral when an uninsured family member or friend has passed away, certainly, you are intimately familiar with the financial burden that can accompany the grief of losing a loved one or close friend. Ultimate Guide to Burial Insurance for Seniors When the market crashed in 2007, practically every working person in America felt the impact. Many seniors who were hoping to stop working postponed

Continue reading

How Retirees Can Earn Money Online

How Retirees Can Earn Money Online

As a retiree, there are many activities that you can spend your days engaged in. Maybe you’re working on a project that you’ve always dreamed of doing. Perhaps you’re living casually, traveling the world or ticking off items on your bucket list. How Retirees Can Earn Money Online Whatever it is you’re doing the chances are that you’ll need money to do it, and since you’re not working, you may not want to go ‘all out’. However, instead of returning to the typical 9-5 workforce, why not use the power of the internet to earn money from the comfort of your

Continue reading

How to Budget Online Holiday Spending

How to Budget Online Holiday Spending

Five things you can do now to avoid post-holiday blues How to Budget Online Holiday Spending Online shopping has made the holidays considerably easier to manage in recent years.  No longer do shoppers have to elbow their way through massive crowds in shopping centers, wait in seemingly mile-line long lines to check out, and inch through enormous parking lot logjams at a snail’s pace. Instead, it takes far less time to click away on one site after another, loading up carts and checking out in about as much time as it takes to make a cup of coffee. With so

Continue reading

Best Insurance Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

Best Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

Sometimes you get good advice and it’s not till much later that you realize the wisdom of the advice. Such is the case with advice from my dad. He often provided unsolicited advice about a host of things, which was usually unappreciated and not fully understood at the time. As a trainer for a large life insurance company he loved his job and was always in training mode, even at home. The best piece of advice he ever gave me was: Best Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me A portion of everything you earn is yours to keep. I found the advice to

Continue reading