Medicare, ACA care and how to navigate during enrollment

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This is enrollment season for two huge public health insurance programs: Medicare and the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. For older Americans, the overlapping sign-up periods can lead to confusion and enrollment errors. Insurers offering Medicare and ACA policies have big money at stake, and consumers are subject to a blizzard of marketing messages. […]

Biggest surprises in retirement? The experts weigh in

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The Great Recession served up some nasty financial surprises to retirees – the housing crash, job loss and shrunken 401(k)s top the list of causes for the retirement insecurity that so many face. But retirement can bring lifestyle surprises, too. It’s one of life’s biggest transitions, and a major leap into the unknown. Hoping to […]

Five ways to confront changing healthcare costs in retirement

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The cost of health care is one of the biggest out-of-pocket costs facing retirees–and for some, the challenge is getting tougher. Fifteen million retirees on Medicare get supplemental health insurance coverage from their former employers–and another 2 million retirees not yet eligible for Medicare receive primary coverage from their former workplaces, according to research by […]

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Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

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The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]

Retirement healthcare costs: Not as scary, but still daunting

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The remarkable recent lull in retirement healthcare inflation isn’t fading – not yet, at least. A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need to have saved $220,000 to meet healthcare expenses during their retirement, according to a report issued today by Fidelity Investments. It’s a daunting sum, but it’s unchanged from last year and comes […]

Getting a handle on health care in retirement

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Health care is one of the largest expenses most Americans will face in retirement – and it’s among the most difficult to predict. At the recent Morningstar Individual Investor Conference, I joined a panel discussion of strategies for meeting health-care funding needs using Medicare, Medigap, long-term care insurance health savings accounts – and the Affordable Care Act. […]

Obamacare opens new pathways into retirement

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Is President Obama’s health reform law a job killer? Republicans seized on a new high-profile analysis of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week to ram home that oft-repeated talking point. But the report, issued this week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), actually says something quite different: Jobs won’t be destroyed, but more Americans […]

Debunking myths about America’s longevity gains

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Americans are living longer. We hear that claim often from politicians worried about entitlement spending, policymakers urging us to postpone retirement – even insurance companies pitching annuities. And it’s true: Average life expectancy in the United States rose by almost eight years from 1978 to 2011, to 78.7 years, according to a new report by […]

A plea for ‘slow medicine and ‘good deaths’ for the elderly

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Katy Butler wanted her elderly father’s pacemaker turned off, but she couldn’t get a doctor to do it. In 2001, Butler’s father, Jeffrey, suffered a debilitating stroke at age 79. Two years later, his doctor recommended installation of a pacemaker that would help him survive hernia surgery – a decision that seemed harmless at the […]

Obamacare enrollment: What older Americans need to know

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The marketing blitz for the launch of Obamacare is underway, with ad campaigns in many states featuring actors, musicians and athletes urging people to sign up for the health insurance program. A big federal ad campaign will follow in September. Marketing and communication might serve as an antidote to the confusion and antipathy that persists […]