Aging Energized Articles

Read about topics to help you age well, enjoy your retirement years, and navigate the intricacies of Medicare and Social Security.

New Law Brings Changes to Retirement Planning

Since it happened right in the midst of the 2019 holiday season, you may not be aware that new legislation bringing sweeping changes to retirement plans was passed on December 20, 2019. The SECURE Act (for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement) became effective on January 1, 2020. It has many provisions; some are aimed at individual savers (this means YOU), and some are focused on employers.

The SECURE Act eliminates "stretch IRAs." A stretch IRA happens when you inherit an IRA and you extend its distributions over your lifetime. If you are young, this was a real tax-saver because you could extend the payout period of the inherited IRA over several decades, thus spreading out the payment of income taxes over a longer period of time. It also meant that the risk to increasing your income in a tax year, and potentially moving into a higher tax bracket, could be reduced.

Effective for deaths occurring after December 31, 2019, funds from inherited IRAs must now be fully withdrawn by...

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Medicare Rights Center Testifies Before Congress to Improve Part B Enrollment

legislation medicare Jan 10, 2020

On January 8, 2020, Medicare Rights Center President Fred Riccardi testified at a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health titled “Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes.”

In the testimony, Medicare Rights urged Congress to pass the bipartisan, bicameral Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2477) without delay.

The BENES Act is urgently needed to modernize and simplify the Medicare Part B enrollment process. Currently, far too many people make honest mistakes when trying to understand and navigate this confusing system. The consequences of such missteps are significant—including late enrollment penalties, higher out-of-pocket health care costs, gaps in coverage, and barriers to accessing needed services.

Unfortunately, many people do make mistakes. Year after year, among the most frequent calls to the National Consumer Helpline are...

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