Lifestyles over 50 Finance & Money
Elder Law Alert: Department of Veterans Affairs Makes Sweeping Changes to VA Pension and Aid & Attendance Benefit
VA Pension benefits are “nonservice connected” disability benefits that provide a monthly tax-free income to eligible wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. A married veteran can receive up to $2,169/month, a single veteran up to $1,830, and a surviving spouse up to $1,176. Pension benefits are particularly valuable to seniors because they can help defray the high cost of medical expenses (e.g. in-home care, adult day care, assisted living).
National and Regional Listings
Lifestyles over 50 compiled an exhaustive list of discounts aimed at people 50 years of age and older. The list consists of the name of the company offering the discount, followed by the discount itself and any qualitfications that apply.
What is a Comparative Market Analysis?
The Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is used to help evaluate how your home stacks up against the similar homes in your area. It looks at homes that are currently listed and those recently sold. The purpose is to find the highest price that will still make the home competitive on the open market.
For many years organizations like AAA and AARP have negotiated discounts for members and seniors with national companies. At the local level there are numerous businesses in our community that offer “senior discounts”, although no organization has compiled them into one list.
Transitioning to Senior Living is not always easy. Some people move to downsize and free themselves from home maintenance, others for socialization and yet others for the assistance with daily activities. Regardless of the motivation, the move represents change, which can be emotionally draining.
One aspect of the move that can be made easy is selling your home. Using an experienced realtor not only helps you delegate the task but also ensures that you maximize your home’s value in a timely manner. Often people rely on their home’s equity to help fund their next stage in life; the sale of property is an important step in the transition to senior living.
You spend your whole life building your legacy but sadly, that is not always enough. Without careful tax planning, much of it could be lost to taxes or misdirected. While a will or living trust is essential for dividing your estate as you wish, an efficient tax plan ensures you pass on as much of your legacy as possible.
Who’s in Charge?
Part 1 of this series told the story of my 88 year old mother-in-law, Aggie, and the 2-year struggle she faced to make the changes she clearly had to make. Then, in our second installment, we found Fear of the Unknown is the biggest obstacle to thinking about moving: The process of moving looked Overwhelming to Aggie… as it does for many of us.
“In almost 40 years in real estate one of the most important things that I have learned is to have clear communication with clients and not to assume that we are all speaking the same language.” Below are the five real estate terms that Elissa reviews with her clients to ensure clear communication and the best possible outcome: