Lifestyles over 50 Finance & Money
Each year, Medicare loses $60 - $80 billion to fraud and abuse. Money lost to fraud means increased costs, and can diminish the quality of care you receive. The Senior Medicare Patrol at the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly is dedicated to curbing fraud and abuse in Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries who volunteer for the program are trained on what fraud looks like, how to teach beneficiaries to protect themselves and Medicare, and how to report problems. These messages, which the SMP calls Protect, Detect, Report, are delivered to consumers in the community in presentations and health fairs.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program deadline for older adults and residents with disabilities to apply for rebates of rent and property taxes paid in 2015 has been extended from June 30 to December 31, 2016. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.
The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. You can contact your local Area Agency on Aging, your local legislator or the Pennsylvania Departmentof Revenue at 1-888-222-9190 for an application. Applications are also available online at www.revenue.pa.gov.
Veterans can use help from time to time. I am honored to work with veterans and to help them obtain financing for their homes. Of particular importance is the VA Home Loan program - a mortgage option that provides the opportunity for qualifying veterans to purchase a primary residence without putting any money down towards the sale price of the home.
While the VA Loan is designed specifically for those who served, there are a handful of requirements. In order to qualify for a VA Loan there are specific service conditions each borrower must meet. You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
Seniors have unique situations that call for someone trained to best handle them. A specialist brings more than just a realtor’s license when helping seniors with their real estate issues. These include:
Provide insight on current market conditions, determine how your property stacks up against the competition and develop a pricing and marketing strategy to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price.
Can help assemble an appropriate team to ease the transition to a new property.
When you’re ready to move, are you going to call your friends with pickup trucks to come over and help? When relocating from a large four bedroom home to a one or two bedroom apartment in a senior living community, how will you downsize? Are you going to spend weeks packing up a lifetime worth of treasures in newspaper and boxes from the liquor store? Where do you even start when faced with these tasks?
The Senior Move Management industry specializes in assisting older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation.
This photo is of my father, Bob Hollinger Sr.. who served three years in the United States Marine Corps in Italy in 1945. He’s 87 now, and I spend a lot of time with him. It’s been six years since my mother passed, and I have been so proud of him, living independently and taking great care of himself. But recently I have been worried about him, because he’s falling, and though he can remember so many details about his life 70 years ago, he can’t remember who was in a movie he watched 20 minutes ago. He’s giving money he doesn’t have to mail and phone scams, is now vulnerable and too trusting, and he doesn’t know how $500 is disappearing from his bank account every month. He needs help.
“Don’t get a reverse mortgage, you’re giving your home to the bank.”
Having been in the reverse mortgage business for the better part of a decade, I have heard many things said about reverse mortgages. Unfortunately for the general public, much of it is not true.
Did you know that Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) provide important information to help you prevent Medicare fraud? Many people know this as the “This is not a bill” statement. Medicare consumers should review their MSNs to be sure the information is accurate and if not, report any discrepancies.
What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a government insured loan which allows homeowners to access the equity they have built up in their homes. The homeowner retains title to their home. Unlike a regular mortgage, a reverse mortgage requires no monthly mortgage payments (homeowners must still pay taxes and homeowner’s insurance.)