Category Archives: seniors

Some seniors will pay a 296% tax increase under “Deep State” deal with media and politicians

Remember the promise of a tax cut primarily for the middle class?

For many Americans that will be a lie, and retired seniors will be hit the hardest, despite the attempted sleight of hand numbers game that “gives” you about double the standard deduction, but doesn’t mention the loss of personal exemptions.

Even worse, the so-called reform means that a couple that used to itemize deductions above $12,700 (under 65) and $15,200 (over 65) will now have to wait until the itemization exceeds $24,000.

The table below shows the current income tax formula for a senior couple with the average Social Security benefit, plus a part-time job, and an RMD. (At age 70 1/2 the government forces you to take out part of your IRA and pay income tax on it every year. If you have stocks or bonds, they must be sold to satisfy the IRS, even if they lost value.)

This average senior couple will pay $1,506 income tax under current law without itemization.

Some might wonder about that tax on Social Security Continue reading →

A Philadelphia public school that beat the preps and the 1940 NYPD class that excelled with no legacies

Every high school class has organizers, those busy, enthusiastic souls who run for student council, plan proms and after they graduate, are drawn to suggesting alumni events. The latest test for me to remember classmate names was on Saturday night at Central High School’s 211th class’ 75th member birthday party.

The original graduating class in 1959 had some 210 students; 46 have died. Ours was not the most remarkable class in the school’s history. A list of notable graduates from all classes is here.

In fact, it was good that some of the 211th weren’t there – Rev. Jeremy Wright, for example, who was rebuked by President Barack Obama. Or Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor, justly serving time for hideous acts.

There were special moments. Standing together for a class picture, Classmate Richard Donald Smith, who is blind, entertaining with a flute rendition of our school song. It was that kind of night.

Central was an all boys, public high school in Philadelphia, when I attended. There was a brutal entrance exam, also known as an I.Q. test, and the minimum score was 115, and the average was 125. There were 15 other public highs and 16 Catholic high schools in the city, all of them easier and more fun. We went to Central because our parents “suggested” we compete for entrance, and so we braced ourselves. Continue reading →

How a Medicaid divorce can save you millions.

Leave it to the scions of Washington D.C. to break up middle class marriages.

Under current law if your spouse enters a nursing home, both of you are obligated to pay for care. With an average Social Security check at about $14,000, the cost of a nursing home is impossible to pay out of current income. Most folks dip into savings.

But even a family with say, $400,000 saved over a lifetime, will see that money rapidly disappear because nursing home care is not covered by Medicare. You have to pay 100% of the costs.

To give you better sense of these expenses the states with the most expensive median annual rate for a single person’s private room bed in a nursing home:

  1. Alaska – $259,515
  2. Connecticut – $158,775
  3. Massachusetts – $139,430
  4. New York – $136,510
  5. Hawaii – $135,050

The states with the least expensive median annual rate for a single person’s private room bed in a nursing home:

  1. Oklahoma – $60,225
  2. Missouri – $60,955
  3. Louisiana – $62,050
  4. Kansas – $65,700
  5. Arkansas – $65,700

Double all the above numbers for two persons.

The table below shows the range of costs by state in 2015 of the daily rate for a private room. Continue reading →

Why are we ignoring criminal emails? Time for federal government to prosecute and prevent fraud hucksters!

online-email-fraud-seminar-invitiation-01Spam filter on your email server? Think that big internet provider is helping keep away the criminals? Wondering why the federal government has time to look at every email sent every day by every person, but no time to go after the fraud experts preying on the vulnerable citizen?

The answer is that nobody cares except the victims of fraud. If you steal a CD from a store, you can go to jail for years. If you try to steal the life savings of a senior, our politicians turn the other way. I get emails – 50 to 100 a day. Here’s a recent one that smells like danger to me, but maybe not to someone older and less perceptive:

reply to: simonmartha66@yahoo.com.ph
MESSAGE FROM THE HOSPITAL
My Beloved One,
This is Ms Martha Simon from Estonia writing from the hospital in Ivory Coast; therefore this mail is very urgent to attend. I am dying here in this hospital right now which i don’t know if i will see some days to come.
I was informed by my doctor that i was poisoned and the poison damaged my liver and i can only live for some days.
My Beloved, the reason why i contacted you today is because i know that my step mother wanted to kill me and take my inheritance from my late Father. I have a little adopted child named Andrew C. Mannik that i adopted in this Country when my late Father was alive and $3.5 million Dollars i inherited from my late father. My step mother and her children they are after Andrew right now because they found out that Andrew was aware of the poison and also because i handed the documents of the fund over to him the day my step Mother poisoned my food, for that they do not want Andrew to expose them, so they are doing everything possible to kill him.
My beloved, please i want you to help him out of this country with the money because he is the only one taking care of me here in this hospital right now and even this email you are reading now is the one helping me out. I know that you have adopted Children already, but i believe that when Andrew will stay with you as your Son that you won’t regret having him as your Son because am always proud of him.
I want you to get back to me so that he will give you the documents of the fund and he will direct you to a well known lawyer that i have appointed, the lawyer will assist you to change the documents of the fund to your name to enable the bank transfer the money to you..
This is the favor i need when you have gotten the fund :
(1) Keep 30% of the money for Andrew until he finish his studies to become a man as he has been there for me as my lovely Son and i have promised to support him in life to become a medical Doctor because he always desire for it with the scholarship he had won so far. I want you to take him along with you to your country and establish him as your son.
(2) Give 20% of the money to handicap people and charity organization. The remaining 50% should be yours for your help to Andrew.
Note; This should be a code between you and my son Andrew in this transaction “Hospital” any mail from him, the Lawyer he will direct you to, without this code “Hospital” is not from the Andrew, the Lawyer or myself as i don’t know what will happen to me in the next few hours.
Finally, write me back so that Andrew will send you his pictures to be sure of whom you are dealing with. Andrew is so little therefore guide him. And if i don’t hear from you i will look for another person or any organization.
May Almighty God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish. Pray for me always.
Ms Martha Simon

Continue reading →

White House wants to disarm some seniors; afraid of a revolt? Or, are there even more cuts to Social Security in the works?

Guns

What criminal would bother this gal?

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.

The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.” – Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2015

President Obama’s hometown newspaper hasn’t noticed that their city is a murder destination, despite bans on guns for the law-abiding, but oodles of firearms on the black market, primarily imported from Indiana. As one wealthy windy wit explained “if people want protection, do what I do, hire security guards.”

Were it so easy to have your own Secret Service in some of Chicago’s rough neighborhoods! The average Social Security check is about $1,400 a month, and then you have to deduct three or four thousand a year for Part B, deductibles, catastrophic insurance.  A good security guard should run you twice your gross earnings, and you need three a shift. Of course, you can dip into your average senior savings of $38,000 to pay for Continue reading →

“Fair Tax” by GOP would be fairy tale windfall for the rich

fairy dustLeave it to the greedy politicians and their wealthy puppet masters to come up with yet another “reform” that will benefit the upper class at the expense of the other 99%. This time it’s called the “Fair Tax”, and it’s made of fairy dust for the entitled.

Every GOP candidate for President appears to have been told this is the official goal for the year. It’s now a mainstay for every  conservative campaign, along with the standard “reforms” – abolishing Medicare (offering instead, a stipend to buy an imaginary “inexpensive” private plan for 70, 80, and 90-year-olds), plus. the usual GOP and “centrist” Democrat brainstorm to hike the retirement age for Social Security to 69 or 70 at first (and then increase it annually, according to Continue reading →

Seniors – get divorced and save on income taxes?

Now that nearly everyone, of every persuasion, seems to want to be married, seniors should advise the newly matrimonial-prone that true love expressed can cost you big bucks, when dealing with Uncle Sam. Here is a mock 1040 for a mythical single filer Herman Schmidlap:

Single 1Single 2Herman is filing single, and the return would be the same if filed as “married, but filing separately.” His wages were $15,000, plus $10,000 he was required by RMD to take from his IRA or face penalties, plus $25,000 Social Security Benefits. He has a $25,000 Continue reading →

Social Security benefits keep dropping…

While there has been much discussion about the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) and revising it upward so it affects fewer people, Social Security benefits have not received the same attention.

The SSA website notes:

Beginning in 1984, includes up to one-half of Social Security benefits as taxable income for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income, combined with half their benefits and any tax-exempt interest they may have exceeds $25,000 for a single taxpayer and $32,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. Benefits received by married taxpayers filing separately are taxable without regard to other income. Appropriates amounts equal to estimated tax liability to the Social Security trust funds.

For the last quarter century we have maintained about these same limits, which means that every year more Americans have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. The intention in 1983, when this change was approved by Congress, was to only tax high earners. We can all agree that $32,000 is far from high in today’s economy.

The other issue stems from the limits. Setting $25,000 each for an unmarried couple, and $16,000 each for a married couple, certainly discourages legal matrimony, when you can save income tax on $7,000 by divorcing.

A change to $16,000 per person with no reward for separation should be approved by Democrats everywhere, as well as Republicans concerned about “defense of marriage.”

For those spouses who get benefits from their wife’s or husband’s account, that benefit continues after divorce, so you can get your tax break and the same income as though you were still married.

As the years have passed, the amount of taxation has actually increased, even ignoring wage growth and/or inflation.

Here is the SSA’s rather muddled explanation of this disparity, for what it’s worth:

No one pays federal income tax on more than 85 percent of his or her Social Security benefits based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you:

– file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your combined income* is ◦between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.

– more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.

– file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income that is ◦between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits

– more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.

White House and New Democrat Coalition – cut Medicare to subsidize world’s worst health plan

The new insanity is that instead of passing healthcare for all at no cost – the world standard – nitwits in Congress and the White House have decided to rape Medicare.

One of the targets is home health care. The cuts are major and since the people involved are housebound, there is no danger of them storming the gated communities in rage. They will just die from neglect.

Here’s a report from NY Times:

As they are across the nation, Medicare patients and nurses in this town in northern Maine are anxiously following the Congressional debate because its outcome could affect Medicare’s popular home health benefit in a big way. The legislation would reduce Medicare spending on home health services, a lifeline for homebound Medicare beneficiaries, which keeps them out of hospitals and nursing homes.

Under the bills, more than 30 million Americans would gain health coverage. The cost would be offset by new taxes and fees and by cutbacks in Medicare payments to health care providers. Home care shows, in microcosm, a conundrum at the heart of the health care debate. Lawmakers have decided that most of the money to cover the uninsured should come from the health care system itself. This raises the question: Can health care providers reduce costs without slashing services?

Under the legislation, home care would absorb a disproportionate share of the cuts. It currently accounts for 3.7 percent of the Medicare budget, but would absorb 10.2 percent of the savings squeezed from Medicare by the House bill and 9.4 percent of savings in the Senate bill, the Congressional Budget Office says. The House bill would slice $55 billion over 10 years from projected Medicare spending on home health services, while the Senate bill would take $43 billion.

Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Rahm Emanuel and the Blue Dog Democrats and the New Democrat Coalition have engineered this as part of their War on Elderly, also know as Operation Enduring Misery.

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