Planning for Life

The First Step on the Thinking Ahead Roadmap: Choose Your Financial Advocate

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 16, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

Financial-assets-security-trusts-margolis-and-bloom-dagostinoA team of a gerontologist, a senior advocate attorney and an actuary have developed an extremely accessible tool to assist seniors in planning for their financial security. Unfortunately, as seniors age they often lose their financial acumen and can become the victims of financial fraud and abuse.

Gerontologist Marti DeLiema of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, attorney Naomi Karp, formerly of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and actuary Steve Vernon recommend that every senior choose a financial advocate to manage their daily finances, deal with health insurance, manage investments, and pay bills related to the home when the time comes. The financial advocate may be a family member or a professional. Either way, on their website, the Thinking Ahead Roadmap, the three list the factors to consider in making your choice.

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Topics: baby boomers, financial planning, durable power of attorney

5 Common MassHealth Myths & Misconceptions

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on February 18, 2020



With so much at stake, planning — and paying — for long-term care services such as assisted living or nursing home stays can be a confusing and anxiety-ridden process. Medicaid (known as MassHealth in Massachusetts) provides coverage for long-term care costs, including comprehensive coverage for skilled nursing home care and supplemental coverage for the cost of assisted living and home health care, but there are some common misconceptions about what MassHeath does and does not cover and who is eligible.

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Topics: nursing homes, MassHealth, Estate Planning, financial planning, Medicaid, MassHealth lien

Why We Don't Plan: Prunes

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 13, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

Lovers on the bench.jpeg

Why don't people, especially seniors, plan to protect themselves and their families? The answer, which I learned at a program sponsored by the Boston Estate Planning Council about findings from the MIT Age Lab, can in part be explained by the acronym PRUNE. PRUNE stands for the types of information that have emotional impact on us, those that are:

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Topics: Estate Planning, financial planning, aging

Should My Financial Planner Be a CFP, CLU, or a What?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 19, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis


Acronyms, acronyms. Does your financial planner have a lot of initials after her name? Is she a CFP, a CLU, a ChFC or a CFA? What do these designations mean and do they matter?

As with all designations and certifications, they matter a bit, but only a bit. Some advisors with lots of designations will not have their clients' best interests at heart. Others with no designations are very knowledgeable and take great care of their clients. That said, these designations can be used as one of several data points in choosing your financial advisor.

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Topics: financial planning

10 Steps You Can Take to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 1, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Seniors often become susceptible to financial abuse as the result of increased dependency due to illness, disability, or cognitive impairments. They also often have a nest egg that they've accumulated over decades, which can make them a target for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage.

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Topics: Estate Planning, financial planning, elder law

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Retirement Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 1, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

There are two kinds of annuities: variable and immediate. Both can be useful for retirement planning purposes and both can be misused. Variable annuities have gotten a bad reputation in recent years because they are often sold to people, especially seniors, for whom they are inappropriate. Immediate annuities, on the other hand, may be undersold.

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Topics: Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, financial planning

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