Update estate plan in light of new tax law

By: Eleanor Laise

The new tax law has led some people to assume they can delete estate planning from their to-do lists. But that is a dangerous assumption. Yes, the new tax law roughly doubles the federal estate-tax exemption, to about $11.2 million per person — meaning the vast majority of people will not be subject to federal estate tax. But before you take your estate planner off speed dial,... READ MORE

E-mails from the IRS and other tax scams

By: Kimberly Lankford

Question: I received an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, asking for my bank account information to deposit my refund. I’m almost positive it’s a scam. How can I find out for sure, and how can I report it if it is fraudulent? Answer: It’s a scam — and one that’s common around tax season. The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or e-mail. Most people know ... READ MORE

Why to consider long-term care insurance

By: Ken Moraif

I often suggest long-term care insurance to my clients, and I almost always hear this objection: “It’s too expensive.” Yes, long-term care insurance is not cheap, but medical insurance and Medicare typically do not cover that particular type of care, and it is incredibly expensive. The 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey lists the national median cost for a private room in a... READ MORE

A ‘new friend’ may signal a big problem

By: Eleanor Laise

Your elderly mother has a new best friend who accompanies her everywhere. She has always been frugal, but now lavishes pricey gifts on her new pal. And although you used to speak with her every few days, she never seems to answer your calls anymore. Are these simply the signs of a senior living it up in her later years? Or is something sinister happening? Those are the difficult... READ MORE

An indispensable guide to Social Security

By: Elliot Raphaelson

There is no question that Social Security issues are important to the American public. It is not unusual for me to receive more than 100 responses from readers when I write a Social Security-related column. Regular readers know that I frequently reference Andy Landis as a source. He has just updated his book, Social Security: The Inside Story (http://www.andylandis.biz), which I consider ... READ MORE

Family financial facts wives need to know

By: Lisa Brown

As a financial adviser for nearly 20 years, I’ve met and consoled several women who were devastated by the loss of their husband or the end of their marriage. While the emotional impact of no longer having their lifelong mate is hard enough, their mental anguish is often exaggerated by fear of the financial unknown. My heart goes out to these women. I’ve found that the women who... READ MORE