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Apr 17, 2012

Law or no law, some states adopt healthcare reform

CHICAGO (Reuters) – If the Supreme Court overturns President Obama’s health care reform law in June, Americans without health coverage may get some relief anyway – especially if they live in Rhode Island, Maryland or Oregon.

These states are at the head of the pack in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they were working to expand health coverage well before the law was passed. If the ACA is thrown out by the high court, these states – and others supportive of the law’s goals – will keep pursuing reforms.

Apr 17, 2012

COLUMN: Law or no law, some states adopt US healthcare reform

CHICAGO, April 17 (Reuters) – If the Supreme Court overturns
President Obama’s health care reform law in June, Americans
without health coverage may get some relief anyway – especially
if they live in Rhode Island, Maryland or Oregon.

These states are at the head of the pack in implementing the
Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they were working to expand
health coverage well before the law was passed. If the ACA is
thrown out by the high court, these states – and others
supportive of the law’s goals – will keep pursuing reforms.

Apr 10, 2012

How to get the most from Social Security

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The trustees of Social Security will release their annual report on the program’s health sometime in the next few weeks, and the news will not be good.

The 2012 briefing is expected to show further deterioration in Social Security’s financial outlook, due to the higher-than-expected 2.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment awarded this year and a decline in the taxable wage base available to the program. The report is the official gauge of the program’s health – signed by three Cabinet members, the Social Security commissioner and two independent Congressional appointees.

Apr 10, 2012

COLUMN: How to get the most from Social Security

CHICAGO, April 10 (Reuters) – The trustees of Social
Security will release their annual report on the program’s
health sometime in the next few weeks, and the news will not be
good.

The 2012 briefing is expected to show further deterioration
in Social Security’s financial outlook, due to the
higher-than-expected 2.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment
awarded this year and a decline in the taxable wage base
available to the program. The report is the official gauge of
the program’s health – signed by three Cabinet members, the
Social Security commissioner and two independent Congressional
appointees.

Mar 30, 2012

Can Twitter make Roth IRAs trendy for young?

CHICAGO (Reuters) – While it’s not trending as high on Twitter as #oomf (which stands for “one of my followers”), the hashtag #rothiramovement is hot in the personal finance Twitterverse right now.

Hashtags help Twitter users track a certain topic, and the Roth hashtag is being promoted by more than 140 bloggers. Many more social media users are retweeting, liking on Facebook and otherwise trying to achieve a singular goal: to boost interest in Roth IRAs among young people.

Mar 28, 2012

What’s at stake if healthcare law is overturned

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ordinary Americans have a lot at stake this week as the Supreme Court holds hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

It is not clear what the outcome will be, and it is not clear where Americans stand on it. While two-thirds of Americans oppose the individual insurance mandate that is at the heart of the Obama Administration’s healthcare reform law, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, the polls also reveal more nuanced attitudes.

Mar 26, 2012

Turned 70-1/2 last year? IRA deadline looms

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Seventy may be the new sixty — but not where the Internal Revenue Service is concerned. People who turned 70-1/2 last year must begin taking required annual withdrawals from their tax-deferred retirement accounts no later than Friday. Yet it seems that some of these seniors didn’t get the memo.

Fidelity Investments reports that nearly half (48 percent) of its IRA customers who hit the magic number in 2011 hadn’t yet taken their first Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) as of late December. That percentage was up slightly from 2010, when 45 percent hadn’t taken RMDs by that time.

Mar 22, 2012

Why GOP Medicare privatization is wrong approach

By Mark Miller

(Reuters) – The Republican Party doubled down on privatizing Medicare with the 2012 budget plan released yesterday by Republican Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). It’s their latest pitch for a reform that would let seniors shop for coverage in an insurance exchange marketplace in lieu of traditional Medicare.

The Ryan plan has little chance of passage this year, but the decision by Republicans to stake out a strong position on Medicare privatization in an election year is significant. In their vision, starting in 2023, retirees would be given an allowance by the federal government to purchase medical coverage from a private insurer or traditional fee-for-service Medicare — a so-called “premium support.” Ryan has proposed several versions of this restructuring since late 2010, although the earliest versions didn’t offer traditional Medicare as a choice.

Mar 19, 2012

Americans retire closer to home than in past

CHICAGO (Reuters) – When Harvey and Cora Alter decided to move away from Washington, D.C. for their retirement, friends were surprised to hear where they were going.

The Alters weren’t even crossing a state line. They would move just 30 miles north of Rockville, Maryland, where they had raised two daughters, to Frederick — a town of about 65,000 on the outskirts of the Washington-Baltimore metro area near the Catoctin Mountains.

Mar 15, 2012

Jobless in midlife? Old brains can learn new tricks

By Mark Miller

(Reuters) – The Great Recession has left millions of midlife Americans up a creek without a paddle. Having lost jobs at the peak of their careers, they must find new work for the second half of their lives. Many will likely need to reinvent their careers — and may consider themselves too old to embark on something new.

Mark Walton begs to disagree.

The former CNN correspondent transformed his own career 20 years ago by becoming a Fortune 100 leadership consultant. Now 61, Walton has spent the past five years studying people who transformed their careers successfully in their 50s or early 60s, and invented new ways of working that extended into their 70s, 80s or even 90s.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Miller is a journalist and author who writes about trends in retirement and aging. He has a special focus on how the baby boomer generation is revising its approach to careers, money and lifestyle after age 50. Mark is the author of The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work and Living (John Wiley & Sons/Bloomberg Press, 2010) and edits RetirementRevised.com. Mark is the former editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, and former Sunday editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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