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The Proposed Trump Budget Affects Social Security Disability Insurance

Bookmark and Share President Trump's proposed budget cuts could save taxpayers $72 billion over the next 10 years. Revealed in May, the budget contains several policy changes that could affect your access to social security disability insurance benefits.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program gives financial support to one in five or roughly 11 million Americans. The average social security disability insurance payment is currently $1,171 per month or $14,000 per year. Unfortunately, the program is fraught with overpayments and fraud. Trump's proposed reform would address these issues.

Reforms Address Overpayments

The majority of overpayments resulted from benefit recipients who received both social security disability insurance and unemployment. In the new budget, beneficiaries would not be able to double dip. While receiving both benefits is not illegal, it did allow 117,000 American to receive over $856 million in 2010 alone with total overpayments amounting to $12.2 billion between 2005 and 2015.

Reforms Address Fraud

Trump's proposed budget changes would also address fraud. Federal investigators uncovered repeated schemes where doctors issued phony diagnoses of physical or mental impairment that allowed beneficiaries to receive millions of dollars for which they were not qualified.

Additional Social Security Insurance Disability Reforms

In addition to addressing overpayments and fraud, the budget proposal includes several additional reforms.
  1. Limit retroactive benefits to six months rather than one year before the applicant's official eligibility. There is currently a five-month waiting period built into the application process.

  2. Require applicants to prove that they tried to find a job before they filed for social security disability insurance.

  3. Mandate rehabilitation before recipients with back pain or arthritis can receive full disability benefits.

  4. Increase work incentives that encourage social security disability insurance beneficiaries to find a job, saving the program $50 billion in five years.

  5. Give administrative law judges a one-year probation period before promoting them to a lifetime appointment.

  6. Implement tougher measures that require facilitators of fraud to repay any overpayments.
Opponents criticize the proposed budget. They fear that the cuts will adversely affect eligibility and benefits for t he disabled Americans who need SSDI. They also cite the failure of previous return-to-work efforts implemented since 1980 and believe the changes benefit the wealthy and punish the middle class.

One spending watchdog group the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget approves of the proposals. It believes a reform of the social security disability insurance system is necessary to secure the organization's solvency for Americans in the future.

The Congress is currently debating President Trump's proposed budget. Time will tell if the reforms will build a healthier social security disability insurance system. In the meantime, consumers can continue to draw on their benefits and report fraud as they improve the program for everyone
 

How to Have a Fiscally Sound Year

Bookmark and Share There’s no time better than the beginning of the year to set some fiscal goals and create a plan for improving your financial situation. You are probably ready for a brand new beginning and the thought of sticking to a budget after the holiday spending spree might sound a little more appealing than it would at any other time of year. Here is a step-by-step guide to create some annual goals as well as a financial plan that will help usher in a whole new financial foundation for you and your family.

Step one: List your goals for this year. It is important to remember that this step involves setting goals that are specifically to be achieved this year. That could involve paying off credit cards or small loans, saving money for a large purchase at the end of the year, or reducing your monthly bills so you can reduce your hours at work. This step should be completed with your family so that you can all discuss the goals and prioritize them. That helps to keep you all involved in committing yourself toward the goal and makes financial sacrifices easier for everyone to make.

Step two: Create a household financial plan. Your financial plan should be comprehensive and should consider all the insurance you have, the deductibles you have, and the emergency savings you have. The plan should also outline your average monthly budget, your debt and your plans for debt repayment or reduction. The purpose of the plan is to help you to recognize any shortcomings you have in insurance and savings needs and to give you some idea of how practical and achievable your goals are.

Step three: Make a new budget. In this budget, you should compare your income to your fixed monthly expenses and then determine what portion of your extra income should go toward achieving your listed goals for this year, which to apply to your long-term goals, and how much to set aside for shoring up all the shortcomings you found in step two.

Step four: Make sure your investments are well diversified. Because a loss in your savings account, retirement account or college savings plan could adversely affect the budget and financial plan you have created, it is a good idea to make sure these accounts are all well diversified. By diversifying the assets you have, you create a layer of protection against losses.

For instance, if you are heavily invested in company stock and the industry you work in has a bad year, you could see your retirement account balance decrease significantly. While this may not equal a definitive long-term loss (since the stock could increase over the next few years) it will certainly shake your confidence and create perceived financial stress as you become unsure of whether or not your retirement savings will be enough.

Make sure to have a balance in all your accounts of fixed products, high risk investments and low risk investments as well as investments in difference industries.
 

Tips That Help Female Breadwinners Handle Life Insurance Payments

Bookmark and Share Several recent reports have discovered that the number of female breadwinners is growing. Women are largely unprepared to manage a large payout from a life insurance policy or inheritance, however. The results of these reports can motivate and empower you and the women you love to take steps toward financial confidence.

Female Breadwinners are on the Rise

According to the Center for American Progress, up to 42 percent of moms are the sole or primary breadwinner in their home, meaning they earn at least half of the family's income. An additional 22 percent of moms are co-breadwinners earning between 25 and 49 percent of the family's total income.

Female Breadwinners Feel Financially Unprepared


Despite their increased earnings, many women don't feel prepared to handle an inheritance or other large financial gift reports RBC Wealth Management. With this money, a family could repay debt, save for retirement or contribute to a child's college tuition, but they may squander it if they don't have a sound financial plan.

How to Find an Inheritance


Based on the findings of these reports, women are encouraged to take steps to boost their financial confidence. They can handle a life insurance payment or other inheritance wisely with help.  

Find a financial advisor.

If you don't already work with a trusted financial advisor, make time to find one. He or she will be:

  • Trustworthy
  • Qualified
  • Certified
  • Sensitive
Interview several candidates before you choose one. This way, you can compare the commissions, ensure you're on the same page and know that the person you hire will put your needs first.

Wait one year.

It's smart to take your time and make thoughtful financial decisions. The money you receive can provide you and your family with substantial benefits for years to come if you plan wisely.

Prioritize your current and future needs.

You may consider buying a luxury car or dream vacation with your inheritance, but prioritize your spending. Balance current needs with future needs so you're not part of the 70 percent of people who receive a windfall and are broke within a few years.  

Take action.

With the help of your financial advisor, take action to spend your inheritance wisely. Ask for small, actionable steps that assist you in achieving your goals. When you have a specific and detailed plan that's broken into small pieces, you feel less overwhelmed and more confident about managing your money.

Female breadwinners may be unprepared to handle a life insurance payment or other inheritance, but they can learn how to manage money successfully. Ask for help and take charge of your finances today.
 

Should You Consider Long-Term Care Insurance?

Bookmark and Share Chances are, you are like the majority of individuals who have reached middle age. The primary concerns in your life are paying your monthly bills, making sure your children receive a good education, as well as the all-important goal of saving some money every month for retirement. At this point, it seems a long way off, but do not be deceived; it will be here sooner than you think. You might have heard about Long-Term Care insurance, but you probably dismissed it with questions such as “What is it?” or “Who needs it?”

The answer is that you do, and so does everyone else. You might reply that you already have Health insurance. If you do, congratulations; it is hard to get in today’s political climate. The problem with most health insurance is that it does not cover what are known as custodial expenses. These expenses arise from custodial care, which is defined as the care needed as a result of the inability to carry out tasks relating to the following daily activities: bathing, dressing, eating, continence, toileting and transferring.

As people age, many of them find these basic tasks harder and harder to do without some form of help. The need for this type of care necessitates having Long-Term Care insurance, which can provide the monies necessary in order to hire and maintain the proper care needed. This is made even more necessary by the fact that people are living much longer, sometimes 20 or 30 years beyond retirement. Oddly, the fondest wish of these people is to remain independent. Fortunately, they can do so if they obtain Long-Term Care insurance.

The best time to do this is when someone is in their mid-forties, because that time of life is when insurance companies offer the lowest rates and premiums for their policies. Children can also purchase it for their aging parents. If they do not, there are two options left if something goes wrong, both of which are very unattractive. They either have to pay for the cost of their own income, or their parents have to pay for it out of their assets.

When you take into consideration the fact that this care routinely costs $75,000 and up annually, this is a tremendous burden to take on for either the children or the parents. Statistical research reveals that the average retired couple exhausts their savings in a matter of months when paying for care themselves. Even wealthy retirees find their money severely shrunk, which lives little for their children or grandchildren.

Long-Term Care insurance from a reputable and trustworthy insurance company can help retirees receive the care they need at a price they can afford both now and 20 or 30 years from now. Buyers must exercise the virtue of prudence when choosing a policy; each one comes with a set of circumstances and options to consider. After taking care of these, they are then free to enjoy the peace of mind that results from an effective Long-Term Care policy. Our professionals can help – call our office today!