Medicare Premiums Increase for 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that monthly premiums for Medicare will be increasing next year. Seventy percent of Medicare beneficiaries are protected by the “hold harmless” provision, which says benefit checks cannot decrease due to Medicare increases. The provision was triggered by the small 0.3% cost of living increase to Social Security for 2017. If you are covered by the hold harmless provision and you are currently paying $104.90/month, your premium will increase to $109/month.

Social Security Cost of Living and Wage Base Increases for 2017

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2017 will be 0.3%, the smallest increase since automatic increases began in 1975. The adjustment is calculated using the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the previous year.

A New Investment Account for the Disabled

This summer, states have begun rolling out a new type of investment account that is tailored to help families take care of children and adults with special needs.

The ABLE account is a tax-advantaged vehicle for individuals with disabilities that will allow families to save without jeopardizing government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. 

Having Second Thoughts About Social Security Payments

The most popular start date for Social Security is 62, which is the earliest age possible. Among women, 48% start their Social Security checks at that age versus 42% of men.

While the vast majority of people are happy with their decision regarding the timing of their Social Security benefits, some people regret what they’ve done.

The good news is that for some Social Security recipients it is possible to undo this pivotal decision.  

Two Important Social Security Strategies Disappearing

Two ways to optimize Social Security benefits, known as “file and suspend” and “restricted application,” were eliminated for most pre-retirees by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.