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Switching to a new Medicare Advantage plan gets easier

Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

Switching to a new Medicare Advantage plan gets easier
Seniors have until March 31 to switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or swap the existing plan for traditional Medicare with a Part-D policy, according to this article from Kiplinger. Those who intend to get a Medigap policy to supplement their traditional Medicare coverage and cover co-payments and deductibles may not succeed in getting one. That's because insurers have the option of rejecting Medigap application or impose higher premiums due to preexisting conditions if they signed up for Medicare Part-B more than six months ago.

MedicareForms-Bloomberg

Why current senior housing options don't appeal to solo agers
The senior housing industry had made some big improvements in recent years, but there is one demographic reality that has not yet been addressed by this industry, according to this contributed article at Forbes. The writer notes that the number of people in America who are aging alone – which she dubs “solo agers” – are still not being helped by some of those industry improvements. Indeed, many single baby boomers do not live in any of these housing options, according to this article on Forbes. That's because many of these solo agers are empowered women who chose their careers over raising a family. "These women have the means to move into a retirement community, and many would prefer to find a continuing care community, but are struggling with what is currently available because they don’t want to sever their long-term relationships with friends."

What to do about a falling 401(k) retirement account
Workers aged 49 and younger are advised to make no changes to their 401(k)s in case their plan underperformed as a result of the recent volatility in the stock market, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. Older workers and retirees should ensure they have their basic expenses covered by converting their savings into a portfolio that generates guaranteed income, such as low-cost payout annuities, bond ladders and reverse mortgages. They should continue being invested in stocks with growth potential to cover their discretionary living expenses. "This strategy can help you ride out any market declines because you know you have money to pay for housing, food, utilities and health insurance premiums."

Desperate federal workers are pulling money out of their retirement accounts
Hardship withdrawals and loans from the Thrift Savings Plan have jumped in recent weeks as many federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown tapped their retirement savings to cope with the financial setback, according to this article on Money. “The longer the shutdown lasts, the more withdrawals we’d expect to see,” says a spokeswoman with the Thrift Savings Plan.

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