The Fiscal Cliff, Social Security, Medicare and the Plight of the American Senior Citizen.
December 1st, 2012
| Reverse Mortgage, Fiscal Cliff, Retirement Planning, Medicare
We are all worried about the fiscal cliff and the idiots in congress on both sides of the isle that we pay and that continue to fail us on material issues. When I use the word idiots I mean it in the most literal way a human being can use it to describe failure and incompetence. I am so tired of false promises, negativity and more debt from Congress and the President. I know anyone reading this message also shares my concern. This is our country and we are the people. We all have to ask the question where does this go and how do we fix critical programs that must be viable for future generations?
Let’s talk about Social Security. When we are young, we are carefree but we all know you don’t live forever and there comes a point in life that you need and deserve to retire so you can coast and enjoy your grand children and family. When you get to this point the last thing anyone wants to worry about is income insecurity or in the extreme a life without due to lack of funds. I am not at retirement age and I still work, so you might question my credibility to broche this subject. Please allow me to inject some credibility on the issue.
I lost my parents at a young age and ended up living with an aunt and uncle in Virginia. Thank God that Social Security had survivorship benefits that help people in this situation. A world for a nine year old without mom and dad is a hard one. Survivorship benefits paid to feed and cloth me for many years. It was only a couple hundred dollars per month but it made all the difference in the world. I was supposed to receive it until I was 21 but the program at that time had to be adjusted to remain viable for the future. This caused me to lose this benefit just after I was 18. This was a safety net that I will always be grateful for and an important one for the people going forward.
Today we have come to an intersection in the path that has once again demanded that the major entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid be restructured so they can all be viable and serve those in need. Promises have been made for families and children that can’t fend for themselves and retirees that once maybe had the heart of a lion but now depend on such a safety net. On this not, I do not like what I see regarding the effects of Obamacare on Medicare. The trend is not a good one, so I would like to share it with you.
The $715 Billion that the new healthcare law has taken from Medicare may be the first step toward severed promises that our seniors will depend on. Part of the cost recapture structural issue is that the government is forcing doctors and providers of health services for Medicare recipients to take less for the same care. Doctors are rebelling literally and many are not taking Medicare patients. Talk about a divided society along the lines of “the haves” and “have nots”, this is really a bad trend. You can’t tell a doctor that they have to pay to work just because the government has reduced their Medicare reimbursement rate to ridiculously low levels. The capitalist free market system doesn’t work that way. The end result over the next two years will be long lines of rationed care at the remaining doctor offices or clinics for seniors that don’t have the ability to pay for the doctors. The haves that can pay will have access to the good doctors and the other people may not get the timely or quality care they need and could die prematurely as a result. This is my opinion and it’s a tough statement to envision.
If current Medicare trends are the beginning of great leadership from Washington to restructure the major entitlements then it is time for all Americans to start doing their homework. I may have a solution but sadly it will not help everyone. Those that do not have equity in their homes or the financial wherewithal to manage on their own may suffer disproportionately.
My suggestion is to use the equity in your home as a free income source. I am talking about a Federally Insured HECM Reverse Mortgage. I am not an advocate of pulling all of your equity out of your house. I prefer a much more constructive use of the reverse vehicle. For those of you that are planning for retirement or already retired and have equity in your home, you should seriously consider the annuity options with a Reverse. If it were me, and I was concerned about the content written above I would look to secure my future in one of two ways with a Reverse. First, I would pay off my remaining mortgage if I had one and then I would opt for either an open ended credit line or a lifetime tenured annuity like payment. You can switch back and forth between a credit line and the annuity at your option. I would bet that this is the best option for many people. I would also recommend that you carefully read my previous blogs so you clearly understand how a HECM Reverse Mortgage works and what a great tool it is to address this general subject.
Plan and take charge and don’t solely depend on your government to make the choices for you if you have this option. I welcome you to visit me at Jefferson Mortgage Group LLC at www.jeffersonmortgage.com
and read the blogs and review the videos and material on Reverse Mortgages. There are people that you can trust that will help you. All you have to do is ask.
Blogging from the front line.
George Hunter Omilan