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Hugg & Associates PLLC is a boutique law firm providing client-centered services to individuals and businesses. Our practice focuses on all aspects of elder law, estate planning, asset protection, business succession planning, probate and trust administration. If you are a business owner, in addition to the above services, we are experienced business, real estate, and contract law attorneys.

Social Security and Medicare Part B Increases for 2017

Social Security and Medicare Part B Increases for 2017

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 0.3 percent in 2017.  The 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2017.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries began on December 30, 2016.  The Social Security Act (“Act”) ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.

In the new year, the standard Medicare Part B premium amount will be $134 (or higher depending on your income).  However, most people who get Social Security benefits will pay less than this amount.  This is because the Part B premium increased more than the cost-of-living increase for 2017 benefits.  If you pay your Part B premium from your monthly Social Security payment, your monthly premium can go no higher than the increase you receive to your monthly benefit.  Social Security will tell you the exact amount you will pay for Part B in 2017.

Most beneficiaries will not see a reduction in their 2016 monthly benefit amount because of the increase in the Medicare Part B premium.  This is because the Act contains a “hold harmless” provision that protects most beneficiaries. The amount of the benefit payable between 2016 and 2017 will stay the same even though the Medicare Part B premium increases.

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To learn more about Medicare Part B costs go to https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html at the Medicare webpage.

A Positive Outlook Can Lead to a Longer, Healthier Life

A positive outlook tends to make life more enjoyable than a negative outlook.  Wallowing in pessimism for most people is not the best way to go.  You could say – generally speaking – that optimists have more fun.  But there’s more to being a positive person than simply enjoying life.  There is now some evidenceContinue Reading

Living Trust and Your Mortgage

Many people, hoping to avoid probate, create an estate plan that includes a Living Trust.  In order to make this type of plan work to avoid probate, you must transfer ownership of your home (or other real property to the trust).  If you have properly transferred your real estate and other assets to your livingContinue Reading

10 Things an Estate Plan Can Do For You

     Provide support and financial stability to your spouse, children and grandchildren.      Preserve your wealth for later generations.      Make sure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs.      Support a favorite charity.      Distribute assets in a timely fashion.      MinimizeContinue Reading

Get Serious About Creating Retirement Income

Worried about retirement income?  In a recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 41% of CPA financial planners said that running out of money was their clients’ top financial concern when planning for retirement, and fully 70% said depleting savings ranked among their clients’ top three worries, along with maintaining their currentContinue Reading

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