It's A GO! New Jersey Combines Medicaid Waivers For Seniors & Adults With Physical Disabilities

MediLexicon News - It's A GO! New Jersey State Combines Medicaid Waivers For Seniors & Adults With Physical Disabilities: "Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Heather Howard announced today the State has received approval from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to consolidate three Medicaid-supported home and community-based service programs currently operated by DHSS into a single program known as Global Options (GO) for Long Term Care."
 
This is great news and hopefully will provide needed efficiencies and consolidated review of services.
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Changing your 529 Investment - Not so Fast

I learned something new this week - 529 plans (Qualified Tuition Plans under Internal Revenue Code Section 529) only allow one (1) investment change a year.  So, if you reallocated in February, you can't do it again in September.  Now, prior to the recent market turmoil, I don't know if many parents gave it much thought.  With the recent market turmoil, I am sure the performance of 529 Plans has become a priority conversation topic at kitchen tables round the country.  One possible solution offered - transfer the 529 Plan to a plan operated in a different state, so you can have "new" investment options.

Caregiving Contracts Valuable Tool Between Family Members

Category: Elder Law

From Elderlawanswers.com - Put Caregiving Arrangements in Writing, Lawyers Advise. The article emphasizes some valuable points about the need for a Caregiving Contract.

"A formal caregiver contract can outline the responsibilities of a caregiver, and specify the payment he will receive for services rendered and expenses, the article states. A contract ensures that the cost of care is paid at the time it is received and is not left for family members to wrangle over as part of a later division of assets."

Importantly, in the New Jersey, without a Caregiving Contract in place, payments to the family member caregiver from the senior family member can be deemed a transfer/gift from the senior family member to the family member caregiver, and disqualify the senior family member from Medicaid.
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A Different Approach to $700,000,000,000.00 "Bailout"

I can't seem to stop reading about this "bailout" or No Banker Left Behind Act. It is like watching a car wreck in slow motion - you would do something if you could, but you don't have the power to stop it.

Then, I came across the below that I think offers a better way to look at a bailout. Apparently, Sweden found itself in a strikingly similar bank credit crisis back in 1992:

The country was so far in the hole in 1992 -- after years of imprudent regulation, short-sighted economic policy and the end of its property boom -- that its banking system was, for all practical purposes, insolvent.

Sound familiar?

From the NY Times' How Sweden Solved Its Bank Crisis:

But Sweden took a different course than the one now being proposed by the United States Treasury. And Swedish officials say there are lessons from their own nightmare that Washington may be missing.

Sweden did not just bail out its financial institutions by having the government take over the bad debts. It extracted pounds of flesh from bank shareholders before writing checks. Banks had to write down losses and issue warrants to the government.

The article goes on to say that Sweden spent about the same percent of its GDP (4-5%) on is 1996 bailout of the banks, but took equity back so the out of pocket to the government (ie the taxpayers) was really only 2%.

I am thinking I am liking the Swedish plan much better than take all my money, do what you like, have no oversight, and no real change plan I see now - oh, and I really love that we have to do it NOW or life as we know it will end, when as we know it is already long past.