How to Battle Pandemic Winter Blues

Good news seems in short supply these days, so when I find some, I like to pass it along. Older people, it turns out, are more resistant to mental stress and depression than younger age groups. As winter approaches with alarming COVID-19 case counts and lockdown protocols, resistance to stress and depression…

Trump Payroll Tax Deferments Make No Sense, Unless the Goal is to Attack Social Security

President Donald Trump’s executive order to defer Social Security payroll taxes for the last four months of 2020 takes effect tomorrow. I have not read any expert’s take on this that is favorable, so if you know of any positive punditry, please send me links, and I add them to the bottom of this…

Social Security Q&A

I periodically post answers to reader questions. Email yours to philsquestions@gmail.com. I will let you know if I answer yours. Diana – Minnesota: I’m 71 and my ex-spouse is 67. I began drawing Social Security at age 62, and don’t know if my ex-spouse has begun drawing his Social Security or…

How to See All of Health Spending

The U.S. spends roughly twice as much per person on health care as any other developed country. The total bill in 2018 was $3.6 trillion. There are lots of reasons for this but one of the major drivers is that people who use health care – that’s us – don’t know what it costs and in most cases…

How Medigap Supplement Plans Work

More than 10 million people buy Medigap policies each year along with basic Medicare (Parts A and B) and, for most, a Part D prescription drug plan. Depending on the kind of plan they purchase, Medigap will pay most or even all the expenses covered by Medicare which are not fully paid by Parts A and…

Working after 65? What you need to know about employer insurance and Medicare

With so many people continuing to work once they turn 65, the interaction of employer insurance and Medicare is important and often confusing. It’s at the top of my list of reader questions, with most coming from people who are or soon will be eligible for Medicare. Here’s what they want to know: …

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Health Insurer

Here’s a shocker: Consumers are wary of contacting their health insurers. It’s a good bet they’ve been conditioned by their own experiences, stories from friends, and the seemingly endless news stories about insurers who deny health claims. Whatever the reasons, many of the readers who pose questions…