Get Paid for Your Opinion by Paul Ferraresi

Your 2 cents can be worth a whole lot more for you… up to $100. Yes, simply for taking part in a focus group for an hour or two, and, as much as $10 for completing online surveys.

A good starting point to get paid for your opinion includes… https://www.focusgroup.com/ and also… https://www.surveypolice.com/countries/united-states

At http://www.ejury.com/ and http://onlineverdict.com/jurors.php you can get paid for being an online “test juror” in court cases preparing for trial.

Sales of Surplus Items by Paul Ferraresi

Here is a great way to save money on brand new items. Hope it is helpful.

Most of the online purchases that are returned each year get restocked by the original seller. But some are handled by online liquidators such as Bling or Bulq, which resell surplus and “gently used” apparel, household goods, electronics and other merchandise at up to 70% off retail. For pallets of goods or truckload-sized lots, find bigger savings from B-Stock Solutions, Liquidation.com and Via Trading.

How to Enroll in – and Pay for – Medicare by Paul Ferraresi

You must enroll in Medicare at age 65, unless you are covered by a health plan from an employer or your spouse’s employer. If you don’t enroll on a timely basis, you will have to pay late enrollment penalties.

For Part A, that penalty is a 10% increase in the monthly premium, which must be paid for twice the number of years you were eligible but not enrolled. The penalty for late enrollment in Part B is 10% for each 12 month period that you were eligible but not enrolled and the penalty must be paid for the ENTIRE time you have Part B coverage.

If you are receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Parts A and B. Retirees who aren’t automatically enrolled can do so as early as one to three months before the month you turn 65. Part B coverage will start as soon as you hit 65. If you wait until the month you turn 65 to enroll in Part B, or the three months after your birthday, there will be a delay before Part B coverage takes effect.

ABCD’s OF MEDICARE ENROLLMENT

Part A covers hospital insurance; Part B covers medical insurance; Part C, also called a Medicare Advantage plan, combines Parts A, B and sometimes D; and Part D covers prescriptions.

Retirees can sign up for Parts A and B, and then decide if they need Part D. They may also decide if they need a supplemental “Medigap” policy since Medicare only covers a maximum of 80% of approved charges.

Alternatively, retirees can sign up for the Medicare Advantage plan. Medigap policies aren’t available to Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries.

Retirees who want Part D coverage must sign up during their initial enrollment period or face late-enrollment penalties, unless you have comparable coverage through another plan. You can switch to Part D any time before that comparable coverage ends; after it does, retirees have 63 days to enroll in Part D. If you miss the initial enrollment period, you can sign up during the general enrollment period between January 1 and March 31, but coverage won’t begin until July 1.

MEDICARE COSTS

The average out of pocket cost paid in 2016 was in excess of $5,000. Most people won’t pay Part A premiums if you or your spouse paid into Social Security for at least 10 years (40 quarters). If you paid into the system for between 30 and 39 quarters, the premium in 2017 is $224 a month, and increases to $411 per month for those who paid into the system for fewer than 30 quarters.

The base premium for Part B in 2017 is $134 per month. The more income you make, the higher premium you pay for Part B. For example, joint filers with a modified adjusted gross income between $170,000 and $214,000 will pay an additional $42 per month.

Part A deductibles are $1,317 in 2017 per benefit period or “spell of illness”. A patient is eligible for 90 days of hospital care and 100 days of extended care in the same benefit period.

However, coinsurance kicks in after 60 days and patients will have to pay $329 per day during the benefit period in 2017. After 90 days, when patients begin drawing on their lifetime reserve, coinsurance increases to $658 per day in 2017.

The deductible for Part B is $183 per year in 2017.

Part D coverage introduces the so called “donut hole”, the gap in coverage when costs exceed the combined annual deductible of $400 in 2017 and the initial coverage period of $3,700 in 2017. During that initial coverage period, patients are responsible for 25% of their prescription costs, but once they meet the donut hole limit, Part D benefits stop. Patients will take on 40% of the cost of covered brand name drugs and 58% of the cost of covered generics.

The maximum out of pocket cost for prescription drugs in 2017 is $4,950. Once that limit is exceeded, catastrophic coverage kicks in. Part D will pay 95% of covered drugs, or the cost of the drug minus the co-pay. Patients will be responsible for either 5% of the cost, or co-pays of $11.20 for generic drugs and $7.20 for brand name drugs, whichever is greater.

LONG-TERM CARE

Long-term care is not covered by Medicare or Medigap.

Medicaid, however, does cover some LTC services, although programs and eligibility vary by state.

Review Your Homeowner’s Policy

Proximity to a firehouse is just one variable in determining the cost of insurance coverage that protects your home in the event of a fire, theft, accident or natural disaster.

In a survey of 1,001 consumers in April, the Travelers Co. found that just over half of the respondents (56%) in 2016 said they check their homeowner’s policies at least once a year.

One easy way to save on your premiums is by bundling insurance policies. Consumers could save an average of $314 per year by combining their auto and home, condominium or renters policies with the same insurer.

Combining other types of insurance products, such as life insurance or an umbrella policy, may qualify for a bundling discount as well. The more insurance you stack on, or give to one insurance company, the more likely they are to give you discounts.

Home improvements including the roof, windows, electrical or plumbing systems may also qualify for a premium discount.

Installing a security system, particularly one that automatically dials the police or fire department can qualify for a 5% to 10% premium discount as well.

Discounts might be available for homes with features that mitigate against wind damage, such as hurricane shutters, impact resistant windows and doors or roof straps.

There are plenty of other lesser known discounts that might be available, depending on the insurance company, from being a non smoker to owning a home built with “green” features like Energy Star appliances or sustainable materials like bamboo.

There are two other ways to reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium, although they don’t technically qualify as discounts. The first is to raise your deductible. The second is to maintain good credit. Customers with poor credit could pay twice as much for insurance as those with excellent credit.

“Failure is a detour,
not a dead-end street.”

-Zig Ziglar

Picking An Executor

If you make a Will, you get to pick your own executor. After you die, the executor’s job is to probate your Will, collect assets, pay debts, and distribute the remainder to the beneficiaries. The job is typically done within a year or two, depending when the final income tax return is filed.

It’s a tough job, but not an impossible one. Few executors can do it all, but they’re allowed to hire help. The executor usually uses an attorney for probate, and often a C.P.A. for tax returns and an accounting for the beneficiaries.

Most people name their spouse as executor. If the kids are old enough, they name the kids as alternates, one at a time, in birth order. If the kids are too young, they name family friends or close relatives as alternates.

Medicaid and other government-benefit recipients should not be named executor or trustee if that might destroy eligibility. If you don’t know any responsible, qualified adults, you can name a corporate executor. They charge more, but can be worth it, either as sole executor, or as a co-executor with a spouse or child.

A named executor is not required to serve. It’s okay to name your 70-year old father, because he’s allowed to step aside for someone younger. Most Wills allow compensation. Most executors refuse it. Testators tend not to name anyone who needs the money.

These are just a few things to consider. Each state has different rules so get legal help before doing anything.