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Evaluating and Knowing Your Options Is Vital

Article previously published in the Ponte Vedra Recorder, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 1/28/16

Every year, the Social Security Administration informs us about the inflation adjustment in Social Security benefits and the Part B premiums for Medicare for the coming year. For 2016, the Social Security benefit did not have an inflation adjustment so there was not a Medicare Part B increase if a) you pay for your Medicare through your Social Security benefits and b) you pay the lowest level for Medicare Part B benefits. If you do not met these two criteria, then your payment for Medicare Part B benefits has increased at least 20% and may have gone up as much as 40%.

The importance of this is not what you see in 2016; it is the impact of these policies going forward. The cost of healthcare is going up every year and this will cost every person in one way or another. If you are receiving Social Security benefits, it is likely that your benefit payment will increase far less than you were expecting since Part B premiums may increase by as much as the inflation adjustment on Social Security would be. If you are not on Social Security, you will pay more for Part B premiums every year. Either way, you are unlikely to see a net increase in your income; in reality, it very well may flat line for a few years.

If you have not considered this in your retirement plan, I strongly suggest you include this in an analysis. While we all assume that Social Security benefits will always increase, recent history suggests that this is not a guaranteed assumption. Ask yourself, if the income from government benefits remains flat, what are the implications? How will this affect your lifestyle? What changes are possibly necessary?

Evaluating and knowing your options is vital, whether you are gearing up & preparing for retirement or are already well into your retirement years. Information, education and knowing your choices are key.

Frederic “Ric” Schilling is a Florida native, born in Jacksonville, Fl. Ric is President of Senior Guardians of America, a local North Florida firm specializing in tax reduction, long term illness planning, asset protection, probate avoidance and life income planning. Ric is a National Speaker and Advocate on Senior Issues and has been featured by the Florida Times Union and WJXT, TV-4 in Jacksonville as an authority on Estate Planning and Retirement Issues. Senior Guardians has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member in excellent standing with the National Ethics Association. Contact Frederic : 904-371-3302 or 888-891-3381 Please visit:

This article is not intended to give tax or legal advice. Securities offered through Center Street Securities, Inc.(CSS), a registered Broker-Dealer and Member of FINRA & SIPC. Senior Guardians is independent of CSS.