In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2006 / 13 Kislev, 5767

Financial questions you need to answer

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | December is the month when tax-planning professionals tell their clients to maximize their deductions and minimize income as much as possible in order to reduce their income taxes. This means making contributions to churches, other charities and IRAs.

And for those who have taxable estates (now anything more than $2 million per person), tax professionals suggest, among other more complicated strategies to reduce estate taxes, making gifts of the annual exclusion (now $12,000 per person). In this way, for example, an individual can give away $12,000 to as many people as he or she desires without affecting his/her lifetime gifting limit. And, by using gift splitting, a husband and wife can give away $24,000 to as many individuals as they desire.

However, the vast majority of those who read NextSteps are not among the 1 percent or so of our population who are concerned with estate taxes. Our readers seldom ask about strategies to reduce income and estate taxes but, instead, are concerned with how to meet increasing prescription, medical, insurance and living costs on fixed incomes; how to make sure that if one of them requires long-term care, the other won't become destitute; and how, in the final analysis, to make sure each is provided the best quality of life available.

Based on our reader responses, we are seeing less concern about passing assets to children and gifting, and more about whether they will outlive their money. This type of thinking is a paradigm shift from the way your parents and ours planned for retirement, trying to make sure that they passed something on to their children. Today, it appears, seniors have more debt than ever and are more concerned about self preservation than generosity during life or at death.

Still, most folks are not sufficiently informed about how to plan, as is pointed out in some of the repetitively asked questions we receive: 1. "Why do I need to plan? Won't Medicare pay for my nursing-home care?"

2. "The nursing home told us that once Mom's money is gone, she will qualify for Medicaid. Is this true?"

3. "My second husband and I have a premarital agreement. Doesn't this mean that I won't be responsible for the cost of his nursing home care or his medical bills?"

4. "If I let Medicaid pay for my wife's nursing-home care, will she receive the same quality of care she receives as a private pay patient?"

5. "I hold my Dad's power of attorney. After he got sick, I used it to make gifts of all of his property to myself, my brother and my sister. He is going into a nursing home. Will this affect him qualifying for Medicaid?"

6. "The nursing home told me that since my father was no longer making progress, they would have to stop therapy services. Is there anything I can do to make sure he gets continued therapy? "

7. "After we filed a Medicaid application for our mother, the nursing home told us they were going to discharge her because they do not accept pending Medicaid applications as payment. Can they do this?"

8. "I heard that there was little we could do to plan for the potential of a nursing home stay until my husband and I become incapacitated. Is that true?"

9. "Everything my parents acquired is in my father's name. He had a stroke and will be in a nursing home. Does this mean that all the property he and Mom accumulated will have to be paid to the facility before he will be able to qualify for Medicaid and that she will have nothing?"

If you are not able answer these questions, you should consult a qualified attorney who can help you make plans appropriate to your situation.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.


© 2006, Jan Warner