Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Written by Debbie Best
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, virtually all of us have considered health-related issues. But for people facing a serious, chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or cancer, health concern s are an everyday matter. If you’re fortunate, you may never be afflicted with such maladies, but the future is unpredictable. Of course, going through these health challenges brings physical and emotional concerns — but also financial ones. How can you prepare for them?
Essentially, you’ll need to consider four key areas: investments, insurance, legal arrangements and taxes. Let’s take a quick look at each of them:
Investments – You’ll likely need to draw on your investments for at least some of the expenses associated with your illness. So, within your portfolio, you may want to establish a special fund devoted entirely to these costs, whether they be health care, modifications to your home, transportation and so on. A financial professional can help you choose investments for this fund, as well as make recommendations for your overall investment strategy, including techniques for boosting your income, such as adding investments that can provide an income stream that kicks in when you think your costs will rise.
Insurance – Depending on your health status, you may be able to collect Medicare earlier than the traditional starting point at age 65. Even so, you’ll likely need to supplement it with additional coverage. But you may also want to look beyond health insurance. For example, you might be able to purchase a “chronic illness rider” that allows you to tap into life insurance benefits while you’re still alive. Or you might consider adding a “long-term care rider” to a life insurance policy; this rider offers financial benefits if you ever require daily care that you can’t provide for yourself. And some foundations, states and drug companies offer programs that can help pay for some costs that your insurance won’t cover.
Legal arrangements – If you haven’t already done so, you may want to establish the legal documents most appropriate for your situation, such as a durable power of attorney for finances, which gives someone the authority to manage your financial affairs if you become temporarily incapacitated, possibly due to flare-ups of your chronic disease. Once you’ve recovered, you regain control of your financial decisions. You might also want to consider a health care proxy, which appoints an individual to make medical decisions for you if you can’t. In creating or revising these documents, you’ll need to consult with your legal professional.
Taxes – You might qualify for Social Security disability payments, which, like other Social Security benefits, are taxable, so you’ll need to be aware of what you might owe. But you might also be eligible for some tax breaks related to your condition. If you still itemize tax deductions, you may be able to deduct some medical expenses, as well as certain home improvements such as wheelchair ramps, bathtub grab bars, motorized stairlifts and so on. Your tax advisor may have suggestions appropriate for your situation.
Dealing with a chronic illness is never easy. But by considering how your illness will affect all aspects of your life, getting the help you need — and taking the right steps — you may be able to reduce the financial stress on you and your loved ones.
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Written by Diane Wheatley
Hi, I am Diane Wheatley, I am running for the North Carolina House of Representatives in District 43. I am so proud to have this opportunity. This November, you will decide whom you send to Raleigh.
There are four issues I feel incredibly passionate about. I can make a significant difference in education, health care, public safety and — finally — I can make a substantial impact on the economy of Cumberland County.
I spent 10 years on the Cumberland County Board of Education and worked diligently to improve education for children and their families. I was instrumental in starting the academy system, which gave parents school choice within the public school system. I am proud to say that during those 10 years, test scores improved every single year I was on the board, including the two years in which I served as its chair. Furthermore, we passed a major bond referendum and built 10 schools on time and under budget, enabling us to build two additional schools for the same cost.
Following my 10-year tenure on the school board, I was successful in being elected to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. During that time, I served on the Board of Directors of Cape Fear Valley Hospital. Furthermore, I chaired the ethics committee while on the hospital board. That helped me tremendously in understanding the issues facing health care today. As a registered nurse, I traveled all over the world as a medical missionary to provide health care to those in need.
Let us make this clear, I support affordable, sustainable health care for all and for one. I am sick and tired of big pharma and its ridiculous price gouging of the American people. The hospital billing has done nothing but compound this ever-rising cost in health care.
I do not know about you, but when it comes to public safety, I do not feel safe. My guess is you do not either. The police department and all first responders are one of my top priorities. Do you really think now’s the time to cut budgets for those entrusted with our public safety? My opponent does! When people feel compelled to rush out to take concealed carry classes and purchase guns and ammo just to protect their families, something is wrong! Thank God for our Second Amendment rights, which give us the ability to protect ourselves during times like these.
My opponent has never met a payroll. I spent over three decades in the business world and made payroll every single year. Our firm was recognized as one of the top five contractors on Fort Bragg for price, quality and service. I have a passion for entrepreneurs and have the background to prove it. I know what it takes for economic development and job growth, and that is crucial experience we will need in recovering from COVID-19.
Send me — the unbureaucrat — to Raleigh! I have got the experience and know-how and will not need any training wheels.