Navigating the New Retirement Landscape: Social Security, Medicaid, and Financial Planning for a Secure Future

Navigating the New Retirement Landscape: Social Security, Medicaid, and Financial Planning for a Secure Future

With prices and inflation rising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in global supply chains, and the war in Ukraine, more retirees than ever before are returning to work. Some might find their retired life unappealing, while others feel their expertise can still be shared. The majority of retirees, however, are returning because they simply cannot make ends meet. As the cost of healthcare, housing, and basic necessities rise, many find that their savings or monthly income are insufficient to support their daily costs. This does, however, raise questions about Social Security and Medicaid. Those of full retirement age might be eligible for Social Security and Medicaid benefits, depending on a variety of financial and health-related factors, but those who return to work do run the risk of having their benefits reduced or taken away depending on their income and any private coverage they receive from a place of employment. Planning for Social Security and Medicaid are important factors to consider when drawing up a retirement plan, as qualification for benefits can be tricky to determine and acceptance into either program is not guaranteed. Financial planning, including asset protection and estate planning, are also important when considering retirement, as planning ahead with realistic goals in mind will help avoid future financial hardship or the feeling that one is a burden to their family. Consulting with an experienced elder planning attorney will help inform one’s planning, such as an appropriate retirement age or monthly saving’s goals.

planning for a comfortable retirement

Social Security and Medicaid

Upon reaching full retirement age, currently calculated as between 65 and 67, qualified retirees are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits without any deductions based on current earnings. Similarly, qualified retirees of full retirement age are eligible for Medicaid benefits based on income methodologies employed by the supplemental security income program of the Social Security Administration. Qualified individuals may begin collecting social security and Medicaid benefits before full retirement age, although coverage will likely be reduced unless their qualification is not dependent on age. Social security and Medicaid provide, among other things, health coverage, disability insurance, and assistance with the cost of prescription drugs. One can begin receiving partial social security benefits before their full retirement age, but their partial benefits will be reduced based on the Social Security annual earnings limit, currently set at $21,240. These reductions continue until the month before a person reaches full retirement age. 

Returning to work after retiring is a tricky prospect because this may affect one’s qualification for partial or full social security and Medicaid benefits. Income is a key factor when determining the coverage and benefits a retiree is eligible for from both Social Security and Medicaid. While social security benefits are not deducted for current income about full retirement age, the benefits are aimed at those of lower income or without any stable income stream. In the case of Medicaid, yearly household income is a key factor in determining one’s eligibility, so any income above thresholds for eligibility set by Medicaid may result in one having some or all of their coverage taken away. Going back to work after retirement, especially for those above their calculated full retirement receiving social security or Medicaid benefits, is not a prudent financial plan, even if a job provides better health coverage.

Financial and Estate Planning for Later Life

Medical emergencies, long-term treatment costs, and prescription drug costs are, among other physical considerations, a reality for most retirees. There is also the simple fact that retirees will, for the most part, still be paying their bills for housing, groceries, and electronics, among other things. Even with help from family, and the benefits and coverage provided by social security and Medicaid, retirees will increasingly find themselves with bills they cannot afford to pay. Planning for retirement, therefore, is a key aspect of ensuring that one’s later years are spent comfortably and without the stresses of potentially having to return to work or becoming a burden on family. 

Planning for things such as Medicaid coverage are best done before one reaches their full retirement age. Protecting one's assets and creating an estate plan will also be of great help when determining a plan for retirement, as an experienced estate planning and asset protection lawyer will help one to ensure they have a steady income for retirement and still qualify for Medicaid coverage. Social security and Medicaid are tools to help you in your later life, but comprehensive estate plans are important to ensure that you have a plan for emergencies. 

You have worked your entire life to ensure that your later years are spent enjoyably and that you can leave a financial legacy to your family, so ensure that you engage in retirement planning as soon as possible. To speak with New York’s most experienced elder planning attorney, please call the Trust and Estate Planning Law Office at (718) 333-2395.

Estate Planning Secrets for a Blissful Retirement Under the Older Americans Act

Estate Planning Secrets for a Blissful Retirement Under the Older Americans Act

Old age is a daunting prospect for most, as leaving work and living a retired lifestyle simply is not compatible with most people’s lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. Old age, however, should not be seen simply as a transition to the end of one’s life, but rather the opportunity for fulfillment and expansion of one’s horizons. In 1965, the Congress passed the Older Americans Act to provide community social services for older people. This act, which has been renewed through the 2024 fiscal year, provides for, among other things, nutrition and social services to the aged and their caregivers, organizes opportunities for civic engagement, and community service employment for lower-income aged Americans. As life expectancy has increased, so has the commitment of the United States to provide for its elderly communities. The reality of estate planning when entering later life should also be as smooth a process as possible, and consulting with an experienced elder planning lawyer will help you to understand the potential benefits retirees and older citizens can receive and the programs they can partake in, such as those provided by the Older Americans Act.

Relieving the Anxiety of Older Age and Estate Planning

The Older Americans Act

The Administration for Community Living, an organization dedicated to the health and independence of older Americans, is currently seeking recommendations for proposed updates to the regulations of most of its Older Americans Act programs, the most significant set of updates in nearly 30 years. The government of the United States has long sought ways to improve the lives of older Americans, and one of the most significant pieces of legislation it has passed is the Older Americans Act. First passed by Congress in 1965, the act was initially targeted at a lack of community-based social services for aging Americans. The original legislation established grant authority to states for community planning and social projects, research and development projects focused on older Americans, and training for personnel in the field of aging. The act also established the “Administration on Aging” to administer grants and serve as a nucleus for matters concerning older Americans.

Since 1965, technological and medical advances have increased the life expectancy in the United States, which means that more people are able to enjoy their retirements in later years. In  response, the Older Americans Act has undergone several reauthorizations and amendments. The most recent reauthorizations, in 2016 and 2020, which will last through the 2024 fiscal year, have provided for a year-long extension for the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, more autonomy for state and local governments regarding the allocation of National Family Caregiver Services to keep older people in their homes, and required the assistant secretary for aging to issues guidance to states on serving Holocaust survivors. These reauthorizations also have provisions for strengthening elder abuse prevention, screening efforts, fall-prevention, and chronic disease self-management programs. 

Estate Planning for Older Age

Although old age and retired life have been made easier since the introduction of the Older Americans Act and the expansion of benefits programs, estate planning and asset protection must be a priority for your golden years. An important aspect to consider in planning for later life is Medicaid.  As most older adults in the United States are at least partially insured by Medicaid, it is important to understand that eligibility is dependent on, among other things, one’s income and assets. Although estate planning might have the stigma of making one seem old or aging, it is responsible financial practice to plan ahead and ensure that you receive the health coverage you need. To this end, an experienced Medicaid planning lawyer will help you to create the best estate plan that protects your hard-earned assets while also ensuring that you receive the coverage you deserve.

It is important to understand that there are no entitlements with the Older Americans Act because Title III of the act does not create a legal requirement to finance services for individuals. Older Americans eligible for Medicaid benefits and over the age of 60 may receive services under the Older Americans Act, however, Medicaid-funded services often take precedence. Services that cannot be rendered by the Older Americans Act may still be available for Medicaid eligible persons. The intricacy of the social services provided under the Older Americans Act and other federal welfare programs such as Medicaid make having an elder planning attorney ever more important. An experienced attorney will help to determine which benefits and services one can receive and assist one in qualifying for the programs they need. 


Old age and retirement should not be seen as an anxiety-inducing or burdensome time, but rather as an opportunity for enjoyment. The older years of Americans have been made easier with the Older Americans Act and Medicaid coverage, but this should not prevent you from engaging in financial planning as soon as possible. Creating a comprehensive estate plan and planning for Medicaid will give you flexibility in planning your finances for your later years and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your retirement and the opportunities for engagement it provides. To speak with New York’s most experienced elder planning attorney, call the Trust and Estate Planning Law Office at (718) 333-2395.

The Importance of an Elder Law Attorney

The Importance of an Elder Law Attorney

As we get older, we come to see some obstacles that our aging family members face. Oftentimes, no one prepares you for what to do when you reach your late stages of life. Healthcare, financial well-being, and long term care are commonly thought of when considering the next steps for your aging loved ones. However, it may be overwhelming to figure out all this on your own. At times like this, it is extremely helpful to visit an elder law attorney. But what exactly is an elder law attorney? 

 Importance of an Elder Law Attorney

An elder law attorney focuses on assisting the older population and their loved ones. They focus on covering a wide variety of issues that the aging population face or will face. Going to an elder law attorney for a consultation to discuss future needs and what seems to be the best for you or your family may help you gain further insight on what may be needed to better your lives. They can help evaluate your current situation as well as exploring options for the future. Some common work elder law attorneys do is:

  • Trusts and wills
  • Estate planning and probate*
  • Nursing home planning and long term care 
  • Medicaid and Social Security assistance
  • Elder abuse 

* Most elder law attorneys are also esteemed at estate planning but not all estate planning lawyers are accomplished elder law attorneys so make sure to check out client reviews

By having an elder law attorney by your side, you can save time, money and avoid getting into future legal trouble. Since the laws surrounding the elderly are different in each state, it is pivotal to find an elder attorney that is knowledgeable and well-versed in their field. A skillful elder law attorney should be able to alleviate your worries about your future and you should feel as if you are in good hands. Follow this link to see some actual cases that have been alleviated by elder law attorney, Inna Fershteyn.

In addition, it is also important to know that there is no right or wrong age to meet with an elder law attorney. It is a common assumption that people have when thinking about elder law attorneys. For those in their thirties to fifties, visiting an elder lawyer may help with protecting your wealth and assets for the future. They can also have more options for you since you have the benefit of a head start. You do not necessarily have to be “old enough” or a senior to seek an elder law attorney.

If you or a loved one is looking for guidance to put your mind at ease for the future, a consultation from an adept elder law attorney should help. Please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395 to secure your road for the future today.

What Documents Are Required for a Medicaid Application?

What Documents Are Required for a Medicaid Application?

When applying for Medicaid, you must prove that you are within the income and assets threshold to be eligible for long-care services. Prior to applying, you must fully understand what is expected of you in proving your eligibility to submit a medicaid application.

Documents Required for Medicaid Application

Medicaid is a state-run program, so the criteria vary based on your location. It is required to prove that you are eligible for the benefits, placing the burden of proof on you rather than the state. It is your responsibility to provide standard identification of your birth certificate and proof of citizenship. However, when you apply for benefits there is far more to consider:

    • Proof of Income
      • Copy of any pay stubs, Social Security statements, and/or pension checks. Income tax returns for the past five years. Verification of any other sources of income.
    • Bank Records
      •  Copies of bank statements for the past five years. 
    • Property
      • Copy of the deed to any property you owned in the past five years and a copy of the most recent property tax bill. 
    • Retirement Accounts
      • Statements for the past five years of your retirement savings.
    • Insurance
      • Copies of all types of insurance you have.
  • Car Registration
      • Information for any cars you own.
    • Burial Arrangements
      • Copies of pre-paid funeral contracts and/or deeds to burial plots.
  • Transferred Assets
    • There are non-countable assets such as personal possessions, one vehicle, prepaid funeral plans, and principal residence. However, be prepared if the state requests information about these.

The state will verify the information. Intentionally providing falsified information is a serious legal offense. 

When you start to receive benefits, you are not done, as to maintain your Medicaid you must continue to adhere to the eligibility requirements. Verification will be needed, making the Medicaid application process long and complicated. To be as prepared as possible, you will need the help of an estate attorney.

To compile the documents required for a Medicaid application, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.