Retirement Income Takes Thoughtful Planning

Determining your retirement income needs is a process that helps you identify your retirement goals based on your desired standard of living and the resources you’ll have available. It’s important to remember that in today’s world you can typically no longer rely on Social Security benefits and a company pension check to fulfill all your retirement income needs.

Social Security benefits will probably satisfy only a fraction of your overall retirement income needs, and generous company pensions have, in many cases, been replaced with employer-sponsored retirement plans that are funded largely with employee dollars. A successful and rewarding retirement requires you to plan ahead in order to help ensure that you have sufficient retirement income to last you for your entire retirement.
Determining your retirement income needs requires a discussion of the various stages of retirement planning, including preretirement, the transition into retirement and retirement.

Preretirement
Your retirement is sometime in the future — maybe 10 years, maybe 30 years down the road. If so, you have a little breathing room. The single biggest mistake that you can make right now is to put off thinking about your retirement. The more time you have, the more you can hope to accomplish, so the sooner you start, the better off you should be.

You have a lot to think about. There are many factors to consider, including your expected sources of retirement income, your retirement income needs, and how you can use those sources of retirement income to fulfill those needs.

The transition into retirement
If retirement is right around the corner, you have some important decisions to make. If you haven’t done so, spend some time forming a good picture of your retirement financial position.

To the best of your ability, estimate your retirement income and expenses as discussed in preretirement. As retirement approaches, you have to consider the impact of when you retire. Early retirement and delayed retirement, through choice or necessity, can raise certain issues you’ll want to understand.

Retirement
When you retire, there are still some retirement issues that you may need to consider. These include the effect of working during your retirement and the impact of other sources of income on your Social Security benefits. Also, required minimum distributions from your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan may be an issue.

It’s a complex picture, but planning for retirement need not be stressful. This is why I recommend that you seek the advice of a trusted financial adviser to help you answer all of these questions and help you plan for what can and should be a rewarding time of your life.

Gerald Scheinker, one of Barron’s “Top 1,000 Advisors,” serves as executive vice president for wealth management and senior partner of Scheinker Investment Partners at Janney Montgomery Scott. He can be reached at 410-580-2686.

Saltzman Joins Equal Justice Board

031414_business-briefsOren D. Saltzman, managing member of Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC (ARD&H), has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Equal Justice Council.

Named the 2012 Maryland Attorney Advocate of the Year by the Baltimore district of the Small Business Administration, Saltzman concentrates his practice in the areas of business, commercial and corporate law, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, banking, estate planning and administration, bankruptcy and guardianship.

Working from both ARD&H’s Howard County and Baltimore offices, the 29-year industry veteran frequently presents seminars on business formation choices.

U.S. News Names Best Nursing Homes

The Health Facilities Association of Maryland has announced that 29 of its members have been included on the list of the country’s Best Nursing Homes by U.S. News & World Report.

HFAM members that rank among the best skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in America are in communities all across Maryland, including Baltimore City and County and Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

U.S. News determines its annual rankings through data collected from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The federal agency assigns each nursing center certified by the government a rating of one to five stars through its five-star rating system. U.S. News names all those with a five-star rating a Best Nursing Home.

FutureCare Awarded for Low Readmission

FutureCare Health and Management, Maryland’s premier skilled nursing and rehabilitation provider, has announced that four of its facilities have received the Providigm Embracing Quality Award for having a low rate of readmission to hospitals.

FutureCare Irvington, FutureCare North Point, FutureCare Old Court and FutureCare Pineview received the awards during AHCA/NCAL’s annual Quality Symposium in New Orleans in February.

Providigm is a quality management system used by long-term care facilities to track and improve the quality of care and life of their residents. In order to be eligible for the honor, facilities must have achieved quality assurance and performance improvement accreditation from Providigm. The skilled nursing centers to receive this award are regarded as top-performing long-term care facilities in the United States and Canada.

Should You Buy Pet Insurance?

021414_busiess_aldermanOne topic I’ve learned to avoid with new acquaintances (along with politics and religion) is where they stand on the treatment of pets. Some people when their dog gets sick or badly injured say, “It’s an animal — that’s just part of the circle of life.” Others consider Rover a close family member and would take out a second mortgage to save his life.

Pet owners from both camps probably see the barrage of ads for pet insurance and wonder whether it’s worth the expense, which might be several thousand dollars over the life of a pet. I did some research, and the best answer I can come up with is, it depends.

First, ask yourself: Do you regard pet insurance as a financial investment, where you expect to get back more in benefits than you paid out in premiums over the pet’s life? Or is it more like auto or homeowner’s insurance, where you hope nothing ever goes seriously wrong, but you want coverage in case there’s a catastrophe?

Either way, here are some basic facts about pet insurance that may help you decide whether it’s right for you.

Pet insurance shares many features with human health insurance: Policies typically have annual deductibles, copayments and exclusions, and some limit which veterinarians, clinics and hospitals you can use.

But there are numerous differences as well. For example, pet insurers are allowed to refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions and to set annual and lifetime payout limits. Among the many other restrictions you should watch for when comparing plans are:

• Premiums vary greatly depending on where you live and may increase based on your pet’s age and breed, among other factors.

• Typically, you must pay the vet or hospital bill out of pocket and get reimbursed later.

• Many plans deny or restrict coverage for congenital or hereditary conditions (such as hip dysplasia in dogs or kidney failure in cats) and preventable conditions such as periodontal disease.

• Along with annual and lifetime maximums on benefits paid out, there may be a limit on how much it will pay for treatment of an individual illness or accident.

• If your pet suffers a particular disorder one year, don’t be surprised if that condition is excluded at renewal — or if you’re required to pay an additional fee for future coverage.

• Pets over certain age limits frequently are denied coverage.

• Certain breeds are often excluded or only eligible for restricted coverage.

• Some carriers let you augment your accident and illness policy with optional “wellness care” coverage for things such as spaying and neutering, annual physicals, vaccines and routine tests. Make sure the additional premium is worth the extra cost.

There are about a dozen carriers in the United States; each offers a variety of plans with varying deductibles, copayments and maximum coverage amounts, as well as different covered benefits and exclusions.

You can go directly to their websites for plan details and to request a quote or use an independent comparison website to pull quotes from multiple carriers. I would recommend creating a spreadsheet to compare benefits and costs side by side, just as you would when shopping for auto insurance.

Bottom line: If you decide pet insurance isn’t right for you, at least be sure you’re setting money aside to cover expected — and unexpected expenses.

Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. To participate in a free online financial literacy and education summit on April 2, go to practicalmoneyskills.com/summit2014.

Katz Named Chief Business Development Officer

Trout Daniel & Associates, a full-service commercial real estate company, announced that Neil A. Katz has joined the firm as chief business development officer.

Katz brings nearly three decades of real estate experience to his new role with Trout Daniel. As chief business development officer, he will leverage his market knowledge and vast network of relationships to lead Trout Daniel in identifying and capitalizing upon real estate investment and leasing opportunities for the firm and its diverse group of clients.

LifeBridge Names Post-Acute Care COO

Barry Jay Eisenberg, FACHE, LNHA, has been named the new executive director and chief operating officer of Post-Acute Services at LifeBridge Health. Eisenberg brings decades of expertise to one of Baltimore’s most progressive leaders in the post-acute care arena. Eisenberg will lead the entire 440-bed post-acute division.

The flagship of LifeBridge Health’s post-acute division is Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. With a total of 338 beds, Levindale has been on the forefront of sub-acute medical hospital services for more than 120 years and is known for deliver-ing high-quality eldercare in a less traditional, more compassionate and respectful hospital setting.

Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler Opens New Office

021414_business-briefAdelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC announced the opening of its Baltimore County office in Nottingham Centre in Towson. Head-quartered in Baltimore City since 1927, the law firm also maintains a full-service office within the Columbia Town Center in Howard County at 10420 Little Patuxent Pkwy.

ARD&H Special Counsel Adam Sampson has been assigned to work from the new office, but it will also be regularly staffed by a rotation of attorneys — members and associates. Sampson has been a practicing attorney for more than 15 years and serves as an at-large member of the Baltimore County Bar Association Executive Council.

Applefeld Appointed To MSBA Position

Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC member and litigation section chair David B. Applefeld was appointed to serve on the the Maryland State Bar Association Construction Law Section.

With more than 22 years of experience, Applefeld serves as national panel trial counsel and special litigation counsel for several insurance companies and businesses and is a frequent speaker and author on insurance law, construction law and litigation topics.

KatzAbosch Director Named Woman of the Year

KatzAbosch, one of the mid-Atlantic region’s leading certified public accounting and consulting firms, announced that Associated Builders and Contractors Baltimore Metro Chapter (ABC Baltimore) honored Anita Sheckells, CPA, CCIFP, CCA, a director with KatzAbosch, as Woman of the Year at the annual ABC Baltimore Winter Gala.

A longtime ABC Baltimore member and volunteer leader, Sheckells co-founded the construction group at KatzAbosch, which has made her a mentor and role model for other young women to join the industry. This past year Sheckells was a mentor for the inaugural year of the Young Leaders’ Professional Development Program. After many active years on the Women in ABC (WABC) committee, she served as this years’ chair of the WABC Women’s Empowerment Day, which provides a full day of education for the women of My Sister’s Place Women’s Center.