Planning for Life

Why Postponing Retirement Can Enhance Your Life

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 8, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

There are many benefits to postponing retirement, including more retirement income and savings, and maintaining purpose and human contact in your life. It can also reduce the need to save, and thus the need to earn as much money. This can limit financial stress and open up opportunities for more meaningful work or to work less and spend more time doing whatever you choose, whether that's recreation, travel, or time with grandchildren.

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Topics: baby boomers, Retirement Planning

GAO Reports Home Care Workers Still Underpaid Despite New Protections

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 9, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


Over my 30-plus years practicing elder law, the nature of elder care has changed dramatically, from one that was nursing home-based to one where care is largely provided at home or in assisted living facilities. (Of course, then and now, most care is provided by family members at no cost. Actually, "no cost" is wrong. No dollars may change hands, but the care is often provided at great cost to the caregiver.)

A great weakness of our "system" for providing elder care is that despite its great cost, most care providers are drastically underpaid. This has detrimental effects on them as well as on the people for whom they care due to the resulting stress and fatigue on caregivers and their turnover as they seek other ways to earn a living. One result has been the huge number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes across the United States, but especially in Massachusetts. (See Deaths in Nursing Homes: How We Let Down Our Older Citizens.)

In an effort to ameliorate this situation, in 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor, for the first time, extended minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Unfortunately, a new Government Accounting Office (GAO) study reports that this has done little improve the income of most home care workers, in part no doubt to the low federal minimum wage of just $7.25 an hour in 2020. Home care workers in 2019 earned a median income of just $400 a week—just $10 a week more than the average income for jobs with similar education and training requirements. Median means that half such workers earned less than $400 a week!

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Topics: baby boomers, home care

AskHarry Podcast Episode 2: The Benefits and Risks of Revocable Trusts and Annuities for Seniors

Posted by Estey Masten on October 22, 2020


Retired University of Pittsburg Law School professor, Larry Frolik, joins Harry again in episode 2 of the AskHarry podcast discuss the pros and cons of revocable trusts and annuities for seniors.

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Topics: baby boomers, revocable trust, annuities

AskHarry Podcast Episode 1: Planning Steps Seniors Can Take for their Protection

Posted by Estey Masten on September 24, 2020


Welcome Larry Frolik to the AskHarry podcast

The first episode of the AskHarry podcast features retired University of Pittsburg Law School Professor Larry Frolik, who sets the stage for Baby Boomers who may be starting to wonder about how to best plan for the next few decades of their lives. How can seniors set themselves and their families up for stress-free golden years?

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Topics: baby boomers, incapacity, seniors, durable power of attorney, Older Americans, HIPAA release

We're Getting Older, But Not as Old as Some Countries

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 9, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


For better or worse, the world is getting older. In 1950, the median age in the United States was 30 and in Europe, 29. Today, it's 39 and 43, respectively. In the United States, it actually dropped a bit for two decades, with the baby boom, reaching a low of 28 in 1970, before increasing again.

The aging of the world population can be explained by a mixture of longer life expectancies, lower birth rates, and lower child mortality. As borne out in the following chart, these factors have affected the median age in all the world except for Africa.

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Topics: baby boomers, growth of elderly population, Aging Population

Inequality of Aging Baby Boomers to Create Huge Challenge for the U.S.

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 3, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis


The future of most members of the Baby Boomer generation portends poorly. They have not escaped the income and wealth inequality experienced by the rest of the U.S. population and, as a result, most will have insufficient resources to fund their later years, especially if they fall ill.

According to a study released in 2019 by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the annual income the top 10% of earners over 65 has grown 55% in constant dollars over the last 30 years. That of the bottom 10% has grown 11%. The income of the median senior in the United States has grown 40% over the same period of time $31,000 to $41,000 a year (in constant 2017 dollars)

Income Disparity Among Older Households - Harvard JCHS - Older Adults Report 2019

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Topics: baby boomers

5@55: The Essential Estate Planning Documents

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 29, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

What estate planning documents do you need and by when do you need them? Brooklyn elder law and estate planning attorney Judith D. Grimaldi along with her co-author, Joanne Seminara, answer this question in their 2015 book, 5@55: The 5 Essential Documents You Need by Age 55. They make the case that for baby boomers, now's the time.

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Topics: baby boomers, Estate Planning

Why We Should Keep Baby Boomers on the Job

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 15, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis


Baby boomers—those born between 1944 and 1964—aged now between 55 and 75, are retiring in droves... 10,000 a day by one measure, and will continue to do so for the next two decades. Unfortunately, neither they nor our national economy can afford this. The economy needs skilled and experienced workers, even if some may not be totally up-to-speed on the latest social media phenomena. And few baby boomers have sufficient savings to see themselves through a long retirement. Those savings are more important than ever, since very few baby boomer retirees will have pensions.

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Topics: baby boomers, social security

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