Rick M at computer

Sensible Perspectives

Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

Posted by on June 27, 2017

Welcome back to Sesame Street (for seniors). Today, we are going to talk about the letter “D”. (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist). Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs. You can obtain Part D coverage through stand-alone drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage as part of their benefits package. (Medicare Advantage […]

Sensible Financial’s Preferred ETFs

Posted by on June 27, 2017

Every year, Sensible Financial reviews each mutual fund holding to ensure that you are invested in the best possible funds consistent with your target allocation and investment strategy. In defining “best”, we consider two primary criteria: (1) cost and (2) tracking error relative to our target indices. 1). There are three primary cost categories for […]

When Does Prepaying Your Mortgage Make Good Financial Sense?

Posted by on June 23, 2017

Prepaying your mortgage can be a sensible thing to do, especially when you have idle savings (think cash or money market accounts not earmarked for specific financial goals or your emergency fund) earning less than the rate on your mortgage.  In my previous article, I analyzed the mechanics of prepaying your mortgage.  In effect, prepaying […]

Sensible Financial Planning Recognized as 2017 Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Adviser

Posted by on June 22, 2017

Waltham, MA, and San Diego – June 22, 2017 – Sensible Financial Planning and Management announced today it has been named to the 2017 edition of the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers. The list recognizes top independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) firms from across the U.S. This is the fourth annual FT 300 […]

How Strategic Charitable Giving Can Maximize Your Deduction

Posted by on May 23, 2017

Charitable giving truly is the gift that keeps on giving. In addition to the positive feelings you get from giving to a needy charity, a charitable gift can reduce your taxes. In this article I’ll show you how planned giving, which takes into account how your income (and therefore tax brackets) change over time, can […]

Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) – Paying More to Pay Less

Posted by on May 23, 2017

Medicare Supplemental Insurance, or Medigap for short, is optional insurance that you can buy separately from a private insurer to cover many out-of-pocket costs of traditional Medicare. As I described in my previous Medicare articles, traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) typically covers 80% of Medicare-approved health care services.  However, Medicare can be expensive due […]

Medicare Part B: A great health care companion, but it doesn’t like to be kept waiting

Posted by on April 25, 2017

  In this article, I discuss Medicare Part B – sometimes referred to as retiree “Medical Insurance”.  Part B purportedly focuses on the services, diagnostic tests, and medical equipment that doctors provide or prescribe, as opposed to those services that hospitals and skilled nursing facilities provide (i.e., Part A, or “Hospital Insurance” – described in […]

How Does Prepaying your Mortgage Actually Work?

Posted by on April 25, 2017

When you make an extra payment on your mortgage, that money goes directly toward reducing the balance on your loan.  Because of how the loan is structured, the extra payment triggers a cascade effect that speeds up the repayment of the loan.  In what follows, I discuss the mechanics of your mortgage and illustrate exactly […]

Wall Street Journal Article Highlights Sensible Financial Transparency

Posted by on April 17, 2017

In researching his recent Intelligent Investor column in the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig found that many financial advisors claim to be “conflict free”, either because they have fiduciary status or because they operate on a fee-only basis. Zweig argues that no matter how sincerely some advisors may believe it, they can’t be conflict free. […]

Medicare Part A – Is it Really Free?

Posted by on March 24, 2017

In last month’s newsletter, I gave a summary of Medicare, the Federal government insurance program that covers a large portion of health care expenses for seniors and people with certain disabilities.  In that article, I said that Parts A and B form the core of Medicare, with other parts supplementing these two programs.  In this […]