Friday, June 15, 2012

Financial power for the 21st century

Financial power for the 21st century

Will you have enough in retirement? Now is the time to find out.

You could have about $250,000 extra to supplement your Social Security benefits in about 15 years. Will You Have Enough? takes you through the process of determining how much you will have. Law Steeple has been an industry executive for over 20 years.

Seniors are the target of scammers—“That is where the money is”

Nearly 60% of the respondents — all professionals who work with the elderly — to an online survey conducted by Investor Protection Trust said that they deal with elderly victims of investment fraud “quite often” or “somewhat often.” Nearly every one of the 763 participants in the survey said that the problem of financial exploitation of the elderly is “very serious” or “somewhat serious” and 84% said it was getting “much worse” or “somewhat worse.” The survey by the nonprofit included 76 state securities regulators and 77 financial planners, in addition to medical professionals. Members have solved that problem:

CA insurer manipulated system to get rid of sick? This is RomneyCare?

Blue Shield has used enormous rate hikes, and the threat of rate increases, to force patients into lower-benefit and higher-deductible health coverage in violation of state law. BS gamed the system by alternately closing older policies and opening new ones in order to push older, sicker consumers who are more expensive to insure into lower benefit, higher deductible coverage that requires consumers to pay more out of pocket.

The lawsuit seeks to stop Blue Shield from shoving its policyholders into what is known as a "Death Spiral"–the industry term for what happens when a health insurer "closes" certain insurance policies to new customers, and later raises rates to those remaining in the closed policy until those enrollees can no longer afford coverage. "Blue Shield closed my family's policy and then threatened us with a 23% premium increase. We had no choice but to switch to the only bare bones policy Blue Shield offered us. When Blue Shield canceled the original rate increase, the company refused to let us transfer back into our old, higher benefit policy. Then, Blue Shield raised the rate of our bare bones policy by 14.8%!" said Robert Martin of Gilroy, litigant.

Middle class can’t sustain American economy—Rich take more income!

The average American family saw their net worth drop 40% in that three-year time period from $126,400 to $77,300. Three-quarters of the loss, not surprisingly, is due in large part to falling home prices, which have seen no reprieve since the housing bubble began to burst in 2007. The average homeowner saw their net worth fall more than $70,000 from roughly $250,000 in 2007 to $175,000 in 2010. But what is surprising is the fact that overall net worth has fallen to levels not seen since the early 1990's, long before the housing bubble even began. In three years, 18 years of savings have been wiped away for the majority of the country and at the same time wages have fallen. The average income fell from about $50,000 in 2010 to $46,000 in 2007.

But this negative trend does not stop there. As average families become poorer, rich Americans are growing richer. The Fed survey showed the wealthiest 10% of families actually saw their net worth rise from 2007 to 2010. Over that time period, their net worth increased from $1.17 million to $1.19 million.

Where have all the job-creators gone with their Bush tax cuts?

The continued decline of the American middle class and the ascent of the rich has resulted in income inequality at levels not seen since the Great Depression. While the bulk of consumer spending has historically come from the middle class, if the majority of Americans continue to suffer from falling wages and income, eventually something has got to give. There is no possible way for the super-rich to buy enough stuff to float the entire U.S. economy.

It's growing increasingly clear that we live in drastic times and drastic measures must be taken to save the country's middle class. One drastic measure is that more Americans are putting off retirement because they simply can't afford it.

But with Americans living longer and putting increased strain on programs like Social Security and Medicare, the retirement age is going to have to be raised for one reason or another.

Your Affinity group may obtain discount insurance

Members of Ducks Unlimited, the world leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation, now have access to special group discounts on auto, home, and other property and liability insurance from MetLife Auto & Home and other national insurance companies through a new program designed just for members of Ducks Unlimited. Your alma matter or church or civic organization my offer you a discount too. Check our list:

Insurers give back premiums

Health insurers are expected to rebate $1.3 billion in premium charges to employers and consumers by August because the companies didn't spend enough on customer coverage in 2011. "This study shows that asking insurance companies to put more of their premium dollar toward patient care rather than administration and profits is not only popular but also effective. There are tangible benefits for consumers and employers," said Drew Altman, Kaiser Foundation president and CEO.

Insurers and employers say they will continue with reforms despite Supremes’ political decisions

Some insurers will continue to offer important health care insurance protections that were included in the 2010 health care reform law, no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in cases currently pending before the Court. For instance, there are 7 millions of young on their parents’ insurance because they have no affordable coverage. The GOP may force them off and raise the uninsured to over 50 millions. “Fewer Americans would need to remain on their parents’health insurance if they had stable, full-time work,” GOP DeMint wrote. Yes, the point is they don’t.

Socialism for the rich—Hungry will have to rely on charity

A New York senator will try to cut $4.5 billion from the nation's publicly subsidized crop insurance program to preserve spending on the nation's food stamp program.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will offer an amendment to the new farm bill that the Senate could vote on as early as Tuesday. The farm bill, which is of particular importance in Minnesota and other Farm Belt states, contains an expansion of the crop insurance program designed to make up for the elimination of direct payments to farmers.

Gillibrand said on Monday that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that food stamp cuts currently in the farm bill would take away an average of $90 per month in payments to nearly half a million households.

Will lobbyists or the poor win?

Two of our “friends” helping Iran evade sanctions by giving insurance and we let them!

Indian state-owned refiners will halt planned oil imports of 173,000 barrels per day from Iran when European sanctions take effect in July, unless the government permits them to use insurance and freight arranged by Tehran, industry sources said. Japan's cabinet ministers approved and submitted a special bill to parliament on Monday to enable the government to provide insurance cover for Iranian crude imports once a European Union ban on insurance and reinsurance takes effect on July 1.

Plus ING Bank pays fine to bank for IRAN

ING Bank NV agreed to pay $619 million to settle U.S. government allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran and other countries. It was the biggest ever fine against a bank for sanctions violations, officials said.

SCAMS           “Only the little people pay taxes.” Leona Helmsley

Will States need a bailout next? 

Banks cash-in on their own failed products. New York State, for one, has paid $243 million in recent years to extricate itself from swaps-related debt. That money went straight from taxpayers’ pockets to Wall Street.

Corporations rarely do deals like these, because they generally avoid making long-term bets on interest rates. But bankers sold the idea to public borrowers. The total bill to terminate all of these swaps-related deals would run into many billions.

“Derivatives are time bombs,” Warren Buffett

Insurers low-ball your claim by changing settlement software program

A newly released report by a former Allstate Corp. claims executive working at a consumer rights group alleges that most of the nation's biggest insurance companies use computer systems that can be manipulated to underpay injury claims.

The report was issued Monday by the Consumer Federation of America, whose claims project director, Mark Romano, had worked for the Northbrook-based insurer, as well as CNA and Hanover. Romano last year joined the Consumer Federation of America as claims project director.

"This report is a wake-up call for consumers and regulators who are not aware of the many ways that computer claims' software can be manipulated to produce unjustifiably low injury payments to consumers and tens of millions of dollars in illegitimate 'savings' for insurers," Romano said in a statement.

We have to hire a claims adjuster to speak for us.

AIG continues to play games with the law despite US ownership

AIG will pay California $15.6 million in penalties to settle allegations that its insurance companies underreported workers' compensation premiums over several decades. America still owns AIG but treasury lets them carry on these scams

Our ‘representatives’ bought $180 million in drones that just sit near border

Sounds like another military industrial complex cost overrun at the Pentagon. “We don’t need anymore.” “Sorry, we already gave the $ billion contract to AeroVironment for more drones instead of helos.”


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