This Week's Must Read

I often see rules of thumb suggesting how much people should save each year or how much money they should have in retirement accounts by certain ages to be on track to a secure retirement. But I don’t see how it’s possible for people to meet these benchmarks when big chunks of income go to things like mortgages and children. Are these savings targets actually achievable?

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Involving fake tax notices related to the ACA.  Beware of any email you may receive from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): It’s a scam.  There’s been an uptick of people receiving fake notices regarding tax bills tied to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Wall Street Journal reports. The notice asks taxpayers without proper coverage to pay a penalty for ACA coverage they elected in 2014. The thing is the IRS doesn’t contact taxpayers by email, according to the Journal, so tax notices in your inbox are a sure sign it’s fake.

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A divorce can be draining—both emotionally and financially—especially later in life. And more and more people are getting divorced later in life. Just one in 10 people who divorced in 1990 was age 50 or older; twenty years later it was one in four, according to Dr. Susan Brown, professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University and co-author of “The Gray Divorce Revolution.”

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Social Security provides critical benefits to more than 50 million people a year; almost 170 million workers contribute a chunk of their paycheck, to the tune of $900 billion annually, to keep those benefits flowing. You’d think with all the people and money involved that we’d all understand exactly how the program works.

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A new law gives a heads-up to those under hospital ‘observation’.  As if being in a hospital wasn’t tough enough, patients on Medicare (those 65 and older) are now facing potentially huge out-of-pocket costs if they are placed on “observation status” instead of being formally admitted. And when such a patient then goes from the hospital to a nursing home, the bill from that stay, too, can be catastrophic. A new disclosure law that took effect Saturday will provide a much-needed heads-up.

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