Medicare Releases Official 2016 Part B Premiums

After months of speculation, Medicare’s standard Part B premiums for 2016 have been officially announced. About 70 percent of beneficiaries will continue to pay the same amount that has been charged for the past three years: $104.90 a month. Others will pay $121.80 a month, or more for higher-income beneficiaries who already pay higher premiums. As previously reported, the double standard arises from a quirk in the law that occurs only when there is no Social Security cost of living …

These Simple Exercises Could Help Preserve Brain Health

Want a cheap and easy way to improve your brain health? Try lifting weights a couple times a week. A new study adds to evidence that light strength training — also called resistance training — may be key to maintaining a healthy brain. Because of the way strength training pumps blood to the brain, some researchers now think it goes beyond the benefits of aerobic exercise and helps preserve brain health as we age. Teresa Liu-Ambrose and her colleagues at the University of British …

New Lower Blood Pressure Goal: Is It for You?

For older adults with high blood pressure, experts have been arguing for more than a year about how low the optimal BP reading should go. Should patients age 50-plus aim for a systolic level (the higher number in the reading) of 140 to 150, as a panel of experts recommended in 2013? Or should they use extra medication to aggressively lower it to 120, as a major federal study of adults urged in September? That September announcement included the startling …

The Despair That’s Killing White, Middle-Aged Americans

For decades, the death rate among all groups of Americans has been steadily declining, thanks to advances in medicine and quality of life. But 15 years ago, that trend suddenly reversed for one group: white Americans ages 45 to 54. In what a new study termed “an epidemic of despair,” two Princeton economists find that suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse are driving up deaths among less-educated, middle-aged, white Americans — some of it due to job loss and financial woes. The number …

8 Scams That Take Aim at Veterans

En español  | Just in time for Veterans Day, there’s a despicable new addition to a long list of scams that target veterans and their families. Scammers are calling widows of military veterans, saying the deceased had a hefty life insurance policy but payments are in arrears — and a few thousand dollars will bring the life insurance policy up to date. Whether you’re an active-duty member or a military veteran, a family member or an everyday civilian who appreciates …

Stock Market Newsletters: Are They Worthwhile?

Have you ever received an email or letter reading something like this? Are you tired of working for that boss you hate? You’ll never get rich working for a big company, so here’s the proven way to build wealth, working only about an hour a month. Pitches like these for investment newsletters try to appeal to our emotions and our human ability to suspend common sense and believe anything we want to believe. Let’s take a closer look. The logic …