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RETIREMENT QUIZ ANSWER:

1. How many days does Medicare cover for a nursing home stay for Alzheimer's patients?

NONE

You MUST know about the rules of Medicare since they are fundamental to retirement. Medicare covers only for SKILLED care under the most restrictive rules- and then for just 20 days. See long term care text.

2. You are 65 years of age. What is your "standard" actuarial lifetime?

MALE- 80.5 FEMALE- 83.8 (statistics will vary somewhat)

Many elderly think they will die much sooner than that and do not plan accordingly.

You must know these numbers in order to fundamentally understand what you need to do for retirement. If you don't know, your adviser must know these facts "cold".

3. This is a little more esoteric but would quickly identify adviser who was clearly more capable of addressing retirement concerns and issues- A teacher who worked for a school district that did not incorporate social security as part of the retirement program is very concerned about needing Medicare when retiring. She is 62, divorced for 15 years after 11 years of marriage to a corporate worker and is clearly unable to afford the private costs of Medicare upon turning age 65. She figures she has to retire early to work a "standard" job to build up her number of quarters (say 15) necessary to properly qualify. What does she do?

Nothing.

She just keeps on working since she is covered. Don't know why? Because she was married for 10 years to an individual who paid into Social Security. If your adviser does not know this, you probably got a bad adviser. If you continue to use such a person, you are very apt to screw up the remaining years of your lifetime.

Better do some more homework.

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