Up & Coming Weekly

August 18, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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12 UCW AUGUST 19-25, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MONEY When facing illness, take control of your finances submitted by DEBBIE BEST Going through health challenges brings physical and emotional concerns — but also financial ones. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, virtually all of us have considered health- related issues. But for people facing a seri- ous, chronic illness, such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or cancer, health concern s are an everyday matter. If you're fortunate, you may never be afflicted with such maladies, but the future is unpredictable. Of course, going through these health challenges brings physical and emotional concerns — but also financial ones. How can you prepare for them? Essentially, you'll need to consider four key areas: investments, insurance, legal arrangements and taxes. Let's take a quick look at each of them: Investments – You'll likely need to draw on your investments for at least some of the expenses associated with your illness. So, within your portfolio, you may want to establish a special fund devoted entirely to these costs, whether they be health care, modifications to your home, transporta- tion and so on. A financial professional can help you choose investments for this fund, as well as make recommenda- tions for your overall investment strategy, including techniques for boosting your income, such as adding investments that can provide an income stream that kicks in when you think your costs will rise. Insurance – Depending on your health status, you may be able to collect Medi- care earlier than the traditional starting point at age 65. Even so, you'll likely need to supplement it with additional coverage. But you may also want to look beyond health insurance. For example, you might be able to purchase a "chronic illness rider" that allows you to tap into life insur- ance benefits while you're still alive. Or you might consider adding a "long-term care rider" to a life insurance policy; this rider offers financial benefits if you ever require daily care that you can't provide for yourself. And some foundations, states and drug companies offer programs that can help pay for some costs that your insurance won't cover. Legal arrangements – If you haven't al- ready done so, you may want to establish the legal documents most appropriate for your situation, such as a durable power of attorney for finances, which gives someone the authority to manage your financial affairs if you become temporarily incapacitated, possibly due to flare-ups of your chronic disease. Once you've recov- ered, you regain control of your financial decisions. You might also want to consider a health care proxy, which appoints an individual to make medical decisions for you if you can't. In creating or revising these documents, you'll need to consult with your legal professional. Taxes – You might qualify for Social Security disability payments, which, like other Social Security benefits, are tax- able, so you'll need to be aware of what you might owe. But you might also be eligible for some tax breaks related to your condition. If you still itemize tax deduc- tions, you may be able to deduct some medical expenses, as well as certain home improvements such as wheelchair ramps, bathtub grab bars, motorized stairlifts and so on. Your tax advisor may have sugges- tions appropriate for your situation. Dealing with a chronic illness is never easy. But by considering how your illness will affect all aspects of your life, getting the help you need — and taking the right steps — you may be able to reduce the fi- nancial stress on you and your loved ones. DEBBIE BEST, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Investments. COM- MENTS? 910-488-7535 A FREE public event Refreshments & door prizes! For more information: 910.484.6200 Gallery 208 Monday - Thursday • 9AM - 5PM Shane Booth: Where the Winds Never Stop: the Hildreth Project and Two Brothers Catering presents

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