Friday, March 21, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Alzheimer’s disease likely plays a much larger role in the deaths of older Americans than is reported, according to a new study that says the disease may be the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Alzheimer’s as the sixth-leading cause of death, far below heart disease and cancer. But the new report, published Wednesday in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that the current system of relying on death certificates for causes misses the complexity of dying for many older people and underestimates the impact of Alzheimer’s.
More than 5 million people in the United States are estimated to have Alzheimer’s. With the aging of the baby-boom generation, this number is expected to nearly triple by 2050 if there are no significant medical breakthroughs, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.The disease cost the nation $210 billion last year; that rate is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050.
Read about this in the Washington Post found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/tara-bahrampour/2011/03/09/ABBj1nP_page.html
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Grass and ragweed sensitivities were higher in the West, mold allergy more common in the East. Positive tests for indoor allergens were higher in the East than the West, but there were almost no regional differences for peanut, shrimp, egg, dog, cat, rat and mouse sensitivities.
The most common positive tests among the adult group were for dust mites, grass and ragweed, with almost 20 percent of the population showing sensitivity to each. About 12 percent of people over 6 were sensitive to dogs or cats, and among the youngest children, milk and eggs were the most common positive tests. Inhalant allergies like ragweed and grass peaked in the teens and 20s, then decreased later in life.
Race and socioeconomic status also made a difference. Non-Hispanic blacks had the highest sensitivity to all tested allergens except Russian thistle and egg. Sensitivity to cockroaches and shrimp were associated with lower economic status, and dog and cat allergies were more common in higher income groups.
Read more about this at the New York Times on March 6, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Most workers are eligible to contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA in 2013 and get a tax deduction on the amount they save. A worker in the 25 percent tax bracket who contributes $5,500 to a traditional IRA this year would pay $1,375 less on his 2013 tax bill. But few people save enough to maximize this tax break.
An Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of just over 1.6 million IRA accounts found that the average amount contributed in 2011 was $3,723. An IRA contribution of $3,723 will save you $930.75 if you are in the 25 percent tax bracket or $558.45 if you pay a 15 percent income tax rate. Taxes won’t be due on these traditional IRA contributions until you withdraw the money from the account.
People age 50 and older are eligible to contribute $1,000 more to IRAs than younger people, up to $6,500 in 2013. And the average IRA contribution does jump from $4,090 for 40-somethings to $4,780 among people in their 50s, Fidelity found. Once you turn age 70 1/2 you can no longer make traditional IRA contributions, but you can still save in a Roth IRA.
The ability to claim a tax deduction for your traditional IRA contributions is limited if you are also eligible for a 401(k) or similar type of retirement account at work. The IRA tax deduction is phased out for couples with a modified adjusted gross income over $95,000 ($59,000 for singles) in 2013. And couples who earn $115,000 or more ($69,000 for singles) are not eligible for this tax deduction if they also have a retirement account at work. If you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, the deduction begins to be phased out once your joint modified AGI exceeds $178,000 and is eliminated when your AGI hits $188,000.
IRA contributions for 2013 must be made by April 15, 2014.
Read about this at US News website under retirement.