In the Chinese Zodiac 2020 is the Year of the Rat.  For me 2020 is the Year of a New Knee.   This fact neither scares me nor does it thrill me.  I want it done.  Over with and behind me.  I do not, however, want 2020 to be over and done with at the alarming rate 2019 seemed to disappear.

I will be 68 on January 23.  Of course, I find that hard to believe since my brain says I’m 30 years old.  It’s a constant battle between my brain and my body.

As always, we begin a new year with hope for a better world, a healthy family, and we look forward to whatever the good Lord decides to bless us with for 2020.

And, then we have to face the reality of our life.  We all know the standard saying:  Only two things are certain –  death and taxes.

Form 1040-SR: Seniors Get a New Simplified Tax Form for 2019

If you are 65 or older (or you turned 65 any time in 2019), you will have the option to use a new simple tax form for seniors, known as Form 1040-SR: U.S. Tax Return for Seniors, when you file your 2019 taxes in April 2020.

Form 1040-SR is similar to the now-defunct Form1040-EZ, which was designed for those with a straightforward tax scenario, such as taxpayers who take standard deductions.

For taxes filed in 2020, meanwhile, the standard deduction for taxpayers over 65 will increase for the tax year 2019.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The new Form 1040-SR is a simplified tax form for seniors who have uncomplicated finances and who otherwise would have to file Form 1040.
  • Form 1040-SR allows an individual to report income from wages, salaries, tips, and other income sources.
  • The new form requires a senior to be 65 or older by the end of either 2019 or by the end of the tax filing year.
  • Other senior-friendly features include larger font and spaces to fill in the information.
  • The new form also has no income tests and expanded income categories.

www.investopedia.com

2020 Medicare changes: Key takeaway

1. The standard Part B premium increased to $144.60/month.
2. The Part B deductible increased to $198.
3. Part A premiums, deductible, and coinsurance are also higher in 2020.
4. Medigap Plans C and F are no longer available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
5. The Medicare Plan Finder tool has been upgraded for the first time in a decade.
6. The income brackets for high-income premium adjustments for Medicare Part B and D have been inflation-adjusted for the first time as of 2020; “high-income” starts at $87,000 for a single person, instead of $85,000.
7.Part D donut hole no longer exists, but a standard plan’s maximum deductible has increased to $435, and the threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase (where out-of-pocket spending decreases significantly) has increased to $6,350.

www.medicareresources.org