News You Can Use – November 2019

Sandy Botkin
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1Loan repayment to a 401K: Workers who lose their jobs with a 401(k) loan on the books now have more time to pay the money back. Federal tax reform allows workers to repay loans by the tax-filing deadline,including extensions for the year that they leave the job. So, if you left the job in 2019, you have until April 15, 2020 to repay the loan. If you get an extension on your 2019 tax return, you have until October 15,2020 to repay the loan.

2Tax scam: Scammers are faking calls from the Taxpayer’s Advocate Service. The service is an independent organization within the IRS. and does NOT initiate calls to taxpayers.. Also IRS will never demand payment without allowing you to question or appeal the tax amount owed. 

3Savings estimate for health care: a 65- year old couple retiring in 2019 will need about $285,000 to cover heath care costs throughout their retirement according to Fidelity Investments annual cost estimate.

4Dental care: Traditional Medicare doesn’t cover dental care, but some Medicare advantage plans now do. In fact, Medicare Advantage plans can now also offer vision care and a gym membership. However, be aware the doctors who must accept Medicare do NOT have to take Medicare Advantage. Thus, Medicare Advantage plans have fewer physicians who are members than that of Medicare.

5Droid vs.Apple: If you are thinking about upgrading your cell phones, you probably are also wondering if you should get either an new Apple or Droid phone. So what is the difference?

I won’t be commenting on the picture quality or camera since I don’t take pictures. However, I can comment as an app developer.

My wife has a Droid and I use an iPhone. Generally the iPhone has an easier interface, but the Droid seems faster. I suspect that the chip in my wife’s galaxy is better than what I have in my iPhone. HOWEVER, from an app developer’s point of view. There is ONE HUGE difference besides the programming. 

All iPhones are similar and can run almost any application designed for the iPhone unless the iPhone is very old. However, not all droid phones are the same. When we write an app or update an app for the iPhone, it will work on all iPhones. This is NOT necessarily true for droid oriented phones. Droid phones can have significant differences. Programming for one type of droid phone might not work on another type of droid phone. Thus, if you want to be sure all apps work on your phone, you will get a LOT more consistency with an iPhone than with a Droid. Thus, you will probably see different ratings of apps regarding iPhone users vs Droid users. So before you switch to a droid phone. be aware of this problem.

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