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Harikrishna Majumdar
By Harikrishna Majmundar


Q: What is the difference between eligibility and entitlement in welfare matters?

A: entitlement connotes right to receive payments. Eligibility only connotes your right to receive welfare if they pay. Even though medical aid and food stamps are entitlements, the welfare department treats them as mere eligibility. Its only when we study the rules carefully and preitest against the irregularities committed by welfare department do we have a chance of survival in America,

Q: How is that a green card holder arriving after 22nd August 1996 is not considered eligible to receive medical benefits even if he is old sick and impoverished?

A: This is the weirdness of this country's welfare system. When the department is kind and sympathetic, we feel we are in heaven. But at present there is a wave of anti-immigrants and all sorts of irregularities are committed by the department callously Let us wait for some time. I hope to lead a protest to the President. Unfortunately, the door that cracks gets the grease.

Q: Do you hope to recover the welfare benefits that we are losing?

A: It depends upon your readiness to protest till the purpose is received

Q: Do you propose to revise your book as two years have passed since its publication?

A: if you so desire, I am at your beck and call.

Q: Did you get any success in your fight with the department recently?

A: Yes. I got an old lady of 75 Medicare benefits with privileges of premium payment by the state after a two-year fight. It was in Texas, a state known for a total dislike for giving any benefits to those who enter after 22nd August 1996. I knew the Medicare rules and rules regarding the limitation of sponsor's responsibility. The department had to yield and my client is happy to get Medicare with no cost.

These questions and answers are courtesy of Harikrishna Majmundar of California, author of �Mapping the Maze: A Guide to Welfare for Elderly Immigrants.� He has advised several hundred welfare applicants. A copy of this 2003 published book is available for a suggested donation of $10, plus $2 postage, from H.J. Majmundar, c/o Niral S. Dwivedi, 15915 Farringham Drive, Tampa, FL 33647 or call (813) 975-1200 if you have a question.

Bijan Mohseni


Affluent baby boomers have shifted their financial focus toward the future and retirement planning, according to the latest AXA Nest Egg Study, commissioned by AXA Financial Inc. The study, which was first conducted in 1993, revealed there is a new focus on retirement planning, an increase in financial sophistication and a greater belief in the American dream of success among baby boomers compared to 10 years ago.

Sources of retirement income

Once in retirement, what do baby boomers see as their source(s) of income? An increased number of baby boomers placed a high importance on their employer�s pension plan (57 percent in 2003 vs. 40percent in 1993) and privately created financial plans (49 percent in 2003 vs. 33 percent in 1993) as sources of retirement income. Indeed, those who have prepared well financially for retirement are most likely to place a high importance on a privately created financial plan as a source of retirement income with many citing this as the most important source.

Although respondents did not characterize Social Security as a key source of retirement income, they did indicate that it had some importance in planning for retirement (56percent in 2003 vs. 44percent in 1993). Those who have prepared poorly for retirement are most likely to rely on Social Security and most likely to believe they will have to sell their home to maintain their lifestyle in retirement.

These findings are mirrored in respondents who reported not having a financial plan. In AXA�s 2003 Nest Egg Study, those without a financial plan were more likely to rely on Social Security (11 percent of those with a plan vs. 24 percent of those without a plan) and were likely to say that they expect to sell their home in retirement (17 percent of those with a plan vs. 23 percent of those without a plan).

On their own

As they age, chances will increase that married baby boomers may find themselves on their own. In the AXA 2003 Nest Egg Study, a large majority acknowledges that their own lifestyle would decrease upon their spouse�s death (87 percent) and that their spouse�s lifestyle would decrease upon their death (82 percent). Women especially believe their lifestyle would be severely diminished upon their spouse�s death � 19 percent vs. 3 percent for men.

Respondents with less than $100,000 in household income who do not have a financial plan are more likely to believe that their spouse�s lifestyle would decrease severely (2 percent of those with a plan vs. 14 percent of those without a plan) upon their own death.

Looking to the future

Despite the political and economic events of recent years, nearly three-quarters of respondents to AXA�s 2003 Nest Egg Study believe �the American dream of success is alive� (74 percent). This increased by 17 percent from 1993, when 58 percent believed this to be true. And as with generations before them, more baby boomers believe the future will be better for their children with 53 percent believing it is realistic to think that their children will be better off than they are (an increase from 41 percent in 1993).

In closing

As the baby boom generation continues to mature, financial needs, goals and expectations will evolve and change. Results from AXA�s 2003 Next Egg Study indicate that this process is under way. Preparing financially for retirement has become significantly important for the generation that declared it would never trust anyone over 30. Having adequate resources in retirement has replaced paying for the children�s college education as the single greatest economic concern for a considerable portion of baby boomers. Compared to 1993, more baby boomers expect to assign a higher priority to providing a financial base for retirement.

Yet, some things haven�t changed. In both 1993 and 2003, more than 60 percent of respondents reported that they had a formal financial plan. Results further indicate that having a plan means a greater likelihood of achieving financial goals.

Overall, baby boomers seem to be anticipating retirement and have begun to face the task of building a nest egg for their future.

Bijan Mohseni of the Business Planning Group of Tampa offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (member NASD, SIPC) and annuity and insurance products through an insurance brokerage affiliate, AXA Network, LLC and its subsidiaries. He can be reached at 4890 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 800, Tampa, FL 33609 or call (813) 282-9088.

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