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7 Hits From 1970: Did You “Groove” to Any of These Songs Your Graduation Year?

7 Hits From 1970: Did You “Groove” to Any of These Songs Your Graduation Year?

Music has often defined a generation, and—let me tell you—you baby boomers had it all. The most iconic music festival of all time (need I actually say it?). Heart felt country. Psychedelic rock.  Folk rock. Soul. You guys even had the Beatles and the Jackson 5 for crying out loud! It’s just not fair (really…we’ll trade you Taylor Swift and then we can call it even)! The 60s and 70s were no-doubt the complete package.

 

So—as a testament to your senior year of high school—here are 7 songs you used to groove to in 1970. Click the links; hear the tunes.

  1. Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn

The twang of steel guitars interpolated between the twang of Loretta’s sweet voice is still ringing in my ears. And the genuine, tear-jerking lyrics are a refreshing change from the worn out phrases that so often adorn the overly produced country music of modern times. Loretta Lynn had it right. Being country has little to do with alcohol or trucks or “painted on blue jeans;” instead, it has everything to do with humble roots, a good work ethic, and priceless love in the midst of financial hardship.

 

Memorable Lyric: “Well, I was borned a coal miner’s daughter in a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler. We were poor, but we had love. That’s the one thing that daddy made sure of. He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar.”

2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross

This song was originally released by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel in 1967, but Diana Ross’s version resurfaced the classic song in 1970. Ross puts some new twists on the song including several dramatic spoken sections, but the gospel vibes and the soulful, dynamic power that inspires audiences to overcome any difficulty still remain from the original release all the way to now. Thank you, Diana Ross. Your soaring vocals are greatly appreciated.

 

Fun Fact: According to songfacts.com, Hillary Clinton used this song extensively in her 2016 campaign for the presidency.

3. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel

With a gentle piano accompaniment and Garfunkel’s flowing tenor vocal, this song stills the troubled mind. A simple but profound piece about sacrificial love, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a ballad not too soon forgotten. According to The Rolling Stone, it reached the number one spot in spring of 1970 and didn’t sink from the charts for over a year, remaining at the top for 10 weeks and selling 13 million copies!

 

Memorable Lyric: “I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough and friends just can’t be found. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.”

4. American Woman by The Guess Who

I felt like we’ve been a little soft so far down this list, so I’m going to drop in a hard rock song for good measure. “American Woman”, with its aggressive, no-nonsense lyrics and its growling, “stick-it-to-you” vocal does just the trick.  But be careful. It may induce head banging.

 

Memorable Lyric: “American woman, stay away from me-he. American woman, mama let me be-he. Don’t come hanging around my door. I don’t wanna see your face no more…”

5. Layla by Derek and the Dominos

Instant ear gratification. The iconic fire of Eric Clapton’s opening guitar riff is almost mesmerizing. While “American Woman” is more about getting rid of a woman, “Layla” is all about going mad, pining for her affections. “Let’s make the best of the situation before I finally go insane. Please don’t say we’ll never find a way, and tell me all my love’s in vain,” Clapton writes. This anthem of unrequited love made the Rolling Stone’s List of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Number 27…check it out.

 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Eric Clapton penned this classic about Pattie Boyd, the same woman who inspired the Beatle’s George Harrison to write “Something”? Dang, this girl must’ve been the cat’s meow! The whole story of this love triangle is quite unbelievable.

6. Let It Be by the Beatles

No 1970s playlist would be complete without a Beatle’s song, so I dug this one out of the archives. This simple song with its message of comfort and peace was written during one of the more turbulent times of Paul McCartney’s life. He said that his Mother (named Mary, of course) appeared to him a dream, whispering this profound and reassuring word of wisdom: “Let it be.”

 

Memorable Lyric: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

7. ABC by The Jackson 5

To go out with a bang of boyish exuberance, I would like to reintroduce you to Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and (of course) little Michael himself. Taking on the concept of love, these 5 Jacksons sold it every performance—with color, soul, and some killer synchronized dance moves.

 

Memorable Lyric: “Sit yourself down, take a seat. All you gotta do is repeat after me…”

 

Well, that’s a wrap! I could write a witty conclusion to this post, but I think I’ll just let it be (did you see what I did there?).

 

Also, remember to talk to us! What’s your favorite song on this list? Can you think of another nostalgic song from the year 1970? If so, leave us a comment! We love to hear from you.

 

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

 

 

List ideas Courtesy of Seek Publishing, Inc – Birmingham AL

5 Strategies to Get the Most Benefits Out of Your Social Security

5 Strategies to Get the Most Benefits Out of Your Social Security

It’s human nature to want to get the most out of everything. That’s why “stretching your dollar” appeals work so well.  It’s also why people spend 15 minutes scrounging that last bit of toothpaste from the tube (you know you’ve done it).

 

As you are approaching retirement, you’ll want to do the same thing with your Social Security.

 

Of course, there are a lot of strategies to consider, and this list definitely won’t be exhaustive (unless you want a Encyclopedia Britannica-length blog post). But if you have just started thinking about Social Security and how you’re going to squeeze those last few dollar signs out of the tube…this is a good place start.

 

Boost Benefits While Your Income Has Peaked

Social Security bases your benefits on your income over 35 years. They pick your highest income years and do some mind-bending, brain-busting, soul-sucking math equations and bam! Out pops your PIA, which is your monthly Social Security Check. Here’s the moral of the story: higher average earnings over 35 years= higher PIA= more money in your Social Security check every month.

 

I take it you are earning more now than you did when you were 30? So what would happen if you would work a few extra years, making your peak income? Those lower income years (when you were just scraping by) could drop out of the equation, leading to a better Social Security check. According to Elaine Floyd, a Certified Financial Planner from Savvy Social Security Planning, waiting to retire until 70 as opposed to 62 will you earn you an extra $31,000 in increased Social Security benefits. It’s not a lot, but taken along with an extra eight years of fat income, it might very well be worth the extra work. Or—as Floyd put it—the extra $31,000 is like “icing on the cake.”

 

Maximize Your Money By Delaying Benefits

Good things come to those who wait. Delaying benefits until 70, 67, or even 65 can be difficult. It will take a strong financial situation, strong health, and a strong will. But your patience will be worth it in the end.

 

In fact, your benefit payment goes up by 8% for every year after full retirement age that you delay. That’s a lot of cash. So unless you can’t afford to wait or you have a low life expectancy, I recommend waiting.

 

Take Advantage of Spousal Benefits

Spousal benefits are 50% of the other spouse’s PIA (monthly Social Security check). For couples where one spouse is obviously the “breadwinner” of the two, this is especially beneficial to know. Because—a lot of times—half of the higher income earner’s Social Security check is way more than the full amount of the lower income earning spouse. And you can’t take both. But keep in mind, in order to claim spousal benefits, you have to have been legally married for at least one year and be at least 62. It’s also important to note that both the husband and wife cannot claim spousal benefits at the same time, and—it almost goes without saying—they stop when you are no longer married.

 

Collect Benefits From a Divorced Spouse

You may never want to see them again, but you may want to see their money. Don’t worry…this isn’t stealing! It won’t affect their benefits at all. It works exactly like spousal benefits. You get 50% of what your ex-wife or husband gets in their Social Security check. The only key here is that you have to have been married for 10 years and not be remarried.

 

Collect Survivor Benefits

If your spouse has passed on, you can collect his or her benefits on their behalf. You will have to forfeit your own check, but a lot of times your husband or wife’s check is better anyways.

So there you have it—5 ways to maximize your social security. But it is important to realize: Social Security (like all things involved with the government) is very complicated. It takes a person with a lot of expertise to help you get the most out of your social security, just like it takes a person with a lot of muscle to work out that last bit of toothpaste.

Wondering when you should start Social Security benefits? Have Social Security questions that need answered? Discover more about our free Social Security workshop designed to help you answer your most pressing questions.

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements

When it comes to Medicare, you only have two big options. That’s it.

The piles of mail you’ve been receiving from various agents as you approach 65 do not represent hundreds of choices. There are only 2 ways to get your Medicare coverage.

First, I hope you have already signed up for Medicare (If not, hop on over to our blog titled “What Is the Fastest Way to Sign Up For Medicare? to take care of that, then come back and read the rest of this!).

The first way is just to stick with original Medicare—Parts A and B. Then you need what is known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, named as such because it “supplements” Medicare, filling in the gaps of what Medicare doesn’t cover.

The other option, however, is to get a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is an alternative to Original Medicare provided through private insurance companies that have contracted with Medicare. Although you still have to sign up for Parts A and B to be eligible, this replaces Medicare as the primary payer of your claims.

Choosing one or the other comes down to what’s most important to you. You can’t have both! What I am going to do is hold both of these options up to the light, side-by-side, so you can see clearly the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Check it out:

Medicare Supplement

 

PROS  

  1. Minimal Out-of-Pocket Spending

You won’t have much coinsurance or copays with a Supplement. Most of it is covered.

 

  1. Predictability

They are also fairly consistent from year to year. They do creep up in premium (see our blog “Beat the Medicare Supplement Creep”, but they rarely leap! The benefits are guaranteed to stay the same.

 

  1. Out-of-State Coverage

Supplements cover you the same whether you are in your home state or out. Vacation homes? Extensive trips? No big deal. You’re covered.

 

  1. No Networks

You are free to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare without sacrificing your coverage.

 

 

CONS

  1. Higher Premium

An in-the-ballpark average Supplement price is about $110 per month premium. This is higher than most Advantage Plans.

 

  1. No Drug Plan

Drug plans are not built in. You have to get a stand-alone drug plan, which cost an average of $34.10 per month in 2016.

 

Medicare Advantage

 

CONS

  1. High Out-of-Pocket Spending

Advantage plans have more of a pay-as-you-go approach. Higher copays, coinsurance, and unexpected costs are common.

 

  1. Unpredictability

Since Advantage plans are funded by government subsidy, benefits and premium costs tend to vary from year to year as a result.

 

 

 

 

  1. Out-of-State Coverage…Sometimes

Only in the case of emergency will you receive coverage out of your home state. Other than that, you’re on your own.

 

  1. Networks

They have them…networks of preferred hospitals and doctors. If you don’t use those preferred providers, you might have less coverage or—depending on the plan—no coverage at all.

 

PROS

  1. Low to No Premium

The average premium is somewhere around 60 dollars a month. Some are even free!

 

  1. Built-in Drug Plan

The vast majority of Advantage plans include a drug plan. No hassle or extra premium for you!

As you can see, the Medicare Supplement route is more costly, but there are a lot of benefits that give you more peace of mind and—all in all—less hassle.

On the other hand, the Medicare Advantage route is more economic, but it has fewer benefits, leading to unexpected costs and stress.

But both do their jobs. They both limit the potentially high out-of-pocket spending that is left by Medicare alone. Whatever you choose, don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Medicare alone is never a good idea!

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

Workshops

10 Medicare Terms To Get You Started

10 Medicare Terms To Get You Started

If you’ve ever done research in your life, you know that knowledgeable people sometimes overdo it. They use words that only other life-long Medicare experts would know.

 

And when you ask them to explain, what do they do? Use even bigger and scarier words to describe the ones you didn’t understand in the first place. Our philosophy: Never use a big word, when a singularly un-loquacious and diminutive linguistic expression will do the trick.

 

Over our 19 years of helping retirees, it has served us well. Now we are here to pass our knowledge onto you in words you understand. To get started, here are 10 commonly used terms:

1. Medicare

At the top of the list, I like to kick-it-off with the basics. Medicare is a government-run health care program for those over 65. It is also for younger people with disabilities or kidney failure, but its primary concern is to serve the older generation.

2. Medicaid

This is often confused with Medicare, but they are completely different programs. Although they both serve the same purpose (to provide health insurance), Medicaid is for people with low income. There is a chance that you might be eligible for both programs at the same time.

3. Medicare Beneficiary

This is you. Or if you haven’t signed up yet, it will be you very soon. A Medicare beneficiary is a person enrolled in Medicare, receiving Medicare benefits.

4. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The IEP is made up of 3 parts: the 3 months before you turn 65, your 65th birthday month, and the 3 months after. This 7-month window is the time that most people should sign up for Medicare. If you miss your IEP, it could lead to costly penalties. So pay attention. Like all time, those 7 months will fly by!

5. Part A

Medicare is divided up into 4 parts (A, B, C, and D). And Part A is your inpatient care. It includes nursing care, hospice, and some home health services. But—for the most part—it is coverage for when you are officially checked-in at a hospital.

6. Part B

Part B is exactly the opposite of Part A. It is your outpatient care, including lab tests, medically necessary supplies, and various screenings. To keep simple, Part B is care received while checked-out of the hospital.

7. Original (Traditional) Medicare

This one is simple. Whenever someone refers to original (or traditional) Medicare, they are referring to Parts A and B together.

8. Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Medicare Advantage is an alternative to original Medicare offered through private insurance companies that have contracted with Medicare. In other words, they replace Medicare as your health insurance provider. About 1 in 4 people choose Medicare Advantage, according to the Reader’s Digest. To find out the advantages and disadvantages of Part C, click here.

NOTE: You still have to sign up for Parts A and B to be eligible for Part C.

9. Part D

Part D is your drug plan. It covers your prescription medications. Also offered through private insurance companies, almost everyone signs up for Part D in addition to original Medicare (Parts A and B).

10. Medicare Supplement Insurance

A supplement is fondly nicknamed a “Medigap plan.” It is referred to this way because it “fills in the gaps” of what Medicare Parts A and B doesn’t cover on its own. Without it, you leave yourself quite vulnerable. There is no limit to what you could spend in uncovered health care costs!

That should be enough to get you started on this often-overwhelming journey of Medicare planning. As you continue to learn more and plan your retirement, we are committed to keeping you up-to date and informed…in words you can understand. How did we do? Leave us a comment below to pose any questions or concerns!

 

Turning 65 soon and confused about Medicare? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare! We put it into words you can understand.

 

Workshops

When Should I Take Social Security? — 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Decision

When Should I Take Social Security? — 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Decision

Wow. That is a whopper of a question. And with social security getting a lot more media coverage lately, it is a question on the forefront of many minds just like yours. Most experts will answer with a resounding “wait!” “Wait until your full retirement age!” Or even “Wait until you are 70!”

 

And I am inclined to agree with them on many accounts, but this only tells a little bit of the story.

 

The truth is that no one can offer you a definite yes or no, now or later, 62 or 70 answer. It depends on a great number of factors:  your personal goals, convictions, health, and financial situation. This is why—instead of trying (and failing) to answer the question for you myself—I am going to offer you some guidepost questions for you to ask yourself. If answered thoroughly, the questions will lead you down a path to a good decision.

 

1.  Will I Continue Working Full Time?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you are going to continue employment.  Because if you retire prior to your full retirement age, income matters when it comes to Social Security benefits. If you make it over the $16,920 a year earnings-test amount, Social Security begins reducing your benefit check. Having a higher income over your lifetime actually helps your benefits, but while you are receiving them—not so much.  In fact, for every $2 over the earnings-test amount, $1 will be deducted from your benefits checks for the year.

 

Allow me to put this into perspective. This means that a $2000 a month check ($24,000 a year) can vanish very quickly. Let’s put it this way: a person making $64,920 a year (48,000 over the earnings-test amount) will have all of their benefits reduced to zero. It would be like they never signed up at all!

 

Part time work to keep you busy won’t usually reach the earnings-test amount, but—in almost every other case—I strongly recommend waiting.

 

2.  What Resources Do I Have?

If you decide that you have had enough of your stressful job and decide to retire, you will no longer have a steady source of income. This is where drawing Social Security earlier can come in handy.

 

But there are exceptions. For example, If you have a strong enough financial situation, you can get by without your social security check and maximize your benefits no problem.

 

So check your storehouses. Do you have a sufficient nest egg? A retirement plan like a 401(k) or IRA? Investments? Pension income? In other words, do you have something to live off of while you let your Social Security benefits accrue? If not, then you need to take social security. But if you do, it might be a good idea to delay.

 

3.  What’s My Life Expectancy?

It’s also important to remember that waiting to collect Social Security benefits is still a trade off. If you collect at age 66, for example, you will get more checks in the mail than if you wait until 70 (48 to be exact). But if you wait until 70, you will receive checks that are 32% bigger. The decision you are really trying to make is this: Do I want more, smaller checks now or fewer, larger checks later?

 

This is where life expectancy swoops in to help. If you live a long life, larger checks later is usually the better bet because you will likely reach your break-even point, the age when the larger check begins to benefit you. (For an in-the ballpark figure, the break even point for many people is 10-12 years after their full retirement age.) But if you don’t, taking more, smaller checks now is the right approach. You may not have time to wait.  In that case, reap the benefits now.

 

In order to determine life expectancy, you can consider your current health status and your family’s history with longevity, but this would be a shot-in-the-dark speculation.

 

Instead, I recommend using a highly customized life expectancy calculator like livingto100.com. It takes into account everything from exercise habits, family history, all the way to how you barbecue your meats (not sure how this affects life expectancy) to create a truly personalized calculation. Of course, this is still speculation, but at least it is speculation based on carefully- researched scientific data. Not as much a shot in the dark.

 

4.  Am I Married?

If you’ve been married for more than a couple weeks, you know that marriage changes everything. From finances to weekend plans to what you’re going to make for dinner, you’ve got someone else to think about.

 

Marriage also affects Social Security. For instance, you might have poor health and a bleak life expectancy. In this case, it might make sense for you to take out Social Security early. But what about your spouse? When you pass away, your spouse receives your full Social Security benefit. If he or she lives long, it may still be beneficial to delay.

 

And this is just one of quite a few examples.

 

A Final Thought

I would like to emphasize this point one more time: the question of when to take Social Security is not one-size-fits-all. It’s not strategic to delay benefits if you don’t have the means to do so. But the “I might die tomorrow anyhow, so I might as well take it now” approach is not the best either. In order to get to the right answer, you first have to ask the right questions.  So analyze your situation, learn all you can, and—at the end of the day—sit down with an expert you trust to put it all together.

 

Need some help making decisions about Social Security? We are offering a workshop on Social Security planning on September 7 in our Sidney office.  You can sign up by clicking here:  Social Security planning workshop or by calling our office at 937-492-8800.  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to call our office any time.

Skilled vs. Custodial Care: Not Knowing The Difference Could Cost You Thousands

Skilled vs. Custodial Care: Not Knowing The Difference Could Cost You Thousands

Every once in a while a client of ours visits our office with a hefty nursing home bill for their spouse or family member.  They want to know why Medicare didn’t cover their loved one’s stay.  After all, doesn’t Part A cover inpatient services?  The exchange usually ends with a huff of frustration:  “Medicare doesn’t seem to cover much of anything.”

I sympathize with this situation.  I really do.  But I find that their annoyance with Medicare usually subsides with a little understanding.  What they need to know is the difference between custodial and skilled nursing care, two important terms for retirees that are often used interchangeably or left unused.

So What’s the Difference?

Custodial care is non-skilled care for help with daily living. Think bathing, eating, getting up, sitting down, and going to the bathroom. This is not to say this type of assistance doesn’t take any skill. In fact, I would argue that it takes a great deal of patience, perseverance, communication and an awful lot of compassion. But this type of care can be administered safely without the help of a licensed nurse. That’s the difference.

Skilled nursing care is exactly the opposite. This type of care includes physical therapy or injections. It is delivered by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. The driving idea is rehabilitation. They want to nurse the patients back to health, so they can take care of their daily living by themselves once again.

 

$ The Pocketbook Difference $

Here’s the dollars and cents difference: Medicare doesn’t cover custodial care, leaving you exposed to nursing home costs of 6000-8000 a month. However, it does cover the first 20 days of skilled nursing under part A (as long as you meet Medicare’s requirement for a skilled nursing stay).

 

This brings us back to our clients.

What they misunderstood was the nature of their loved one’s stay. Maybe it started out as skilled nursing care (and Medicare covered it), but transitioned into custodial care as the physical therapy or injections were no longer needed. Or maybe it was custodial care from the very beginning and their dad or brother or friend needs assistance over the long haul. Regardless, both of these scenarios resulted in overwhelming out-of-pocket costs.

The only way to combat these out-of-pocket costs is with careful planning. You can get a long-term care policy to cover custodial care. And you can get a Medicare Supplement to pick up the tab for days 21-100 for skilled nursing. It’s true that Medicare leaves a lot of gaps, so much so that it can feel like they don’t cover much of anything. But they are upfront about it, and they do deliver what they promise.

Need expert advice on Medicare? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.

 

 

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Do I Really Need a Medicare Supplement?

Do I Really Need a Medicare Supplement?

 

David Belk, a doctor and anti-supplement activist says, “…If you have Medicare and buy a supplemental policy with your own money, you are effectively giving an insurance company your money so that they can keep it.”

 

Wow. This statement is moving. For those who have had a Medicare Supplement Policy for years, it slaps you in the face with regret.

 

And for those who may not be on Medicare and have yet to purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance, it frees you. It justifies a decision that will save you money on premium month to month.

 

However, it is not entirely true. He has a point, but—ultimately—it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what insurance is.

 

If you take this statement at face value, it would imply that virtually all insurance is worthless.

 

Here’s why: in the vast majority of cases, people pay into insurance and then rarely use it. This is what keeps insurance companies in the black.

 

How many people spend thousands over years on homeowner’s insurance and never have their house burn down? How many people purchase car insurance and only experience a couple of fender benders over their lifetime? Are they essentially “giving their money away to an insurance company”? Yes, you could say that, and it wouldn’t be inaccurate, just a bit misleading.

 

Because you don’t buy insurance for things you expect! Rather, you buy it for things with a high dollar amount of risk and a low probability of happening!

 

You can’t insure what is high risk and high probability. Take Alex Honnold, for example. He spends his waking hours climbing steep ravines with no safety harness. For hours a day, he is one missed footing away from plummeting to his doom. Do you think he is going to be able to get life insurance? It’s almost laughable. This is a high risk, high probability scenario. Of course no insurance company will take a chance on him!

 

You can insure against a low risk, low probability scenario, but why would you want to? Do you want pet insurance for your grandson’s gerbil? Obviously not. Even a low-premium insurance plan wouldn’t be worth it. What did you pay for it? 30 bucks? Maybe fifty if it’s some hypoallergenic, exotic breed? Either way, it’s not a high enough risk.

 

So this begs the question…what does a supplement cover? Is it something that is low probability and high risk?

 

Well…there are varying coverage levels, but even the lowest premium plans cover Medicare’s scariest coverage gap: the unlimited out-of-pocket spending limit.

 

Sure, a lot of them cover “nickel and dime” copays and coinsurance costs that virtually eliminate hassle and reduce costs, but this is just icing on the cake. The real substance of a Supplement Plan is that it puts a cap on your potential out-of-pocket spending.

With Medicare alone, there is absolutely no limit to what you can spend.

 

One of our clients had triple bypass surgery and ended up with a $7,000 bill. My father-in-law with lung cancer had approximately $30-40,000 in charges for outpatient chemotherapy and radiation. I ran into a man who—after a few years of extended illness—racked up over $140,000 in bills that Medicare alone didn’t cover.

 

Can you imagine the devastation if any of these retirees forfeited Medicare Supplement Insurance? If these individuals had chosen Medicare alone, those outrageous bills would’ve been heaped upon their shoulders.

 

Now, what are the chances of this happening to you?

Not very high.

But that is the point! What are the chances that your house is going to burn down? What are the chances that your car will get totaled? You can cite statistics like Dr. Belk and say, “Look…not very many people need this insurance.” However, this doesn’t make those isolated cases any less scary. And it doesn’t change the fact that, from 2006-2015, Medicare Supplement Insurance companies consistently paid out over 75% in claims what they gathered in premiums. Insurance is not about whether or not you are going to get out what you pay in; it is about peace of mind.

 

So yes…I do recommend buying Medicare Supplement Insurance. You don’t necessarily need an expensive, luxury plan, but having something in place is essential. Even if you can’t afford a Supplement, you can (at the very least), purchase a low or no cost Medicare Advantage Plan that will cap your annual out-of-pocket spending at $4-6,000.

 

This won’t guarantee that you won’t be “giving an insurance company your money” but it will guarantee that you can live your retirement life freely and fearlessly, knowing that—in all those unlikely but possible scenarios—

 

you’re still covered.

 

Wondering how much a Medicare Supplement will cost you? Click here to use our Medicare Supplement quoting tool to find out!

 

 

Is Signing Up For Medicare Automatic?

Sample Medicare Card

Is Signing Up For Medicare Automatic?

It might be. A lot of things are nowadays. You can now set up your bank account to automatically pay for your bills. And do you remember the last time you turned on your computer, and it took 20 min doing automatic updates?

 

But Medicare enrollment? Most of the time—no. You usually have to call or go online or visit your local security office to enroll…unless…

 

Did you sign up for social security prior to age 65?

If you did, signing up for Medicare is, in fact, automatic. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail 3 months before you turn 65. As pictured above, it will have the dates your Medicare Part A and B will go into effect and your Medicare number (which you should protect very carefully). As long as you can’t think of a reason why you should delay Part B of Medicare, you are finished with this phase of the Medicare planning process.

 

But before you exit this window, I do have some bad news: you’re not done yet. You still have some major decisions to make. Do you want a Medicare Advantage Plan? Or a Medicare Supplement? What about Drug plans?

 

And—quite unfortunately—these decisions are not automatic.  But, the good news is that we can help you make those decisions.  Just call our office at 937-492-8800 to set up your free, no obligation consultation and we will put your mind at ease.

 

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

4 Ways to Make Exercise Fun and Get Healthy in Retirement

4 Ways to Make Exercise Fun and Get Healthy in Retirement

If you are concerned about your health as you approach retirement, you are definitely not alone. According to a Merill Lynch Retirement Study, 81% of respondents reported that health is one of the most important ingredients for a happy retirement.

 

Sure, an excellent way to take charge of your health is to exercise, but sometimes the last thing you want to do is set foot on the treadmill or in the gym. Exercise doesn’t seem like much fun…

 

Which is why you need to make it fun! This is my recommendation: instead of grudgingly conjuring up the will power to do exercises you hate, instead of dragging your feet to the gym, muttering the adage “it’s good for me”, why not craft a regiment that you actually look forward to each and every day?

 

Don’t believe it’s possible? Here are 5 ideas that might change your mind!

1.  Tie Exercise to a Goal—and Not a Goal Weight Either

And for you older men out there, I am not referring to your blood pressure or cholesterol settling in on the magic numbers either. No, I’m talking about a life goal. Instead of making exercise merely about getting healthy, make it about accomplishing something you’ve always wanted to accomplish. For instance, have you ever wanted to…

  • Hike in all 59 National Parks?
  • Take a week to bike across your state?
  • Finally clean out that attic or shed?

You can even sign up for a Relay for Life or another exercise-related fundraiser to help a good cause reach their goals!

Whether it gives you a sense of personal satisfaction, curbs your appetite for adventure, or helps someone in need, don’t make your goal about how many calories you’re burning; make it about the life you’re leading!

2.  Join The Right Crowd…

Unlike most high school peer pressure, peer pressure as you age can be a wonderful encouragement. And it can certainly help you keep active. Think sports leagues. Think hiking groups. Think dance classes. Check online or at a fitness center near you. And if you can’t find one, take a lesson from Jake Chesson, and start one! Being a part of a group will help you stay consistent in your exercise routine, of course. But as you develop friendships and a community, I bet you’ll find yourself enjoying it as well!

3.  …Or Just The Right Person

Don’t like crowds? Then use your exercise time to reconnect with just one person you love. Take your spouse out for a long walk by the lake or—if you are lucky enough to live near one—the beach. Exercise with your sister or your brother or a friend you haven’t seen in ages. You can even choose to play a game with a grandkid like kickball, tag, or even old school hopscotch. The Lord knows it takes a lot of energy to keep up with them!

4.  Incorporate Exercise into a Hobby!

Do you have a knack for building things? Then stop by Lowe’s and get started! Have you ever tried golf? Why not try 9 holes without a golf cart? Want fresh fruits and vegetables to complement your healthy lifestyle of exercising? Work up a sweat while planting a garden.

 

The point is you shouldn’t make exercise about exercise. Instead, you should infuse physical activity into your lifestyle, your goals, your hobbies, and the people you love most. It may take a bit of thought and creativity to find physical activities that you are passionate about intrinsically, but once you find them, exercise will cease to be drudgery. Your exercise will make your heart thump in more ways than one.

 

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

 

Photo:  http://newbridgespine.com/exercise-and-pain/