Being retired gives me the time to read more than I ever did when I was working every day. Sometimes being busy with a job can be a cushion from discovering some really worrisome facts that you may just hear about, but not really see the fine details. That may be the situation you are in when it comes to thinking about healthcare costs for you and your family. Healthcare costs are a reality that just might be the reason why you are just one step from financial disaster!
The Big Fear
It’s a fear that we all have, the fear that we may have to face financial ruin someday. We may not know exactly how or why, but it is something we sometimes do think about. Most often it comes when you lose your job or if you are really unlucky you might have to face some sort of natural disaster like a flood, fire, or weather event that sets you so far into debt you can’t see ever climbing out of that hole. But the number one thing that can send you into financial hell is much more devastating and personal then suffering through a hurricane.
Now that the holidays are here, you are right in the middle of experiencing the “rush” of a lot of fun and happy celebrations. But as we all painfully do know, sometimes the holidays can also bring difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Holiday stress can also involve long to-do lists and financial strain to make things even worse.
By no means am I trying to bum out the holiday season. Quite the opposite. Whether you have specific and unique reasons or not that can interfere with a happy holiday, we all go through some kind of stress during the month of December. The reasons can be simple or complex. Time pressures, money pressures, and family pressures seem to come together into a “perfect storm” and sometimes it’s really important to take some caution so that you can enjoy and yet keep your health and sanity too. That’s why I am suggesting some self–care precautions to get us through the holiday season and make it safely to 2019! Continue reading
It’s hard to believe, but it’s that happy time again for those who have Medicare benefits and use Medicare Advantage plans when the open enrollment period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th 2018 for 2019. You’ll get the hint I am certain when you begin seeing the massive advertising, mail, and phone calls about it starting any second, but this time around there is something to actually celebrate.
The good news just ahead for Medicare recipients are some potentially big savings. The over 60 million people who currently participate in the program (which has been around for over 50 years now) benefit from lower administration costs than private insurers have and that is despite the losses from fraud which it suffers from. But for 2019, things are about to get even better.
It’s rare that I can report to you that there’s such good news, but with very little fanfare and parades, this is the case thanks to the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed into law last February. The bill covers a lot of important and even controversial spending changes as it always does, but when it comes to changes that are lowering the cost to our healthcare and affect Medicare then bravo and thank you are in order! Continue reading
Whether you’re truly overweight like me, or you just think you need to lose a couple of pounds, you’ve probably been sucked into the diet phenomenon at some point in your life. After all, you’ve seen the TV commercials, maybe read some reviews, or even known people who’ve lost a bunch of weight with one of the many weight loss programs. Or maybe, like me, you’ve tried one, two…or ten of them in an attempt to improve your health and your look. So what’s wrong, if anything, that a not-so-small percentage of customers complain about failing with them? Can you actually succeed long term with any of them?
Hey Mr. and Mrs. America, You’re Fat!
As a country, America seems to have a real weight problem, greater now than ever before. You may be or may not be actually fat, but you are still often feeling the pressure of losing a few pounds because of health or the ever-present social pressure we all live with to be thin and look “good”. As if you can’t really look good with a little meat on your bones! Continue reading
Got money on your mind? That’s not surprising, considering it affects so many aspects of our lives. It’s almost impossible not to think about money since we are bombarded every day with all kinds of talk about spending it, earning it, and well even just worrying about it, like your retirement planning or paying off your debts. Money obsession is real. There is almost no way to escape it except perhaps by pulling the blanket over your head and sleeping a little more, but even with that you do risk the potential of dreaming about it!
Of course, thinking about money can be beneficial if it does lead to actions that can improve your finances and your life. But, and it’s a big but, when it becomes a preoccupation or obsession with your finances, it can also be very harmful, and I am not just talking about its mental effects either. How can your obsession with money hurt you? It can actually hurt you physically, financially, and emotionally! Continue reading
For today’s guest post on the cost of hearing aids, please welcome Josh from DoctEar.
As we age, many adults find they are having problems hearing. In fact, Sarah Sydlowski AuD. Ph.D., Audiology Director of the Hearing Implant Program at the Cleveland Clinic stated in an article she published that, “Approximately 17 percent of American adults (36 million) report some degree of hearing loss, a condition in which a person is partially or totally unable to hear in one or both ears.” The good news is that most people who suffer hearing loss can be helped by using small devices commonly known as hearing aids.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons people put off purchasing hearing aids, even after they notice they hear others speaking in an indiscernible mumble or misunderstand what is being said.
One reason for waiting may be the misconception of what it is like to be a hearing aid user. They believe that hearing devices are ugly and highly noticeable. However, hearing aid technology has improved tremendously in recent years, with devices becoming smaller, more sophisticated and easier to use. Continue reading
Understanding all of your choices and getting the most out of Medicare can be overwhelming. According to the National Council on Aging, more than half of Baby Boomers ages 60 and older find the program and its alphabet soup of Parts A, B, C and D very confusing. Today I’m going to answer 5 key Medicare questions to help clear things up.
Before we get to those questions, here’s the details you need on getting started. Continue reading
I have a serious drug habit. I’ve had it for the past nine years and I am not able to quit it. No, I’m not breaking any laws by taking drugs nor am I robbing any bank or committing any crimes to get them. All I have to do is see my doctor regularly and get a prescription and I’m in business. Unfortunately for me and my wife, filling those prescriptions each month is costing a small fortune and puts a serious dent in our personal finances. On top of that, the problem of prescription costs only increases from year to year. But then again, what choice do I really have about it all? I need the drugs.
My Medical Condition Heads South
In case you don’t know all the details as to why I am in this situation, dependent on prescription drugs to maintain my health and prevent my deterioration any further, let me give you a brief medical history as to how I got myself into this mess. Continue reading
You’ve heard me say it before: staying healthy is an important way to save money. But how do you get or stay healthy when you’re busy and stressed? I’m sure we all start each day thinking that today is the day when we will try really hard to cultivate some of those healthy habits into our lives. Unfortunately, way too often, convenience wins out over our good intentions. I have to plead guilty as charged right here!
While we all realize that shopping for fresh ingredients at the supermarket to make a meal at home is far healthier than stopping at the drive-thru at McDonald’s, it’s so much damned easier, quicker, and convenient! But guess what, there is some good news on this subject. New business services and technology are making it easier than ever to incorporate healthy habits even into the busiest lives! Continue reading
You may be wondering “Why should I be reading about living to 100 and what does this have to do with me and my personal finances?” Interestingly enough, you do have a good question there. You might be in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s and thinking, “Please Gary, I have so much to worry about, why that subject now?” Well, truth being told here, you probably won’t live to be 100. But what if you do?
How many people are living to 100?
Centenarians, once a rarity, are the world’s fastest growing age group. Since 2000 when there were 50,281 of them here in the US, the group has grown by 44% to 72,197 (as of 2014). That makes this age group just about 0.003% in the United State, yes still small, but almost three times as many as there were in 1980 according to a report by CNN in 2016. Continue reading