AARP Discounts: Consumer Cellular

In retirement it is wise to control your expenses and a good way to do that is to review your current expenses to see if there is a way to save some money by decreasing your pay outs for existing services. This is a good exercise actually for everyone regardless if you are retired or not.

I called the cable company and was able to reduce my monthly expenses, at least for a few months. Good start.

So I took a look at our cellular phone bill and was surprised to see how high the cost has gotten.  We had the same large carrier for over 20 years now and I think I have fallen asleep with regards to scrutinizing their bills. I figured I should be able to do better than this. So I contacted them but they were not willing to reduce the costs, just offered to give me a little more services which I didn’t want.

So I did some checking around and found Consumer Cellular through AARP was offering very reasonable fees for all the coverage we needed. We could save some serious money by switching to Consumer Cellular.  With AARP membersip benefits activation is free and you get a 5% discount every month on service and usage charges with no contract. So the cost and terms were much better than my existing plan.

Consumer Cellular is Less Money But Are They As Good?

I checked the community website where we will be moving to shortly and three people in the discussion group said they have Consumer Cellular and have fine service. Others also say the service is fine, in fact they used the same towers that AT&T and T-Mobile use.

So do I have to use one of those big phones? Nope, you probably can use your existing phone if it has a SIM card. So mostly likely you can use your existing phone or purchase one of many types of phones from them at a discounted price.

I called them and the representative was very helpful. Plus they have 100% USA based support.

Another plus in my book was that they have no contracts so I am not locked into one of those two year contracts again. Their 100% risk free guarantee means you can try Consumer Cellular for up to 45 days with 450 minutes and cancel with no charge whatsoever as I understand it. Also the representative told me that there are no hidden fees, no shipping nor credit card fees.

So if you are looking for an easy way to save on monthly costs without giving anything up, a look into AARP Consumer Cellular might be worth your time. Phone: 1-888-429-7449

AARP Consumer Cellular
AARP Consumer Cellular

 

 

Thanks to the ladies at the Consumer Cellular booth at Life@50 in South Beach for posing for the photo I took that appears at the top of this post. And thanks for the helpful info.

 

 

 

#AARPdiscounts



UnitedHealthcare Insurance | AARP Medicare Plans

Strolling the exhibit floor here at Lifeat50+ in Miami, my wife Mary Ann and I came across the UnitiedHealthcare booth. We know them well as they are our Medicare insurance company for the last two years, so we asked to take a photo with them you see displayed at the top of this post.

Baby Boomers Get Medicare Insurance

Two years ago, Mary Ann and I were among the millions of baby boomers turning age 65 and had to decide which Medicare insurance company to provide either Advantage or Supplement policies for us. Oh we got plenty of information, lots of mail almost everyday touting one company or the other. We were overwhelmed and just stacked the medicare mail in one large stack!

However as time drew closer we signed up for basic Medicare as everyone must and went about trying to interpret this huge amount of information being thrown at us. The Medicare.gov site was a big help,  providing  a complete description of benefits of each plan offered in our area and we started to match up plans with each of our needs.

Choosing a Medicare Insurance Company

So with the Medicare plans regulated and set by the government, there was only the matter of which insurance company we would go with, either for supplemental or advantage plans.

We talked with several Insurance companies about Medicare coverage but at the end of the day both Mary Ann and I went with UnitedHealthCare Insurance Company.  I went with the UnitedHealthcare Advantage Plan and Mary Ann went with the UnitedHealthcare Supplemental  Plan.

UnitedHealthCare

The reasons I chose UnitedHealthcare for my Medicare insurance was they are the single  largest health carrier in the US with the biggest network and all my doctors accepted the plan I chose. I liked that they were endorsed by AARP. I also liked that a representative came out to meet with us in person and helped us match a plan to each of our needs.

UnitedHealthcare Delivers For Us

So last Fall Mary Ann and I were heading out to dinner with the neighbors when a pain developed in her side and she ended up in the ICU at Emory Johns Creek Hospital for 7 days. She had her gallbladder removed, but only after an extended bout of heart A-fib. Mary Ann has completely recovered now. Importantly  to us, we didn’t have to worry about the Medicare insurance part. We just gave them Mary Ann’s UnitedHealthcare insurance card along with her Medicare card and that was that.  I just asked Mary Ann if we had to pay anything for her hospital stay and she almost nothing. Her supplemental plan covered the approved charges not covered by Medicare.

Preventive health checkup
Preventive health checkup

UnitedHealthcare’s Optum service has a nurse visit your home for a free evaluation and testing. This is a preventative measure that they take to make sure there are not any overlooked problems needing treatment. This is the photo my wife took of the practitioner testing my blood pressure at my dining table last week.

Needless to say, during last December’s Medicare Open enrollment period we both stayed with our UnitedHealthcare policies. The UnitedHealthcare representative, the same one who came to our home a year earlier to help explain the plans, contacted us asking if we had any questions and to see how things were going. In my book, it is nice to have someone you have met with available for questions at any time.

So seeing the UnitedHealthcare booth at AARP’s Lifeat50+, we just had to stop by and say hello.

AARP Health Care Plans



Tips on How to Travel Safe This Summer

If you are a retired boomer like Mary Ann and I, then you are probably doing 4 or 5 trips a year now that you have the time.  Travel while you can is our motto.

Having no children or relatives at home, we do wonder how secure things will be while we are gone on one of our trips.  With Summer trips coming up, it is a perfect time to think about this and do some planning.

This morning I saw this:

Some AARP Tips on How to Travel Safe This Summer

  • Protect your home:  Unplug all major electronics and lock all your windows. Also, have a friend keep an eye on your home. If something goes wrong have a home repair service on speed dial. AARP members get 20% off HomeServe USA home repair plans.  A security system can also add a little peace of mind. If you don’t have an alarm system now is the perfect time to buy one, AARP members get 20% off ADT installation and $2 off monthly monitoring.
  • Protect your finances: According to a survey on identity theft 18 percent of respondents said they have had sensitive information lost or stolen while they were traveling. More than a quarter (27 percent) of all respondents said they brought their Social Security cards with them on their trip. One suggestion is for travelers leave their valuables in their hotel room in a secure location. Only bring what you need. Also, be wary of putting your personal information in public computers, many record key strokes. If you are still concerned, AARP members can get 13 percent off custom ID protection through AARP Identity Theft Protection.
  • Plan ahead: Make copies of your travel documents. Buy travel insurance in case you need to cancel your trip or something gets lost. Also, make sure you have access to a phone while traveling in case of emergencies. Mostly importantly, tell a close friend your travel arrangements. Make sure this person can deal with any emergency situation.

These are good tips that may help us baby boomers during our travels.  Be prepared and have a safe Summer!

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

 



Florida Boomers Head to Miami for Life@50+ Event in May 2015

We were just down in Florida visiting The Villages last month now we’re heading back to Florida to attend the AARP’s Life@50+ Event in Miami May 14-16. I bet this event will have lots of Florida 50+ folks attending.

We found out there are 110,000 people living in The Villages near Orlando and everyone there would be 50+ and ideal candidates to make the trip down to Miami to attend the three day Life@50+ event. In fact Florida has more retirees than any state so having the Spring AARP event in their state is a big plus.

I have attended Life@50+ events myself for the last two years and have written about the reasons you may want to consider attending this year Life@50+ in Miami. See my post here: Reasons to Attend Life@50+.

My wife Mary Ann and I plan to take the trip down from Atlanta to Miami to attend Life@50+ Miami and already started making our plans. You can check out the list of speakers and celebrities who will be there as well as register here on 2015 Life@50+ National Event & Expo in Miami- AARP site.

We have found we enjoy the travel as well and get to experience a new city for a few days. We always take a city tour and sample the local restaurants and that makes the trip even better. Hope to see you there, I will be the guy with the Retirement Media Inc. hat on.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler



AARP Travel, Vacations and Tours are Popular

AARP Travel,  Vacations, Tours are Popular

The nonprofit membership organization AARP (for individuals 50+ years of age) has long offered senior group travel and tour options for its members – and now it has improved its offerings even further with the launch of AARP Travel. This great new travel website has detailed destination information, special offers, and even an interactive Trip Finder to help prospective adventurers age 50 and older choose an exciting (or relaxing) tour or travel destination.

Baby boomers, the largest age demographic in the country, are moving into the age of retirement – and are seeking new experiences and social interactions to enjoy.

Boomers want experiences, not more stuff at this stage of their lives.

AARP-organized vacations, travel packages, and tours are ready-made senior-friendly travel options that can meet those needs while specifically catering to the desires of 50+ travelers.

Through relationships with Liberty Travel and Expedia, among other travel industry leaders, AARP can offer its members incredible group deals on some of the most sought-after travel destinations around the world.

Some of the favorite domestic AARP member vacations include Las Vegas packages, Hawaiian getaways, Washington, D.C. stays and tours, and New Orleans Jazz Festival experiences, and other offerings in major cities such as New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Portland.

For those looking to travel farther afield, there are a wide range of international travel options. You may enjoy tours of Paris museums, explorations of Barcelona and Rome, rail tours in the UK, cruises among the Galapagos Islands, and guided trips of Hong Kong, among many other destinations.

Available choices include fully escorted tours and small ship cruises, or independent travel with a planned itinerary and access to customer service support.

If you are looking for the right tour or travel package, even without a destination in mind, the interactive Trip Finder application on the AARP Travel website can help guide you toward some of the organization’s many offerings with “visual questions,” using photography to represent the geography, styles of travel, and activities offered by various packages.

The AARP also has a new travel relationship with Liberty Travel, offering personalized travel agent expertise, as well as discounts and exclusive benefits for AARP members. Many more travel companies and services are listed on the AARP Travel site.



The Boomer List

The Boomer List - Mary Ann and Robert
The Boomer List – Mary Ann and Robert

While at LifeAT50+ in Boston Mary Ann and I stood in front of a green screen for a photo and then was handed this photo.  It was kink of interesting, but what is “THE BOOMER LIST”.

Several of our friends were asking about THE BOOMER LIST also so I contacted Jen Reeves with AARP and received a press release about THE BOOMER LIST which explains everything.

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last of the baby boom generation will turn age 50 by the year’s end. To mark this momentous occasion, AARP today announced it is partnering with renowned American documentary filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to present The Boomer List, a comprehensive look at 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom from 1946-1964. The Boomer List will come to life later this year as an American Masters documentary film on PBS, a companion book, and an exhibit at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, a museum that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and is one of the city’s top attractions.

OK so it’s a documentary movie, thus the movie poster overlay on our photo above. What a great way to advertise a movie – give people a movie poster with them in it, to share with the world like I am doing here.  Wow, very cleaver.  Good move AARP!

The Boomer List documentary will highlight notable figures including music legend Billy Joel and novelist Amy Tan, author of “The Joy Luck Club,” and will debut in fall 2014 on PBS’s award-winning American Masters series. Viewers will gain insight into the Boomer generation through intimate interviews and portraits by Greenfield-Sanders that focus on exceptional achievement, struggle and identity, telling the story of extraordinary Americans and the history they lived through and often created. Film subjects will illuminate the important movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years. Topics will include the environment; arts and entertainment; science; civil, LGBT and women’s rights; law; politics; public service; sports; the military and technology.

Well this could be interesting, but celebrities are not the only ones who lived through what we lived through.  I guess they couldn’t interview each one of us Boomers could they. That would take a long time.

Additionally, the 19 large-scale boomer portraits will be part of a nine-month exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., highlighting newsworthy people from the baby boom generation. “The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders” opens Sept. 26, 2014, and will be on display through June 2015. Throughout the exhibit’s run, the Newseum will host a series of special programs and events that explore how boomers changed the world and the legacy they leave for future generations.

I wonder it their portraits will also have the movie poster overlay?

The Boomer List is the latest initiative announced as part of AARP’s yearlong program, Boomers@50+, which is sponsored by Consumer Cellular and celebrates this influential generation. This multi-platform initiative provides opportunities to reflect on how boomers have changed the world and to ask the question, “What’s next?” AARP will highlight The Boomer List as a central element of the celebration. To find out more about the baby boom generation and the events that shaped boomers’ lives, visit www.aarp.org/boomers.