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.





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 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.


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