Boomers: Save on Medical Expenses

As Boomer turn age 60 they are facing larger medical expenses from health insurance premium increases and doctor visits. Here is how one Baby Boomer became proactive to manage his medical costs.

How We Saved on Medical Expenses

When I turned age 60 I was jolted with a large health insurance premium increase. My wife also pointed out how much we were paying for other medical expenses. This prompted us to review what we were spending and the objective was to see what we could do to reduce medical costs now that we are semi-retired. We have been able to substantially save on our medical costs, mostly by being smarter about it and being proactive. Here’s how we did it.

1. Shop for a Better Deal on Health Insurance Since we were self employed and paying our own premiums the raises at age 60 were really hurting. We both shopped around and I was able to change from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Aetna Insurance and saved $261 per month for similar or better coverage and deductible. My new policy has dental coverage for two preventive visits per year saving me another $225. My wife has a preexisting condition and wasn’t able to get a better rate. Annual Saving: $3357

2. Call Your Insurance Company for Coverage Before Making Doctor Visits You can’t trust your doctor’s office to do this for you. They don’t know your coverage and don’t know how many visits you have had or how much you have spend towards your deductible. Calling your insurance company yourself is a major way to save on medical costs. Call the 800 number on your insurance card and tell them of your planned visit to a medical office and the purpose. Find out if it will be covered and do they have any suggestions. A lot of times it just depends on when, where and to whom you go for medical treatment. It can make all the difference in how much comes out of your pocket. Always call and take notes of who you talked to and what they said. Do not rely solely on coverage books or on-line information. Make the call.

For example for my annual routine eye exam I used to visit a board-certified ophthalmologist, a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems and the cost was $110 per visit and my insurance was not covering any of it since I did not have vision care. I called my insurance company to see what was covered and they said they covered eye exams by an optometrist, an eye care professional, like those at LensCrafters, so I changed and get the same comprehensive eye exam. Annual Saving $110

3. Time Visits to Your Policy Coverage Your policy may have a limit number of covered doctor visits per year. Also keep in mind if you have met your annual deductible. Don’t delay needed medical treatment but scheduling routine visits to your advantage really helps keep your cost down.

My wife need an overnight sleep study for Apnea so the doctor’s office scheduled it last December saying they had checked and it would be a covered expense as a doctor visit. But she had a 6 visit coverage limit on her policy which they didn’t know about. My wife knew she had used here 6 visits and rescheduled the sleep study to January. It was covered. Annual Saving $1800

4. Change to an In Network Doctor Call your insurance company to find a doctor in their network. This can make a huge difference in coverage. My story is that for my annual physical I tried to look up a doctor near me that was in my insurance company’s network. There were so many plans like mine that I couldn’t tell for sure what plan I had. I selected a doctor and called their office to verify they were in the network but they said they couldn’t advise tell either. I went ahead but it was not covered and I paid $400. This year I called my insurance company for a in network doctor. Come to find out that there was a doctor in the same office I went to last year that was in my network. Annual Saving $400

So the above steps resulted in a saving to us of $5673 in one year. I feel we received just as good or better medical service and saved lots of money. We will continue to be proactive in managing our medical expenses. I know there are lots more ways to save on medical expenses to be learned. We know no one will manage our medical expenses better than us. It is really not that hard to do, it is just recognizing you can make a difference by asking questions and participating in this part of your life which for so long was not as significant factor as it is now.

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:18:17.

Baby Boomers Can Save by Banking On-Line

online banking
Save with On-Line Banking

Baby Boomers, have you tried on-line banking? You might want to consider it. To feel safe, put a month or so’s worth of money in a separate account in your bank. Make that your on-line account. Try paying your bills for a month and see how you like it. Pay small bills first so that you can become familiar with how it works. It looks like some of the mega banks use the same system. It also looks like some of the mega banks don’t purchase as fully functional parts of banking on-line as some of their competitors. Pay the big bills by check for the first month and evaluate how you like it.

2 things you should see right from the start.

  • The first is that you will be able to pay your bills in much less time than before you banked on-line.
  • The second is you do not have to pay for postage.

If the individual or business you are paying does not have a way to receive electronic payments, then the bank will mail the check to the Pay To party at their expense. I save money and I save time. Has a payment ever arrived late due to no fault of my own. Yes and the bank will get involved in your behalf. Check your terms but my bank will take care of the late fee and any penalty. They will follow up with the Pay To party to make sure your account is credited properly when they are alerted by you that the payment has not arrived as it should have. You can have the bank alert you when it is paying your bill; that is automated in that you set it once by payee and it will always respond to that payee as you indicated. You can set up recurring payments as well. I have not paid individuals and companys by getting electronic bills but I still receive paper bills and pay them through my bank. You can also view your account’s activity for deposits, withdrawals, etc. It is helpful to have some of this information when you rectify your monthly statements.

If paying bills on-line is not for you, just cancel the on-line ability to transact business from this account or try another bank as it may have software more to your liking. You are the customer and things should be done the way you want to do business. If you are not comfortable, go to where you are comfortable. Take small steps, try new things that make sense and that others are using. Ask your friends if they are using on-line banking and how they like it. What do they like? What would they like to change? Which financial institution are they using? Are they using credit unions? Based on what I have read, I would not suggest doing this from a cell phone or a wireless connection. I would only use an ethernet cable connection from your computer to your home modem and only access your on-line banking from home through a favorite so that you do not mistype and go to a website with a similar name that may scam you. If you change passwords, payees or payee’s information for example, the bank automatically emails you and this helps prevent fraud. For more information on good deals, discounts and bargains, you might want to try www.discountdealguide.com

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:05:37.

Boomers, Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

Some folks received flowers and candy today.  Others enjoyed a romantic dinner or a movie. For Valentine’s Day, I had a flash back to the past.  Yes, a flash back!  Now we are talking a long way back.

There was a hand made Valentine”s holder pinned to the wall.  It was stuffed with Valentines.  As a matter of fact, it had more in it than all the other holders on the wall.  Slowly, I removed the holder from the wall.  I laid it gently on the table.  Then I reached for the largest valentine in the folder.  The envelope was bright red.  The words, I love you were printed in bold on the front next to my name.  With my small hands shaking, I slowly took the card out of the envelope, as others watched in anticipation.

I opened the card.  It was signed, “Love, Johnnie.”  My heart beat fast as I read the words.  I looked up and it happened right there.  Yes it did!  Johnnie puckered up and laid the big one on my lips.  It was wet and messy.  The others started to giggle.  Yep, that was my first kiss.  The memory is as strong as if it just happened yesterday.  It was kinder garden class.  The giggles echoed from my friends.  Johnnie’s two front teeth were missing and there he was with a dumb GRIN  on his face.  What a visual!  I didn’t know whether to crawl under the class room table or cry.

Now I can look back and laugh about the silliness of being a child.  There has been a few years since that episode happened.  Many kisses have passed these baby boomer lips.  That kiss was special, even though it did not feel like it at the time,because it was the FIRST.  Now I am waiting for my last kiss.   If his teeth are missing so be it.  I say, “No matter what age you are pucker up and enjoy the moment!”  These baby boomer lips are not ready to retire.  🙂

In all sincerity, I hope each of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Do you remember your first kiss?

Originally posted 2012-02-14 22:14:59.

Boomers Are Going Into Their Retirement Years

Baby Boomer Generation

When I was a child, I was around many older people.  Even my own parents were considered elderly. I was only ten years of age.  They were in their 50’s.   I came from a small town where people knew the value of  a dollar.  Hard work was just what people did. The really older folks, such as my grandfather, shared stories of working in saw mills.  Work days were from dusk until dawn.  Evenings were for resting and preparing for another work day. If school was in session, parents made sure that children did their homework.  Much of the evening was spent reading and writing by the entire family.  Bedtime came early after all home work and chores were completed.  The nights were short because the work days started very early.  A work week could easily consist of six days.  Sunday was a rest day spent relaxing, going to church and enjoying the family.

I really do not remember much talk about retirement in those days.  As a matter of fact, what I do remember is folks working until they were very old.  There were still cows in the pasture to milk, chickens to be fed, and wood to be chopped for the fireplace or heating stove.  There was a lot of preparation to get the crops in before the bitter cold winter arrived.  Also families worked together to assure that they were prepared to survive the winter months as mother nature came roaring in with snow,ice and chill factors below zero.  Time did not stand still.  It took much longer to do things such as laundry, cooking, lawn maintenance and such.  Yes, the old wringer wash and tubs took a lot of time, not to mention hanging the clothes on clothes lines. Then there was ironing not permanent pressed.    Meals were fixed on a hot cook stove.  Potatoes were peeled and mashed.  Green beans were picked from the vines, washed and snapped.  Corn was shucked, cleaned and boiled.  There was no such thing as a microwave.  I can remember my Father mowing the lawn with the push mower as mother prepared  meals.  There was no weed whacker just hand clippers.  Then there was the regular watering of the flowers with a garden hand held hose as soon as the sun went down.  After the evening meal,dishes were washed in the sink by hand and then towel dried. Of course they were put back in the cupboards to be used again the next morning.  Pots and pans were cleaned with Brillo pads.  There were no automatic dish washers or no stick pots and pans.

In our home we did not even have running hot water.  We heated bath water on the stove.  This too took awhile.  Water to wash clothes in was heated in a big black kettle outside with a fire built from wood under it.  Everything that we did appeared to be a long process of work.

So you might be thinking to yourself as you are reading, “What is the point of this story?”  Therefore, I am going to tell you.  Most of us boomers have been working since we were knee high to a grass hopper as the old saying goes.  This boomer is TIRED.   My retirement DREAM was NOT to keep on WORKING at age 63 but it appears that is what life has in store for me and some of you.  We are  boomers though that have seen many rough times.  We made it then and we WILL make it now.  Maybe the good ole days were good preparation for what ever life challenge that we have today.  Now some of you boomers that are in the over 55 communities enjoying life, you will still be able to meet adversary because you have been conditioned in your early years.  So live it up!  Enjoy every moment.  For those of you that are ready for that lazy boy recliner, enjoy the heck out of it.  Then for those of you that like to learn and stay busy, remember to visit your local senior centers.  You can volunteer there too if you are still into working.  Oh let us not forget, live healthy, eat green vegetables, exercise to keep that body strong and in shape.  Do that for yourself too.  Who knows where health care is going.  It  still beats the the town Dr. that we had in my childhood. He only showed up one day a week.

My question to you is this; Do you boomers really think that we had the easy life as I read so much about in the news?  Did we really set out to destroy the world for those that follow us?  Were we not just trying to live and survive as those before us did and those after us will do?  I say one thing that was true before my time, during my time and hopefully after my time that will remain the same is just this:  It will always take Love for One Another to Make the World Go Around.  As soon as we can all get over the blame game,the sooner each of us can get on with that most important thing of all; Peace, Contentment, Love and Living!  As I have said before and I will say once again, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE!  May peace be with you as boomers go into their retirement years.

Senior Community Guide for: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Lake Oconee, Las
Vegas
, Los Angeles, Miami,
Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Reston, Richardson, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, Tucson

Originally posted 2011-12-08 11:59:02.

Boomers Find A Perfect Way To Relocate

Us Baby Boomers in retirement are finding moving to a new location is in our retirement plans. We entertain moving for  different reasons.  A main reason is  to get closer our children and especially the grandchild. Another is we prefer to live in an area with less traffic and more natural amenities.

Many  are moving to 55+ Active Adult Communities and find them the perfect way to relocate. Moving to a large 55+ Active Adult Community,  like offered by Del Webb, Cresswind or several others, has immediate benefits, several of which I will outline here.

Why Relocate to a 55+ Active Adult Community

A ready group of new friends awaits you. Everyone is very friendly at 55+ Active Adult Communities and by sharing some activities and social events,  you will find new friends very easily.

The location is great for retirees. The developers have already scouted out the location to be desirable to retirees before building the community. There are community supports already in place, like a hospital, medical specialist, natural beauty.

Many fellow residents will be in the same boat as you, having relocated to the area. I shouldn’t say many, almost all have relocated there. There is a feeling of we are all in this together and that encourages supporting each other.

There is plenty to do right in the community. You will not miss a beat finding something interesting to do. There will be quite a selection of activities and clubhouse events to get you out of the house and doing something fun with people you will like.  Plus being active is healthy.

Your new community will provide you with a base camp from which to explore the area. Moving to a new area can be fun and interesting. The Residents community web site will list suggestions for things to do outside the community and there are organized day trips from the clubhouse as well.

In no time, you will have new friends that enjoy the activities you do. This will turn into social friendships as well.  This may be the biggest benefit of all.

Find 55+ Active Adult Communities.

Robert Fowler

Originally posted 2017-11-28 06:37:25.

Don’t Let Life Keep You Down

Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down. This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

Folks, this has been one of those weeks.  I am sure that you have had them too.  It is after midnight. Sleep will not come.  I need to write.  As I have said before, writing is healthy.  It is time to stand up and continue on.  Life is to be lived.  It is short.  Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down.  This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

  1. If you receive a message by text or face book that is upsetting, try to accept the fact that texting is the way things are done in this modern day and time. It is a way to communicate.  If it upsets you then let that person know.  If you don’t need email or text then you might want to consider taking it off your telephone and computer. Learn from written messages.   We must remember that there are real people using computers and telephones.  We do not know how their life is going.  They may be  suffering from an illness, or going through a difficult time.    Be appropriate when communicating.
  2. Do not expect others to think like you do.  Do not expect others to deal with death or any grief situation like you do.  Everyone has their own way of working through things in their own time.
  3. Try not to take your anxiety out on someone that is close to you, as you go through your grief process.  They are grieving too, but they are NOT YOU.   Share your feelings but respect the feelings of others too.
  4. When you get to the anger part of grief, do not give up. Feel it!  If it is necessary to drop a tear or two, then do it.  Try to keep your mind focused on the moment.  Stay centered.  Be real!  Share with people that understand and care.  Do what you need to do.  Just don’t allow anger to become YOU.
  5. Use slogans such as, “Easy Does It, First Things First, and Keep It Simple, This Too Shall Pass.  Try to get in touch with the spiritual part of yourself.
  6. Take time to breathe.  Do not go back to unhealthy habits or behaviors.  Remember, this only sabotages getting through the grief.  It hurts you and sometimes those closest to you.
  7. Kick something. Smack a pillow.  Tear up a telephone book.  Get rid of that negative energy.  There is enough hurt right at the moment.   Be gentle with yourself.
  8. Cry if you must.  Those are your tears.  You can let them drop.  If you are a man and feel it will hurt your image, then go some where alone.  Let them flow.  Crying is natural.  Let those tears wash away the pain, then wipe your face off, get up, and face the world.  You can do it!  After all you are a boomer, remember!
  9. Show compassion.  Be real.  Do not deny your feelings.  Console others.  Listen.  Rest. Do what you need to do to deal.  It is your life.  You have that right.  Exercise your rights as a boomer with wisdom in a constructive,understanding and loving way.
  10. Grief is a natural part of life that must be done in order to carry on.  Be who you are.  Put your best foot forward.  You are experiencing life.  You will probably remember happy times, sad times and  laughter.   That is what LOVE  is all about and this is life.  Live it!  Share your feelings and thoughts because much later in your life, you may find yourself at an age, or in a situation where you are unable to communicate.

I just wrote some of my thoughts and feelings down. I have shared them with you.  It helps to write.  I want to thank those that have encouraged me to write again as I put on my big girl pants and continue on in this thing called life.  By sharing, I hope that you always know that there is someone out there that cares.  You are not alone.  Put on your big girl or guy pants and take a boomer walk with me.  Peace, love and light!

Senior Centers offer lots of support – see SeniorCenterDirectory.com

Originally posted 2012-02-10 15:26:36.