It’s that time of year when we are thinking about what to buy or make for gifts. What’s the right thing? What do they want? What will they use??
For some folks you know exactly what to get but then for others you have no idea!! Some people seem to have everything they want and never ask for anything – even when you ask them what they want. So, then you are searching and wondering and worrying as what to get.
Oft times there are not so obvious gifts we can give….
Fuel oil – wouldn’t it be so cool to get 150 gallons! Who would say no to that!!
Newspaper – if they read it every day or just on Sundays, they’ll be thinking of you as they are reading
Amazon Prime membership – yup that’s my gift!! I use it all of the time!!
Something to do with their hobby
Quilter – fabric store gift card
Woodworker – Home Depot card
Senior Center membership or put it on their trip account – give them a stack of $1 bills to use for their lunches
These are just a few ideas and then you could make coupons they can redeem for things like….
A ride – anywhere they want – maybe to go leaf peeping or a visit down memory lane
Go to church with them
Invite them over – have dinner – watch a movie – play a game
Include them in your family outing – take them to the little league game, the scout meeting, the school play
You don’t have to spent much to make someone’s day!! Often, it’s free to make them happy!!
As the holidays approach it becomes almost prime season for the scams to pop up. There is the feeling of good will and sharing. There is the end of year giving for tax purposes.
And there are the schemes out there looking to catch you in your weak moment. We have all heard of the lady getting taken advantage of for thousands of dollars. She goes to the bank and transfers her savings to the love of her life overseas.
Well that guy who convinced her to send her savings is trying to convince dozens of other ladies to send him money as well. And he laughs all the way to the bank!!
Now you wonder. How do I not fall victim to these scams? How do I keep my guard up?
One big way is to not answer the phone when someone you don’t know calls you. When your phone rings and it’s a number or name you don’t know – let the phone continue to ring and have your answering machine answer. All of those unwanted calls do not leave messages.
Now you can block those numbers from calling your again and again. If you don’t know how to block numbers, ask a family member or friend to help you.
Otherwise just let it ring every time they call you. Do not answer!!
Also, you can register for free with the National Do Not Call Registry. This can be done online at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-866-290-4236. Registrations do not expire. If you have previously registered your number, there is no need to register again. You can also check to see if your number is already on the Registry at donotcall.gov
Then there is Junk mail. Don’t even open it. Shred it!! Remember it’s called junk mail for a very good reason!!
Do not send anyone money. Don’t send money to those organizations that are out there doing mass mailings and asking for your hard-earned dollars. If you think it’s an organization you want to help, research how much of every dollar they get goes to help the people they are asking you to help. Lots of times it’s pennies. The rest goes to the campaign to raise the money.
And if you want to help those less fortunate than you consider giving locally. There are many different groups in your area doing marvelous work and can always find a great way to use your dollars. Often, it’s much more meaningful for us when we see how that agency, we gave money to is helping those in our neighborhood, our town or our area.
Once upon a time the doctor we went to for everything was our family doctor but now they are called our PCP or Primary Care Providers. They can be MDs, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. We go to them for a yearly exam, a cold, and other common medical problems. If you don’t have a PCP it can become very hard to get any other health care.
We need a Primary Care Provider who fits into our insurance plan, will be available for the majority of our health issues and who we have trust in. Someone we feel comfortable talking to.
The problem often is when our trusted doctor retires or moves. Our insurance no longer covers our doctor. And now we need to find someone new.
Generally, we will ask our family and friends who they use. What they like and dislike about that provider and their practice. Then is the provider covered by our insurance. Are they part of that network? Are they taking new patients?
You also can ask other doctors for recommendations. You can ask your dentist or pharmacist as well.
Then the next step is… Are the Primary Care Providers you’re considering easy to get to? Do their office hours work for you? Again, double check that they are part of the network of health care you are in.
Once you have narrowed it done to one, two or three Primary Care Providers, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Go for a visit and see if you like them. Did they take enough time with you? Did they seem interested in you as a person? Did they answer your questions? Was the office staff helpful and friendly?
If the answer is yes to the questions that are important to you then you’re all set. Otherwise keep looking!
Don’t settle. This is an important decision. Perhaps one of the most important decisions you make.
Remember not everyone likes the same people or the same professionals. That’s why there are so many to choose from.
Find the Doctor and the practice that fits you so that you are comfortable when you are the sickest knowing you are getting the best health care available.
Dates and deadlines you need to know:
October 15, 2019- Annual Enrollment Period Begins
This is the first day you can enroll for 2020 health coverage.
December 7, 2019- Annual Enrollment Period ends
This is the last day you can enroll for 2020 health coverage.
January 1, 2020- First date coverage can state
Even if you enroll in December 2019, your new Medicare plan won’t go into effect until January 1, 2020.