Resources

    Be a Part of the System!! – Content by Judy

     

    We just had another election.

    Did your candidate win or lose? Are you happy with the results? Or are you disgusted…. with the results… the candidates… the road we are headed down?

    Earlier this year I wrote… “I recently was at a networking event and we were asked “What is important enough to you that you would protest for it?” That is a pretty deep question to answer when you don’t know those around you. My answer was “our basic rights”. The freedom of speech. The right to assemble. The right to bear arms and the right to vote.

    And this country was founded so we as individuals could not be suppressed. We have freedom of speech which enables us to voice our beliefs and we need to continue to exercise all these basic rights.”

    As we reflect on the results of this election, we need to look for better candidates at every level. Talk to your friends and family. Ask them and yourself which Office, Committee or Board needs help and what you can offer. Then reach out. Make the phone call. Write an email. Step up! All Towns and Cities have many positions that need to be filled every year. I can guarantee they will welcome your offer of help.

    When you see something you don’t agree with, don’t just complain and write an angry post or comment. Ask others what they think and how they feel about it. Learn them. Figure out how the situation or problem can be changed or fixed. Then work towards doing just that.

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  -Gandhi

    Don’t settle for status quo.

    We need to stand up and be a part of the system. We need to be a part of the process. We need to hear each other and be respectful. We need to bring our differences together.

    We cannot just complain and expect someone else to “fix” things!!

    Take some time and reflect. Decide what you believe in today. Challenge yourself.

    And as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    Now go out and be a part of that change!

    Yearly Healthcare Coverage Checkup – Content by Judy

    Every year – usually in the fall it is time for all of us to do our annual check to see if our insurance will be meeting our needs for the next year. We all need to look at our Medicare, what we have for a supplemental and what our prescription policy covers.

    So, for Medicare – do you have Part A and Part B? A covers the hospital and B covers about 80% of all of the other approved services. Part A is covered when you apply for Social Security and if you select to have Part B it is taken monthly out of your Social Security.

    To cover the other 20% of Part B, you can choose a supplemental insurance and there are a lot of plans to pick from. Or you can choose to self-pay that 20%.

    If you choose to have a supplemental plan, then you should review that the plan you have is the best one for you for the next year.  Then pick the company that offers your plan at the lowest monthly rate. All plans at each level offer exactly the same coverage. They just charge different fees.

    For example, Plan G might be offered by 14 insurance companies. The prices can range from say $200.00 a month up to say $500.00 a month. The coverage is identical in all of the Plan Gs, so buy the $200.00 a month plan and you will save a lot of money.

    It’s very similar when you check for your prescription plan which is Part D. Buy the best deal for you. Deciding is a little more complicated as you want to check that the medicine you are taking is covered by the plan you buy. Visit Medicare.gov and select “find health and drug plans” and plan on spending a half hour or more checking what you have, and which plan will be best for you next year. Be sure you are comparing drug coverage, deductibles and copays.

    Then there are Medicare Advantage Plans. These are very similar to an HMO or a PPO where you pick providers from the in-network list. Generally, there is no monthly premium for health coverage. You might need to change doctors but maybe not. And these savings sound very attractive but be sure you are prepared as you will have copays for visits to the doctor, fees if you go to PT and for other services. These out of pocket costs can be as high as say $5,000 up to $6,700 for in-network before your plan kicks in again. And remember this is per person.

    So if you are picking a Medicare Advantage Plan you might want to set up a separate bank account with $5,000+ in it so if you or your spouse falls ill you have the money to pay those out of pocket costs. No one needs to be worrying about money when dealing with an illness or accident.

    With all of this said, set aside at least an afternoon to review your coverage, your insurance plans, changes in your health and your prescriptions for the last year, then look into what coverage you want for next year.

    If this is overwhelming, reach out and ask an expert for help. Visit SeniorCenterCt.org and call your Senior Center or Senior Resources. All of the phone numbers are there for you. And the sooner you do this the better. Open enrollment starts Oct 15 and ends December 7th. If you do nothing your coverage will stay the same as what you have now. So, start today looking at your coverage and deciding if you need help. Those professionals are waiting for you to call and best yet their help is FREE!

    Get a Job – Content by Judy

    Now’s the time! Companies are hiring! Big and small. Full time and part time.

    Just figure out what are you looking for? Do you want to do the same type of work you did before? Do you want to do something totally different? Do you want something to keep you busy and get you out of the house? Maybe find a job that goes along with your hobby?

    Do you want to work just part of the year? If so, retail hiring for the holidays, garden centers, landscape companies.

    Check out schools. They are hiring nurses’ aides, substitute teachers, Paraprofessionals, bus monitors, and office staff.

    Do you like wine and know a lot about it? Check out the area wineries and see if they have seasonal openings.

    What about the golf course? Work part-time and maybe play for free. The same with a gym, maybe.

    What population would you like to work with? Kids? Maybe a day care or a school? Be a nanny.

    With food? How about a restaurant or a bakery??

    Maybe you want to work in a big box store and take advantage of the discount they give to workers?

    Do you want to meet a lot of people? So, maybe a receptionist? Telemarketer??  How about a service desk clerk? Customer returns?

    What do you want from a job? Extra money? Structure? Identity? Being able to travel?

    Could the job, you are looking for be at a bank, perhaps an online job? Maybe sales where you earn commission based on the sales you make – if that is the case the sky could be the limit for your income.

    Home Care agencies are always looking to hire. So are Nursing Homes and Rehabs. Those jobs could be in the kitchen or laundry at the Nursing Home, a companion, a Certified Nurse’s Aide, taking people to appointments, maybe light housework.

    To find these jobs. Tell others you are looking. Look on Facebook. Lots of times companies post jobs there. Ask at the places you go to each week. Volunteer then get hired.

    And what about tutoring? Were you a teacher? Are you really good at math? Are you already helping some kids with remote learning?

    Right now, with what is going on with COVID, some families are looking for more one-on-one situations. You could teach using ZOOM. You could help kids figure out and organize the assignments that the schools are giving them. It can be every hard for families where both parents are working to then come home and find the time to assist their students every day. And you could be the person they need.

    Also, some families are grouping up and hiring someone to teach all the kids. This would be great if you are a retired teacher!!l

    You can easily put yourself out there on Facebook or LinkedIn with what you have to offer and then anyone interested can private massager you. Depending on what you want to do, you do not ever have to actually meet person to person. You do not even need to live in the same area. You could be in Milwaukee and the student could be in Denver.

    The time to apply is now!! Research. Develop a resume and cover letter. Even if you do not need those, they will help you rediscover your skills and talents. Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer.  And if you get rejected, do not put yourself down. It is not personal.

    Just move on to the next opportunity and “Get a Job”

    CONTENT BY JUDY – Perennials, Active Agers, Baby boomers – CONTENT BY JUDY

    Just what are we? And are you paying attention to us??

    A search for a term that doesn’t offend is taking place. Trying to avoid terms like senior citizen, retiree, elder and the elderly. The question becomes what do we call everyone 55+?

    Terms are materializing that are perhaps more appropriate and appealing.

    The term, Baby Boomer was created and has been used since all those World War II babies were being born. This group has changed and revolutionized the United States as the have passed though each phase of aging. And they will and are changing and redefining the term senior each day. Just look around – they are not stationary, boring or old.

    The title, Perennial has been around for several years now and refers to blooming again and again. And yes, we do that again and again during our lives. We become young adults striking out on our own. We become homeowners, parents. So forth and so on as we parade along the paths of our lives. Ever changing and blossoming into the “new” me.

    Active Ager is a newer term and defines seniors as young at heart, tech-loving, gym-using, trend setting, fun-seeking marketer’s dream. This term might be the best fitting so far as each generation is truly younger than the generation before them.

    Whatever term you use 55+ adults are strong, happy, healthy. They are using and buying what they choose. They want the same products all ages want and use. They are not to be overlooked as they are living longer, working longer, staying healthier and maintaining their independent as well.

    Call them what you will but remember they spend over $3 trillion on products and services each year.

    Museums to go – Content by Judy

    As we continue down this untraveled road, we keep looking for new things to do. We often wonder what is open. What is closed? Have the hours changed? Have they gone virtual? Are they using Zoom or something like that?

    So, let’s see if we can figure some of that out… Let’s take a look at what’s going on with Museums….

    And once you start looking, I think you will find amazing opportunities!! You will be able to visit places you have only read about or learned about in school. And the visit is very real and much better than just looking at pictures!!

    One site I found – upgradepoints.com – has 75 best museum tours around the world that include art, history, science, and technology. From this site I visited…

    The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. In the main museum complex, you are able to visit all 3 stories and see 1,000’s of pieces of art plus the entire building which of course is a work of art in itself. And do not forget to look at the ceilings!! To a degree you can move around almost as if you were there. The added bonus of these virtual tours is no one is in your way!!

    Katie Bourque posted an article in March with a massive list of 30 amazing virtual tours of museums, zoos, and theme parks. I visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This tour is so clear that you can read the plaques for each display. You touch on blue arrows to move and then can zoom in for unbelievable details.

    How about going to a children’s museum?? The Minnesota Children’s Museum even has activity ideas and hands on activities you can do at home. You will have some new things to do with the kids.

    So, when you are sitting home you can travel the world and see amazing works! You can even revisit a museum you have been to years ago. See what is different and what is the same!

    And do not overlook visiting a zoo or a theme park. At many zoos you can watch livestream cameras of pandas, penguins, elephants, koalas or go on a home safari daily at the Cincinnati Zoo.

     

    All of this is a great escape!! Invite others to go with you. You can all visit the same day and conference call as you tour or even afterwards over a glass of wine. Perhaps on another day invite your grandchildren to come along as you go to the zoo.

     

    Hey, visit several art museums. Browse around. Find what you like and be inspired… Order some watercolors or acrylics and paint your own picture. You might discover you have talent or even if you do not have talent it might still be a whole lot of fun and when things are better you can take some lessons. Almost all Senior Centers have art classes. From drawing to painting to collage and more.

    So, do something different today!!