What Most Americans Fear About Retiring

 

 

Have you ever lied about your age? Wished you could stay 30 forever? Spent too much time looking in the mirror, agonizing over new wrinkles? Been upset because you’re having trouble keeping up with your kids and grandkids?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you have gerascophobia.  That’s the fear of getting old. And most of us experience it at some point or another.
But what scares us the most about aging?

According to our survey, the biggest fear among Americans is that we’ll suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia or another age-related mental illness. That’s completely valid, seeing as Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) affects between 2.6 million and 4.5 million adults ages 65 and older. Yikes.
The second most pressing concern is that we’ll run out of money. That too is understandable given that 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for retirement. In fact, 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings. And we’re living longer than ever… so how are we supposed to afford our golden years?
While both of these fears are very real and sometimes unpreventable, there ARE ways to reduce the chances that they’ll actually occur.
If you’re afraid of losing your mental health, make a healthy lifestyle a priority. Eat well. Exercise. Socialize often. Stimulate your brain by learning new things, reading or doing crossword puzzles.
And if you’re worried about not having enough money, it’s never too early (or late) to start saving more. With a few simple strategies (like the ones outlined in Marc Lichtenfeld’s new book) and cost-cutting hacks, you can build up your nest egg.
Do what you can to be prepared.

By Amanda Tarlton
Assistant Managing Editor, The Oxford Club Saturday, April 28, 2018

You Don’t Have to Drive an Uber in Retirement: How to Maintain Your Lifestyle without Getting a Job or Cutting Corners Hardcover by Marc Lichtenfeld  (Author)

 

 

 

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Planning for Future Health Care Expenses

Excerpted from article by Bob Cochran

Now I come to health care – what might future costs be, how to survive the gauntlet of Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Prescription Drug Insurance, and other pieces of this constantly changing puzzle.

For a number of years, I have recommended clients reaching age 65 work with a person who specializes in Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Prescription Drug, and other areas of health insurance. For an annual fee, she gathers personal information, including health status and current prescription drugs, then finds the insurance companies and plans that best match each person for the lowest cost. But just as important, she helps complete enrollment and claim forms and helps resolve all medical claims issues.

For my wife and me, doing this was a no brainer. We have worked with her for two years, and we both had changes to our Supplement and Prescription Drug plan in our second year. We would not have done nearly as well left to our own devices. For us, it is money well spent. Since she does not sell anything but her services, if we decide to move to another state, we can continue to work with her. She can work with people in any state.

It is important to know that when you turn 65, you must enroll in Medicare. There is a seven-month window beginning three months before the month you turn 65. To avoid a potential gap in coverage, it is important to know that Medicare benefits begin the month following the month you enroll. The official U.S. government site (ssa.gov) is quite good and full of information. It details what services Parts A and B cover, as well as what Medicare does not cover. For people who work past age 65 and work for a small company (fewer than 20 employees), you should know that Medicare will be your primary insurer, with your company plan (if there is one) as secondary. For larger companies (20 or more employees), your group coverage is the primary insurance, while Medicare is secondary. If you miscommunicate this to health care providers, it could cost you denials for claims. Trust me on this. Part B enrollment can be delayed if you are still covered by a health plan with an employer that has more than 20 workers.

If you work for an employer with fewer than 20 employees, your employer may opt out of providing you with primary coverage when you turn 65. In that case, you must sign up for Medicare as your primary insurance. You’ll also want to ask your employer what happens to any coverage for your dependents — spouse or children.

It may not be cost effective for people to pay for both Medicare and their group plan, since the cost of Medicare (A & B, plus supplemental insurance, plus prescription drug coverage) could be less than a group plan. But you (or the insurance specialist you hire) should run the numbers. I dropped my expensive small company group plan because of the small number of enrollees and my age.

You should know that Medicare Parts A & B do not cover most dental care, as well as eye exams and prescription eyewear or contact lenses. I have had many clients and their spouses get a lot done while they were still on their company eye and dental plans. My wife and I are already scheduling appointments prior to my retirement. I am fortunate that my company plan allows us to remain in the dental and vision options on a stand-alone basis.

Medicare also does not pay for long-term care (also called custodial care). We purchased insurance for this a number of years ago. It is a traditional policy, and we elected a daily benefit that will pay approximately one-half of the expected costs. Our thought is that our sources of income will continue, allowing us to make up the difference from cash flow. We don’t know what the future of this insurance is, and the current premiums are not inexpensive. Products are coming and going at a fairly rapid pace. We hope our decision will allow us to tackle these expenses, if they occur, and still be able to realize our designated charitable gifts when we pass. Yes, it is a crap shoot. But we will probably never collect on our homeowner’s insurance, either.

In summary, health insurance costs will go up. There is no doubt about that. I would suggest having a separate expense item for health care expenses in your retirement cash flow projection, and use a significantly higher inflation factor than the CPI. And consider the services of a health care insurance specialist (not an insurance agent), who can sort through the maze of options and find the best option for your unique situation. The person I used for clients, and the person my wife and I use is:

Leanna Hite
Claim Care, Ltd.
614-459-8990
lhite@claim-care.com
http://www.claim-care.com

This entry was posted in BobC on May 1, 2017 by Robert Cochran.

I Hope to Find Something to Love

I hope you find something to love
Something to do when you feel like giving up
A song to sing or a tale to tell
Something to love, it’ll serve you well

I was born in a tiny southern town
I grew up with all my family around
We made music on the porch on Sunday nights
Old man with an old guitar smoking Winston Lights

Old women harmonizing with the wind
Singing softly to the savior like a friend
They taught me how to make the chords and sing the words
I’m still singing like that great speckled bird

I hope you find something to love
Something to do when you feel like giving up
A song to sing or a tale to tell
Something to love, it’ll serve you well

Tonight we’re lying on a blanket in the yard
The wind is cold the sky is dark and the ground is hard
But your momma loves to count the stars at night
So if I get a little chill that’s alright

I hope you find something to love
Something to do when you feel like giving up
A song to sing or a tale to tell
Something to love, it’ll serve you well

You were born on a hot late summer day
We turned you loose and tried to stay out of your way
Don’t quite recognize the world you call home
Just find what makes you happy girl and do it ’til you’re gone

I hope you find something to love
Something to do when you feel like giving up
A song to sing or a tale to tell
Something to love, it’ll serve you well

Peer Review

I have always wanted to be the best at what I was doing, if it interested me. Otherwise I did not care about it. This could help explain why I got Top Honors for 7th grade Algebra while getting an F in 7th grade English (life may have been better if other way around, my spelling has not improved).

When I started at Blue Cross in 1977 my goal was to be the best auditor there. I vowed that when I knew more than the approximately 120 people in the department and had learned all I could from them I would consider another job. By the early 1980s that goal was accomplished but other reasons kept me at Blue Cross until January 1989.

At Blue Cross we had periodic meetings of the senior auditors and supervisors to discuss Medicare audit issues in our auditing of Hospital Medicare cost reports. At one of the meetings I suggested that we conduct internal peer reviews. All audits were reviewed by supervisors who varied in their approach and findings but that was not my issue. I was advocating that senior auditors could learn from each other and we would all improve by peer reviews. If Walt’s audit was reviewed by Mitch, it would help one or both of them. Likewise, if my audit was reviewed by Stan and I reviewed Mitch’s, etc. The other senior auditors “shouted” me down in horror at the idea.

In the early 1990s the National Association of Home Care (NAHC) had an advisory committee, mostly of consultants, that reviewed issues for discussion and research. This committee would eventually become the core of the Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA). I am proud to have been a member of both the committee and HHFMA since 1994. At a meeting of the committee, about 1995, I suggested, unsuccessfully, to the members that we consider doing peer reviews. Cost reports prepared by me could be reviewed by Jim, and so forth as similar to my proposal at Blue Cross. The problem here, of course, is that the consultants are all from different firms and no one wanted to have their work looked at by competitors. My effort to improve the body and standard of work did get me on the NAHC subcommittee to create a certification for home care financial people. The effort collapsed by 1998 due to the industry’s problems with the major and disastrous Medicare reimbursement change called the Interim Payment System (IPS).

Today neither peer review nor a certification program for home health care financial people is on the horizon. Times change and perhaps neither is needed today and certainly other issues are more pressing for the home health care community.

Mr. Cellophane

https://youtu.be/JX5lYVqTxgI

 

If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised their voice up way out loud
And waved their arm and shook his leg
You’d notice him

If someone in the movie show
Yelled, “Fire”, in the second row
This whole place is a powder keg
You’d notice him

And even without clucking like a hen
Everyone gets noticed, now and then
Unless of course, that personage should be
Invisible, inconsequential me

Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name
Mr. Cellophane ’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me and never know I’m there

I tell ya Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name
Mr. Cellophane ’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me and never know I’m there

Suppose you was a little cat
Residin’ in a person’s flat
Who fed you fish and scratched your ears?
You’d notice him

Suppose you was a woman, wed
And sleepin’ in a double bed
Beside one man, for seven years
You’d notice him

A human being’s made of more than air
With all that bulk, you’re bound to see him there
Unless that human bein’ next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished you know who

Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name
Mr. Cellophane ’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me and never know I’m there

I tell ya Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name
Mr. Cellophane ’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me and never know I’m there
Never even know I’m there

Hope I didn’t take up too much of your time

 

 

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Mister Cellophane – Joel Grey

Mister Cellophane – Joel Grey

Why Baby Boomers are Waiting to Retire

Gallop reports that nearly half of all Baby Boomers still working state they do not expect to retire until they are 66 years of age or even older, despite the average United States retirement age being 61. This statistic includes one in ten who claim they will NEVER retire. While some would blame an uncertain economy and more financial responsibility for contributing to this rise in retirement age, there are several factors that are keeping Baby Boomers from leaving the workforce.

Financial Preparedness – Any plans Baby Boomers had to retire were put on hold when the economy took a turn for the worse in 2008-2009. Economic uncertainty put fear into this generation, causing them to continue in the workforce for longer than they intended. At the top of this list are those who did not prepare themselves financial for retirement years. Combining poor planning and an uncertain economy made many question if they were ready to retire.

Health Care and Insurance – According to an Ameriprise Executive Vice President, one of the top concerns of retirement among Baby Boomers is their health care costs. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, there was a fear that it would cause a drain on the U.S. economy. This drain could leave retirees with fewer options and less comprehensive choices for care. A lack of understanding Medicare benefits and what retirees are entitled to under this plan, also caused concern for this generation.

Keeping the Mind Sharp – Research shows that keeping the mind active could help to stave off some neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s. Going to work and completing projects gives this generation a sense of purpose and keeps them thinking. Many that DO decide to retire after 30 years with an organization, do so only to take up freelance or part-time work in an area of interest to them. While some continue working out of necessity, many continue because they love it.

While there are several reasons why Baby Boomers continue to work out of necessity, we need to realize that many work because they want to, and they can. This generation continues to be a valuable asset to the organizations they work for by mentoring the Millennials that are currently entering the workforce. While Millennials may be more technologically proficient, they certainly will not have witnessed the various trends in business that Boomers have experienced. Utilizing a mentoring system can help both generations feel necessary and successful within a company.

Interestingly enough, Millennials are more open than other age groups to accept mentoring opportunities within your organization! Consider the implications, and look for opportunities like these to engage your more mature work force to provide meaningful relationships between Baby Boomers and those who can learn from their life experience.

Tom Zeleny, Aspen Associates, www.aspencanhelp.com

A Quiet Prayer

Father:

Thank You for each and every day You have blessed us here on earth.
Thank You for Your tender mercies.
Thank You for giving us friends and family to share joys and sorrows with.
I ask You to bless my friends, relatives, brothers and sisters and those I care deeply for, who are reading this right now.
Where there is joy, give them continued joy.
Where there is pain or sorrow, give them your peace and mercy.
Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence.
Where there is need, fulfill their needs.
Bless their homes, families, their goings and their comings.

Amen

 

No Hard Feelings

https://youtu.be/tFGs7HP15d4

No hard feelings

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Will I be ready?
When my feet won’t walk another mile
And my lips give their last kiss goodbye
Will my hands be steady?

When I lay down my fears
My hopes and my doubts
The rings on my fingers
And the keys to my house
With no hard feelings

When the sun hangs low in the west
And the light in my chest
Won’t be kept held at bay any longer
When the jealousy fades away
And it’s ash and dust for cash and lust
And it’s just hallelujah
And love in thoughts and love in the words
Love in the songs they sing in the church
And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven’t done
Much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Where will I go?
Will the trade winds take me south
Through Georgia grain or tropical rain
Or snow from the heavens?

Will I join with the ocean blue
Or run into the savior true
And shake hands laughing
And walk through the night
Straight to the light
Holding the love I’ve known in my life
And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven’t done
Much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
Under the curving sky
I’m finally learning why
It matters for me and you
To say it and mean it too
For life and its loveliness
And all of its ugliness
Good as it’s been to me
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies

My feelings as I turn 70

 

True Sadness

https://youtu.be/WrlMqM0QgXI

 

True Sadness

You were a friend to me when my wheels were off the track
And though you say there is no need I intend to pay you back
When my mind was turning loose and all my thoughts were turning black
You shined a light on me and I intend to pay you back

But I still wake up shaken by dreams
And I hate to say it but the way it seems
Is that no one is fine
Take the time to peel a few layers
And you will find
True sadness

When I was a child I depended on a bottle
Full grown I’ve been known to lean on a bottle
But you’re the real deal in a world of imposters
And I’ve seen the program make men out of monsters

‘Cause I still wake up shaken by dreams
And I hate to say it but the way it seems
Is that no one is fine
Take the time to peel a few layers
And you will find
True sadness

Angela became a target
As soon as her beauty was seen
By young men who try to reduce her down
To a scene on an x-rated screen
Is she not more than the curve of her hips?
Is she not more than the shine on her lips?
Does she not dream to sing and to live and to dance down her own path?
Without being torn apart
Does she not have a heart?

I cannot go on with this evil inside me
I step out my front door and I feel it surround me
Just know the kingdom of God is within you
Even though the battle is bound to continue

‘Cause I still wake up shaken by dreams
And I hate to say it but the way it seems
Is that no one is fine
Take the time to peel a few layers
And you will find
True sadness

True sadness
True, true sadness     

 

 

The Ballad of Love and Hate

https://youtu.be/6Pre7bINBps

Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate
“My vacation’s ending, I’m coming home late
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
And I can’t wait to see you again”

Hate reads the letter and throws it away
“No one here cares if you go or you stay
I barely even noticed that you were away
I’ll see you or I won’t, whatever”

Love sings a song as she sails through the sky
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes
And everyone knows it whenever she flies
And also when she comes down

Hate keeps his head up and walks through these streets
Every stranger and drifter he greets
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
With a serious look on his face

Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow
Carrying with her the good things we know
A reason to live and a reason to grow
To trust and to hold and to care

Hate sits alone on the hood of his car
Without much regard to the moon or the stars
Lazily killing the last of a jar
Of the strongest stuff you can drink

Love takes a taxi, a young man drives
As soon he sees her hope fills his eyes
But tears follow after at the end of the ride
Because he might never see her again

Patience, patience, patience

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive
He screams over the sidewalk and into the drive
The clock in the kitchen says 2:55
And the clock in the kitchen is slow

Love has been waiting patient and kind
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign
That the one that she cares for who’s out of his mind
Will make it back safe to her arms

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door
Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor
He says, “Love, I’m sorry, ” and she says, “What for?
I’m yours and that’s it, whatever
I should not have been gone for so long
I’m yours and that’s it, forever
Your mine and that’s it, forever”

 

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