Kate Flora here, taking time out from editing a book and trying to get a good new author photo (check out the one at left, the current front runner) for my forthcoming books. I’ve been sorting through the pile of mail on my desk and found myself squinting at a piece that arrived this week. It’s a small booklet that, reading through it, has given me great insight into the Social Security and Medicare systems.
I now know that the best reason for not raising the age at which we become eligible for Medicare has little to do with lobbying or the AARP. Nor is it primarily concerned with the effect raising ages might have on helping America to balance the budget or bring our deficit under control. Nope. After reading through the many pages of this booklet (and the frequent notices that a longer handbook is on the way), this is my conclusion: We are urged/expected/required to sign up for Medicare when we’re already battling presbyopia and facing the awfulness of sixty-fifth birthdays because, Lumosity exercises notwithstanding, this is about the latest point in our lives when we may have the vision, wits, and stamina to sort through the system to figure out what we need and how we can go about acquiring it.
There. Now you’ve been warned. There will never be a time in your lives when you’re more tempted to hand this to someone, preferably an expert, (but anyone else but you will do), and say: Handle this. Choose me the best plan. Gaze deeply into your crystal ball and anticipate which drugs will be prescribed for me in the next decade, then choose the plan that will cover them, will not change its coverage, and will involve the least paperwork, hassle, wrongful billing and terminal confusions.
My best advice for you, when the ominous envelope appears on your doorstep, is to practice mixing the perfect martini. Remember, this takes a lot of practice. Indeed, I think the same envelope that brought this dire pamphlet ought to have had a second pamphlet included: choosing and mixing the perfect martini–a guide for those turning sixty-five.
But wait! There’s more. The unavoidable announcement of the official arrival of old age reminds one of other coming failures. Eyesight. Hearing. Mobility. So I believe there ought also to be yet another brochure in that packet: Cat glasses, Choosing the Perfect Cane, and How to Pimp Your Walker.
Once again, these are probably things we need to be doing now, while we can still walk, and see, and use a glue gun. Don’t think cane, think hiking pole or walking stick. Think about the fun you’ll have, while agility is still in the cards, doing up your walking stick in different camps–you can have the beach camo cane, the forest camp cane, even one with colors designed to disappear into your living room’s decor. And walkers? Man, get the one with the seat, and brakes, and the basket to carry your goodies. Maybe you could go grand, and plan on having a scooter. In fact, why wait? On line advertisers assure you that you can get a scooter and have the government pay for it. Not that scooters are much use in the winter we’ve been having, but you can also start considering your retirement venue.
Yup. I knew that if I stuck with this topic, I’d find all of us a bright side. We’re going to have fun prepping for old age. Arts and crafts. Cane … uh …hiking pole painting. Glue gun crafts. The lapel mic with waist pouch battery pack so that even if we can’t hear them, we can make darned sure they can hear US.
Now that you see the happy and bright future that lies ahead, pull up a chair and let’s get started on the next phase: Exercise
The experts tell us that exercise for the over sixty crowd must have three components: cardio, flexibility, and strength training. So here are some quick and easy tips. You will get all the cardio exercise you will get all the work you need raising and controlling your heart rate trying to sort out the above mentioned Medicare plans. Trying to work out the budget that allows you to live on Social Security with no return on savings or investment. And as for flexibility? I suggest investing now in several pairs of shoes or boots with those newfangled laces that won’t stay tied.. Bend and wiggle your foot in. Bend and tie. Bend and tie again. Bend and tie and straighten and swear. Bend and tie again.
haha. still get mad when another soon-to-be-ripped-up AARP letter comes in. ..
Nice picture, but you didn’t give us any of the others to choose from. 🙂
oh, there is definitely a good murder mystery in this Kate, because my husband and I went through it a few years ago and we still have the urge to kill…..and I have to pay an extra ten dollars a month for the simple reason that I am healthy and have never needed a drug plan. We are still scratching our heads on that one….and clenching our teeth. And there in lies the reason for the confusing system, combined with the solution for the over-crowded aging population – filling out the forms causes such stress that many people die before they finish it…..and if the first form does not get you, the annual re-accessment will. Not to mention the unfairness, if one partner dies, for a couple who have filed jointly for 50 years.
Okay – got that off my chest…..nice picture, although I’m told that by the teenagers that big horn-rimmed glasses are the new sexy due to all the high-tech crime programs on TV.
Great picture, Kate. You don’t look a day over 39. (And yes, that was a Jack Benny joke, for you young whippersnappers whose memories don’t go back that far.)
Another suggestion upon reaching the dreaded threshold: Read more mystery books. At least, that’s what I do.
There must be some reason that 95% of those in our library’s mystery book club are in that category.
Color me confused. Lea’s tease on DorothyL says you are 85. This post sounds more like 65 if you are just now ready for Medicare. Believe me, there is a huge difference between 85 and 65.
Whatever. As Bette Davis reportedly said, “Old age ain’t for sissies.” I say, keep reminding yourself, “I’m old, not stupid.”
Oops! My apologies to Lea. I just re-read her DorothyL message and she does say 65, not 85. No wonder you look so lovely in that photo. Go with it!
I really like your picture, and I laughed at your solution. Some one asked me why chose my plan, and I really had no idea. My father had this insurance when he was alive, so I figured he did his homework. So I got it too. Now he was compulsive. I can’t drink anymore because of my meds, but your solution sounds good to me.