Clear Decisions

Reaching 64 years old gives access to some of the greatest years of living.  The first 20 years is about growing and learning life.  The next 20 gives us an opportunity to lay a foundation. The third 20 years develops our friendships and family and sets a course.  We discover more of what really makes us tick.  The next 20 to 40 years is an adventure like none other.  Get a better life forward.

The recent book When I’m 64: 7 Clear Decisions for a Better Life Forward by Phil Larson, the think doctor, is an amazing entry into this life span opportunity.  The population of the United States becomes increasingly larger and larger a proportion of those over 65 to those under.  It is an exciting time in which to live.  The dynamics of culture and economies will shift to meet these wonderful times. 

You are one of these leading the charge into a better life.  How will you do it?  What decisions will you make to increase your life enjoyment?  Happiness is a decision you control.  Control it.  Get the information you need and make good decisions.

One of the clearest decisions is your healthcare provision under Medicare.  You can decide for an Advantage Plan or a Supplement Plan to come alongside your Medicare A and B.  Medicare A takes care of Inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care (not custodial), hospice care, and home health care. Medicare B  covers outpatient care which include services from doctors and other health care providers and some preventative services. 

Why pick an Advantage plan?  Advantage plans from a private insurance carrier usually provide an HMO or PPO plan with a local network of providers.  They can have extra benefits and may include a prescription drug coverage all with a low or zero extra premium.  Take the time to get fully acquainted by using a licensed and trained agent like SOLUM provides or any of our partners across the United States with the GrandParentBenefits.org affiliation. When you have limited funds, an Advantage plan can give you some cost reductions and management.  You can get a plan that includes prescription drug coverage.

Why pick a Supplement or Medigap plan?  Average costs for medical run between $4000 and $5000 a year with deductibles and payment sharing.  A supplement can pay the majority of these for a predictable and managed premium.  You control your costs at a premium that may be closer to $2000 a year, when you include prescription drug coverage. That can represent significant cost savings over your senior years.

Go to our website and read more.  Advantage / Supplement

You matter.  Your choices matter.  #wecanhelpwiththat

A Better Life Forward

What does that mean?  You might have a great life now.  Why not have it better?  You might have some struggles and interruptions that attempt to rob your joy.  Why not have it better?  Whatever condition you find yourself in life, there is opportunity for a better life forward.  And, I want to help you have it.  When you turn 64, there are some important decisions to make about your Medicare.  You have structured time frames in which to make them and want to get them done early, but with informed and clear decision.  Our team is always posting information on decisions surrounding Medicare on

Want the entire EBOOK?  When I’m 64: 7 Clear Decisions for A Better Life Forward.  Send me an email at phil@soluminsurance.com and I’ll reply with a copy of the book that is print ready for your home or office printer or can be read easily online with large type. Want a printed out copy? Send me your address with that email and I’ll ship one right out to you.

Phil

405.494.0637 – office cell/text

The Prize Goes to the Winner: Character

What is character and how does it work for you?

Everyone has a different definition of character traits that contribute to success, but one of those that overshadows most came to me from Earl Nightinggale.  “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” Let me explain what that has to do with character.

Take it apart and here are the character traits.

Success Orientation

Progressive

Realized Results

Worthy Goals

Those four character traits will get you far in life.  They may not look like what you were expecting.  You might have been expecting a note on the virtues of a positive human or a Christian or a community contributor or a business professional.  These four apply to all of that and more.

Success Orientation:  Some people have no desire to compete or win in life.  If you do not value success, you will not have success.  Your life will be plagued with losses and disapointments. Get a character that wants to win.  You want to win and you want others to win.  Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  That is a success orientation.  You are committed to have enough to satisfy your lifestyle and sufficient to give to others in need.  You are committed to the success of every other person with whom you come in contact.  You are generous and gracious and competitive with yourself.  Have a success orientation.

Progressive: Success, accomplishment, overcoming shortcomings, and getting to the top of your vision is progressive.  Develop a progressive attitude.  Quit looking for easy wins and low hanging fruit.  That stuff is for those committed to losing or making others lose.  You may gain finances.  But finance is only a part of success character.  Arriving at a worthy goal means arriving with a clean and pure conscience. You don’t have to look behind to find who is following.  You see progress every day toward the goal.  One day may be a big jump.  Another day may be a small step.  Every day moves you closer to the goal.

 

A few good men served today ( Nov 28, 2016) at Ohio State University. During a campus attack from a madman, they responded with character, competence, compassion, and chemistry. How rare do we see these three in action? In our age of self-service and self-serving, we are missing large quantities of courage, discipline, orderliness, compassion, reliability, accountability, selfless giving, and selfless service.  Journalists attribute their response to military preparation.  Maybe, but I bet there were other military trained on campus and maybe even in the room.  These men had something more.WordItOut-word-cloud-922060 (1)

These men stood to the moment. When word went out, they organized their class of students away from the door. Then they placed themselves in harms’ way at the entrance to the room. Had the attacker walked into that room, he probably would not walk out. They showed character, competence, compassion, and chemistry under pressure. Under pressure we are our better selves and we are our worst selves. We choose each time.

Yesterday, a man came to me in my office and asked me an odd question. “What is prudent?” He was looking for a dictionary definition. A quick anger assessment that we do had thrown an unfamiliar word at him. Arms crossed, face scowling, hard life screaming from his face, he looked for an answer. For a moment, it was hard to answer. The temporary confusion was not because I was stumped for a definition. It has hard to answer because it means so much. To summarize, a prudent person does the right thing at the right time with the right wisdom backing the choices. A prudent person would not be standing in my doorway taking an anger assessment because he was on probation, community supervision, supervised by the state.worditout-word-cloud-1956501-prudent

A little later I was on the phone with a case manager overseeing a family situation. Seems the man and woman showed up for a court hearing on neglecting their children while they were high on drugs. Bad had gone to worse. Maybe they are good hearted and imprudent. Nevertherless, they chose to put their children in danger and now the children are under conservatorship in foster care and the parents are being supervised by the state.

The men in the first story sound like my children. I would place my life in the hands of any of my daughters, sons, and their spouses. I trust their decisions over their homes and families and neighbors. They do not believe the way I believe on every subject. They do follow prudence. They do exhibit wisdom in right choices over and over and over. They do exhibit the 4 Cs of Success multiplied by lives lived for Christ.They don’t need me, my wife, or the state to supervise them.  They have been raised.

The men in the first story sound like key employees I have had over time. When they show me the balance of character, competence, chemisty, and compassion, I invest trust and training and increasing responsibility and watch them grow. Consistency and congruency takes over and multiplies their contribution. Talking to my assistant yesterday, I told the story of one such colleague. When this person came to work for me, she could not show up regularly and her work results were erratic. But underneath her chaos, I saw the 4 Cs of success. Over the years, we walked through developing good work habits, learning good work skills, and living through deaths and distractions that life throws us. Her contribution increased as the 4 Cs ordered her life and her income and influence quadrupled. Income in life is directly proportional to contribution.

How does it work? The 4 Cs of Success produce a consistent and congruent contribution. Here is the formula (Character + Competence + Compassion + Chemisty) x (Consistency + Congruency) = Contribution3 . This missive is already too long, so you must read the next few to get the full story.
Note: SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative is a 501c3 dedicated to fixing fractured families. We work with strugglers to stabilize and unify homes. Make your financial contribution today to turn the corner in character for men and women and their children. http://solumcommunity.net/give

Check out the definitions of prudent. Synonyms and Antonyms of prudent (merriam-webster online dictionary) http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/prudent

Really? I can make a change to my medicare advantage plan in Jan/Feb/March?

Many people think the only time to make changes to a Medicare Advantage plan is in the Fall Oct 15 to Dec 7th Annual Election Period. That is not true. There is a great option called Open Enrollment Period from Jan 1 to March 31st. #wecanhelpwiththat

Why make a change?

. All the advertising was so confusing in the Fall, I am just now understanding there is a better plan for me.

. I want service. I bought online without an agent and just don’t understand what I did and want to do something different.

. I have an ancient advantage plan that does not have the new benefits offered in other plans.

. My needs have changed and I’d like to move from an HMO to a PPO or from a PPO to an HMO plan.

. Just curious and want to see what options I have.

These are some reasons you might want to take a look at a change in your advantage plan. #wecanhelpwiththat

Send me an email at phil@soluminsurance.com or call or text our dedicated insurance service line 405.494.0637 and we can do a quick review of your insurance with you and inform you of some new options or just reassure you that you have a good plan. It is always good to check your insurance on an annual basis.

Thanks to Boomer Benefits for this super clear graphic.

What’s up with that retirement experience?

This week I met with three financial advisors to select the one that will be my coach for the next 20-30 years. #wheniam64 Whew, is that exhausting! 70/30, 50/50, 60/40 and alternatives are great, but who understands all that? The answer is those that study understand all that, and I am ready to commit to a coach to get me from 64 to 94.

Reality is the average life expectancy is 78.something and declining for the first time in decades. I am not ready to concede defeat yet. Hit the gym this morning for a solid workout. Adjusting my eating to offset risks of Alzheimers and keep my brain running at optimum. Brain envy is what Dr. Daniel Amen calls it. Resting more as I age, only working 50 hours a week instead of 60-80. What are you doing to shift? As a life coach, I have to set the example. #wecanhelpwiththat

Now, for healthcare. That medicare decision looms. At 65, you have a period of seven months to make your decision. Three months before, the month of your birthday, and three months after. It gets tricky after that if you want to make significant changes. There are open change periods for advantage and prescription drug once a year. But, supplementals require medical underwriting after that first decision and the rates can go up significantly. #wecanhelpwiththat

Having fun yet? Wisdom tells me that happiness is a key to longer life and well, who wants to be sad? Having a manageable plan you understand that helps you meet lifestyle objectives can lead to a merry heart and that is good medicine. #wecanhelpwiththat

Let me know how we can help. There is never a fee for an analysis of your position and never a fee for healthcare help. We don’t do income management, but have some good partners to whom we can refer you and for smaller amounts ($10k-100k), we can give you some tips. #wecanhelpwiththat

Phil@soluminsurance.com

405.494.0637 – dedicated mobile for you

3V Decision Criteria

SOLUM SERVICES

Posit this!  Every action you take, every thought you make should be measured against the 3V criteria.  Validity, vitality, and veracity need to mark your reputation and the reputation of your organization or business.  Consistent failure on any of these over your history will eventually mean failure of your endeavors.  You may make money, fulfill the purpose of your non-profit, and have fun without them.  You are not successful.  You will fail or your successors will fail.

As a leader, ingrain these in your psyche.  Your personal reputation and continuance depend on them.  When others doubt you (and they will), your ability to face the mirror in the morning and be true to yourself is what will move you forward in life.   When you revel in victory, the congruence of these in the actions and intents that took you to the mountain will sweeten the taste.  When you struggle with…

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Why An Independent Agent Makes Sense with Medicare

AARP is just one of the captive agent groups. They are a good organization and sell United Healthcare, a good product. When you shop with an independent agent, you contribute to the competitive free-enterprise system. We can help with that.

This article examines older legislation that affects us today. We don’t agree with all the content and believe that supplements/medigap are a good solution when they fit your healthcare need. A wise shopper needs comprehensive information. We can help with that.

How the AARP Made $2.8 Billion By Supporting Obamacare’s Cuts to Medicare – Forbes

FREE consultation and education.

Call 405.494.0637

Email phil@soluminsurance.com

For more info: grandparentbenefits.org

Medicare and Indemnity Products – We Can Help With That

Understanding insurance is important. Insurance is purchased before an event happens against the risk that it might happen. Some get confused and want to get insurance coverage after the event has happened. That does not work. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about how that applies in one instance to medicare advantage and supplement programs.

Maybe you have an HMO or PPO Advantage program for the last five years and are beginning to experience more and more health issues and visits to the doctors. You are concerned that a major problem could bankrupt you and so you look into a supplement. You have heard that a supplement will cover your deductibles and copays, which are increasing.

Here is what you find. Advantage and supplement or Medigap are mutually exclusive. You don’t have both, you have one or the other. Some agent tells you that you can have both and you are confused. It can be confusing. But you cannot have both.

You also find that a supplement has premiums adjusted for age. A $120 a month supplement at 69 is now $140 a month or more.

You also find that a supplement after your first year on an advantage program requires medical underwriting. Any health issues have to be communicated and affect your ability to get that supplement versus your advantage program.

Ouch, what can you do? You are concerned that the maximum out of pocket for your program is so high you can’t pay it many years in a row. Your MOOP could be $6000 or much more.

This is one of the reasons people buy a supplement in the beginning instead of an Advantage program. The Advantage program is good if you have little medical experience, which is common at age 65. But as you age, the medical gets more and more expensive with deductibles and copays. The supplement gives you a budget amount each month and with the right plan covers those deductibles and copays. You need to review the supplement you choose. They are not all equal, though they are all the same coverage carrier to carrier when on the same plan such as G or F or N.

What can you do? There is a good alternative and I would be happy to talk with you about it. Good carriers have INDEMNITY packages designed to insure against expensive hospitalizations and short term care and emergency and even cancer. Of course they are purchased before you are diagnosed, but some have short waiting periods such as you have not been hospitalized in the last six months for an issue, even though the issue is present. There is a lot to consider, but an indemnity plan in your mid retirement years is a good option. You don’t want to wait long, because of course the rates increase as you age and you may find yourself in the middle of an issue and you needed the insurance before you arrived at that point.

Okay, these are just simple notes. INDEMNITY packages are not medicare. They are an adjunct health product to give you increased financial protection against risks. They can be good for you if you have had an Advantage product or original medicare for a while and are getting concerned about future healthcare costs.

There are alternative ways to protect yourself and your financial stability and make sure you have what you need to get the healthcare you need as you age. We can help with that.

Call 405.494.0637 or phil@soluminsurance.com. We can help with that.

Not about insurance, but all about you…..

As consultants to seniors at grandkidsmatter.org, we are hearing a disturbing problem. Pastors and Christian ministry leaders tell us they have lost connection with the largest population in the U.S. 10,000 people a day turn 65 in the US. The churches focused on millennials and now the next gen and are missing the fact that these seniors are faithful, connected, sociable, and forgotten. They will live into their 80s and 90s and the church is missing them.

This township in New Jersey has been sensitive to address these issues for 30 years. What insight they have. Does your church have a senior advisory group? Not a senior ministry, but someone or someones who have the ear of the leadership to help guide polity and ensure the Biblical design of extended and full family stays intact?

As part of our benefits for seniors in 2020, GrandParenting Seminars will include special time with church leaders to share insights and tips.

https://www.montclairlocal.news/2019/11/09/senior-citizens-30-montclair-nj/

Contact me and tell me how this trend is affecting your life..

phil@soluminsurance.com . 405.494.0637.

Phil ..

Medicare – Simple and Personal Choices

This morning in the quiet of my lake cabin, I had time to stop the wheels of pressures and phone calls and emails and just listen on the inside. When was the last time you listened to that quiet reasonable voice on the inside about your healthcare?

Approaching 65 can be a monumental change and even frightening. Employers have already been encouraging you into retirement for years. Youth is valued in the work world and you may feel a little devalued. Joints are creaking and cracking and you wonder how long they will hold up. Will you be able to enjoy those trips you have planned? And then there is healthcare. You understand the ins and outs of HMO and PPO and high deductible plans with HSAs. Now, here is this thing called Medicare. We can help with that.

One of the smoothest and easiest and quickest start pages on your journey should be this one. GrandParentBenefits.org. I linked you to the page on Medicare Advantage because I like the easy intro to medicare on that page and the fact that in a few words it mentions the necessary component parts. A and B are original medicare and can be majorly expensive if that is all you have. C is an Advantage plan and gives you extra benefits but also extra limitations. D is prescription drug and you need to make sure you have it in some form. E or Medigap / Supplements is an alternative that allows maximum choice in doctors, locations, etc and gives you a predictable monthly medical expense. Your lifestyle. Your choices. We can help with that.

There is a lot more to understand about all of this. But here is a recommendation. Use a licensed agent. Take advantage of one of our agents at grandparentbenefits.org or contact me directly at soluminsurance.com. This year, I took the time to reinstate my insurance license just to help folks making the move to medicare and more.

And of course, I have a greater cause. One is helping seniors and one is helping families. GrandParentBenefits.org is the brain child of GrandKidsMatter.org. We serve those going into and currently on Medicare, whether you have grandchildren or not, we are here. We can help with that.

A Quick Note on Why We do What We Do:

In the whirlwind of politics and culture and business, we hear many pundits crying for our attention. At GrandKidsMatter.org and Fathers.com, you can find some reasonable and researched and relatable information on everything from fathers and teen daughters to grandma raising grandchildren on her own. Help with medicare is just one of the ways we reach out to families and individuals. At SOLUMCOMMUNITY.NET, you will find passion in fixing fractured families. This is our why. Family Matters. And for that reason, we want to serve you with excellence and accuracy in making your personal lifestyle choices.

How do I decide? Medicare Advantage or Supplement or Just Basic.

Every person approaching 65 or retirement after 65 from corporate healthcare coverage has key decisions to make. Those decisions impact the rest of the retirement years. They are not irreversible, but they are impactful. So here are a few tips as you make them.

1. Look at your healthcare needs of the moment.

2. Think forward. What will you possibly need five or ten years into your retirement?

3. Consider family experience. Cancer? Heart? Lungs? Joints? What have other family members had to deal with in retirement.

4. Remember your income status is changing and will continue to change. You have Social Security, maybe a pension, an income annuity, some cash at hand, investments, or a part-time job. Think forward. Your energy and ability will possibly decrease and affect income stream.

5. Remember you expense status is changing and will continue to change. Maybe you pay off the house, but still have insurance and repairs and taxes. Cars may need replaced that you have had for a while.

6. Think about planned lifestyle. Will you be visiting family and children and grandchildren for extended periods in areas more than 30 miles outside your home? Do you have healthcare coverage that travels with you?

7. What hobbies will you continue and what ones will you pick up?

8. Have you made allowance for increased dental and vision and hearing coverage as you age and those items change faster than they did in your earlier years?

9. How much will you budget annually to cover deductibles, out patient routines, drug co-pays or co-insurance?

10. What is your gift budget? All those people for whom we care and want to take our increased available hours to bless. Will you be giving increased gifts? Notes?

11. Do you understand that your decision for advantage versus basic versus supplement is usually changeable in the first year after you make your initial decision with guaranteed coverage, but probably requires medical underwriting after that year?

These are just a few question we each should consider. A good, qualified agent will help you walk through these items versus just “selling a package”. There are many options of an HMO/PPO Advantage plan with an extra indemnity package or a Supplement with drug plan and vision/hearing/dental package or basic Medicare with an indemnity package and VHD package or, or, or… there are good options and choices available and you want to take time to think it through.

No matter the decisions you make, be in health and prosper even as our souls prospers. This is a time to enjoy the fruit of many years of life and relax knowing as much as possible is covered to allow you the maximum lifestyle you want in retirement. WE CAN HELP WITH THAT!

Call 405.494.0637 or email phil@grandparentbenefits.org.

Soluminsurance.com or grandparentbenefits.org for more info.