A Fidelity study projected the average couple would spend $285,000 in medical expenses after retirement. That’s a huge amount of money! Medicare does not begin to cover all our medical expenses in retirement, and contrary to what people might believe, it is not free. Finding the right supplemental or Advantage plan is an important approach to managing medical expenses.
About six months before I needed to make a decision, I started reading everything I could find on Medicare and various supplemental or Advantage plans. I also began receiving phone calls and all kinds of mail from various companies that touted their specific plans. I was starting to experience information overload!
I even made comparison charts so that I could make sense of all the plans I was trying to compare. But I was still uncertain about what to do. At the time, I didn’t even realize that my spouse and I could have different plans, based on our individual needs. After spending a ridiculous amount of time and collecting a large file of information, I was still uncertain about what I needed to do with Medicare and related options.
Help is Available
It wasn’t until a neighbor told me that an independent insurance advisor could help me figure out what my best options were, and it wouldn’t cost me anything extra to work with an advisor. I had waited until nearly the last minute to meet with someone that I didn’t even know. Nonetheless, I got the initial help I needed.
Later, I developed a friendship with Cindy Eastman, a woman I’d met through the Sutherlin Chamber of Commerce. Cindy happens to be an independent insurance advisor. I discovered that Cindy has a wonderful background in not only insurance but in other areas that are important for retirement planning.
I asked Cindy what advice she could give people who are preparing for retirement and need to understand Medicare and related supplemental or Advantage plans. Here’s Cindy’s Advice:
By Cindy Eastman
What’s the best advice I can give right now for people who are going onto Medicare, or possibly already on Medicare? My recommendation is to talk to a local insurance advisor who will give you factual information so that you can make the best decisions yourself. And, for people already on Medicare, review your options at least once a year.
With our current COVID-19 crisis, that may seem quite difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m offering to meet people on Zoom and the telephone so that people can get all the information they need.
Zoom is very simple to use and I can walk you through it if you’ve never used it before. It’s very personal and we can look at each other and talk, just as if we’re in the same room. I’d recommend against clicking on ads or calling phone numbers advertised and giving out personal information.
Remember, too, that if you’re turning 65 this year, and will be going onto Medicare for the first time, there are a lot of great options to choose from.
If you’d like to set up a Zoom chat to ask your Medicare questions, I can be reached at: Cindy Eastman – 541-733-8383. Take care and we’ll get through this, everyone!