starting a business, taking advantage
of an opportunity to reinvent one’s self,
building a legacy or some combination
of these. Like a buffet where there are
dishes you like very much, elderhood
includes a variety of activities, some of
which you are attracted to, others that
simply have no appeal and a number
of which you’re open to trying.
The activities you decide to pursue
will boil down to this simple principle:
Know yourself. Knowing your values,
being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and understanding who you are
is the basis of making informed decisions
about your lifestyle during elderhood.
If you do this right, the chances are very
good that you will enjoy a more meaningful, purposeful or happier rest of your
life than you otherwise might have.
See “The action plan” (below left) to
get started in this next stage of life.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
So, there you have it. I urge you to
view elderhood as an awesome opportu-
nity to reimagine what you may want to
2GET THE MEDICARE THING RIGHT
do for the rest of your life. You may
want to pursue the path of a traditional
retirement. You may want to mentor
children or young adults, continue to
work on a part- or full-time basis, join
the gig economy or start a small business, or find happiness in volunteer
work and contribute your gifts and
expertise to help fill a need.
Your challenge is to take all the
research you have conducted, understanding where you are in the retirement process, your core values, your
special skills or gifts, your personal
mission and vision statements, and your
goals, and use it all to design or redesign
your future. It will take self-assessment
and self-reflection on your part, but how
much more meaningful, satisfying or
purposeful your life may turn out to be.
Edwin W. Smith ( coachwinretirement.com),
a Costco member, retired from full-time
work in 2016 after a long career as a career
counselor and vocational expert.
Through Medicare, you
get basic health coverage
(Parts A and B). But
you’ll have to explore the
options to fill in the gaps.
This is where your
personal medical needs,
financial status and other
factors come into play.
The choice you make can
save you thousands of
dollars and provide the
best level of care. Some
things to know:
• First, you need to
enroll in Medicare when
you’re first eligible—in
fact, postponing it will
result in a Plan B late-enrollment penalty.
• Even when you’re on
Medicare, there are still
costs. These include
deductibles and co-pays,
depending on your plan.
These costs can be
lowered through the
o;ered by private
• You can change plans
as your situation changes,
but only during specific
time periods. For most
people, the period to pick
a new plan is October 15
to December 7.—SC
© YURI Y_K / S TOCK. ADOBE. COM
by DR. STEVEN COHEN
My mother’s chemotherapy cost ;;;,;;;.
That was a crippling figure. How can
people in their retirement years afford to
The answer is that, with the right
choices, people on Medicare can lower
their medical costs by hundreds to thousands of dollars annually. It’s a matter of
taking advantage of free resources to find
the right plan. For example, before my
mother’s death, she was prescribed an
expensive medicine for lung cancer that
wasn’t covered by her insurance. In ;;;;,
choosing the right Medicare plan lowered
the cost of this medicine from ;;;,;;; to
;;,;;; per year.
I’ll give a quick overview of Medicare
basics, then conclude with tips on helping
you choose the best plan for your needs.
Medicare is complicated
If you’re ;; and older, or have certain
disabilities, you’re eligible for Medicare.