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Letters to the Editor Oct. 21, 2021

Radisewitz: Retirement is really not that fun
To the Editor:
Isn’t retirement fun! So many days I feel like it’s summer and I’m a nine-year-old with nothing to do but look for adventure. Maybe go fishing or build a fort. 
For seniors October is like going back to school. That’s because it’s time to get serious and make the important decision on what health insurance plan to have in 2022.
Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is open enrollment period for Medicare, where we decide on which health insurance plan to have Jan. 1st. Should we keep the supplement we had for years or look at the Medicare Advantage plan?
How do we get the information we need to make the right decision?  So often sharing around the coffee table is all the information we have to make this important decision. We find ourselves asking if there is anywhere to get good, honest advice.
The answer is yes. A couple of resources for Minnesota seniors are the Senior Linkage Line and local retirement advisers.
The Senior Linkage Line 800-333-2433 is a service offered by the Minnesota Board on Aging and is the first place seniors should turn to with questions about health care, housing, legal services, etc. You might have to spend a few minutes on hold waiting for help, but the operators are very helpful. They take the time needed to answer all questions seniors have.
Local retirement advisers are also available to answer questions. They can educate you on the details of senior health plans in our area.
In 2021 health plans came to Rock County that pay for dental, vision, hearing, chiropractors, prescriptions and gym memberships for seniors. Might that plan be the best? Good question; you need to ask.
For retirees that are living check to check, you need to ask for help. Local advisers can help to see if you qualify for the Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help with prescriptions offered by Social Security and the State of Minnesota.
Some companies use TV ads with ex-NFL players or movie stars encouraging you to call the number on the screen to find out if you qualify and to get $1,782 Medicare payment back. My advice is to NOT call that number. The TV ad company will sell your name to hundreds of insurance companies and your phone will ring off the hook until you’ll want to turn it off, or you’ll quit answering.
It is better to shop local. Find a retirement adviser to help, or apply on your own at under the Medicare tab. Sixty percent of the seniors that qualify for assistance don’t ask for help. They pay $148.50 each month to Social Security that they can’t afford.
Are some of the programs for seniors confusing? Yes, but there are free resources available to help. Now get your homework done and get back to building that fort. Enjoy retirement!
Cary Radisewitz

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