Retirement Answer Man

The retirement decisions that you make today will impact you for years to come. This can be a scary thought since we don’t know what the future holds. The Medicare decisions that you make now can affect your future self so you don’t want to take these decisions lightly.

For the past 4 episodes, we have discussed the inner workings of the Medicare system which has given us a good basis of knowledge to work from. Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits joins us one last time to help us understand how to make Medicare decisions. 

The retirement choices you make now will affect you for years to come

Choosing a Medicare plan is one of the most important and long-lasting choices that you will make in retirement. It’s hard to make these choices that will affect our future selves who may not be as healthy or alert as we are now. It is important to strike a balance between overanalyzing this decision and not analyzing it enough. 

How to start to make your Medicare decision

Thankfully Danielle Roberts has returned to the show with her sage advice on how we can begin to make these choices. She recommends a few things to help you narrow down your choices. 

First off, start your research early. (Listening to this How Does Medicare Work series is a good start.)

Next, you need to decide whether to choose a Medigap or Medicare advantage plan. To help with this decision, start at your doctor’s office. You’ll need to ask whether they accept original Medicare. If they do this means that they accept Medigap plans. Then you’ll want to find out whether they participate in any Medicare Advantage plans. 

There are many questions that come with Medicare

You’ll start thinking of more questions that you want to ask your doctor as you learn more about Medicare so start creating your list of questions to ask your doctor now. 

There are a lot of considerations when deciding between Medigap or Medicare Advantage. Do you have a lot of different doctors? Do you want inexpensive copays? Do you have the money set aside to afford large deductibles or hospital stays down the road? 

Consider your future self when making you Medicare decisions

It’s easy to choose what’s right for today rather than considering your future self. Ask yourself if you are going to be ok with this coverage not just now, but if you have a year where you aren’t as healthy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sleep on it to see if you have a few more questions. 

You may want to consider using a broker like Boomer Benefits. Since they are a brokerage there is no cost to the consumer. All costs are worked into the insurance plans. Learn more about the whole Medicare system by listening to the entire How Does Medicare Work series. This will help you make the right Medicare decisions. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:03] The latest happenings of the Retirement Answer Man show

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [9:20] How to make good Medicare decisions
  • [15:30] Should you ask a specialist the same questions you ask your primary care doctor?
  • [21:04] Know the risks of each plan that you are considering
  • [23:08] What about dental and vision plans?
  • [25:46] What are the benefits of using a brokerage?

COACHES CORNER WITH B.W. 

  • [30:21] Don’t you let your life shrink in retirement

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [39:43] What are you doing to expand yourself?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM345.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits joins The Retirement Answer Man Show again to help us understand the nuances of the Medicare system. She has a new book coming out soon called 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes that you won’t want to miss. In this episode, you’ll learn from Medicare horror stories, the biggest mistakes you can make with Medicare, and why you need to check your plan every year. Make sure to sign up for 6 Shot Saturday to get free resources by Danielle Roberts, our Medicare expert!

Make sure you are prepared to jump into retirement

Sometimes retirement can come at you suddenly. Are you ready to jump into retirement? You may be suddenly thrust into this whole new world. However, for others, retirement can seem like a cliff where they are standing on the edge. It can be hard to take that leap; some people end up waiting and waiting forever for the right time to jump. Educating yourself and planning ahead can help you prepare for retirement. Listening to Retirement Answer Man can help you prepare to take that leap into this amazing new world. 

Will dropping Medicare Part D help this listener eliminate IRMAA?

One listener got a notification in the mail that he would be charged an IRMAA surcharge for his Medicare Part B and D plans. Since he uses a discount drug plan apart from Medicare Part D he was just thinking of dropping Medicare Part D altogether.

He can drop Part D and forgo the IRMAA surcharge on that plan, however, doing so will mean that he has to wait until the next election period if he decides he wants back into the program. Additionally, he will then have to pay a penalty for each month that he went without the Part D drug plan. Listen in to learn how much that penalty is and discover a Medicare mistake that you won’t want to make. 

Biggest medicare mistake

Medicare is a tricky system to learn, especially if you haven’t done any research. The biggest mistake you can make is waiting until the last minute to learn about this healthcare system. Danielle shares that there are many people who are under the impression that Medicare is free and then are shocked to learn that they don’t have enough money saved to cover their healthcare expenses in retirement. Make sure that you don’t make this mistake. Listen to the entirety of the How Does Medicare Work series to help you begin to learn the intricacies of the Medicare system. 

Check your plan every year

Medicare has so many different ‘open enrollment’ periods so it can be confusing to know which ones are the most important. Your plan will change from year to year, so when you get a packet in the mail in the fall pay careful attention to the changes. You can also check your plan changes at MyMedicare.gov and use the plan finder tool to compare your plan with different plans. Don’t miss it when Danielle explains why it is so important to check the different plans that are offered from year to year. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

  • [1:33] How retirement is similar to hang gliding

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [9:08] Will dropping Medicare Part D help this listener eliminate IRMAA?
  • [13:35] The biggest Medicare mistake
  • [15:22] Did your job prevent you from paying into Medicare?
  • [17:57] Medicare horror stories
  • [22:19] Why it is important to check your plan every year
  • [26:37] Danielle shares her biggest pet peeve

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [30:22] To an RV finance or not to finance 
  • [35:54] Renting in retirement?

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [39:03] What will it take to make you jump into retirement?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes by Danielle Roberts

Boomer Benefits

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM344.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Over the past few weeks, we have talked about the different pieces that make up our Medicare system. Medicare is a fairly complex system with a lot of nuances to be aware of. One of the things you may have noticed is that there are some gaps in Medicare coverage. Today Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits is back to help us understand these gaps and what we can do to fill them. 

Medicare isn’t the only place we see gaps in retirement. Often time there are other places where we have gaps in our retirement planning. Listen in to discover how to fill these gaps in Medicare and elsewhere in retirement. 

Analyze your gaps in retirement

In project management, there is something called gap analysis which helps project managers identify gaps. Gap analysis has 5 basic steps. 

  1. Identify the area to be analyzed and identify the goals to be accomplished in that area.
  2. Establish an ideal future state. What is the ideal outcome?
  3. Analyze the current state. What is it like now? 
  4. Compare the ideal state to the current state, 
  5. Identify the gap between the current state and the ideal state so that you can begin to close that gap.

Gaps in retirement planning

In retirement planning, people often skip step 2 when analyzing their own gaps. Rather than identify the ideal state for their retirement, they only analyze their current state. I argue that the project management method of gap analysis is a much better way to approach retirement. 

When you first establish what your ideal retirement will look like and then figure out the rest you start with a blank slate. Isn’t that what you are looking for in retirement? Learn how you can start your retirement off right. Start with a blank slate rather than limit yourself by where you are currently. 

Filling the gaps that Medicare leaves

If you have been listening to the past few episodes, you probably noticed that there are some gaps in the Medicare system. If you have been wondering how to fill those gaps, then you’ll definitely want to listen to one of the top Medicare experts in the country, Danielle Roberts, from Boomer Benefits. 

Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans

There is a difference between traditional Medigap plans and newer Medicare Advantage plans. Medigap plans are generally more expensive but they offer more flexibility and a wider variety of plan choices. Medicare Advantage plans cost less and sometimes they are even free, however, these plans come with many more limitations. These plans are gaining popularity over the past few years. Listen to Danielle’s expert analysis of these different types of plans to help you decide the best way to supplement your Medicare coverage. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT’S THAT MEAN?

  • [1:48] What is a gap?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [6:43] Check out Danielle’s new book!
  • [8:22] How does Medigap insurance work?
  • [14:29] What you need to consider when choosing a Medigap provider
  • [19:08] What do Medigap plans cost?
  • [25:30] What is a Medicare Advantage plan?
  • [31:16] How does Medicare work while traveling?

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [35:25] You could lose your coverage if you are still working
  • [36:52] A Roth 401K question

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [45:49] Let me know if you are experiencing challenges in unexpected retirement

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make by Danielle Roberts

Boomer Benefits

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM343.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm CST

Medicare Part D has similarities and differences to Parts A and B. On this episode of our How Does Medicare Work? series, we’ll explore Part D. We’ll also discuss what Medicare doesn’t cover. How much do you know about Medicare and how it works? Are you trying to figure out how this new type of insurance will be different from what you are used to? Make sure to listen to the whole series to help you understand the changes that enrolling in Medicare will bring to your life. 

Live a life without regret

The number one regret that people have upon death is that they say they wish they would have had the courage to live a life true to themselves. During most of our lives, we have a series of obligations that make it hard to really live a life true to ourselves. Retirement is a time when we can finally shed those obligations. What will it take for you to live a life without regrets? Think about what living a life that is true to yourself really means for you. 

What is Medicare part D?

Danielle from Boomer Benefits joins me again today to help us understand Medicare part D. Danielle has a knack for explaining the complexities of Medicare in a way that laypeople can understand.

Medicare part D is the prescription drug coverage portion of Medicare. It actually wasn’t rolled out until 2006. Since prescription drug coverage wasn’t typically covered in the 1960s, it wasn’t included in the original Medicare plans. Can you imagine what Medicare was like before Part D?

How does Medicare Part D work?

Medicare Part D is a bit different than parts A and B but it does have some similarities. It’s a voluntary plan that you have to opt into. But unlike parts A and B, you don’t enroll in part D at the Social Security office. Each state has private insurance companies that offer Medicare part D. 

Just like Medicare parts A and B, there are 4 stages to the plan. The first is the deductible. There is a deductible set by Medicare each year and the drug companies are allowed to build that into their plan how they choose as long as it is within the parameters. After your deductible has been met then you’ll move into the second stage of the plan which is the copay. Listen in to discover how Medicare part D works and why your choice in pharmacy could really affect your drug costs. 

Where are the gaps in Medicare?

Medicare isn’t perfect, there are still gaps to consider. We are often used to our employer-sponsor health plans covering dental and vision, but along with hearing, these services aren’t covered under Medicare. In a subsequent episode, we will discuss the Advantage plans that can help you bridge these gaps. 

It’s also important to remember that Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care. To ensure that you are fully prepared, you’ll have to plan on how you’ll handle a long-term care event. Discover why it is important to review your Medicare plan each year by listening to Danielle on this episode of Retirement Answer Man.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT’S THAT MEAN?

  • [1:32] Let’s define regret

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [5:24] Part D is a relatively new option
  • [7:12] How does Medicare Part D work?
  • [15:34] What is the total out of pocket you could pay? 
  • [19:32] Are there drug assistance programs within Medicare part D?
  • [20:33] Where are the gaps in Medicare?

Q&A

  • [29:12] How to fund a special needs trust?
  • [31:31] What is the benchmark for decide when there is a gain or loss to fill your bucket?
  • [35:52] How to easily settle an estate

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [38:35] What does being true to yourself really mean?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

The Pie Cake episode

Long term care episodes - Start here

MyMedicare.gov

Boomer Benefits

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM432.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

I cannot believe that this is our first time doing a monthlong series on Medicare! Thankfully, this is a five-week month, so we can really dive deep into this complex topic. Let me lay out the month for you. This week we’re talking about Medicare Part A and B. During the next episode we’ll discuss part D and all the things that Medicare doesn’t cover. Following that episode, we’ll discuss Medigap and Medicare Advantage as well as mistakes we can make with Medicare. Finally, we will dive in deep to help build a framework that we can use to best serve ourselves when it comes to Medicare. Are you ready to start your Medicare learning journey? Press play to start your Medicare education now. 

How does Medicare work?

Danielle K. Roberts is a Medicare expert from Boomer Benefits. She helps people educate people on their Medicare journey all the time and she has even helped out in the Rock Retirement Club. I have invited her on the show to help all of us better understand Medicare. Today she is helping us learn about Medicare Part A and B. Medicare benefits can be so confusing, especially since most of us are coming from a completely different system of insurance. Are you ready to hear what is covered, what is not covered, what requires copays, and if you can ever fully exhaust your benefits? Well then, start listening now.

What is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A started in the 1960s and was modeled after the old Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance. Part A covers inpatient hospital stays and outpatient medical care related to a hospital stay. Included in Part A coverage are the hospital room, doctors, nurses, drugs, nursing facility visits, and hospice care. Medicare Part A does have its limits in coverage which could result in expensive copays and eventually exhausting the benefits fully. Listen in to find out what those limits are. 

What is Part B?

Whereas Medicare Part A covers your hospital stays, Part B covers all that other stuff. For example, Part B covers chemotherapy, radiation, blood work, and doctor visits. However, Part B has a completely different deductible and coinsurance setup than Part A. The good news is that the deductible is only $198. The bad news is that there is no cap on the 20% coinsurance. 

Who do you pay? 

Doctors’ visits can be so confusing. Should you pay the doctor at the time of your visit? Should you wait for the bill to come in the mail? What about those statements that Medicare sends? Danielle’s advice is to wait for Medicare to process the doctor’s bill before you pay. The doctor will then bill you if there are any excess fees. She also advises to ask plenty of questions and become an advocate for yourself. Even though Medicare can seem confusing at first, this system has been in place for a long time and actually runs quite well. 

If you are interested in receiving resources to help you make your own Medicare decisions, sign up for 6-Shot Saturday at RogerWhitney.com

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

  • [1:13] What is fear?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [5:05] Our plan for the month
  • [7:14] What is Medicare Part A?
  • [11:30] What should people be aware of?
  • [13:32] What is Part B?
  • [16:12] Who do I pay?

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [26:58] Place yourself in the future when making a decision
  • [31:02] A Social Security survivor benefit question
  • [33:34] Comparing a first position HELOC instead of a mortgage

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [43:09] Sign up for 6-Shot Saturday at RogerWhitney.com to get a Medicare resource packet

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Boomer Benefits

MyMedicare.gov

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM341.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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