Welcome to the Living While Gray reboot. It’s been a while since I published on this site, as I took care of some things going on in my life. I’m now committed to sharing insights on how you can make living while gray the best years of your life. In this post, I want to lay out some of the topics I’ll consider on the pages of this website. I’ll also share my insights on living while gray on my social media pages – Facebook and Instagram. You should join me there!
First, I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m just like you.
My name is Angie and this is my headshot, which I think is a little over processed by the photographer so I need a new one. I’m reaching retirement age (in fact, I’m retiring next month), I have children and grands, I have a dog as my best friend, I’m unmarried (which is likely the main difference between me and you), I own a home and a car, I have bills, and I love my life. I’m retiring after working as a marketing professor at several universities for my adult life.
What I’m NOT is a financial advisor, accountant, estate planner, medicare advisor, and any PROFESSIONAL with a vested interest in what you decide to do. I’m sure, if you’re living while gray you’re bombarded with these folks offering advice that helps them more than it helps you. I’m not like that!!!!!
I face the same challenges you do and get the same spammy emails offering me the perfect solution to the problems and changes that go along with getting of a certain age. I share my unbiased take on the issues you face and I don’t make any money based on the advice I give. I may include an ad or so, but they’re clearly marked as ads and I don’t endorse the products offered. If I find something I think will help, I’ll offer my suggestions but take them with a grain of salt as they are OPINIONS, not based on any special knowledge.
So, here are some topics I want to cover in upcoming pages of Living While Gray:
Topics for Living While Gray
I’m currently struggling with decisions regarding my medical insurance moving forward. This is an incredibly complex decision as there are so many options and it’s hard to get the unvarnished story as most people posting content in this area have something to gain from your decision and, thus, don’t share the complete picture of options they don’t make any money on. You can access Medicare to get the current state of Medicare and compare your options. Here’s a short abstract of the types of insurance out there.
- Medicare Part A – hospital insurance which is free from the government and is funded through payroll deductions your entire working life. You should apply for Medicare Part A three months before you turn 65, although you can apply at any time after that.
- Medicare Part B – medical, which covers doctors’ fees and medical testing. This isn’t free. The current price for Medicare Part B is $165. Recognize that there’s a serious penalty if you don’t apply for Medicare Part B when you’re eligible and that penalty continues for as long as you have Medicare. You can apply for Medicare Part B at 65 or wait until you’re not covered by other medical insurance. It’s important to note that you must send verification that you were covered by other health insurance to avoid the penalty.
- Medicare Parts C. D, E, F, and G are medical coverage offered through private insurance companies and it’s here that you’ll find the information gets very biased (in my view). These plans are meant to supplement Medicare Part B because the coverage, frankly, sucks. These plans cover things like the deductible after Medicare Part B and things it doesn’t cover such as prescriptions, glasses, hearing aids, dental, and more. It’s important to recognize that these are ONLY available if you have Medicare Part B. There are plans you can buy where this isn’t required.
- Some companies and union contracts include healthcare coverage or you might opt to pay for a COBRA plan from your employer when you retire.
A retirement diary
One of the biggest elements of Living While Gray is my retirement diary, where I’ll share my journey through retirement.
If you’re like most people, you spent 50-75 hours each week commuting, working, in meetings, or other activities related to your job. When you retire, all those hours open up in front of you. Plus, your kids are likely grown, so that frees up more hours of your day. Some folks will take over primary childcare for their grandkids to ease the burden on their working parents. But, whatever you do, you need to find something to occupy your time.
Data shows that your life expectancy is between 78 (men) and 81 (women), however, there’s wide variability in those numbers. Keeping active both physically and mentally after you retire leads to a longer and more fulfilling life. So, whether you volunteer, help out with the grandkids, engage in a hobby, or just live a full social life, you’ll live longer and be happier.
Where to live and travel
Now that you’re not tied to a specific area for your job, you have the option to live pretty much anywhere you want. In this section, we’ll discuss some interesting options for living through retirement.
Again, I’m not a financial person and I never bought into the idea of saving massive amounts for retirement at the expense of living for today. Sure, you need a little nest egg to see you through but I never planned to leave a lot of money to my kids. I spent the money giving them a good childhood, paying for college, and investing in training, such as ballet for the girls. That set them up to be successful in their own right, without an inheritance they’d have to share with Uncle Sam.
But, you still have things to think about, such as advanced medical directives if you don’t want to chance living on a respirator in a vegetative state (and, if you don’t want to give up hope, that’s fine, too). You also have ideas about how to handle your remains after your death. All that should be clear to your descendants so they aren’t faced with making those decisions on their own while grieving.
I’d love to connect
You get the most out of this content when you engage with me on Facebook or Instagram. So, head on over to follow. But, you need to share your ideas, provide feedback on what I say (even if you think it totally missed the boat), and tell me how you’re getting the most from living while gray.