Friday, June 23, 2017

Untangling Medicare, Part II

Part A - Check
Part G - Check
Part D - Check

Ironically, the one that Medicare administers is the one that I've had the hardest time getting verified. I've spent several hours online and on the phone, but can't get an employee to check the system, and tell me whether my coverage is in process.

In contrast, the private sector, responsible for Parts G and D, have been quick - responding to me within hours, carefully making sure that my questions are answered, and generally performing quite well.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Second Week of Retirement

I slowed down on the re-organizing; my husband threw out his back, and I had to chauffeur him to the doctor's, work, and other places. Can't let a man on drugs drive.

I did manage to get my Pi set up (although it appears that my NOOBS SD card may have become corrupted - I'm ordering another one from Amazon - it's cheaper to get one already loaded, than to buy a blank one).

I'm revising the novel, and have started tracking my progress - I'm aiming for 700 words a day - it's slower work, and I'm cutting almost as much as I'm adding. I'm going to start planning for Monday today, and work on getting my plan in place before quitting each day.

Monday will be a heavy paperwork/government contact day. I may need to spend as much as 1-2 days a week on that for a while. I'm getting things done, but the pace is slow.

Field Day is next weekend - that's the 24-hour club activity, where we make as many contacts as possible, and use the event to introduce new people to the hobby. You can check out local events (and get a chance to get on the air) here. When you click on the little marker, note whether it is GOTA: YES. If so, you can Get On The Air, even without a license.

I've been lax on exercising; I'm going to start scheduling my gym times, to maximize the likelihood of actually doing it.




Saturday, June 10, 2017

Retirement, One Week In

It's been good.

My house is on the road to organization. In other words, small pockets of it are cleared out. I have a LONG way to go.

Part of this, I realized after talking to my sister-in-law, whose home I'd always thought perfectly lovely, is that the modern no longer goes through this purge process once a year (Spring Cleaning). I never valued it before, but doing a regular yearly 'turn-out' is something desperately needed in American life. It might be a good plan for a small business, for someone who is mega-organized. Not a professional organizer, but just someone who can come in and nudge that person to:

  • Put away in some organized fashion
  • Give away
  • Sell
  • Throw out
This can be an overwhelming task, needing weeks of planning, moving stuff out of where it's at, cleaning the containers, and putting back ONLY what should be kept. It's not a fast process.

I'm doing it in bite-sized hunks. Much more, and I'd be facing massive back issues, as the task is hard on an aging bone structure. I'm finding some pleasure in relaxing at the end of the day, and seeing the fruits of my labor around me.

Some sites that have helped me, and may help you:

  • UnF**k Your Habitat - expressed inelegantly, but fairly - good use of before and after pictures. That's an idea I've been toying around with, and may start doing.
  • Don't know where to start? This site might give you some ideas.
  • This site really spoke to me. I decided to pare down my life to what it IS, or WILL BE, in ONE area. Not IF I changed ALL of it. I'm still working on that.
    • Just one short part of the above site: "I started to think a lot about the psychological bridge so many of seem to build in our minds over the issue of possessions equaling experience, or as snailspace so aptly phrased it, " ...our acquisitions, come from trying to furnish a fantasy.""

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

First Days of Retirement

AWESOME!

Just AWESOME - that's all I have to say about it.

I made MAJOR progress on cleaning up the house - bathroom - Check! Living Room - In Process. Desk Cleared - Check! Office - In Process.

My goals this month are clearing out paperwork backlog, and general cleaning and organization.

So far, so good.

Friday, June 2, 2017

On the Road Problems

I've been trying to use the Mobile version of Blogger - kept getting kicked out of the app. I didn't bring my usual laptop this week, as I didn't think I'd have that much time to work on things.

I'm going to write, but not post again until Monday. If I can, I'll schedule the post(s) before that time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Next Step in Medicare Sign-up - Part D

The government does make it RELATIVELY painless to sign up (well, other than that paying for it thing). You can go to the site by Googling:

Medicare part d signup

Or, just go to this site to find plan comparisons.

Once there, your access to plans is partly determined by your location, so the first step is to enter your zip code.

You will be asked a few questions (I Don't Know is an acceptable answer).

This takes you to a page where you can enter your on-going medications (if this isn't something you need, you can skip it, but if you take regular meds, it will make a difference to the cost of the plans).

You will want to enter your standard medications on the list (easy-peasy), then select one of the 3 options (the first one is for buying Part D separately from your Part B, which your person signing you up should have told you if you needed this). Check the first box and compare plans.

NOTE: pay attention not just to the monthly cost, but to the overall yearly cost - that last one will take into account the cost of your meds (which is why I suggest you enter all the meds you regularly take)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Organizing The Paper Clutter

This is one of the BIG things I have to do over the next 3 months or so. We have a ridiculous amount of loose paper around our house.

This paper onslaught comes from several sources:

  • Work papers
    • Paycheck stubs, communiques from our benefits department, receipts
  • Related to professional activities
    • PD (professional development)
    • Continuing coursework and CEUs
    • Mailing list items, catalogs, random CD/DVDs
    • PTRA - we provide workshops for teachers - this will continue even after retirement
  • Student work - this will be less of a problem, as I will no longer be generating these. But, Den still has responsibilities to maintain records and grade papers
  • Financial
    • Bills
    • Financial investments
    • Banking statements
    • Refunds in process, warranties
    • Taxes
  • Hobby/Church
    • Radio and electronics (me) - I recently built a workbench in the attic, and will be moving most, if not all, of my gear to that space
    • Magazines, mailing offers
    • Church bulletins, Catechist paperwork and materials, reference materials
  • Medical
    • This is getting to be more important over time
    • Medicare, health plans, explanations of bills
    • Medical records
  • Business-related
    • We run two businesses together (one with consumer products, the other providing legal services)
    • Writing (me) - I will be upping my involvement in this area, and need to organize this before it becomes too out of control
Wow! Until now, I hadn't realized just how fragmented and complicated our lives had become. And, that's just the paper.

Some good things I've already done.
  • Daily organization
    • I use a Franklin Planner, and it is getting a workout lately
    • I organize papers by a daily folder system - M-F. Each day's papers go into a colored plastic folder. Hopefully, each day, paper is either dealt with, or moved to another day's folder.
  • In-sight organization
    • I use wall-mounted plastic pockets to hold paper that is needed regularly or for a long term project.
    • Wall calendar - erasable, located in office for easy reference.
    • Bill sorter (I do have to clear this out and start again this week).
  • Organization of repeating tasks on a weekly basis.
  • Automation of bill-paying when possible. I'll be adding more in the future, such as setting up budget billing for utilities.
My goal is to have this under control by the end of June, at the latest. I'll post progress as I make it. I'll be taking pictures of the before and after (I WON'T be posting the before until I have an after - too depressing to immortalize the mess without being able to bask in the glory of having corrected it).