Sunday, June 25, 2017

Roadblock to Progress

My back is hurting - I think it's just a mild strain, not major organic damage, but I'm taking it easier this weekend. I wasn't able to show up at the 2017 ARRL Field Day for my radio club, but I couldn't take a chance on making it worse.

I didn't even go to church this morning. Like I said, taking it REALLY easy.

Our cable is out - the lawn guy accidentally cut the cable, so, until around 4 pm today, we're off the grid - at least for Dish.

I'm using the Roku, which works off our OTHER cable, for Internet. I've found an interesting program, The Man in the High Castle. It's a sci-fi look at what America would have looked like, had Hitler won. It's based on a story by Phillip Dick.

It's another one of the Amazon Prime offerings - no charge for Prime customers (which, about 6 out of 10 people in the US are).

I was blown away by the first of the Prime shows I found - Z - The Beginning of Everything. I'm just waiting impatiently for Season 2.

Success! Finally Got Part B in Process!

I really don't know what happened, or why my personal visit to the offices to get my Part B signup did not work.

All I knew is that my Part B coverage wasn't showing up on the website.

I tried calling - not a good idea - I spent HOURS on the phone, without success.

So, this week, I got into the car, drove about 2 miles down the road, checked in and waited for almost 45 minutes (I didn't have an appointment), and saw a representative.

Who was immediately helpful.

I now have Part B coverage.

Now, I will need to set up the arrangements for paying for it, but - I'm in, without a penalty.

Penalty?

Yeah. It turns out that if you don't sign up at 65, for BOTH Parts A and B, you will have to pay a penalty for the rest of your life in the form of higher premiums.

The exception - which I qualified for - is for those over 65 who are still working (which, until 6/1/17, I was). I just needed to show them the form CMS-L564, signed by my former employer, which verified that I had acceptable health coverage during that post-65 time.

It just reinforces my understanding that paperwork is VERY important. Follow up with government, if there seems to be a problem. Verify any benefit online (actually, it's BETTER than over-the-phone), and keep files for paperwork.

And, all of that is just the sign-up process. I haven't submitted any claims yet.

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.

Have You Prepared Well Enough?

This is a hot-button issue. All of the literature regarding saving for retirement suggests that there soon may be a glut of aging bums on th...