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  • Glenn Miller

Miller’s Senior Blog #1

What really happened to Glenn Miller, the 1930-40’s band leader? It was June, 1945 and the Allies had liberated Paris. Miller and his band had been entertaining our WW2 service men and women for several years, first in the US and then in England. He was going to fly over to Paris and make arrangements for his band to go there to continue entertaining our Allied troops in Europe. He took off in a small plane with a pilot and nobody ever heard from him again. It was foggy and rainy over the English channel that day, so the plane was probably flying fairly low, likely at an elevation of about 2,000’. One interesting story is that when American and British bombers flew back from raids over Germany, if they had any bombs left over, standard procedure was to drop them in a certain zone over the English channel. Because from experience, having bombs onboard when landing at the airfields could cause multiple problems if the landing went wrong. A researcher looking into the matter found some bomber plane logs detailing dropping unused bombs in that special zone at a time close to when Miller might have mistakenly passed through there, and one of the bombardiers insisted he saw an mid-air explosion below them after releasing their unused bombs. If that was indeed the case, we would say that Glenn Miller was in the wrong place at the wrong time. (And some will wonder if I was named for the band leader? I need a bucket to carry a tune and my mother said, while she and my father liked the bandleader and danced to his music, he was not why she named me Glenn. She just liked the name. And my brothers were Kenneth, Charles and Maurice, me being the 2nd child).

Now none of us want that to be us (being in the wrong place at the wrong time). And part of my job as an agent in the Medicare field is to identify some of those possible situations you might face. Unfortunately, we do a lot of our communications during the AEP (Annual Election Period) when everything for me is over-the-top busy. I am typically too busy to review additional coverages at that time. So, one of my purposes with this blog is to discuss situations and other products that might be of interest to you. My style isn’t hard sell, so relax. I think it is information that we should all be aware of. Many of you won’t have a need. Fewer still will want to afford some of these products. But some will agree it might fill a void they should worry about. One observation: Even most healthy people will live to an older age when your body starts to break down, just like my Dad. So, please understand what I am writing.

For my first product I want to discuss Long-term Care.

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The statistics are sobering. For a couple at age 65, there is a 70% chance of a long-term care (LTC) event lasting 3 years or longer to one of the partners. Yes, read that again. But I don’t sell LTC anymore, since about 2012. When I did sell it, I used the #1 carrier at that time, John Hancock Life Ins. out of Boston, MA. Great company. But you will recall we had a serious recession in 2009 and in order to turn the economy around the Fed forced interest rates down close to zero, kind of like what they have done this year in response to the pandemic. Well, insurance companies have to pay their customer claims and they are restricted in how they invest those plan premiums. By law they must be very conservative with how they invest those funds (for future claims pay-outs). The whole idea, and the way I sold the plans I did sell, was this: Pay your premiums and somewhere down the road 15-20 years you may need this coverage but we can expect a 30-40% increase in premiums over that time frame. Now, as an agent I had to go through this disclosure process to make sure people could afford that kind of a scenario. And then the recession hit, interest rates were so low that the LTC companies found it hard to get a proper return on their money (and the number of carriers nationally has fallen from about 30 to 10 since the last recession). Their only option was to raise those rates in 4 years instead of 20. While I don’t want to blame them, I instead chose to not sell that kind of product any longer. They kind of made me a liar, and I just don’t like that. It is what it is. Now I still think there is a legitimate need and I guess if somebody had a compelling situation, I would sell the product to the right persons. These plans start at $2-3,000 per year per person, depending on options and age. But I’m not out soliciting that business.

So, long-term care is an issue, and will affect more of you than you think. We all know somebody in that situation, be it family or friends or neighbors. A long-term care issue brings with it a host of related concerns for spouses and families, and it isn’t all financial.

If you have limited income, your fallback position is Medicaid. It works, but your choices are restricted, and you go where they tell you. If you do have more income you ought to figure out now how you would react if it happened to you, or your husband/wife. If you can self-insure (pay expenses out-of-pocket), that is certainly an option. But I think what we call Short Term Care is an answer for more people. This coverage is way more affordable and you can buy it for 3-6-9-or 12 months of coverage. So, the real long-term needs will not affect this insurance, because it won’t cover that. I have a 99-year-old father (he insists that he is in his 100th year now, so (“I’m 100!”) in an assisted living facility in Post Falls, Idaho. He used to be at Anna Maria in Medford. He uses his coverage having caretakers come in and help him get bathed and dressed in the morning and then get in his PJ’s at night, with a few other personal chores.

His policy would pay up to $150 per day for three years but using it sparingly like he does has allowed him to stretch that benefit out over the years at a rate of about $20 per hour, or $40 per day. At the current rate of usage his three-year plan will last 11.25 years.

If you have any questions about such coverage, let me know and we can discuss your perceived need and possible solution.

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While I do have some ideas of things I would like to talk about in this blog, I would also welcome your questions about this subject or anything else. I read a lot of material and I keep anything that seems like it might be useful information in the future.

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Some of my favorite Quotes:

One step at a time will get you there. Emily Dickinson

Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it. Jesse Owens

When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

Henry Ford

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A Health Tip: Ear wax, it seems to be a problem for many, including me. I guess we all know by now that using Q-tips just ends up pushing the wax further down in the ear, compacting it. I used to try putting some fizzy concoction in each ear and let it set for 6 minutes, and then the other ear. I hated lying down doing nothing for 6 minutes. And it really didn’t work anyway. Then I started to just go to Urgent Care and let them use the old “pics and shovels” routine to clean out my ears. I usually had a bloody ear for a day or two after. Then, out of desperation I went to a specialist EN&T guy, who had a device that sucked the wax out of both ears in under 45 seconds. Seriously! Then he suggested another option. He said every time you shower simply rub your soapy fingers into each ear, soap them up again and cup a little warm water into one hand at a time and bend your head and drop the soapy water into one ear, and then repeat. Then just go about your shower routine and then thoroughly wash each ear out with warm/hot water at the end. This doctor was in Medford, OR so it must have been probably 2016 or before. I don’t remember. Now I do wear hearing aids. Right now, my right hearing aid “screeches” at me. And then my wife Karla screeches at me! So, I was thinking maybe the aid is going bad. Then I remembered that if my ear started filling up with wax again, my aid would “screech.” I had forgotten that. So, I’m thinking for whatever reason, my right ear has filled up with wax again. Before, I used to have to get my ears cleaned out about once a year. Therefore, the soapy trick has done well for probably 4-5 years. And since I don’t have an Ear Dr. in Coeur d’Alene, I will probably go to the Urgent Care again. Grrr.

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Some favorite verses: Isaiah 41:10 …

Fear thou not for I am with thee; Be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Matthew 18:15 …

Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou

hast gained thy brother.

For those of you living in the Rogue River Valley of Jackson County, OR, you have been shaken by the fire tragedy experienced this summer. Whether or not you were directly impacted, all of you at least know somebody who did lose their home. Our son, his wife and 5 of our grandkids, along with my wife’s mother and sister are still in the area. It was scary for them, but they got through ok. We had at least one night where we didn’t sleep too well knowing evacuation notices could have happened at any time. I would just encourage you to reach out to any friends impacted by the fires. Even if you don’t know someone very well, let them know you are thinking about them, and if there is something you could do, offer that help to them. It may just be needed encouragement, a friendly voice and an ear to listen. Because, there but by the grace of God go you. Communities must be supportive, so I encourage you to just do what you can.

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Maybe a few funnies:

Grandpa, how come there aren’t circuses around anymore? All the clowns got into politics.

My wife an I have a secret to a long marriage. Twice a week we go to a nice restaurant and have a nice little dinner. She goes on Tuesdays and I go on Fridays.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you read a medicine bottle that says: WARNING! May cause permanent weight loss, remove wrinkles and

Increase energy.

Hope springs eternal!


Thanks for reading. Also, my new website is up. Check it out at gmillerins.com. I will be archiving these blogs there as well.

And again, please send your questions, especially those that others would likely have an interest in.

And if you think my service and blog would be of interest to others, please share with your acquaintances, or post on FB.

To my clients: thank you for your business, it is always appreciated. God bless you and yours.

Glenn


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