See if you’re eligible

Medicare Savings Programs

You can get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions. These conditions are listed below under “How do I apply for Medicare Savings Programs?” Continue reading “See if you’re eligible”

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Keep an eye on your mailbox

Here is what was in my email inbox today everyone should be getting one of the new Medicare cards.

Your new Medicare card is coming soon

Keep an eye on your mailbox — we’re starting to mail new Medicare cards in your state!

Remember, once card mailings begin in your state, it’ll take about a month to finish. So you might get your new Medicare card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your area.

One tip: if you have a MyMedicare.gov account, you can sign in and see when your new card is expected to mail. Don’t have a MyMedicare.gov account yet? It’s easy to sign up — just visit MyMedicare.gov. It’s a free, secure way for you to access your personal Medicare-related information.

New Medicare Card

Wondering what’s new? The new cards are still paper, but they will look a little different. The biggest change is that your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. Though you’ll have a new card, rest assured your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.

Sincerely,

The Medicare Team

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U. S.  Department of Health and Human Services
This message is paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was created and distributed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. You’re receiving this message because you signed up for email updates from the Medicare Team.

Below is the latest information I received in an email. 

5/15/2018

If you live in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia — keep an eye on your mailbox — your new Medicare card is on its way!

Card mailing in your state takes about a month to finish, so you might get your new Medicare card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your areaRemember, you can still use your old Medicare card until your new card arrives.

Haven’t received your new card yet? Log in to your MyMedicare.govaccount to see when your new card is expected to hit the mail. If you don’t have a MyMedicare.gov account, you can sign up in just a few easy clicks.

New Medicare Card


Your new Medicare card has a new look and a new unique Medicare Number, instead of a Social Security Number, to better protect your personal identity. The new card and number won’t change your Medicare coverage or benefits.

Note: If you’ve already received your new card, that’s great! Start using it right away.

Sincerely,

The Medicare Team

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Become a notary and earn extra money

Photo by Helloquence
Photo by: Helloquence

What are or what does a Signing Agent do?

Notary signing agents are hired as an independent contractor. to ensure that real estate loan documents are executed by the borrower, notarized, and returned for processing on time. Completing this critical part of the loan process enables the loan to be funded.

You should get as much training as you can it will make it easier to perform signings, although it is not required in most states and you will have to check with the state you reside to understand their requirements. Each state charges an application fee to become commissioned and you will be sworn in at your local government office. For my state, it cost about $50.00 and took about three weeks to complete the entire process.

You can sign on with any number of training providers and after you complete a course you will be placed in a database for signing services to contact you to do signings. Each signing can take between one and three hours but the actual signing of most loan documents should be under one hour. The ones that take the longest are reverse mortgages and are a little more involved however these are the most rewarding.  This page will be updated as often as new information becomes available so come back often. I took two courses so I can only give my experience with each of them and I will give a review of the ones I used. I took a course given by NNA this seems to be the industry standard for all notaries that start out all though it is not required the majority of signing companies that seek out signing agents go here to find them. The membership is $69.00 for one year and they offer discounts for up to four years. The course can be taken independently from the membership but it’s a good idea to purchase the whole package because you get the NNA Certification as well as the required E&O insurance. I found the course information lacking severely inadequate to actually perform a signing so I looked for a course that taught the signings specifically and found Notary2Pro which I also took. I found this to be a lot better than what NNA offered and this level of training is needed to even begin thinking about going out to do a signing. In my opinion, the best way to achieve success if you are going to become a Notary Signing Agent is to get as much training as you can. Do your research carefully when you are going to sign up and pay for training. The best thing you can do is to find someone in your state to train you because each state has specific basic requirements on how signings are performed such as Reverse Mortgages, Refinances, conventional or VA mortgages.

This is like any other business in that it will take a few years before you learn the ropes and build up a reputation with signing companies or title companies. Here are some of the best deals I have found for items you will definitely need if you don’t have them already.



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Sell your old CD’s & DVD’s

How Much Cash Do You Have Sitting Around?

Photo by: Sharon Garcia

Here is a good way too cash in on the money that’s just laying around your house. I had almost three hundred music CD’s “268 to be exact” that I was able to sell? I was paid $317.67  and the buyer paid for the shipping.

The concept is called “re-commerce” Here is how to go about it.

This website is convenient Bonavendi it will display the amount other buyback sites will pay you. Often though the amount you see is not up to date so I only use it to show me who is buying. I then go to the sites using another tab or web browser and re-enter the ISBN information. You can learn about what an ISBN is by clicking this link What is an ISBN.  If you have a lot of CD’s and DVD’s you may want to buy a scanner they are cheap and well worth the small investment. Be sure to get one that has an auto scan feature so all you need to do is pass the barcode under the laser to activate and automatically insert the ISBN into your browser.


CD’s and DVD’s are not the only items these sites purchase, they also purchase cell phones, books, video games, game consoles, legos, Kindle’s, Notebooks and much more depending on the buyback site. So items you will be paid $20.00 and up to about $100.00 each. I took this opportunity to another level after my first shipment and in 2017 I was paid $17,043.45 so, as you can see this can be a lucrative past time. Here are some of the sites I sell to. Not only is it fun to go hunting for items to sell it’s a good opportunity to get out and meet people, visit yard sales  I like to walk a lot providing the weather is nice. Some buyback sites even have phone apps you can scan to see if they are worth buying and after your day of treasure hunting all you need to do is go home to print your shipping label and send off the box or package.

I want to add one thing I always copy my music CD’s to iTunes and keep a backup copy on two devices as well as the cloud. Happy treasure hunting.

https://www.bonavendi.com/

https://www.bookfinder.com/buyback/

Bookscouter

Moneypantry

Gazelle

Buybackworld

Abebooks

Decluttr

Bookmonster


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Sound familiar?

Have you heard this before?

If you’re starting to get mail from AARP its time to start looking at healthcare options for retirement or it’s that time of the year “open season” to be making choices. Unforutitly healthcare choices are always changing and you have to go back and re-evaluate your coverage and options every year, For example, The Part B premium remained steady (for most enrollees) at $104.90 from 2013 through 2016. It increased in 2017, although because the Social Security COLA was just 0.3 percent for 2017, Part B premium increases for 2017 were very small for most enrollees. Unless the enrollee’s income exceeds $85,000, net Social Security checks cannot decrease from one year to the next. So the maximum increase in Part B premiums (which are deducted from Social Security checks) is limited to the amount of the COLA. In my case, I did get raised from $104.90 in 2016 to $106.00 in 2016 and $110.00 in 2018 as well as a reduction in my social security check. As far as what I have read I should not have had any net decrease of my social security check under the  “held harmless” provision which states monthly social security checks should not be reduced. “If I am wrong Please correct me” and help me understand where my calculations were wrong or if I am misunderstanding the rule. In the meantime, if anyone has seen an increase of their Medicare and a decrease of the net social security check they receive you may want to get in touch social security to have them to straighten it out or at least explain why your check went down.

My plan on how to deal with my healthcare cost increase.

My insurance costs are  16% of my annual income which is good but I am lucky enough to be able to get it down to 8% by dropping my supplemental insurance which is the biggest chunk of insurance. I am a veteran but never took advantage of my VA benefits and by asking questions and filling out a one-time financial assessment after that the VA will get your information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). How you are assessed is determined by your military service. and income using a banding system. What this amounts to for me is I have no co-pay to any VA services that require medical attention including regular wellness visits. The only thing I  pay for is my prescriptions which for me are two and I pay $5.00 per month for each which comes to $30.00 every three months under the VA. Under SSA Part – D prescription plan I pay $8.00 ever three months for one and nothing for the other so technically my VA prescription refills are more expensive but if you add in what I pay for Part-D for perceptions under Medicare I pay ($20.40 premium per month + $2.67 Rx) =  $276.80 per year. But under the VA I pay only $120.00 per year which is for prescriptions only. I could conceivably cancel Part-D and pay nothing for premiums which would be a savings of  $156.80 per year for prescriptions. Looking further If I canceled my Part-B I would save an additional $1,320 per year or $110.00 per month for a total annual savings of $1,476.80 or $123.07 per month so you see with a little creativity the savings mount up. But before you go canceling any insurance you need to understand 100% of the posable consequences.

Keep these things in mind and check with insurance providers as well as Medicare and the VA.

  • VA health coverage isn’t set in stone and isn’t the same for everyone. The VA assigns enrollees to different priority levels according to various factors, such as income and whether they have any medical condition that derives from their military service. If federal funding drops or doesn’t keep pace with costs, some vets in the lower priority levels may lose VA coverage entirely.
  • Having both Medicare and VA benefits greatly widens your coverage. If you need to go a non-VA hospital or doctor, you’re automatically covered under Part A and/or Part B — whereas, with VA coverage alone, you’d very likely end up having to pay the full cost yourself, even in emergencies.  This is an important point to consider if you live some distance from the nearest VA facility.
  • You may be subject to penalties in the future. If someday, when you’re well past 65, you happen to lose VA coverage or otherwise decide that you need Medicare and are not already signed up for Part B (or have insurance from a current employer), you would likely have to wait a while for coverage and you’d be liable for late penalties that are permanently added to your Part B premiums.

Its a lot to digest I know and I would not make any of my decisions without careful consideration and consultation with at least two experts at each department (VA, SSA, AARP, Medicare and insurance providers)

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