Have a little heart

Greetings and may this blog find you in great health 💪 with your Medicare coverage 🏥 working properly. How was your week?

Any problems with your coverage? If so, book a time on my calendar or shoot an email to my admin Gray@TheBig65.com. Let us know 😊☎️.

Plato, Q and I had a quiet Easter Sunday at home in Colorado. Sometimes it’s just nice to relax, isn’t it?

Quantz at home in Colorado.

We rose early and breakfasted at The Original Pancake House, our favorite national breakfast chain. Be sure to save up your statins if you order the apple pancakes and the bacon, but man oh man, it’s worth it, three meals from one order. I don’t like their coffee, but we love their pancakes.

Which brings us to today’s topic, heart health.

Karl Bruns-Kyler about to enjoy some tasty pancakes at breakfast.

You don’t have to be a doctor to know that moderation is the secret to good living. Paying better attention to our health is an important part of aging well.

Here are some helpful ideas backed by studies to promote heart health.

Quantz working in the kitchen.

Stay Active:

•  Engage in regular physical activity tailored to your abilities. Even gentle exercises like walking, swimming, or yoga can significantly benefit heart health. How about polishing the silverware?

•  According to a study published in the American Heart Association journal, regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease in older adults by 25%.

A cairn located in Colorado.

Manage Stress:

•  Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

•  A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that stress management techniques can lead to significant improvements in heart health among seniors.

Every time I bike the bluffs, I try to drop a rock on this cairn.

Plato lounging in the back yard with a friend.

Monitor Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels:

•  Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as per your doctor’s recommendations.

•  Research has shown that maintaining optimal blood pressure and cholesterol levels can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in older adults.

Three nice ladies pose for a photo.

Stay Socially Connected:

•  Maintain strong social connections with friends, family, and community groups. Social isolation has been associated with an elevated risk of heart disease and mortality. Tina and her sisters take a weekend trip together every year.

•  According to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, seniors who actively engage in social activities have better heart health outcomes. For Luke and Carmen, that means travelling forty three hours from Virginia to Jakarta to spend time with their grandvarmints.

Luke and Carmen with their beautiful family.

Get Sufficient Sleep:

•  Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep patterns have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

•  A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that older adults who consistently get enough sleep have healthier hearts compared to those who experience sleep disturbances.

Marcel just arrived in the US from the Netherlands to watch the Solar Eclipse. Will you get to see it?

Marcel who just arrived in the US from the Netherlands to watch the Solar Eclipse.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet:

•  Embrace a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

•  Research from the American Heart Association suggests that adhering to a Mediterranean-style diet can lower the risk of heart disease among older individuals by up to 30%.

•  My little brother Haas grows a lot of food on his farm in the Shenandoah Valley. This weekend, he’ll be hunting for Morell mushrooms, if the deer and the gobblers don’t get to them first.

A farm in the Shenandoah Valley at sunset.

Caring for your heart is a lifelong endeavor, and we can take proactive steps to safeguard our cardiovascular health. Remember, it’s never too late to prioritize your heart health!

As the famous saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Let’s start nurturing our hearts today for a healthier tomorrow.

A candid photo of exercise physiologist and registered dietician Cate Reade in Colorado.

Great news! Due to your responses, Exercise Physiologist and Registered Dietician Cate Reade has agreed to create a wellness webinar on balance for The Big 65. We’ll announce the dates next Saturday. See how excited my brother Rob is 😉😂.

Please email the questions or topics you’d like Cate to address.

Rob and his grandson sit for a portrait.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

If you know someone who might like to receive The Big 65 newsletter, forward this link.

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Karl Bruns-Kyler of The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Agency.

I messed up this week and I need some balance

Greetings and may this note find you in great health with your Medicare coverage working properly and Happy Easter Weekend.

I missed client Dan’s email a couple weeks back and I sure felt bad 😔. If you ever reach out and I don’t respond within 24 hours 😳

Please call and leave a message, book a time on my calendar, or shoot an email to my admin Gray@TheBig65.com and he will hunt me down 😊☎️🔫.

This has been a busy week here at home finishing up the month of March. Plato is exhausted 🐶.

Karl Bruns-Kyler at his desk working on Medicare insurance as Plato sits nearby.

I had a wonderful catchup with client Rose and her Great Pyrenees Collie rescue, the amazing Max (of course he’s a Buckeye). She’s a retired nurse and I shared with her about a workshop I attended this week that could make a huge difference in all of our lives. So, please pay attention 🏫 ✏️.

Max the Collie rescue dog.

Cate Reade is an Exercise Physiologist and a Registered Dietitian and the founder of MoveMor. This week she taught a class on “Why We Lose Balance and How We Fix It.”

Balance relies on the sensory systems of our eyes, our ears, and our joints. As we age, we often see those abilities diminish. The good news? Thanks to the brain’s remarkable neuroplasticity, we can strengthen our balance, our range of motion, and our cognitive skills with simple, short, repetitive exercises and training tools.

Cate Reade teaching a class on "Why we lose Balance and How We Fix it

Loss of ankle and foot mobility play a huge part in the loss of balance. Cate shared simple exercise strategies.

•  Take 5: Fix Your Foundation
•  At Home Seated Exercises

During the workshop, she showed us how to strengthen feet, ankle, and leg muscles doing simple, seated exercises.

MoveMor mobility trainer with two feet in black socks.

We know that it’s either use it or lose it for muscles, but I was amazed to learn that, according to third party studies, as little as 10 exercises of 10 repetitions for 10 minutes of seated exercise can greatly improve balance, and that means independence.

Cate Reade teaching a class on balance and mobility.

Cate teaches classes at our local wellness center and to groups across Denver. If you are inspired by her work, please let me know and I will arrange a free webinar if enough people are interested.

Stuart with his Olympic dog.

Balance classes, Yoga, Aerobics, and Strength Training will certainly make you healthier, but don’t forget about the greatest exercise of them all: Walking.

I met retired Geophysicist Stuart out with his Olympic dog, a hybrid Kangal Turkish Shepherd, bred with a South African Boerbol. This fellow can chase down and pin a coyote. He makes Plato look small. Hold on tight!

Longtime client Charles and his lovely wife Phyllis posing for a candid photo.

Longtime client Charles (and his lovely wife Phyllis) stay active in work, church and walking. The important thing – find an activity you enjoy and stay with it.

Vintage photo of client Becky on Easter Sunday in Tioga, North Dakota.

Client Becky shared this picture of her and her brother (both on the left) Easter Sunday where she grew up in Tioga, North Dakota. Were we ever that young?

Sus and Plato together.

By dog years, Plato is almost 63, but he still loves hanging out with the young’uns. I hope you do the same ❤️.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

Refer a Friend

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

If you know someone who might like to receive The Big 65 newsletter, forward this link.

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Logo for The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services company.

 

 

 

 

What happens if the system breaks down?

Greetings and may this blog find you in great health 💪 with your Medicare coverage 🏥 working properly.

Please book a time on my calendar if you are having Medicare issues. Anyone on an Advantage plan has till the end of March to make a change if they are unhappy!

Are you getting through your taxes?  It’s QuickBooks time here at home and Plato is not in the mood. He loves the sun and the snow.

Plato watching as The Big 65 works on QuickBooks.

Last weekend, the neighborhood looked like this.

Sun shining on a snowy day in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Now the snow is mostly gone and we are definitely thinking Spring.

Plato enjoying spring weather in Denver, Colorado.

Of course we’re always one disruption away from a problem (weather, internet, health) so today, we need to talk about prescriptions and how to make sure you never run out.

Plato chomping down on some Skippy peanut butter in Colorado.

Your grandmother had a well stocked pantry, just in case. Now we are spoiled by 24 hour convenience and Amazon so we are used to having less of everything on hand.

It may be time to build up reserves.

Earlier this year, hackers took over a major healthcare website and prevented physicians from being paid and some pharmacies from dispensing medications.

Karl's backyard beehive in Colorado.

Many pharmacies were able to find work-around options, but some of my clients were in a tight spot.

Dr. Michael Rhodes recommends having an emergency supply of meds on hand, minimally three days worth, ideally 30 days worth and a disaster kit ready.

If you prepare, you’ll be like Jane and have no drama with your Llama.

Jane hugging her llama.

“Ask your doctor for an additional prescription, explain what you’re doing and tell your doctor the meds will be going into storage,” says Dr. Rhodes. “Since many insurance companies will only cover a 30-day supply you may need to pay out of pocket. If your medication is very expensive, ask if there’s a generic substitute you could use in an emergency.”

Group of people sitting at a table.

Check out this article for additional ideas on how to have your emergency medicines ready, but the bottom line…bee 🐝 prepared 😂.

Then go have a cup of coffee☕ with the people you love. This is my old tribe in the Shenandoah Valley. I sure hope to see them again.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

If you know someone who might like to receive The Big 65 newsletter, forward this link.

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Logo for The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services company.

 

Beware the Snow Ides of March!

Greetings and may this blog find you in great health 💪 with your Medicare coverage 🏥 working properly.

Are you having any issues? If so, reach out and book a time on my calendar.  Anyone on an Advantage plan has till the end of March to make a change if they are unhappy!

Here in Colorado, we are beholding the Ides of March with 30 plus inches and it’s still coming down ❄️. Client Becky around the corner said we came home too early…

Karl Bruns-Kyler shoveling snow in Colorado as Plato the friendly dog watches Karl.

Plato didn’t seem to mind, not one bit. He thinks we timed it just right 🐶.

Plato the friendly dog enjoying the indoors in snowy Colorado.

It was raining ☔ in England most of the time I was visiting our Air Force son. You know your boy is in the right place when he takes you to the Duxford Air Museum when he isn’t working on the base. It was a pleasure to spend time with him and to learn about his adventures. The young’uns sure grow up fast 😲.

Nicholas checking out airplanes and flying machines.

So now that Quantz and I are home and together again, there’s plenty to catch up on, inside and outside the house. She does the mail, the bills, and the inside stuff.

Quantz at home sitting beside the blazing fire and reviewing bills.

My job is outside the house – gutters, yard, and snow removal.

Now, shoveling snow is great cardio, but beware! According to The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, over 11,500 people were treated each year in Emergency Rooms over a 16 year period for snow shoveling related incidents 😱.

Highlands Ranch snow day.

According to another article, “your level of risk largely depends on your fitness level and whether you have cardiovascular risk factors, such as a history of cardiac or vascular disease, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or another chronic condition.”

If you do choose to take on a physically taxing chore, beware. Snow shoveling “drives up a person’s heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, since the chore requires engaging seldom-used arm muscles while the legs are mostly still, blood tends to pool in the lower extremities. At the same time, cold temperatures constrict the arteries, decreasing the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the heart ❤️🏥.”

Karl Bruns-Kyler shoveling snow in Colorado as Plato the dog watches in delight.

Google “Area Agency on Aging” to find local resources. Many cities have a website like ours to help seniors with snow shoveling.

Of course you could always ask the neighbor kids if they want to earn a couple of bucks.

Make sure whatever chore you tackle won’t cause you to end up in the emergency room. Remember last week’s newsletter on messed up medical billing?

As our daughter Sus said many years ago, when I hurt my back overdoing it in a yoga class “don’t be a hero daddy.”

Plato the friendly big dog in the snow.

When I told my little brother Haas in Virginia about the snow, he couldn’t help but immediately send a pic and rub it in. It’s always good to laugh at yourself, right?

Haas fishing in Virginia.

Largemouth brother catching a largemouth bass 😂🐟. I sure am grateful to have him in my life.

So that’s it for this week. As they say in the musical Annie, “the sun’ll come out tomorrow,” especially if my wife Q is around (and she even helped me shovel), I’m a lucky man. Even money says all the snow’ll be gone by next weekend. What say you?

Quantz shoveling snow in Colorado for The Big 65.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

⇒ ⇒ If you know someone who might like to receive The Big 65 newsletter, forward this link to sign up. ⇐ ⇐

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Logo for The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services company.

 

Get off your high horse!

Greetings and may this blog post find you in great health 💪 with your Medicare coverage 🏥 working properly.

Are you having any issues with your coverage? If so, reach out and book a time on my calendar. Anyone on an Advantage plan has till the end of March to make a change if they are unhappy!

OK, the sky’s not falling, but I am on my high horse, watching out for scams. Despite writing about this last week, we almost got burned🔥.

Karl sitting on his high horse.

My wife Q received this email invoice and asked me if we should pay😱! It’s always worth a second look before you pay a bill and this one was completely bogus.

Bogus invoice from PayPal.

This week, we need to revisit Medical Billing. Now don’t fall asleep 😪. If we don’t pay attention to these common billing mistakes, it could cost us money💰.

Salt flats in the Bolivian Andes.

According to Becker’s Hospital CFO Report, 4 out of 5 medical bills contain at least one minor error.

Quantz traveling.

Not all of these errors result in higher bills, but many do. If there is an error in your bill, according to Medicare, here are a few of things you can do.

Back in Highlands Ranch.

→ Get a detailed bill resent by the provider and check it to make sure the service you were billed for was actually the service you received.

Plato in Highlands Ranch.

→ Ask the doctor for a copy of your medical records and compare this to the bill.

Rembrandt paining.

→ Look up the medical billing codes online. Compare them to your bill. If they don’t match what you got, contact your provider’s billing department.

Medicare insurance broker Karl Bruns-Kyler of The Big 65.

→ Confirm the bill was actually sent to your insurance company. Billing departments sometimes send bills to the consumer instead of sending them to the insurance company.

Museum in Amsterdam Karl
→ Call the billing department and have them submit the bill to the insurance company so that it is processed correctly.

263 sign in window.

→ If you are stuck with an expensive bill, make sure they are charging a fair price and not overcharging you ($200 aspirin). Consider checking FairHealth to get a sense of fair market prices and negotiate from there.

View of Amsterdamn.

→ You can also ask for help from a Patient Assistance program in your state.  Here is a link.

Karl standing in a church.

→ One final tip: “If you’re being admitted to a hospital and asked to sign a document of financial responsibility, write in that you agree only if your care is in network, says Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D., author of “An American Sickness.” See Consumer Reports.Plaque.

In the meantime, keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Logo for The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services company.

 

 

Are you running low on protein?

Greetings and may this blog post find you in great health with your Medicare coverage working properly.

Are you having any issues with your coverage? If so, reach out to Gray or book a time on my calendar. We’re here to help so you can ignore the Medicare Telemarketers!

Yours truly is in Britain, visiting our Air Force son, and you are probably wondering where’s my wife, the mighty Q?

Animals in the wild.

Quantz is still in South America, checking off countries on her bucket list. These pictures are from Iguazu, some of the largest waterfalls in the world.

Quantz in front of a lovely waterfall.

When I was there in 1983, the catwalks you see below were completely washed away. Q’s pictures remind me how impressive the water is.

 Waterfalls of Iguazu.

The Amazon is such a fascinating place, filled with animals like the coatimundi, racoon-like creatures that will eat almost anything.

Which brings us to the topic of today, protein.

A coatimundi, a racoon-like creature in the wild.

A study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, indicates that older adults in the US aren’t getting enough protein.

Analyzing data from over 11,000 adults aged 51 and above, they found that nearly half of the older participants didn’t consume adequate protein regularly.

Majestic scene of the mountains in South America.

Not getting enough protein isn’t just about muscles; it could signal that someone’s diet and overall health might need a boost. As we get older, our muscles start to shrink, which can make us weaker and more prone to falling.

A nice lady working in the market.

Individuals over 50 “whose protein intake was lower than the recommended level had a poorer diet overall, as well as ‘significantly more functional limitations.’ These people consumed fewer healthful foods such as greens and beans, dairy, seafood, and plant protein foods.”

Four ladies in colorful outfits walking down the street together.

”Despite the protein craze in America, the data shows there’s still a big gap in adults’ protein intake.”

Great sources of protein include rice, beans, lentils, soy, and quinoa, as well as eggs, dairy, or meat. This was Quantz’s dinner in La Paz, Bolivia, the highest capital in the world. She never figured out what the food on the left of the plate actually was.

A plate of unknown meat sitting on a plate of rice.

So just to make sure I practiced what I preached, yours truly had a ribeye and “chips” in the Mildenhall Market. I feel stronger already.

A man cutting meat in Mildenhall Market.

Most important, keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Logo for The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services company.

 

Good News for 2024!

Greetings and may this blog post find you in great health with your Medicare coverage working properly.

Can you believe the year is almost over? That’s what happens when you blink, life just keeps on zipping by!

Hopefully you are in good shape for 2024 but feel free to book a time on my calendar if you need help or reach out to my admin Gray.

Talk about time flying, Q and I celebrated 35 years of marriage this week, no attorneys required, thank goodness. Some of you certainly have us beat so send a picture and the number of years. Longest married (with a picture) wins a prize!

Karl and Quantz celebrate 35th anniversary with breakfast together.

We celebrated with breakfast at Snooze and they even threw in complimentary anniversary pancakes! The funniest part? The bill was exactly $35 bucks, go figure.

I almost missed the fancy card and the quality control survey Quantz put on my napkin. Of course I gave her five stars.

Anniversary napkin from Quantz to Karl Bruns-Kyler.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones celebrating this week. Joe’s sister in North Carolina sent this affectionate display to celebrate her brother’s birthday: Bikes, booze, barbecue and of course his wife Becky!

Happy 70th Birthday Joe.

Are you preparing to make 2024 the most joyous year ever? Here are some ideas that could be helpful in making the New Year even more meaningful. They come from Japan.

Ikigai, find purpose in your life. Pursue activities that align with your passions, talents, and reasons for being alive. Whether that means taking care of your family, sharing your faith, sharing your home, working, or volunteering, tapping into your purpose, your reason for remaining above ground will make the world better and bring a smile to your face.

My Ikigai is to help others, to take care of family, and to try to produce more than I consume. If I can put a smile on another person’s face, then it is double plus good.

Karl sitting with family at dinner together.

Kaizen, small, continuous improvements in various aspects of our lives.

We are a culture obsessed with the pursuit of massive gains, but real change typically involves small simple actions over a long period of time, not dramatic shifts.

A few extra steps every day, substituting oatmeal for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, practicing your balance while brushing your teeth… aim for gradual and sustainable progress over time. One percent better over time can produce profound results.

Elephant art.

Our daughter Sus applies Kaizen to her hobbies. This winter she learned to make light box frames and gave us one for Xmas. I admire her ability to never give up and to always be learning new things. Of course she may need to apply Kaizen to her garage!

Sus' garage in Colorado.

Hara Hachi Bu, don’t over fill yourself with food. We are blessed with an abundance of food at this time of year and I love to make Momofuku Bo Ssaam (Korean Pork Shoulder with sauces) and cheese fondue, my ultimate comfort foods.

“Hara hachi bu” is a Japanese concept that encourages people to eat until they are 80% full, promoting mindful and moderate eating for better health and longevity.

Of course we should enjoy our time with family and friends, and breaking bread together is one of life’s greatest joys, but… if we can catch ourselves before we are completely full, we can enjoy all of the benefits of food and companionship without the regret.

I definitely overate several times this holiday. That’s why I share these ideas. They are helpful reminders for me!

Karl on the slopes in Colorado.

Shoshin, approach every task as a beginner.

Whether it’s a board game (like the totally inappropriate but fun game “Cards Against Humanity”) or trying to resolve a Medicare issue, Shoshin emphasizes the attitude of approaching things with openness, eagerness, and a lack of preconceptions, allowing for continuous learning and growth.

Karl and his family playing card games near the Christmas tree.

A few weeks ago, I put my foot in my mouth with a close friend. A beginner’s mind would have helped so much. All we can do is learn, ask for forgiveness, and learn to laugh at ourselves. As Adam Grant so poignantly writes:

Adam Grant twitter post.

And best of all and perhaps the most challenging, Wabi-Sabi, embracing imperfection.

We are imperfect at best and that’s what makes us human and loveable. Accept that nothing is perfect, and appreciate the beauty in flaws, whether in objects, people, or situations.

Holidays give us a chance to connect with the important people in our lives. We can focus on the flaws or we can focus on the connections. The easy part is finding what’s wrong, the secret is remembering what is right. Some days easy, some days hard. All we can do is keep going.

Just remember to be like Mary Beth; she could’ve driven past the stray dog on the highway and cursed at the folly of humans for not taking care of their commitments.

Instead, she stopped, backed up, and took action. Clara Bell is now the joy of her life and the world is a better place. Well done Mary Beth.

Clara Bell the black dog sitting in front of a pink Christmas tree in December.

Last week, I took Plato to Ace Hardware to run an errand (Plato loves to go shopping). While in the checkout line, I heard a woman behind me comment, “what a big dog.” Remarkably (and I owe it ALL to blueberries), I recognized the woman’s voice (though we’d never met in person).

Gigi meets Plato.

“Gigi?” I asked. She was shocked and I introduced myself, “I’m Karl from the Big 65 and we spoke a few weeks ago on the phone” (Gigi has a very distinct voice). It was so much fun to connect with her and her son and to learn about the service work she does as a volunteer helping immigrants.

That’s the great thing about Plato, he always helps me to connect with others. This is him eight years ago next to our daughter’s favorite stuffed animal.

Plato next to a black and white stuffed dog.

So before the year ends, make it a mission to reach out to someone you love and remind them how important they are to you. Every moment, every connection is an opportunity to make things better. The choice is ours, now get busy! Happy New Year!

Rob and his new grandchild on a Skype call with Karl Bruns-Kyler.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life and look for ways to help others!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here
Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Blue, red, and white logo for The Big 65 Medicare insurance broker.

Are you ready for the final flight?

May this blog post find you in great health with your Medicare Insurance working properly 😊.

Beautiful sky over the Annual Election Period.

Just in case your phone isn’t illegally ringing off the hook, the Annual Election Period began last week and I keep hearing all the bogus call centers are bugging the snot out of everybody.

Remember to book a time here if we need to talk or update your Medicare insurance coverage or if your friends and family need help. If everything is working fine, ignore the noise.

Remember: anyone who calls YOU about Medicare without permission is BREAKING THE LAW. Ask for their insurance license number and watch them disappear 👿.

Hunters in Canada in the very early morning of the day.

My little brother Haas and his buddies fulfilled a lifetime bucket list event: bird hunting in Saskatoon, Canada. And though I’m not a hunter anymore, I was pretty dang impressed by their adventure.

A brown hunting dog eagerly awaits the hunt in Canada.

Ten friends, two dogs, 2,300 decoys, plus gear, traveled 5,300 miles to Saskatoon, Canada to do what they love doing.

White decoys in a Canadian field.

For six days, they got up early, scouted terrain, set up decoys, coordinated plans and had the adventure of their lives.

A brown hunting dog holding a bird in its mouth.

You can see it in their smiles… the joy and the happiness that comes from doing things that are meaningful for you. What are you waiting for?

A group of men making a toast to the beginning of the Annual Election Period.

Last weekend, I travelled to the Shenandoah Valley and paid my respects at the wake of a friend.

Jann White memorial in Virginia.

Jann was one of those people everyone loved. She was kind, compassionate, delightful, and the person who always lit up the room just by showing up.

Jann White memorial in Virginia.

Friends and family shared memories and listened to her favorite songs. We told stories, shared drinks, savored delicious marzipan cupcakes and remembered Jann with love, laughter, and tears. It was a beautiful afternoon.

A life of joy means every bite is the best thing ever.

Most of us don’t know when we’re going to die, but we do know it is going to happen, so do your family a favor…be prepared. Don’t leave them in the lurch.

  • Create a will and designate beneficiaries.
  • Complete Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney.
  • Organize your important documents and have passwords and logons in a file.
  • Manage your debts and make sure your family knows how to handle them.
  • Write down and discuss your funeral and burial plans.
  • Talk openly with your family about your end of life plans.
  • Write down your personal wishes and important information.

This list is not all inclusive but it’s a start. Here’s a link that may be helpful.

Every time I lose a friend, a family member or a client, I try to remember that Latin phrase, memento mori, meaning…

A gentleman playing with his dog and savoring the meaning of life.

Remember you must die.” The lives we are given pass so quickly it’s helpful to use these encounters to move us forward, to keep us focused on what remains, what can be done, what we still have the passion to do.

Dr. Rob Kyler of Staunton, Virginia enjoying the great outdoors and preparing for The Annual Election Period.

Five years ago this summer, my older brother severed his spinal cord in a biking accident. How easy it would have been for him to have defined his life by this event.

Dr. Rob Kyler playing paddleball with friends.

Instead, Robert chose to use this brush with death and adversity as wake up call to continue living, and living well, living a life of service, as a physician and a mentor, and a life of activity.

Rob Kyler enjoying fall pumpkins as Medicare's Annual Election Period looms in the near future.

Never pretend life is easy, but it is an adventure, a combination of the hand we are dealt and how we choose to play the cards. Play with intention and choose your partners wisely.

Q in Armenia.

Keep squeezing the juice out of life!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here


As a novice to navigating the Medicare system, I cannot recommend the services of Karl enough. His knowledge has saved my wife and I a lot of money, both on the Medicare supplement insurance and the drug coverage. Costs you nothing to listen and has saved up thousands of dollars over time.
– Robert B

Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in twenty-seven states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent 10 organizations that offer 50 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

The Big 65 Medicare insurance broker logo.

Watch out for this health problem

May this blog find you in good health with your Medicare Insurance working properly.

Hope you had some meaningful time with family over Labor Day.  Today, I encourage all of us to watch out for this health problem. 

Three weeks till the annual election period. Remember to ignore the noise and if we need to update your medications, shoot an email to Gray and we’ll be ready.

Karl Bruns-Kyler holding a building with his bare hands.

I was catching up with client Duke in Atlanta this week when his wife called. She was on the way to the hospital to check in on their 3rd grandchild who had just been born. Life’s great joy.

Duke tells me he and his wife love the time they spend babysitting and connecting with those cute little bundles of love. Their time with family makes them happier and healthier. That’s a fact that more and more studies are confirming:

Connections with others = better health.

Quantz and Nicholas at dinner together.

Yet despite all the tools we have to stay connected, humanity is experiencing a loneliness epidemic.

This year, the surgeon general published an 81 page report, “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.”

Nicholas checking his phone in a crowd of people.

Want to hear a scary statistic?

“The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity.”

Karl and Nicholas together.

The good news is the remedy is in plain sight:

“Each of us can start now, in our own lives, by strengthening our connections and relationships.”

Help a Neighbor: Offer to pick up groceries or mow the lawn for a neighbor. Acts of kindness can lead to stronger community bonds.

Book Club: How about joining or starting a book club? You get to read and then chat about it with others. Two birds, one stone!

Local Tours: Many places offer free local tours or day trips. Why not sign up and learn something new?

Quantz in a doorway.

Call a Friend: Try to talk to a friend or family member at least once a day. Even a short call can make a big difference!

Get Moving: Take a walk or join a walking group. It’s good for your health, and you might bump into some friendly faces.

Stay Active in the Community: Try to participate in local events, group activities, or classes designed for seniors. This could include religious services, hobby groups, or exercise classes.

Just pick one and see what happens. The first ten people who try something new (and send a picture for the newsletter) will get a free Starbucks card!

The ball is in your court.

Karl and Quantz at dinner.

We had a fantastic time connecting with our Air Force son in Poland and now we have traveled to Stockholm. In this restaurant behind us, the Nobel Prize committee meets to choose its winners (but they didn’t ask us for advice.)

Quantz at the Abba museum.

Remember this band from our younger years? They have a fun Museum with the history of their music and tons of pictures, videos and memorabilia. If you ever visit, I bet you won’t be able to leave without at least one of their songs stuck in your head.

But if you want to hear some beautiful music, you need to listen to my buddy Jared.

Jared playing the guitar.

Jared is one of my favorite clients and just an overall amazing person. He and his wife Cindy were missionaries in many different countries, including India and Suriname.

Though retired, he continues to make music (check out ALL the instruments he plays in his YouTube video) and he stays connected to family and friends. I don’t think this guy could ever be lonely (or bored).

Carmen celebrating her birthday.

And finally, Happy Birthday to Carmen and her family. She is another amazing person, and also a pastor who has lived with her family all over the world. Carmen makes everyone better, including her husband Luke, my best friend since 8th grade.

I can’t wait to see them in October!

That’s it for this week; Keep squeezing the juice out of life!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here


As a novice to navigating the Medicare system, I cannot recommend the services of Karl enough. His knowledge has saved my wife and I a lot of money, both on the Medicare supplement insurance and the drug coverage. Costs you nothing to listen and has saved up thousands of dollars over time.
-Robert B

Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in twenty-seven states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.

The Big 65 Medicare insurance broker logo.

Any skeletons in the closet?

May this blog find you in great health this Labor Day Weekend with your Medicare Insurance working properly.

I hope you and your family survived the hurricane. Just spoke with clients in Sarasota. They said they are hurricane vets and escaped the worst A-OK. I’m still waiting to hear from clients in Georgia and the Carolinas. Let us know how things are going.

This little elf reminds me that in less than four weeks, I’ll be in the midst of our busiest season, the Annual Election Period when folks can make changes to their Medicare coverage.

Elf art on cobblestone street in Europe.
In the next few weeks, you should be getting copies of your plan’s “Annual Notice of Changes,” for your Part D drug plan or your Medicare Advantage Plan. Be sure to give it the once over and book a time on my calendar if we need to talk.

Karl Bruns-Kyler walking in Wroclaw Poland.

Right now, we are in Wroclaw, Poland, formerly called Breslau, Germany. I am fulfilling the dream of a lifetime: visiting the city where my father was born before he and his family escaped Europe.

They left in August of 1939 on the last free sailing of the Queen Mary, just days before Hitler invaded Poland and World War II began. My dad’s family was half Jewish and half Gentile so you can imagine how strange things were for everyone.

Some chose to leave, some chose to stay. Some died in the camps, some survived.

Auschwitz Gate.

My father never spoke about these things (he was just a boy) and he never even told my mom. I only learned about his family history when my mother visited a Gentile uncle of his in Germany when I was in college.

What a surprise to discover a whole family history we knew nothing about.
Door knob in Poland.

After visiting one of the museums, I used Google Translate to ask if they had any information about my namesake, Karl Masner, my great grandfather, who had been a museum director in the city.

Amazingly, his portrait is hung in that very museum, with the same red hair of my father. What a story for future generations.

Karl Kyler standing in front of painting of his great grandfather, Karl Masner.

We came to Poland to visit our Air Force son. It was such a joy to see him and to share these new discoveries of our family history.

Quantz and Nicholas in Poland.

The stories that make up your family’s history are more than just tales to be recounted at reunions; they’re the legacy you’ll leave for your grandchildren and generations to come.

Karl and Nicholas walking together in Poland.

In today’s digital age, there are many ways to record your family’s lineage, stories, and traditions, so they don’t get lost in the sands of time.

•  Virtual Family History Tours

Using map software or online resources, create a virtual tour of places significant to your family history. Share the tour with family members during online gatherings.

•  Time Capsule Project

Create a family time capsule filled with mementos, letters, and keepsakes. Decide on a future date for the capsule to be opened by your grandchildren or later generations.

Quantz posing with elves.

Other things to consider:

•  Annual Family Story Night
Host an annual family “Story Night” where each member shares a story or memory about the family. Record these sessions for future listening.

•  Letters to Grandchildren
Write letters to your grandchildren at various stages of their life — like upon high school graduation, getting married, or having their first child. Save these letters in a special box for them to open when the time comes.

Every week, I hear from clients who’ve lost someone they love, so do your best to preserve the memories that will have meaning for future generations.

Shirley smiling.

Thanks to Adrienne for sending this amazing pic of her mom…95 and still going strong. Shirley lives in Independent living, plays duplicate bridge three days a week, bingo twice a week, plus Pokeno and Rummikub on the weekends. Shirley might just outlive us all.

Elissa and James in Savannah.

Last week I reported of Elissa’s globetrotting adventures. This week, her hubby James wanted to make sure we knew that the two of them also have adventures together, recently exploring the great city of Savannah.

Puff and Buddy in South Carolina.

And finally, greetings from Puff and Buddy in the Low Country of South Carolina. We’re hoping they are doing well!

That’s it for this week; Keep squeezing the juice out of life!

Medicare questions or problems?

Book a time on my calendar or email Gray, Gray@theBig65.com.

If family or friends need help… referrals are the lifeblood of my business.

Let us know what’s going on and please send pictures :).

 

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
Book a time on my calendar here


As a novice to navigating the Medicare system, I cannot recommend the services of Karl enough. His knowledge has saved my wife and I a lot of money, both on the Medicare supplement insurance and the drug coverage. Costs you nothing to listen and has saved up thousands of dollars over time.
– Robert B

Happy with my Service? Click Here to Leave a Review.


Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in twenty-seven states around the country, including:

Alabama
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.

The Big 65 Medicare insurance broker logo.