One Of My Favorite Ted Talks

One of my favorite TED Talks …

The 4 phases of retirement | Dr. Riley Moynes  |  TedX Talks

Dr. Moynes interviewed hundreds of retirees and from those interviews, he recognized the four phases of retirement.  This is a great Ted Talk for anyone who is retired or considering retirement. 


Karl Bruns-Kyler

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


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

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

We do 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

Here’s a Thought For Today

Happy Holidays to you and your family in this week of remarkable subzero cold all over our country.

Plato wearing a sweater for The Big 65 in Colorado

Plato and I have been shuttling kids to the airport. Santiago, one of our former exchange students, returned to his family in Puebla, Mexico. Q has enjoyed having a son at home to spoil (while our son is overseas in the Air Force). I enjoyed our ping pong games (even though he crushed me) and our walks with Plato. It’s good to be active.

Santiago with Q and Plato_The Big 65 Colorado

Florence, my wife’s cousin’s daughter, returned to France to spend Xmas with her family. Plato is happy to report she will return in the New Year to continue her volunteer year at the inner city music school in Denver. It is always a joy to watch young people growing into their lives.

Florence and Plato at the Denver Airport_The Big 65

In catching up with Medicare clients all over the US, I am reminded that the only thing certain in life is change.

Daily, I hear stories of great sadness, struggle and separation, but also stories of hope, transformation, of families reconnecting and retirees re-inventing themselves and creating new adventures.

Jack, Adrienne, Shirley, and Winston_friends of The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Broker

“Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies!” And even though clients like Jack, Adrienne, and her mom Shirley make it look easy (sitting next to 17 month old Winston the doodle, who, for the moment is staying out of trouble), life will always be a challenge.

People will disappoint us. The world will get crazier. Traffic will get worse. Inflation will continue. Medicare will get more confusing and we’re all gonna die, eventually.

But don’t give up hope! Keep your eyes on the things that bring you joy. The highlight of my busy season was a beautiful, delicious cake, lovingly baked and sent to our home by Lorna, a client in New York. Quantz and I have been enjoying generous slices with tea in front of the tree every afternoon of this very cold week. Take joy in the small quiet moments of life.

Karl Bruns-Kyler holding cake from Lorna in New York_The Big 65

So, in the dark, cold days of winter…

Highlands Ranch, home of The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Broker

Give thanks, let go of old grievances, laugh out loud, kiss someone you love and look for ways to help others.

Plato of The Big 65 rests

I give thanks to each of you and for the privilege of being your Medicare guide.

Wishing you robust health and joy filled holidays!

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


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

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

We do 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

 

Most Senior Dental Insurance Is Crap

Holiday greetings to you and your family. Things are quieting down in the Bruns-Kyler house, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped dressing Plato in absurd holiday costumes.

Fortunately, Plato will do pretty much anything for pretzels! He is a chow hound.

Plato knows most retiree dental insurance stinks

As it’s almost the end of the year, I’ve been getting a ton of calls about dental. If you want my honest opinion about why most senior dental insurance stinks, click on this link or the pic below.

In talking with dentists and clients, the reality is, most of the dental plans don’t offer remarkable value. Most plans are slow to pay and hard to use, though some are ok.

If you are in need of dental, talk to your dentist’s billing person to see which plans they accept. Also ask them if they have an “in house” dental plan. Dentists that offer them will usually charge a consumer $200-$400 a year for cleanings, x-rays and a 20% – 30% discount off the work.

Here’s a link to one of the better plans I work with, Ameritas. If your dentist is in network, this plan is ok (I’ve been using it for a few few years and it works alright).

Better yet, if you need a lot of work, and you are adventurous, consider finding a dentist in Costa Rica. This is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT, just a suggestion.

The bottom line, do your research or give me a shout. Here’s an article from investopedia about plans.

Joe and Becky and friend celebrate Festival of Lights_The Big 65

After last week’s newsletter, I was pleased to see that great minds think alike. Clients Joe and Becky took friends to the Festival of Lights and had themselves a grand old time.

Here in Denver it’s been cold as the dickens. We took Plato up to the mountains it was 9 degrees, and it didn’t bother him!

Plato and Karl of The Big 65 playing in the Colorado snow

It’s been a pleasure having Santiago, our former exchange student, visiting for the holidays. He was excited to try skiing.

Santiago in the Colorado snow_The Big 65 Medicare broker

For the past few weeks, he’s been destroying me at ping pong, so I took guilty pleasure in watching him struggle a bit, though he definitely improved.

Santiago on skis_The Big 65 Medicare insurance broker

No doubt, one of the highlights for him was attending the Nuggets game against the Jazz. Of course he enjoyed the game, too ;).

Santiago enjoys Denver Nuggets vs Jazz_The Big 65 Medicare insurance services

Perhaps you remember Cesar, on the right, below. Our son met Cesar when they worked together in a Cuban restaurant while Nicholas was in high school (before he joined the Air Force.)

One day, our son Nicholas called me from work when I was on the East Coast visiting family and said:

“Hey Dad, I met this really nice kid, Cesar, from Guatemala. He says he’s 22 but I think he’s only 17, will you and Mom teach him English?” Nicholas rarely takes to others quickly so I said “OK.” When I got home from Virginia, Quantz had already invited him to live with us.

Every night, after his work in the kitchen at two different restaurants, Cesar and I would sit at the kitchen table and practice English. It was slow going, Cesar only finished basic school, but over time, he learned our language.

Cesar ended up living with us for four years, always sending money home to his mother, and of course, he became one of our sons. Over that time, he progressed from busboy, to food runner, to a full fledged waiter and now he speaks beautiful English and lives on his own.

My parents were both immigrants from war torn Europe and I give thanks for the privilege of being born here. Clearly, we have an absurd immigration system that desperately needs reform.

Nevertheless, our great nation was built with the blood, sweat, tears, and dreams of immigrants. I will support anyone who is willing to work, who fights to improve the life of his family. I so admire this young man and the life is he building.

Remember, “there is no them, there is only us.”

The Big 65 celebrates Medicare in Colorado

Thanks to my buddy and client, David L, for sharing this great way to approach life.

David L_Words of Wisdom_The Big 65

One week till Christmas, what will you do to make this world a better place? It can be as simple as a smile to the stressed out cashier, or not flipping off the person who cuts you off in traffic.

Forgive others, expect the unexpected, maintain a joyful heart, laugh as much as you can!

Never underestimate how your actions can change world, even now.

Share this blog post/newsletter with your friends and call me if you need me


Karl Bruns-Kyler

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


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

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

We do 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

 

The Big 65 gang celebrates_The Big 65

Exercise And Dementia

No one can guarantee how to prevent dementia.

And though I often chat with Medicare brokers near me, one of the most challenging things we face is working with clients who have dementia.

The good news is a recent article in the New York Times points to the positive connection between exercise and dementia.

People often think for exercise to be valuable that they must be involved in super vigorous exercise, but as Paul Harvey used to say, now it’s time for the rest of the story.

In a recent study, vigorous regular exercise was linked to the most overall protection, but many other forms of physical activity provided protection as well.

So, if you have been performing vigorous exercise for years, good for you! There are benefits and you should continue to keep on doing what you are doing.

Individuals in this category reduced the risk of dementia by as much as 35%!  That’s amazing, isn’t it?

According to Obesity Prevention Source on the Harvard University Website, here are examples of vigorous physical activity:  hiking, shoveling, basketball, rapid biking above 14 mph, playing tennis, carrying heavy loads, running at 6 mph or faster, and other intense activities.  These activities generated >6.0 METS.  METS stands for the Metabolic Equivalent of Task. In other words, you are working your butt off :).

It makes sense that vigorous exercise is good for the heart and the brain, increased blood flow and movement. Continuously moving seems to be one of the most important things we can do.

Jeff is a long time client who loves to bowl, a wonderful activity that keeps him moving and might help him prevent dementia

But as we age, it can be harder to keep up vigorous exercise. As I go on my daily walks, a large percentage of the people I see who are older than me have joint issues that can make these intense types of activity more challenging. Not impossible, but definitely more challenging. We have to continue and adapt our exercise regimens. This points to the importance of always doing the proper types of pre-workout preparation so that you don’t hurt yourself with vigorous exercise.

But here’s the really great news!

The article also pointed out that individuals who participated in “regular household chores” also had a 21 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia. That’s huge!

Just remember that there is a mind body connection that must be activated in order to get the benefits of household chores.

According to the article, household chores can be considered moderate activity, producing 3.0-6.0 METs. This type of activity includes things like:  washing windows, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, taking out the trash, mopping the floor, vacuuming, and a bunch of other household related activities (don’t get me started about cleaning the basement!)

The mindset we have about the household work we do can also affect the value of the work we do on our body. In one study, hotel cleaners were divided into two different groups.

One group of cleaners was given no insight into the value the cleaning chores they were performing could have on their physical health. The other group of cleaners were educated about the positive effects their cleaning chores would have on their health.

When the two groups were measured, the group who had been educated saw the following health benefits: a 10 percent drop in blood pressure, and a decrease in their weight and their “waist-to-hip ratio,” and a “decrease in their systolic blood pressure” readings.

Both groups did the same work, but the power of belief made a huge difference. Using the placebo effect may be another tool for how to prevent dementia, or at least how to reduce the risk.

My mom never worked out. But till the very last day of her life, she got up, made breakfast, walked up and down the stairs, fed her cat, worked in the garden, and went out to grocery shop and pick up the mail. She died in her sleep, in her bed, on her own terms.

Isn’t that what we all want? I never spoke about this with my mom, but I’m guessing she knew how to prevent dementia.

So as you go about your daily activities, slow and steady is the secret. Work out vigorously if you can, but if you can’t, give yourself credit for daily chores.

You’ll be glad you did.

Remember, continuous movement is important, but so is brain activity in the fight on how to prevent dementia.

Here’s a video on how to keep your brain active.

That’s it for this week. And if you have questions about Medicare, book a time on my calendar here.

Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Certified Senior Advisor, a Medicare Insurance Broker with no affiliation to CMS, Medicare, or any other governmental organization.

Alzheimer’s & Influenza

Most of us are pretty comfortable receiving the flu vaccine.

It saves lives and it’s been around forever.

Here’s even better news:  An annual flu vaccine may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a study recently published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, individuals who were vaccinated yearly over an extended period had up to a 40% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Previous studies had suggested that flu vaccines might reduce the risk of dementia.  Based on those previous studies, a research team from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, began to investigate the link between the flu vaccine and the risk of dementia, specifically, Alzheimer’s disease.

More research is being called for and it may be too early to count on your flu vaccine to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Still, this is promising news.

Now I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I find this to be incredibly good news.  If the flu vaccine can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, I’m in for the long term.

As Medicare Insurance Broker, I’m frequently asked if Medicare pays for long term care.

The answer is no.  Medicare pays a portion of hospital and medical costs but…

It does not pay for non skilled, non medical care. It does not pay for Long Term Care.

This is the care people need when they are unable to perform the activities of daily living:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring
  • Continence

This type of care, at home or in a facility, can cost thousands and thousand of dollars monthly and be devastating to a family.

Long Term Care Insurance is an important tool to protect a family from financial ruin.

But in the meantime, consider getting your annual flu vaccination.  It may just help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Questions about Medicare Insurance?  Book a time on my calendar.

This Changes Everything

As a Medicare Insurance Broker, I speak with clients regularly and hear the stories of loved ones dying.

We all are going to die; everyone we know will eventually die as well.  End of life planning can help.

How we frame this experience can make a huge difference.

One of the best pieces of advice I received was from a client whose mother was dying of pancreatic cancer.

When Nicholas heard his mother’s diagnosis, he told me he imagined in his mind that his mother was already dead.

As a result, every moment he spent with his mother was an unexpected gift, extra time that he felt extremely grateful to have had.

Life is about what happens, but more importantly, it’s also about how we choose to respond to what happens.

Some events are more challenging to process than others, but if we keep an open heart and open mind, as the Beatles sang, “take a sad song and make it better.”

Planning for the end of life may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be.  Besides a good mindset, planning and thinking about our own death can be freeing and helpful – now and after we die.  And this can also help us avoid the “hallway huddle” that we’ve all heard about or experienced in our own lives.

Here’s an article related to end of life planning and how to prepare for your own death so your family isn’t left scrambling.

And if you do have questions about Medicare Insurance or Hospice, book a time on my calendar.

The Big 65 Medicare Insurance Services

Review Your Property and Casualty Insurance

Review Your Property and Casualty Insurance

Hey, it’s Karl with the Big 65 and I hope you are having a great week.

Plato and I are in Boulder, Colorado, and at the end of May, we’ve had about 12 inches of snow.

Today, I want to talk about reviewing your homeowner’s property and casualty and rental insurance.

Costs for almost every consumer index have gone up huge amounts, and if you have an unfortunate event with your home, or something gets stolen, you’ll want to make sure that the cost of replacing that is up to date based on current inflation.

Homeowners insurance policy include many different coverage types. Some of those common coverage types include:

Dwelling coverage: Covers damage to your house and any attached structures.

Other Structures:  Covers damage to any structures not attached to the house.

Personal Liability: Covers financial losses from property damage and personal injuries to others, if found legally responsible.

Personal Property: Pays the value of damaged or lost possessions (furniture, electronics, clothing, etc.).

Flood Insurance: Separate policy that pays for flood-related damages to the house and contents.

Medical Payments: Pays medical bills for people hurt on the homeowner’s property or by the homeowner’s pets.

Earthquake Insurance: An add-on or separate policy that pays for damages to the house and other covered items caused by an earthquake.

Water Backup of Sewer: Pays for losses to the house from sewer or drain backup.

Now may be a good time to review your property and casualty insurance. Talk to your independent property and casualty insurance broker. Update your information and see if it makes sense to increase coverage and reduce rates.


That’s it for now. Have a great week and book a time on my calendar if you have Medicare insurance questions.

TN Medicare broker The Big 65 logo

The Answer Is Out There!

The Answer Is Out There!

May this post find you in good health with your Medicare coverage working properly.

This week, I read an article in the New York Times and it resonated:

People get a big happiness boost from being with a romantic partner or friends but not from other people, like colleagues, children or acquaintances. Weather plays only a small role in happiness, except that people get a hearty mood boost on extraordinary days, such as those above 75 degrees and sunny. People are consistently happier when they are out in nature, particularly near a body of water, particularly when the scenery is beautiful.”

We shouldn’t expect to be happy all of the time, but we can make an effort to leverage activities that bring joy.

The article also stated, “the activities that make people happiest include sex, exercise and gardening.”

Michelle Kondo, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station said this about being in the great outdoors:

“The physiological response to being outside in nature is real, and it’s measurable.”

So if you’re wondering about creating more happiness and more joy in your life – the answer is OUT THERE!

The choice is yours :), but if you do have questions about Medicare, book a time on my calendar.

The Big 65 blog post Dementia and Exercise

www.theBig65.com

You Can’t Pick Your Family!

You Can’t Pick Your Family! 

May this note find you in good health with your Medicare insurance working properly.

An important part of aging well includes maintaining healthy relationships.

Studies have shown that individuals with close connections to their community and their families tend to be healthier and happier.

The truth is, you can’t pick your family.

George Burns knew something about the happiness a family can bring:

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
– George Burns

Another wise person said this about the importance of family:
Treat your family like friends and your friends like family.

Family doesn’t always mean your blood relatives. Many of us have close friends who are family.

Kids who spend more time with their family tend to perform well in school. Studies have also shown that kids who hang out with family tend to have fewer behavioral issues and fewer problems with substance abuse.

Studies have also shown that stronger family connections can increase lifespan by 50%!

So look for ways to stay connected.

And remember – you can’t pick your family … but you can pick your Medicare insurance coverage! 

I may not be able to answer all your questions about the importance of family but I can help answer your questions related to Medicare.

Book a time on my calendar.

Medicare insurance broker Karl Bruns-Kyler Big 65

Try New Things

Try New Things!

I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits with your Medicare coverage working properly.

If it isn’t, or you’re tired of working with the faceless insurance call centers (where you are just a number),

Book a time on my calendar to get concierge Medicare insurance service.

Spring has finally sprung and yours truly is trying to practice what he preaches and is:

Taking care of Beesness :)!

As we age, it is so easy to fall into habitual patterns, some good, some bad.

When my father retired, his world shrunk down to the tv and the house.

He died two years later :(.

When my mother retired, her life expanded because she joined clubs, traveled and took up volunteering.

She lived another 30 years :).

Trying new things and learning new things has incredible health benefits.

Not only will you live longer and be happier, you’ll make everyone around you happier.

So you don’t have to be a bee keeper, but do look for something new to do or to try.  Try new things!

And let me know about your adventures :).

Medicare Insurance is my speciality, but every day, I look to my clients to learn new ways to age well!

Now get out there and try something new!

Georgia Medicare insurance broker The Big 65