It’s time to connect😀

Hello and may this blog find you in great health with your Medicare insurance coverage working well this Memorial Day Weekend.

For questions, quotes, or quandaries, email or book a time on my calendar and we’ll get it sorted.

While my wife, Quantz, was visiting her dad in the low country of South Carolina, our daughter Susanna and I visited my brothers where I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

When Robert, Haas, and I get together, one thing is certain, there will be chess.

Rob and Hass playing chess in the kitchen in Virginia.

Dad once claimed he’d played Bobby Fisher in New York in the late fifties.

True or not, Chess was our religion, and Bobby Fisher, our hero. We three boys watched on our black and white TV, cheering as Fisher defeated Spassky the Russian in twenty-one games to become world champion.

As many chess games as we could get in with Dad before Mom made us clear the pieces and set the dinner table. Dad, spotting us a glass of beer and his queen, placed two minutes on his chess clock and eight minutes on ours, decimating us with time to spare.

Karl and loved ones playing chess in the family kitchen in Virginia.

None of us brothers ever rose above amateur. Yet, we retain a love of the game, and through this old chess board and the pieces, a connection to our father’s love. The ghost of Rinehart remains in those pieces.

Never underestimate the mental and physical benefits of social connections between you, your family, and your community.

Two of the Kyler brothers walking the streets of Staunton, Virginia.

Maintaining strong social ties can significantly enhance mood, health, and quality of life. A study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that older adults who engage in regular social activities are less likely to experience depression.

Social interactions provide emotional support, which can help individuals manage stress and anxiety more effectively. After dinner, we did a stroll around the old city of Staunton. If you ever visit, check out the Shakespeare Theater and take a walk up onto the hill at Mary Baldwin College. You can also visit Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace.

Two of the Kyler brothers walking up a Virginia hill.

Engaging with family and friends can also help keep the mind sharp. Research indicates that social interactions stimulate cognitive functions, potentially delaying the onset of dementia.

A study in the American Journal of Public Health documented seniors with strong social networks had a 70% reduced risk of cognitive decline compared to those who were less socially active.

Hass on his Virginia farm.

Maintaining social connections often encourages more physical activity, whether it’s going for a walk with a friend or participating in group activities. The CDC notes that physical activity can help manage chronic conditions, improve balance and coordination, and enhance overall physical health.

Haas lives about twenty minutes south of Robert on his farm in Spottswood and he spends as much time outside hunting, fishing, and farming as he possibly can. Do me a favor and stay out of the trees and off of your own roof, please!

Haas sitting in a tree in the middle of Virginia.

Being connected to family and friends provides a sense of belonging and purpose, which is crucial for a fulfilling life. This sense of community can lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development has shown that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. I’m so glad Sus came along on this trip to reconnect with her aunts, uncles, and cousins. Don’t forget about loving on animals as well.

Sus feeding a horse in the Virginia countryside.

We took a quick trip down to Charlottesville with Aunt Cristi to see cousin Mia right after Mia finished her first semester as a graduate student studying physics at UVA. Both Sus and Mia got our dad’s red hair and his deep love of learning. I guess it skipped a generation.

Karl and Sus join Aunt Cristi and cousin Mia for lunch in Virginia.

There is also evidence to suggest that strong social ties can lead to a longer life. A meta-analysis published in PLoS Medicine found that individuals with strong social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival compared to those with weaker social connections.

Quantz’s dad is proof of this. He still volunteers weekly at Brookgreen gardens, walks daily to check out the birds at Huntington State Park, and hangs out with his coffee klatch buddies causing plenty of general mayhem. He’s proof of aging well by staying connected and repeating my favorite adage, “getting old ain’t for sissies!”

Quantz and her dad together in South Carolina.

Some of the different ways to stay connected include participating in local clubs, volunteering, or attending community events. Video calls, social media, and messaging apps can also be great tools when physical distance is an issue.

By embracing the power of social connections, you can enhance your well-being and make the most of every day. Keep reaching out, stay active in your community, and cherish the bonds that bring joy and health into your life.

Or you can keep it simple and do like Buddy does: fish, laugh with friends, and love on Puff, the noisiest, sweetest Javanese I have ever met.

Buddy and puff.

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.

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Medicare questions or problems?

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

Karl Bruns-Kyler
(877) 850-0211
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Karl Bruns-Kyler is a Medicare insurance broker and independent Medicare agent licensed to help Medicare recipients in thirty states around the country, including:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

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 or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

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