Retirement Income Toolbox

November 15, 2016

Those who have retirement income plans currently in place might appreciate the value that they get from having annual reviews with their advisor.  This can help when their income needs or objectives possibly take a different shape as time goes on.

Medicare recipients might also appreciate the possible reduction of their overall costs by taking the time to give their Medicare plans a checkup as well.  The time of year to do this is usually during the open enrollment period which starts Oct 15th and ends Dec 7th (With any changes going into effect Jan 1).

Statistics show that 95% of beneficiaries overspend on their Medicare.  The most common reason for this is the incorrect selection of plans under Medicare Part C (Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug Plan).  They end up purchasing plans that don’t fit their needs (Often not covering drugs an enrollee uses as well as hidden out-of-pocket costs). *

According to Katy Votava ( Sep 19, 2016) It is particularly important for those using Medicare to give their plans a checkup if any of the following has happened during the past year:

  1. Change in prescription medications
  2. Diagnosis of major health conditions
  3. Gradual increases over time in Medicare premiums and out of pocket costs
  4. Poor customer service
  5. Carrier has discontinued the Medicare part C or D plan
  6. Legal residence has changed


She goes on to recommend an organized checklist that should include:

  1. Creating and organized list of medications currently being used
  2. Making a list of health care providers names and addresses
  3. Reading the new plan benefit summary closely

There are several free resources (, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, SHIP 1-800-677-1116) that offer assistance as consumers sift through their various options and plans.  These resources however can become overwhelmed quickly during the open enrollment process so don’t wait until the last minute. 

* Sep 19, 2016