Category: Retirement

When insurance will pay, why not?

Last week I wrote about a misunderstanding with an audiologist at the office that sold me hearing aids three years ago. When the hearing aids came back from a factory check, she asked me to get a referral from my primary care physician. I thought that was because the devices needed reprogramming; she thought I... Read more »

Wandering in the health insurance maze

We all have stories to tell about hassles with medical practitioners and insurance companies. Stop reading if you don’t want to hear someone else’s. Humana Gold Plus, a Medicare Advantage HMO, has mostly served me well. It even paid $2,000 toward hearing aids. Those hearing aids caused a recent annoyance — not with them but... Read more »

Before moving on from the big 70 . . .

Since the last two posts were about turning 70, maybe I’ve milked the topic ad nauseam. But those posts mostly reprinted other people’s thoughts, and now that the big birthday is past, my own feelings are clearer. * Friends and family made it one of my best birthdays ever. The wishes via text, email, phone,... Read more »
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Other people's thoughts on turning 70

I wasn’t going to pressure myself to write a post on my milestone birthday, but while waiting to get together with friends this afternoon and evening, I felt that reading others’ thoughts about turning 70 would help me. Thanks to the fellow septuagenarians quoted here — not just for their wisdom but also for making this an... Read more »

With the big 70 coming up

My 70th birthday, coming up next week, presents an obvious topic for a post. But I keep putting off exploring my feelings about it, which may indicate how I feel. So, instead of naval-gazing, I’m reacting to pertinent recent newspaper pieces and a book. An Associated Press story reported that a 69-year-old Dutch positivity guru has asked... Read more »

Sizing up Social Security’s lump-sum offer

I’ve waited to apply for Social Security benefits to get the maximum monthly payout. Benefits increase 8 percent a year between one’s full retirement age (66 for me) and age 70. With my 70th birthday on the horizon (a subject for another post), it was time to apply. A staffer at the downtown Chicago Social... Read more »
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What does it mean to know a city?

Best of Chicago features — like that in the August Chicago magazine — make me feel I don’t get out enough. Of the 57 places highlighted, I’ve been to two and heard of three others. More than 90 percent of this year’s Chicago bests are off my radar. How is it possible that I’ve lived... Read more »

Fortunate are those who find a purpose

My brother just retired after 35 years as sports editor of the Herald-News in Joliet. The outpouring of thanks, congratulations, and good wishes from a sports-crazy community must be immensely gratifying to him. Of course I am very happy for him. But also a bit envious. He found his purpose and pursued it for 35... Read more »

Raising my voice against loudness

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera last week, just days before it closed Sunday. Reading critics’ overwhelmingly glowing reviews after, I was surprised that only a couple of them mentioned what I thought the production’s flaw: it was too loud. The music drowned out the lyrics. On Chicagoland Theater Reviews Dan Zeff mentioned... Read more »
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Routines: good or bad? It depends.

My favorite daily routine since I retired begins a few minutes after waking up. I eat breakfast, make a pot of tea, and settle into my reading chair with the Chicago Tribune. Lizzy, my cat, usually climbs into my lap. The next hour, give or take, is splendid. The routine was disrupted a week ago... Read more »