Gillette Law - June/July 2019

Call Now! 757-220-4529 GilletteLawGroup.com

ILLETTE

GAZETTE

JUNE/JULY 2019

EXPERIENCE AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL FOR FREE

With the summer upon us, I’m sure many of our readers are looking for ways to get out and enjoy the sunshine. While going to a local park or just doing a lap around your neighborhood can be a great way to take in the warm weather, some may be itching to travel a little further afield. For the adventurous and the curious, the National Park Service (NPS) has quite the deal available. The “America the Beautiful Access Pass” is a program by the NPS to help those living with a permanent disability enjoy some of our nation’s most beautiful sights. Those who have been determined to have a permanent disability are eligible to receive a free, lifetime pass to any U.S. national park or federal recreation site. You do not need to be deemed 100% disabled to qualify. “But wait,” you might ask, “aren’t national parks free to visit anyway?” This is a popular misconception. Many parks do require some fee to get in, mostly to cover maintenance of the site. Depending on the park, these fees may be charged on a per-person or per-vehicle basis. With one of these lifetime passes, you and up to three adults (kids under 16 are always free) can enter these areas free of charge. If the park charges by vehicle, the pass covers one non-commercial vehicle, regardless of passenger count. In addition to free entry, the pass also provides discounts for what the NPS calls “Expanded Amenity Fees.” These can be everything from securing individual campsites to paying for guided tours. This makes it that much easier to enjoy the natural beauty and the historic significance of our country. In fact, many of these parks are right here in our own backyard. Here in Virginia, we have the pick of the litter when it comes to natural and historic sites. Just east of Williamsburg, there’s the Colonial National History Park that runs along the James River from Jamestown to Yorktown, which contains many important landmarks from colonial times through the end of the Revolutionary War. For the nature lovers out there, Shenandoah National Park lies to the northwest. Spanning a

portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this protected wilderness offers stunning vistas — and you don’t even have to leave your car to see it. The famous Skyline Drive runs the length of the park, allowing visitors to take in nature’s beauty with ease. These are just two examples of parks our state has to offer. There’s also the Assateague Island National Seashore, George Washington’s Birthplace, Appomattox Court House, Cumberland Gap, and many more. For those looking to travel a little further afield, Bluestone National Scenic River in West Virginia or the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina are both a short road trip away. With this pass, you’ll also be able to enjoy incredible sights like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite for free. You can find other national parks at NPS.gov/FindaPark. So, where do you get one of these access passes? Well, if you live near Yorktown, you can go to the Colonial National History Park in person, where they issue passes. Alternatively, you can fill out a form (found at Store.usgs.gov/s3fs-public/access_pass_application.pdf) and apply by mail, though this will require a $10 processing fee. In either case, you’ll need to provide documentation of your permanent disability and proof of residency or citizenship. Want an easier way to get this lifetime pass for free? Just bring your documentation to our office, and we’ll help you mail the application. We’ll even cover the $10 fee. We have our fair share of nature and history lovers here at the firm, myself included. When we learned of these passes, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to give something back to our clients. If you’re looking to make some lifelong memories this summer, this pass is a great way to do it.

N e x t D o o r Bu

–Brian Gillette

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BEWARE THESE RETIREMENT SPENDING MISTAKES

The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. Timeshares The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age. Online Scams Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at

the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust.

Tchotchkes Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them. Rushed Relocations In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur-of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.

SAVING MONEY ON PRESCRIPTIONS? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

If you’ve been struggling to pay for medication, you’re not alone. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 1 in 4 Americans struggle to afford their prescriptions, leading many people to make very difficult decisions about their

You can purchase discounted generic medication right from the app and pick it up at your local pharmacy if they participate with the app. Most major pharmacies do. If getting out to the pharmacy proves difficult, Blink Health also offers FREE home delivery, meaning you can have your medicine brought right to your door!

health and finances. Thankfully, tech companies are finding innovative solutions to this challenge. Many free apps have been developed to help you find the medication you need at the absolute lowest price. GoodRx The most well-known prescription app, GoodRx, helps those with and without insurance find the absolute best deals on medication. Users can compare pricing at different pharmacies and collect digital coupons to get even better deals. GoodRx accomplishes this by partnering with pharmacy benefit managers. Thanks to this, many GoodRx users find medication is even cheaper than it was on their insurance plans. Blink Health An up-and-coming competitor in this space, Blink Health offers some innovative tools and fantastic services to save users time and money.

Rx Saver With a simple, easy to use layout, Rx Saver by RetailMeNot is focused on one thing: finding you the absolute best price. With a similar approach to GoodRx, this app lets you compare prices from local pharmacies and big box stores to help you find the most savings. Their coupons are straightforward and easy to use, meaning fewer headaches and more money in your pocket. So which of these apps is the best? Each brings a lot to the table, but what they all have in common is that they’re FREE. Different apps may have different deals with pharmaceutical companies, so it doesn’t hurt to shop around for the app that offers your specific medication at the best price.

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FIND THE AID YOU NEED

Did you know you may quality for some of the many State and Federal benefits available for healthcare, living, and financial assistance? Finding these programs, and the requirements to qualify for them, has never been easier, thanks to Benefits.gov. This official government website is designed to help you find and understand aid programs you may be eligible for. Here’s what you can find. Everything in One Place One of the earliest “E-Government” websites, Benefits.gov has gone through some major overhauls over the years, making it a well- organized, user-friendly experience. By collaborating with 16 different agencies, including the Department of Education and the Social Security Administration, the site brings all the various aid programs across the country under one roof. You don’t have to hop link-to-link across multiple pages to find the benefits you’re looking for. A Personalized Experience The most useful feature on Benefits.gov is the “Benefit Finder.” This questionnaire is designed to screen your unique needs against a database of over 1,200 federally-funded benefit and assistance programs. By filling out one form, you can see exactly what you may qualify for, saving you time and energy. You may be surprised by what programs apply to you.

Guidance Every Step of the Way Not only will this website help you find the right programs for your needs, but it also gives you guidance on how to apply for them. From large national programs like Social Security Disability to state initiatives like the Virginia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, you’ll find convenient links directly to the appropriate application pages. This streamlines what can otherwise be a confusing, prolonged process. At the Gillette Law Group, we’re big fans of smart solutions. When it comes to finding the right benefits, this is by far the best free tool available.

SUMMER CORN SALAD

Ingredients

Q: Where do sharks go on summer vacation? A: Finland!

• 4 ears corn

• Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped

• 1 red onion, diced

• 2–3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 green bell pepper, diced

• Juice of 1 lime

• 1 red bell pepper, diced

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Shave the corn off the cob and place in a bowl. Add the onions, bell peppers, and cilantro and mix.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the corn with the mixture, adding additional salt and pepper if needed.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

1315 Jamestown Rd. Suite 102 Williamsburg, VA 23185

GILLETTE LAW GROUP, PLLC

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INSIDE This Issue

Your Ticket to Free Park Access for Life page 1 The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions page 2 3 Free Apps That Save You Money on Meds page 2

Not Sure Which Benefits You Qualify for? One Site Has You Covered. page 3 Summer Corn Salad page 3

A Tail of Bravery page 4

THE GUARDIAN WHO WOULD NOT LEAVE HIS WATCH

ODIN LIVES UP TO HIS LEGENDARY NAME

Amid the devastation of the wildfires that tore through California in the fall of 2017, a few heroic tales rose up to give people hope. One such tale was of Odin, a loyal Great Pyrenees guard dog. Along with his sister, Tessa, and eight rescue goats, Odin is part of the Hendel family. It was mid-October when the Hendels were awoken by the smell of smoke, a fierce orange sky, and sounds of destruction — urgent warnings from Mother Nature. Gathering everyone as quickly as they could, the Hendels got their human family members and Tessa in the car, but Odin, seated proudly next to the eight goats, refused to get in. Try as they might, the Hendels could not get him to come with them, and there wasn’t enough room in the car for the eight goats. With the firestorm quickly approaching and the risk of losing even more family members increasing with each passing minute, the Hendels made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Odin and the goats behind.

them. After several agonizing days, it was finally safe enough for them to return home and survey the destruction.

What did the Hendels find? Ashes, rubble, their barn and home burned to the ground — and Odin. There he was, still guarding his eight goats and some small deer that had sought shelter with the brave canine. Weakened, burned, and limping, but nevertheless steadfast, Odin had never left his goats, even as the fire raged around them. Odin wagged his tail as he saw his family, happy to see they were also safe. The Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the Goatlandia Animal Sanctuary provided temporary shelter for the goats and pups while the Hendels rebuilt their barn. Odin received all the care he needed, along with a lot of love and treats. Today, Odin and his goats are back with their family, rebuilding their lives after this devastating wildfire. But the Hendels, and anyone who’s heard the story, won’t soon forget the bravery of Odin, the amazing pup.

The family made it to safety with Tessa in tow, relieved to be together but heartbroken that Odin and the goats weren’t with

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