Lyndon Thomas Insurance April 2018

LYN’S LEDGER

Lyndon Thomas Insurance

Apr 2018

We Help You With Medicare.

Green Leaves From the Ashes

THE PERSISTENT POWER OF NATURE

Y ou’ve seen what I’ve seen, and it’s a welcome sight: the color green! I’m not talking about the people decked out for St. Patrick’s Day last month, but rather the burst of green along the hillsides after the recent rains. It’s already been four months since the Thomas Fire burned sizeable portions of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties bare. What a joy to see green crowding out black and brown on the hillsides — nature doing its thing! Without doubt, the climate and nearness of natural beauty are two of the biggest attractions for residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. In February, when I visited my parents in South Dakota, I was reminded how great we have it here. I went from shivering outside in subzero temperatures to drying out inside from continuous forced-air heating. I’d rather be here, even with the occasional wildfire! Even beauty can emerge out of the devastation of a wildfire. Along Creek Road outside of Ojai, there are partially burned hillsides of citrus and avocado orchards along with semiburned brush. The many-hued palette of greens and browns against black soil, and now the bright green of new growth in the sunlight, is simply stunning. I recently visited with a client in the Adelanto neighborhood of Ventura, where so many homes were consumed on the first night of the fire. She spoke with great appreciation for the new attitude among the neighbors whose homes remained. Before, neighbors went about their busy lives with little recognition of each other. Now, having gone through such a horrible experience, there is a new awareness and concern for each other. Despite the many empty lots and missing neighbors, it may be more of a “neighborhood” now.

will have fire scars for years to come, but there is no doubt the tree will live on. What a mix of pain and persistence, with damage and determination! It reminds us of our own health challenges as the years stack up. Even though I’m just a wet-behind-the-ears youngster at 58, the maintenance of my health takes more time and attention than it ever has. I’m probably pretty typical for a man of my age. I am adjusting from taking my health for granted to giving more attention and care to what I have. Running and basketball have been my joys. From grade school to my first arthroscopic knee clean-out at 40, I never had a fear for loss of ability or health. At age 48, when the deterioration in my knees and heels prohibited any further “impact loading,” I simply stopped exercising. I’m not a good swimmer, and bicycling doesn’t appeal to me. Life is very busy, and it has been easy to let the years go by without paying attention to what is important in my health. Kathy and I have adjusted our dietary lifestyle to significantly reduce sugar and carbohydrates. We recently purchased an elliptical machine so we can exercise without further damage to our knees. I’m happy to report that, after a few weeks of exercise, it feels good to get a good sweat going again. I’m hoping to see a decline in my blood pressure too! Many of you, my clients, face difficulties every day. Every now and then, we experience personal wildfires that challenge us. From the annual checkup, to occasional health challenges, to the need for constant care, our health is never far from our minds. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your health journey. I appreciate each of my clients. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Perhaps you’ve seen one of the many great oak trees on the hillsides, partially burned but still very much alive. It

–Lyn Thomas

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L yndon Thomas Insurance

FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY FOR THE GOLDEN GENERATION

Like most stereotypes, describing baby boomers as “tech illiterate” doesn’t tell the full story. Bill Gates is a baby boomer, after all. While not everyone in the “golden generation” is on Facebook, that doesn’t mean they can’t use technology. These three mobile apps are perfect for tech-savvy boomers looking to achieve their financial goals. ACORNS Acorns is the best way to make your spare change work for you. Every time you use your debit or credit card, Acorns will round up the spare change of that purchase to the next dollar and then invest it. Take that $2.30 cup of coffee from this morning, for example. This app rounds that transaction to $3.00, places the $0.70 extra into a fund, and invests it. This strategy, called “microinvesting,” may not seem like much, but remember that a mighty oak tree starts as an acorn! ROBINHOOD For many Americans, investing is either too intimidating or just downright costly. And no matter how well your portfolio does, you always lose a chunk of earnings to fees and commissions. Robinhood is an app that removes all fees associated with stock trading and gives you free rein to buy and sell as you please. With seamless money transfers, Robinhood is a great way to build a large portfolio. It can even function as a small invested savings account. VENMO While it used to take weeks to transfer money by Western Union’s horse-drawn carriages, it now takes seconds with Venmo. This app gives you the ability to send money to friends and family via your phone. With a user-friendly interface, it’s quick and easy to set up an account and link bank accounts or credit cards. Once you’re up and running, sending money is as simple as pressing a button. If you’re intimidated by learning how to use mobile apps, connect with a family member or friend. All of these apps are designed to be intuitive and easy to learn, so with a little time and practice, you can be savvy technologically and financially!

An Ounce of Prevention …

Spring is a perfect time to renew your commitment to better health and practice preventative care. And Medicare can help.

Medicare gives you access to a variety of preventative tests and screenings, most at no cost to you. In addition to the yearly wellness visit at no cost, screenings for diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and obesity management — to name a few — are available at no cost. Medicare provides for one colonoscopy (oh, what fun!) at no cost every 10 years. Visit www.medicare.gov or order your “Medicare & You 2018” book mailed each fall for a complete list of Medicare-covered preventative services. Whether you receive your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare or through a Medicare Advantage Plan, all Medicare- covered preventative services are available. Advantage members may visit their primary care physician to authorize these services. If you’re an Advantage Plan member, it helps your PCP when you get your preventatives. Medicare provides incentives for physicians who meet thresholds and penalizes those who do not have enough of their members get their preventatives done. In the coming years, Medicare is phasing in incentives and penalties for physicians of Original Medicare members as well, to encourage wider use of the preventative screenings. Humana Advantage plan members, take advantage of your GO365 preventative incentive. Get four preventative screenings done this year and receive $50 in gift cards to use at local stores and restaurants. Contact me for details.

2 216-B E. Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023 www.LT-ins.com CA# 0D96309

We Help You With Medicare.

IT’S IN THE CARDS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states that beneficiaries living in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia will begin receiving their new Medicare ID cards in May. Other states will follow, with the project being completed by April 2019. Also, new enrollees in Medicare will automatically get the redesigned card, regardless of where they live. No longer using the Social Security number as an identifier, a randomly assigned 11-character alphanumeric “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” with no connection to personal, financial, or medical data will be used. The redesigned Medicare card is a significant step in protecting your medical data and financial health.

The new Medicare ID card is kind of a big deal. We are certainly not the only ones talking about the distribution of the new Medicare cards. LTI wants to reinforce the message that in the next several months, as new Medicare cards are being mailed to beneficiaries, MEDICARE WILL NOT BE CALLING PEOPLE. As reported on aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork, “Scammers have already targeted recipients with various ploys about the cards, such as calling and requesting payment for the replacement card. CMS officials say they will never ask a beneficiary for personal or private information or for any money as a condition of getting a new Medicare number and card.” If you receive any call or email about your new card, it is a scam! Hang up! The evil creativity of the criminals knows no bounds. Protect yourself. Please pass the word along to your friends with Medicare.

NEWSLETTER FEEDBACK

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON BREADCRUMBS

Ingredients

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1 cup panko breadcrumbs

• •

2 pounds asparagus

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

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2 teaspoons lemon zest

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Kosher salt

Juice of one lemon (not packaged lemon juice)

Freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves, minced

SEND US YOUR MEDICARE QUESTIONS. If you have a Medicare or Medicare-coverage question you would like Lyn to answer, let us know! Email or text us your questions, and we’ll answer them in an upcoming edition. LYN’S LEDGER IS ALSO AVAILABLE THROUGH EMAIL. If you would prefer to receive Lyn’s Ledger via email, text “Electronic” to 805-798-3245 or email Lyn@LT-ins.com along with your name and “Electronic” in the subject line.

Instructions

for 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and fold in parsley and lemon zest. 3. Transfer asparagus to serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with breadcrumb mixture.

1. Heat oven to 425 F. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20–26 minutes, turning asparagus halfway through. 2. When asparagus is nearly done, heat remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook

Recipe inspired by Food and Wine Magazine

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CA# 0D96309

805-646-6409

Lyndon Thomas Insurance

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

PO Box 207 Ojai, CA 93024

INSIDE

CA# 0D96309 | www.LT-ins.com | 805-646-6409

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AVery Special Spring

3 Must-Have Financial Apps for Baby Boomers An Ounce of Prevention…

It’s in the Cards Roasted AsparagusWith Lemon Breadcrumbs

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April Fools’Pranks From the Pre-Internet Age

3 APRIL FOOLS’ PRANKS FROM EARLIER, MORE TRUSTING TIMES

Swiss Spaghetti Growers Enjoy Record Harvest Ah, to be as naive as we were during the early days of television. In 1957, a BBC news show called “Panorama” conducted a special report on a massive spaghetti harvest in Ticino, Switzerland, following a remarkably mild winter. The black and white images showed farmers pulling huge strands of noodles off tall trees and prompted

April Fools’ Day isn’t what it used to be. Sure, it’s still a fun distraction, with Google announcing “scratch and sniff” digital technology and Amazon declaring new features enabling Alexa to understand your pets. But it’s pretty hard for anyone to genuinely pull your leg in the internet age. Back when you couldn’t debunk a hoax with a simple Snopes search, things were a little more interesting. Here are a few of the most hilarious — yet somehow convincing —April Fools’ pranks in history. Nixon for President, 1992 When NPR’s popular “Talk of the Nation” program announced in 1992 that former President Richard Nixon had announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, listeners were shocked. Never mind that he’d been the center of the largest presidential scam in history, but his campaign slogan, “I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again,” left something to be desired. NPR even brought political experts on the show to discuss the ramifications of such a move, and listeners flooded the station with outraged calls—until host John Hockenberry revealed that the on-air Nixon was actually comedian Rich Little.

hundreds of viewers to call into the station and ask how they might procure their own spaghetti tree.

Thomas Edison’s Amazing Food Machine When Edison was in his prime, Americans truly believed he could create anything—even a machine that transformed air, water, and dirt into biscuits, vegetables, meat, and wine, as reported by the New York Daily Graphic in 1878. The article was reprinted in newspapers across the country. Thousands of people bought the trick. When Buffalo’s Commercial Advertiser ran an editorial on Edison’s genius in the endeavor, the Graphic reprinted it in full, along with the headline, “They Bite!”

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216-B E. Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023

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