Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Articles written by Jim Miller


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  • Savvy Senior: How to divide your personal possessions without dividing the family

    Jim Miller|Mar 4, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, Do you have any suggestions on divvying up my personal possessions to my kids after I’m gone without causing hard feelings or conflict? I have a lot of jewelry, art, family heirlooms and antique furniture, and four grown kids that don’t always see eye-to-eye on things. Conflicted Parent Dear Conflicted, Divvying up personal possessions among adult children or other loved ones can often be a tricky task. Deciding who should get what without showing favoritism, hurting...

  • Savvy Senior: Easy-to-use dental care products for elderly seniors

    Jim Miller|Feb 26, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, I have arthritis and hand tremors that affect my grip strength and make brushing my teeth difficult. I’ve read that electric toothbrushes can help make the job easier. Can you make any recommendations for seniors? Arthritic Alice Dear Alice, For seniors who suffer from arthritis or have other hand weaknesses or tremors, an electric toothbrush is an often turned to solution for keeping your teeth clean. At the push of a button, an electric toothbrush will do everything but...

  • Savvy Senior: Do I need to file a tax return this year?

    Jim Miller|Feb 19, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? I didn’t file a tax return the past two years because my income was below the filing threshold, but I got a part-time job late last year, so I’m wondering if I’m required to file this year. Retired Worker Dear Retired, Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on how much you earned last year (in 2023), as well as the source of the income, your...

  • Savvy Senior: Does Medicare cover weight-loss treatments?

    Jim Miller|Feb 12, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, Does Medicare cover any weight-loss treatments for overweight retirees? I just turned 65 and need to lose about 100 pounds and would like to know if Medicare can help. Overweight Owen Dear Owen, Yes, traditional Medicare does indeed cover some weight-loss treatments like counseling and certain types of surgery for overweight beneficiaries, but unfortunately it doesn’t cover weight-loss programs or medications. Here’s what you should know. Who’s eligible For...

  • Savvy Senior: How to fight back against age discrimination

    Jim Miller|Jan 29, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the steps to take to fight against age discrimination in the workplace, and where can I turn to for help if I think I’ve got a case? Passed Over Paul Dear Paul, If you believe your age has cost you in the workplace – whether it’s a job, a promotion or a raise – you have options for fighting back. Here’s what you should know along with some steps to take against this illegal workplace activity. ADEA protection The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)...

  • Savvy Senior: What you need to know about Medicare spouse coverage

    Jim Miller|Jan 22, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, Are spouses who have not worked outside the home eligible for Medicare benefits? I have worked most of my adult life, but my wife has been a mother and homemaker since we got married and hasn’t held an income-producing job since she was in college. Will she be eligible for Medicare? Searching Spouse Dear Searching, There are many couples in your situation when it comes to applying for Medicare. The answer generally is yes, your spouse can qualify for Medicare on your work...

  • Savvy Senior: Are you at risk of developing glaucoma?

    Jim Miller|Jan 15, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about the eye disease glaucoma? My older brother was recently diagnosed with it and lost some of his vision, but never had a clue anything was wrong. Could I be at risk too? Stressed Sibling Dear Stressed, Yes! Having an immediate family member with glaucoma significantly increases your risks of developing it, but there are other risk factors you need to be aware of too. Here’s what you should know. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases...

  • Savvy Senior: Essential topics you need to discuss with your aging parents

    Jim Miller|Jan 8, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, My siblings and I don’t know much about our elderly parents' financial situation or their wishes if and when something happens to them. They are both in their mid-eighties. What’s the best way to handle this and what all should we know? Apprehensive Daughter Dear Apprehensive, Many adult children don’t know much about their elderly parents' financial situation or end-of-life plans, but they need to. Getting up to speed on their finances, insurance policies, long-term...

  • Savvy Senior: How to close social media accounts of a deceased loved one

    Jim Miller|Jan 1, 2024

    Dear Savvy Senior, How do I go about canceling a person's social media accounts when they die? My wife passed away a few months ago and her social media accounts are still active. Sad Spouse Dear Sad, I'm very sorry for your loss, but this is a smart move on your behalf and one that often gets overlooked. Social media is part of many people's daily lives, but when a person passes away their dormant accounts can become vulnerable to scammers who can hack into them and even steal your deceased...

  • Savvy Senior: Tips on caring for an aging parent

    Jim Miller|Dec 18, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Where can I turn to for caregiving help? I help take care of my 80-year-old father and work too, and it’s wearing me out. Worn Out Wendy Dear Wendy, Taking care of an aging parent over a period of time – especially when juggling work and other family obligations – can be exhausting. But help and resources are available. Here’s what you should know. Identify your needs To help you determine and prioritize the kinds of help you need, a good first step is to make a...

  • Savvy Senior: What is the retirement saver's credit and how does it work?

    Jim Miller|Dec 11, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you explain to me how the retirement saver’s tax credit works? My wife and I are in our fifties and are looking for creative ways to boost our retirement savings beyond our 401(k). Is this something we may be eligible for? Struggling to Save Dear Struggling, If your income is low to moderate and you participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan or an IRA, the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit (aka “Saver’s Credit”) is a frequently overlooked tool...

  • Savvy Senior: How to ease the winter blues

    Jim Miller|Dec 4, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about seasonal affective disorder? I’ve always disliked winter, but since I retired and am home a lot more, the gray, cold winter months make me feel really blue. Sad Sam Dear Sam, If you get depressed in the winter but feel better in spring and summer, you may indeed have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a wintertime depression that affects roughly 5 percent of Americans. In most cases, SAD is related to the loss of sunlight in the winter months....

  • Savvy Senior: Smart home devices to help seniors age in place

    Jim Miller|Nov 27, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, I’ve been talking to my mobility-challenged mother, who lives alone, about automating her house with some smart home products to make it more convenient. She’s very interested but we’d like to get your opinion as to which types of smart devices are most helpful for seniors aging in place. Searching Daughter Dear Searching, If your mother is game, smart home products – such as smart lights, video doorbells and voice-activated speakers – can be very useful for aging...

  • Savvy Senior: How a health savings account can boost your retirement savings

    Jim Miller|Nov 20, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, I’m interested in contributing to a health savings account to help boost my retirement savings but would like to better understand how they work. What can you tell me? Almost 60 Dear Almost, A health savings account, or HSA, is a fantastic financial tool that can help you build up a tax-free stash of money for medical expenses now and after you retire. But to qualify, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan. Here’s an overview of how they work and...

  • Savvy Senior: How an incentive trust can influence your heirs

    Jim Miller|Nov 13, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about creating an incentive trust? I have an adult son and daughter that are both financially inept. Before I die, I want to put some type of requirements in place that they will need to follow in order to receive their portion of my estate. Frustrated Father Dear Frustrated, If you want to influence your heirs even after you’re gone, an incentive trust is definitely an option to consider, but be careful how you construct it because it can cause unintend...

  • Savvy Senior: How seniors can get help paying for everyday needs

    Jim Miller|Nov 6, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, What types of programs are available to help seniors struggling with their everyday bills, and how do I go about finding them? Since I lost my husband last year, my Social Security survivor benefit is barely enough to get by on. Searching Senior Dear Searching, I’m very sorry for your loss, but you’ll be happy to know that there are dozens of different financial assistance programs and government benefits that may be able to help you with your everyday costs. To locate...

  • Savvy Senior: Misleading Medicare Advantage ads – what to look out for

    Jim Miller|Oct 30, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, I’m currently enrolled in original Medicare but have been thinking about switching to a Medicare Advantage plan during the open enrollment period. Many of the Medicare Advantage ads I’ve seen offer lots of extra benefits beyond what traditional Medicare offers and no monthly premiums. What are your thoughts? Considering a Switch Dear Considering, Be very leery of the Medicare Advantage ads on TV, radio, social media and that come in the mail. While many of these ads may...

  • Savvy Senior: Top TV remotes for elderly seniors

    Jim Miller|Oct 23, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some simplified universal television remotes for seniors? My 88-year-old dad, who lives in a retirement community, has some dementia and gets confused with all the buttons on his remote. As a result, he keeps accidentally reprogramming his TV set. Searching Son Dear Searching, Most modern TV remotes – that come with dozens of unnecessary buttons – can be confusing for anyone to operate but can be especially challenging for elderly seniors. Fortunately,...

  • Savvy Senior: October 16, 2023

    Jim Miller|Oct 16, 2023

    How to Find a Medical Escort After a Procedure Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some medical escort services that help seniors get home after a medical procedure? I need to have a colonoscopy, but my doctor’s clinic won’t schedule my appointment unless I supply them with a name and phone number of the person taking me home afterward. I live alone with no family nearby, and my friend doesn’t drive anymore. Any suggestions? Need a Lift Dear Need, Good question! Finding...

  • Savvy Senior: October 9, 2023

    Jim Miller|Oct 9, 2023

    Protecting Your Pets After You’re Gone Dear Savvy Senior, What is the best way to ensure my pets are taken care of after I’m gone? I have two dogs and a cat that are my four-legged family, and I want to make sure they’ll be well taken care of after I die. Solo Senior Dear Solo, It’s a great question. Every year, approximately 500,000 cats and dogs enter shelters when their pet parents experience an emergency or pass away. Without a proper plan in place for the future care of your pets,...

  • Savvy Senior: Do You Need Life Insurance After You Retire?

    Jim Miller|Oct 2, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Do I still need life insurance after I retire? I’ve been thinking about dropping my policy to escape the premiums. Is this a good idea? Approaching Retirement Dear Approaching, It depends on your family and financial situation. While many retirees choose to stop paying their life insurance premiums when they no longer have young families to take care of, there are several reasons you may still want to keep your policy. Here are some different factors to help you decide. Fami...

  • Savvy Senior: Three vaccines seniors should consider getting this fall

    Jim Miller|Sep 25, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Which vaccines are recommended for Medicare seniors this flu season? Just Turned 65 Dear Just Turned, There are actually three different types of vaccines seniors should consider getting this fall to protect against a repeat of last winter’s “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses, which included flu, RSV and coronavirus. Here’s a rundown of the different vaccines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending and how they are covered by Medicare....

  • Savvy Senior: Does Medicare cover second medical opinions?

    Jim Miller|Sep 18, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Does Medicare cover second medical opinions? The doctor I currently see thinks I need a knee replacement, but I would like to get some other treatment options before I proceed. What can you tell me? Limping Larry Dear Larry, Getting a second medical opinion from another doctor is a smart idea that may offer you a fresh perspective and additional options for treating your knee so you can make a more informed decision. Or, if the second doctor agrees with your current one, it...

  • Savvy Senior: Best stair lifts of 2023

    Jim Miller|Sep 11, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, Because of chronic arthritis, I have a very difficult time going up and down stairs anymore and am interested in purchasing a stair lift for my two-story house. Can you recommend some good companies? Arthritic Andy Dear Andy, Yes, of course! A good home stair lift is a great mobility solution for anyone who is unable, or has a difficult time climbing stairs. To help you choose a quality stair lift that meets your needs and budget, here are a few shopping tips along with some...

  • Savvy Senior: How seniors can protect themselves from cybercrimes

    Jim Miller|Sep 4, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior, I spend a lot of time online and love the convenience of paying bills, shopping and keeping up with my grandkids on Facebook and Instagram. But a few months ago, my computer was infected with malware, and I just found out some cyber crook opened up a credit card using my identity and went on a shopping spree. Do you have some simple tips to help me stay safe while online? Paranoid Patty Dear Patty, Unfortunately, cybercrimes against seniors continue to be a big problem in the...

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