: e d i s In
Meet the new Mr.
Honoring service Robert Tanner’s work ethic, love for people and his ability to build valuable friendships for 15 years has led him to be named the 2019 Litchfield Watercade grand marshal
Hutchinson Joe Keilen and Hutchinson Woman of the Year Maxine Engwall
Putting a lid on diabetes
McLeod County Fair wants your stories, photos
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
MINNESOTA STATE FAIR
IT’S FAIR TIME Entry day for the Meeker County Fair is Wednesday, July 31. The fair runs 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1-Saturday, Aug. 3, and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Meeker County Fairgrounds, 1230 Armstrong Ave. N., Litchfield. Admission is $5 for adults age 18 or older, $3 for students age 11-17, and free for children age 4 or younger. Older adults age 70 or older are free. Free admission for all ages on Sunday. For more information, email email@example.com. For a schedule of daily events, visit meekerfair.com. Entry day for the McLeod County Fair is Tuesday, Aug. 13. The fair opens at 1 p.m. Wed nesday, Aug. 14. Fair hours are 9 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 15-18, at the fairgrounds, 840 Century Ave. S.W., Hutchi nson. Ad mission is $ 7 per person and free for children age 12 or younger. For more information, call the fair office at 320-587-2499. For a schedule of daily events, visit mcleodcountyfair.com. The Minnesota State Fair opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, and runs through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, at the fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, Minnesota. Regular State Fair admission is $15 for adults age 13-64; $13 for seniors age 65 or older; $13 for children age 5-12; and free for children age 4 or younger. For more information, call 651-288-4400. For a schedule of daily events, visit mnstatefair.org.
MINNESOTA GARLIC FESTIVAL If you’re a lover of garlic, this is the place to be from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. It takes place at the McLeod
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County Fairgrounds, 840 Century Ave. S.W., Hutchinson. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children younger than 12. Parking is $1 per vehicle. No pets are allowed at this event. This year’s performers include: the returning favorite the Light of the Moon Band, juggler Steve Russel, Rogue Flamenco, The Preludes to a Blizzard band, The Narren of New Ulm and falconer Marc Rude with Mr. Harley, a 2-year-old Harris hawk. Learn how to cook with garlic at t he popu la r chef demonst rations featuring: Becky Melvie, owner of The Abundant Kiten; Jessica Cak, executive chef at Barbette; Joe Holmes, executive chef of the Red Stag Supper Club; and Mary Jane Miller, owner of Mary Jane Miller Consulting. Looking to eat or buy garlic? No problem. Vendors are selling everything from bulb garlic to garlic ice cream. Hungry? Make sure to stop by the Great Scape Cafe for a variety of garlic infused treats, plus Minnesota wine and craft beer are available, too. For more information, call Jerry Ford, festival director, at 3763-2446659, or visit sfa-mn.org/garlicfest.
shingle making, saw mill, country store and more. For more information, call Corey Henke at 320-587-9143. Learn how early settlers lived and worked at the 36th annual Summer Rendezvous at the Forest City Stockade. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 17-18. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 or younger. The site is 6 miles northeast of Litchfield and approximately 1/2 mile south of Forest City on State Highway 24. A sign for the stockade is at the intersection of Highway 24 and 309th Street. For more information, visit forestcitystockade.org.
ALL THAT JAZZ AND MORE Enjoy an evening of smooth jazz at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Litchfield Opera House, 136 Marshall Ave. N. Tickets are $7 at the door. If you’re a fan of Loretta Lynn, Emmy Lou Harris and Tammy Wynette, don’t miss Kimberly Kaye, storyteller, songwriter and entertainer. She is headlining at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Opera House. Tickets are $7 at the door.
SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT Dassel is celebrating its 60th annual Red Rooster Days Friday-Monday, Aug. 30-Labor Day, Sept. 2. Highlights include a fine arts show, bike ride, 5-mile and 1-mile run, parade and more. For more information, call Terri Boese, city clerk/treasurer, at 320-275-2454, ext. 2.
SEPTEMBER MUSIC AND MORE AT THE LITCHFIELD OPERA HOUSE FILE PHOTO
TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME I nter e ste d i n le a r n i n g how to t h r e sh , m a ke sh i n g le s or r u n a saw mill? If you answered, “yes,” don’t miss the 4 0 th annua l Heatwole Threshing Show. It takes place Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 10-11, 6 miles southwest of Hutchinson on Walden Avenue. Admission is free and the public is welcome. This event features a tractor display, tractor pull, threshing demonstrations, blacksmith shop,
The Mid-Minnesota Band, always a crowd-pleaser, is on the Opera House’s schedule for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. Tickets are $5 at the door. Save the date: 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. The Opera House is hosting its annual chili feed followed by a music show at 7 p.m. featuring Phyllis Hummel and the Swinging Country Band. The group plays classic country ranging from Johnny Cash to Kitty Wells. Calendar to 15
7 In the news:
Dianne Simbeck’s diabeticfriendly jams and jellies are popular beyond her expectation
8 Cover story:
Meet the new Mr. Hutchinson, Hutchinson Woman of the Year and Watercade Grand Marshals. They put service before self in serving their communities
August 2019 Vol. 11 No. 6 PUBLISHED BY Hutchinson Leader 170 Shady Ridge Road N.W., Suite 100 Hutchinson, MN 55350 320-753-3635 Litchfield Independent Review P.O. Box 307, Litchfield, MN 55355 320-693-3266 PUBLISHER Brent Schacherer: 320-753-3637 firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS Kay Johnson, features editor 320-753-3641 email@example.com ADVERTISING Kevin True, advertising director 320-753-3648 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales representatives Ronda Kurtzweg: 320-753-3652,
11 Book review:
Historian David McCullough’s new book, “The Pioneers,” tells the story of the settling of the West with a novelist’s flair
Colleen Piechowski: 320-753-3652, email@example.com Hayley Anderson: 320-753-3651, firstname.lastname@example.org Charlie Schurmann: 320-593-4804 email@example.com
SUBSCRIPTION OR ADDRESS CHANGE Toni Adams: 320-753-3657 firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED BY Crow River Press 170 Shady Ridge Road N.W. Hutchinson, MN 55350
Find out how you can help extend the lifespan of your retirement accounts
13 Medicare: has passed
Too late? Find out how to file an appeal if the deadline
Zest is published monthly by the Hutchinson Leader and the Litchfield Independent Review newspapers. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of the publisher.
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Legacy Stage to feature book programs
t wasn’t that long ago that I was greeted with an interesting email. Bonnie Fimon, who is a volunteer on the Legacy Stage at the McLeod County Fair, reached out to me to serve as emcee at a new event titled “You Gotta Read This.” Participants from McLeod County book clubs will share their favorite reads at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, on the Legacy Stage. So far, Mary Wiemiller is going to talk about “The Woman in the Window” and “The Life We Bury.” Shiloh Schnabel will discuss “The Map of Salt and Stars” and “Virgil Wander.” Jeanne Langdon is sharing “Before We Were Yours” and “Destiny of the Republic.” If you’re a fan of Minnesota author Lorna Landvik, save the date of Saturday, Aug. 17. She will talk about her latest book, “Chronicles of a Radical Hag,” at 4 p.m. on the Legacy
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Stage in the Commercial Building at the McLeod County Fair. She’s a fine writer. I read my first Landvik book when a review copy of “Chronicles of a Radical Hag” landed on my desk at work. I needed something to read, so I opened it up and barely put it down until I was done. It’s a great book and one I highly recommend. I love to read, so it’s not surprising I have added a book review to this
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Now there’s more to
issue of Zest. You can read about David McCullough’s new book, “The Pioneers,” on page 11. I love to share the books I’ve read, so much so I’m co-host with Elisabeth Nelson of “Off the Shelf: Book Talk with Book Lovers.” The Hutchinson Community Video Network show airs at 11 a.m. Mondays, 6 p.m. Fridays and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays on HCVN 10, which is Mediacom channel 8 or 107.3 and Nuvera channel 10 and 910HD. The programs are also available as a podcast. Whether you showcase your homegrown and homemade products or prefer to admire the work of others, there are three fairs this month: the Meeker County Fair, Aug. 1-4; the McLeod County Fair, Aug. 14-18, and the Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 22-Sept. 2. On that note, enjoy this issue of Zest. It salutes creativity, volunteerism and leadership.
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Workers needed to fill jobs for 2020 Census
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MCLEOD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION
Spectators crowded the fence during this harness race at the McLeod County Fair. It was a popular Grandstand event into the 1960s.
Mcleod County Fair wants your stories and photos It’s hard to believe but the McLeod County Fair will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2022. In anticipation of this event, plans are in the works to create a history display at this year’s County Fair. To do this, Casey Walters, executive secretary/fair manager, is collecting fair memorabilia and fair stories. “There are tons of great stories out there of people meeting at the fair and
so on,” she said. “We would love to compile them together. Also, if people have something interesting that is fair memorabilia, we are open to accepting donations or having items loaned to us for display, then returned.” If you have stories, photos or memorabilia from the McLeod County Fair, call Walters at 320-587-2499 or stop by the fair office at 840 Century Ave. S.W., Hutchinson.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of workers for temporary jobs available nationwide in advance of the 2020 Census, and applicants in McLeod and Meeker counties are encouraged to apply. The 2020 Census jobs website allows applicants to apply for a range of positions, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors and census takers. The positions will be across 248 Area Census Offices nationwide and offer flexible work hours, including daytime, evenings and weekends. Applicants are placed in an applicant pool for 2020 Census field positions and are considered as positions become available. Applications will remain active and updatable throughout the 2020 Census recruiting and hiring period. For more information, call 855-JOB2020 (855-562-2020) and select option three. Applicants may also contact the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.
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IN THE NEWS
Putting a lid on diabetes Dianne Simbeck’s diabetic-friendly jams and jellies are popular beyond her wildest expectations BY JACK HAMMETT firstname.lastname@example.org
hen New Auburn-based Country Gourmet owner Dianne Simbeck began making diabetic-friendly jam and jelly, she didn’t know the product would take off the way it has. “I started selling it at the Hutchinson Farmers Market, and things went nuts,” she said. Although her products can no longer be found at the local farmers market, fans of her jams and jellies are in luck. She’s still selling her wares at vendor events around the area. The secret to her products is raw honey, which provides sweetness and a smooth texture. People started buying the stuff because of its wide applicability: mix it into smoothies, put it on pancakes or even throw it into a bowl of ice cream. “People do whatever their imagination tells them,” Simbeck said. Simbeck had the idea to produce her honey-sweetened products due to her own diabetes. It was the perfect chance to create something anyone could enjoy, even if a condition caused difficulty eating sugar. “My goal at the time was to make a jam that was 100 percent natural and sugar free,” Simbeck said. “I did the research, and honey came up. A friendly vendor at the market was selling raw honey, and I started making jams with it to keep it all natural.” Most of her ingredients are grown in Minnesota, purchased at farmers markets. If her fruits aren’t locally grown, they’re at least grown in the U.S. The state of Minnesota has certified her products as diabetic-friendly. She
Dianne Simbeck, pictured with her lucky shirt, holds up a can of her finest apple cherry jam. Her products grew in popularity after she introduced them at the Hutchinson Farmers Market. applied for the certification through the University of Minnesota Extension. “(Certification) took two years,” she said. “It was nerve-wracking. Being a diabetic, I could understand why they’d be so nitpicky. I’m a survivor now. I beat the nasty thing, but I have respect for people with other diseases who have issues with regular sugar.” Simbeck was so overwhelmed by the products’ local popularity that she’s had to limit her participation in vendor shows. The popularity wasn’t sudden, however; interest in her homemade jams and jellies grew over those first two years. “Everything grows,” Simbeck said. “It started slow. Nothing happens overnight. Now I’m getting invitations to events I’ve never been to before.” As for canning and booking events, Simbeck does all the work herself. That’s one reason she can’t be found at the market anymore. “I’m only one person,” she said. “It just got a little bit beyond my capability. (The market) was a steppingstone to get going.” Simbeck expects to sell plenty of local favorites such as strawberry rhubarb and pepper jelly. Dessert-
Where to buy Dianne Simbeck’s products will be available at the following events: Thursday-Sunday, Aug.1-4: Sibley County Fair, 801 W. Chandler St.,Arlington Saturday, Aug. 10: Minnesota Garlic Festival, McLeod County Fairgrounds, 840 Century Ave. S.W., Hutchinson Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 14-18: McLeod County Fair, 840 Century Ave. S.W., Hutchinson Saturday, Sept. 7: Defeat Jesse James Celebration, Northfield For more information, email Simbeck’s business at email@example.com.
flavored jellies are also popular. Her favorite? “Peach cobbler jam. That one turned out really awesome,” she said. “I also have apple pie and banana split (flavors). The honey makes the texture a little softer than what you buy in the store, so someone can do virtually anything with them.”
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Meet the new Mr. Hutchinson, Hutchinson Woman of the Year and Watercade Grand Marshals
ach year, Hutchinson and Litchfield honors local volunteers at their summer festivals. Meet this year’s honorees.
JOE KEILEN, MR. HUTCHINSON By Jon Beach, vice commodore As with our new Woman of the Year, Maxine Engwall, Joe Keilen is still working because he truly enjoys interacting with other people. He served in the United States Navy from 1958-1962. He went on to fill some important roles within our community’s health care sector including m a i nt en a nc e en g i ne er at Bu r n s Manor Nursing Home and courier for Hutchinson Health. Throughout his time at Burns Manor, he was completely sure my wife, Laura, was actually named Lori. Keilen owned businesses in Hutchinson associated with pest control and then making candy and ice cream on our very own Main Street. Our New Mr. Hutchinson has served as a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited, Gopher Campfire Conservation Club and the Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival. He has been a hospice volunteer since 2018 and was recently featured on WCCO-TV for his incredible work with a fellow Navy veteran in the area. Joe Keilen is married to wife Joanne and they have two sons, Brendan and Matthew.
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Joe Keilen is the latest Mr. Hutchinson in a long line of honorees. The first was Lew Merrill. His selection was announced at the 1957 Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival.
COVER STORY ROBERT AND SANDY TANNER, WATERCADE GRAND MARSHALS By Sarv Mithaqiyan, firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Hutchinson Woman of the Year Maxine Engwall was all smiles as she greets the crowd. The selection of Mr. Hutchinson and Hutchinson Woman of the Year are highlights of the annual Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival in June.
MAXINE ENGWALL, HUTCHINSON WOMAN OF THE YEAR By Laura Beach, second mate Maxine Engwall, this year’s youngat-heart recipient, happened to have seven different nominations and an amazing life to go with them. Throughout her remarkable life, Max has always had an unparalleled work ethic and a welcoming smile for those she encountered. Her work with people began in her parents’ store when she was just a little girl in Iowa. As a young woman, she became a radio personality, meeting famous celebrities including Glenn Miller and Ronald Reagan. Never conventional, on May 13, 1948, she and her future husband, Glen, were married on the ABC Network radio program “Bride & Groom” in Hollywood, California. In 1955, they moved to Hutchinson and raised their two children: Greg and Barb. She continued her radio career here, as well as carried the role of Mrs. Claus across many a Christmas season. After shutting down the airwaves, she became an administrative assistant at Burns Manor Nursing Home and Harmony River Living Center. Max has created lasting, wonderful
“Max has created lasting, wonderful impressions for not only her loving family, but the entire community. She has continued working throughout her life, taking joy in brightening people’s days with her “Hello, honey,” her hugs and her witty arsenal of jokes.” Laura Beach Second mate impressions for not only her loving family, but the entire community. She has continued working throughout her life, taking joy in brightening people’s days with her “Hello, honey,” her hugs and her witty arsenal of jokes. For the past 65 years, Max has been an ambassador of smiles and an inspiration for the Hutchinson community. At age 99 years young, we can honestly say that she has brought happiness to those around her for almost a full century.
Walking in Robert Tanner’s bike shop, Bike’s by Bob, it’s hard to avoid buying a delicious coffee imported from Vienna, Austria and having a heartfelt conversation with people who work there. Tanner and his son Kristofor used to run their bike shop near Dairy Queen on Litchfield’s north end. But after Kristofor’s death, which involved a head-on collision with a semi-truck on Sept. 30, 2013, it brought a profound change to how Tanner wanted to run his business. His philosophy became more about spending quality time with his customers and meeting their needs, he said. “I like to spend time with people,” Tanner said. “And make sure I’m getting them the right thing. But it’s also about ministering to people’s needs. It’s not about making money. It’s about honoring God.” Two years after Kristofor’s death, Tanner moved his bike shop to Litchfield on East U.S. Highway 12, in order to effectively serve the community, he said. For his new shop, he made sure to purchase a bigger space to include a cafeteria, so people can come and have a meaningful conversation. Tanner said he doesn’t focus on making a profit but making sure people are satisfied upon leaving the shop. Tanner’s work ethic, love for people a nd his abi lity to bui ld va luable friendships for 15 years has led him to be named the 2019 Litchfield Watercade grand marshal. He and his wife Sandy Tanner were selected for the honor. Tanner also makes sure he sells the right bike to his customers by looking at their age and other relevant medical information, he said. “So I always ask to a lot of my customers a lot of medical things,” he said. “To see if I can figure out what’s the best bike for them to ride. … Men who are 45 years old, their hands will go to sleep (if) they’re leaned over (if) their Honorees to 10
AUGUST 2019 • ZEST
“I like to spend time with people,” Tanner said. “And make sure I’m getting them the right thing. But it’s also about ministering to people’s needs. It’s not about making money. It’s about honoring God.”
Cover photo: Robert Tanner shows his bikes at his shop, Bikes by Bob, in Litchfield. He and his wife, Sandy, were named grand marshals for this year’s Watercade. STAFF PHOTO BY SARV MITHAQIYAN
Robert Tanner 2019 Watercade Grand Marshal
HONOREES continued from 9
arms are stretched. (And) women who have had (a baby) shouldn’t be (leaning) over (on a) bike.” Tanner said that his business is doing well, and he makes just enough revenue to keep it going. Recently, he purchased a ton of fat bikes, during the winter. And he will be selling these bikes to Evangelica l camp,
Green Lake Bible camp and Timber Bay camp at a discounted price. Tanner’s daughter, Natasha McCullers, helps in her father’s shop. She said Kristofor has given her family a big connection to a lot of people in the area. People who come by the shop might be going through hard times and need to just sit down and talk to someone. “It’s about serving the community,” McCullers said. “And part of serving the community is being there as a listening ear. Not many people have somebody
that they can go to. And so having a coffee shop where you can come in and say, ‘I found out my daughter has cancer. I’m having a really hard day,’ and we can (respond), ‘Here, sit down. I’ll get you a cup of coffee and tell me about it, and maybe we can pray about it if you want to.’” Tanner said that God has helped him meet his needs and he is trying to help others see that in their lives. “This is more important than making $200,000 a year,” he said.
115 Jefferson St. SE • Hutchinson
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‘Westward ho!’ with McCullough’s new book, ‘The Pioneers’ BY TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Book reviewer
s David McCullough tells it in his new book, “The Pioneers,” the Rev. Manasseh Cutler saw an opportunity. A former army chaplain, Cutler knew that the British had ceded land to the U.S. after the Revolutionary War and that it was available, though the territory was untamed and, aside from a few forts, unsettled by white folks. And so, following a meeting with like-minded, land-seeking New Englanders — many of them, war veterans — Cutler saddled his horse and headed to New York to convince members of the U.S. Congress to pass an Ordinance making settlement and statehood easier for newly populated territories. Technically speaking, the government didn’t even own the land yet — local American Indians did — but that mattered little to Gen. Rufus Putnam. Putnam had been at the meeting and, unafraid of hardship, was eager to get to this wild land. On Dec. 31, 1787, he departed for Ohio, leading a group of New Englanders with
eyes on new farms and new beginnings. Putnam, says McCullough, likely knew the kind of “difficulties and danger” his party faced on the trip, which took more than three months to complete. They were told that the Indians in the area were “friends and brothers” but “Rufus Putnam thought it best to wait and see.” His caution was warranted, as it turned out. Over time, the Delaware, Wyandot, Shawnee and Miami tribes were not happy having white settlers in the area, and they showed it with deadly attacks, stolen scalps, and by wantonly slaughtering local wildlife on which the settlers depended for sustenance. At the end of 1790, Putnam wrote to President Washington that he feared “the worst.” On Jan. 2, 1791, “calamity” happened … These stories — heartpounding and soul-freezing as they are — aren’t the whole of what you’ll read inside “The Pioneers.” Inside, you’ll find so much more. Fans of McCullough’s work will thoroughly enjoy this latest dip into a corner of history, but novel lovers may want to take a stab at it, too
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Fixed annuity could help extend lifespan of retirement accounts BY FINANCIAL FOCUS By Edward Jones
t’s almost impossible to save too much for retirement. After all, you could spend two, or even three, decades as a retiree. And retirement is not cheap — even if you maintain a relatively modest lifestyle, some of your expenses, especially those involving health care, may continue to rise over the years. Consequently, you will need several sources of reliable income — one of which might be a fixed annuity. Fixed annuities are essentially contracts between
investors and insurance companies. When you purchase a fixed annuity, the insurer will guarantee the principal and a minimum rate of interest. This means the money you invest in a fixed annuity is designed never to drop in value. (However, this guarantee is based on the claims-paying ability of the insurer that issues the annuity.) You can structure a fixed annuity to pay you for a certain number of years or for your entire lifetime, which is the route many people choose. This is advantageous not only because of what it provides you — income for life — but
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because it also may allow you to take out less money each year from your other retirement accounts. Here’s some background: Once you turn 70½, you are required to begin taking withdrawals from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. (This requirement does not apply to Roth IRAs.) You must take out a minimum amount, based on your age and account balance, but you are free to exceed that amount each year. But the more you withdraw from these accounts, the faster they are likely to be depleted. So, when you reach retirement, it’s a good idea to establish an appropriate annual withdrawal rate, based on your retirement plan balances, Social Security, lifestyle, longevity expectations and other factors. You may want to work with a financial professional to determine a withdrawal rate that’s suitable for your needs. If you can count on the i ncome f rom a f i xed a nnuity, you might be able to take out less each year from your traditional IRA and 401(k), giving these accounts more tax-deferred
growth opportunities. Plus, if you don’t withdraw all the money from these accounts during your lifetime, you can include the remainder in your estate plans. A fixed annuity’s potential to help you extend the lifespan of your IRA and 401(k) can clearly be of value to you. Still, a fixed annuity does carry some issues about which you should be aware, such as surrender charges for early withdrawals, along with other fees. Also, if you take withdrawals before you reach 59½, you likely will face a 10-percent penalty. And annuities can have tax implications, so before you start taking withdrawals, you will want to consult your tax advisor. Is a fixed annuity appropriate for you? There’s really no one correct answer because everyone’s situation is different. However, if you consistently max out your IRA and 401(k) contributions, and you still have money left to invest for retirement, you might want to think about an annuity. An income stream you can’t outlive — and that may help you protect your other retirement accounts — is worth considering.
How can I file an appeal if the deadline has passed? Dear Marci, I received a health care service that I believe should be covered by Medicare, but a few months ago, I got a notice saying that it would not be covered. Because I was very sick at the time, I missed the deadline for appealing that is listed on the notice. Is there any way I can still appeal the denial? — Evelyn Dear Evelyn, You may still be able to appeal Medicare’s decision to deny coverage for your care. An appeal is a formal request for review of a decision made by Original Medicare or your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. When initially filing a Medicare appeal (and at each level of appeal), there is a limited time to file. However, after the deadline has passed, if you can show good cause for not filing on time, your late appeal may be considered. You can request a good cause extension at any level of appeal, and it is available for Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Part D appeals. Extension requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, so there is no complete list of acceptable reasons for filing a late appeal, but some examples include: The notice you are appealing was mailed to the wrong address. A Medicare representative gave you incorrect information about the claim you are appealing. Illness — either yours or a close family member’s — prevented you from handling business matters. The person you are helping appeal a claim is illiterate, does not speak English, or could not otherwise read or understand the coverage notice. If you think you have a good reason for not appealing on time, follow the instructions on the notice for appealing, and include a clear explanation of why your appeal is late. If the reason has to do with illness or other medical condition, a letter or supporting documentation from your health care provider can be helpful. Some other general rules to follow when appealing the denial of a health
service or item are: Try to understand the reason that your plan is denying coverage for your health service or item. Address any relevant coverage rules in your appeal letter, and encourage your doctor to do the same. If you need assistance understanding the coverage rules surrounding the service or item in question, you can contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for assistance by calling 877-839-2675 or visiting shiptacenter.org Keep good records of all your communications throughout the appeals process. Some ways to do this are: Submit your requests in writing. Keep proof of when you send your appeal. Keep all fax transmission reports, mail information by certified mail, or return receipts. Write down details about phone calls regarding your appeal. This includes what you discussed, who you spoke to, and the date and time of the call. If you think you need help appealing, you can appoint a representative. The
representative can be a friend, family member, doctor, or lawyer. — Marci ”Dear Marci” is a service of the Medicare Rights Center. For more information, call 800-333-4114. Health tip Hydration is important all year, but especially in the warm months of summer. According to the National Institute on Aging, water helps you digest your food, absorb nutrients from food and get rid of unused waste. The NIA offers these tips for getting enough fluids: Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink water or other fluids. Take sips of water, milk or juice between bites during meals. Drink a full glass of water when you take a pill. Have a glass of water before you exercise. Drink fat-free or low-fat milk or other drinks without added sugars. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly and in moderation. For more tips like these and information about hydration and nutrition, visit bit.ly/302eqmx.
AUGUST 2019 • ZEST 13
FOOD & FUN
Watermelon in a salad? WATERMELON AND TOMATO SALAD Ingredients: 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 2 cups cubed seeded watermelon 6 large basil leaves, thinly sliced ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste Directions: Place the tomatoes and watermelon into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with basil, feta cheese and lemon zest. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. Nutrition: Serves: 8, per serving: (1/2 cup) 186 calories, 13.85g total fat, 28mg cholesterol, 360.5mg sodium, 11.45g total carbohydrate, 5.65g protein. Source: Adapted from recipe by Allrecipes from www. allrecipes.com/recipe
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Zest is a magazine for the 55-plus crowd.