January/February 2021 Issue
Burlington Marble & Granite
How to Read Medical Bills Budget-Friendly Healthy Eating is Possible Developing a Winning Exit Strategy with Your Home VermontMaturity.com
VERMONT MATURITY Product of RTN Publishing 6170 Forest Hills Drive Dubuque, IA 52002 Change Service Requested
Permit # 1884 LITTLE ROCK, AR
PA I D
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE
the art of stone crafting
Table of Contents Vermont Maturity
For Vermonters Age 50 and Older
RTN PUBLISHING, INC. Phone – 802.332.3254 Robin@VermontMaturity.com www.VermontMaturity.com
PUBLISHER & PRESIDENT Robin Nichols
VICE PRESIDENT & OFFICE MANAGER Terri Nichols
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ben Durant Aaron Glosser Eric Hopper Clover Whitham Joshua Nichols
Burlington Marble & Granite by Eric Hopper
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Char Grass
IT & WEB DESIGN Mark Chaney
ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Phone – 802.332.3254 Fax – 563.557.7641 Robin@VermontMaturity.com Vermont Maturity is published times per year by RTN Publishing, Inc. and is distributed without charge to qualified subscribers in Vermont. Nonqualified reader subscription costs are $39 per year for United States residents. No international subscriptions are available. Subscription requests must include name, address, phone number and email address. The publisher makes no representation concerning any product or service advertised in this publication. Vermont Maturity and VermontMaturity. com serve only as a medium for sellers to reach potential buyers and does not warrant the accuracy of any advertisement. Vermont Maturity makes every effort to eliminate typographical errors and assumes no responsibility for misspelling names of people from handwritten copy. All editorial items submitted are subject to editing and alteration at the sole discretion of publisher. Design and format of this magazine is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Vermont Maturity, 6170 Forest Hills Drive, Asbury, IA 52002-9349.
How to Read Medical Bills by Clover Whitham
Developing a Winning Exit Strategy with Your Home by Ben Durant
Budget-Friendly Healthy Eating is Possible
by Brigitte Harton, RD, LC, NBC-HWC
Investment Fraud is a Special Concern Among Seniors and Baby Boomers by Kirk Shamberger
How to Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses by Jim Miller
Pat Priest’s Munster Memories by Nick Thomas
Grow Houseplants with Style & Convenience in Mind by Melinda Myers
T MAT VERMON
27 ews. . . . . . N & s t c u Prod . 29 ds. . . . . . . r a C s s e Busin
4 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
DURABLE | EFFICIENT | BEAUTIFUL | CUSTOM CRAFTED SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULATION TO REPLACE YOUR WINDOWS & DOORS TODAY!
Whether you’re replacing your old windows or doors because they’re broken, drafty, or require too much maintenance we are here to help! We know you want your home done right, by a company you can trust before, during and after your installations. Let us help you choose custom windows or doors and execute your vision!
262B Mechanic Street, Lebanon NH 03766
Vermont Maturity Cover Story
Burlington Marble & Granite
by Eric Hopper
or the last 18 years, Burlington Marble & Granite has manufactured and installed the finest handcrafted stone countertops for many of Vermont’s premier builders, architects,
fine kitchen and bath designers, and discriminating homeowners. Burlington Marble & Granite doesn’t sell
cabinets or tile or appliances; they are strictly countertop experts. With over 100 years of combined experience, its staff of salespeople, installers, and shop personnel will thoroughly explain all of the different types of stone and quartz products and how each would work in a customer’s specific application. Do you want marble countertops in your kitchen but everyone else keeps telling you that you can’t? You can rely on BM&G’s experience to carefully walk you through the difference between marble and other materials and what to expect for years to come. Burlington Marble & Granite applies the “Art of Stonecrafting” to natural and man-made countertop surfaces, including granite, marble, engineered stone (quartz), quartzite, limestone, soapstone, and slate. Red House Building & Photo Provided by Lindsay Selin. 6 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
It also offers an extensive range
of natural materials though its alliances with the
templating system, and a state of the art high definition
Northeast’s largest stone slab suppliers, including Marble
slab layout station. The Slabsmith, as it’s known, allows
and Granite Inc. Additionally, it offers engineered
customers to better visualize the project and, with
quartz-stone material, manufactured by Vadara,
the assistance of Burlington Marble & Granite’s staff,
CaesarStone USA and many more. Burlington Marble
carefully lay out every inch of the countertops. All
& Granite has the widest variety of materials available
in all, the digitalization helps streamline the “Art of
from slab importers throughout the entire Northeast. Its
Stonecrafting” into a more efficient and interactive
warehouse in Shelburne typically stocks 50 or more
process. The typical stonecrafting process at Burlington
colors of full slabs in varying materials.
Marble & Granite involves four steps: estimating,
“When we developed the slogan, the “Art of
templating, fabrication, and installation.
Stonecrafting”, we were really old-school craftsmen
using very traditional tools and methods to fabricate stone. We still are old-school craftsmen, of course, but now we’ve gone completely digital, which is an entirely different art in and of itself.” - Mike Richburg, Owner In 2016, Burlington Marble & Granite moved to its current location in Shelburne. It was there that it transformed into a fully-digital shop, complete with two computer numerical control machines (CNCs), a laser
In the first step of the process, Burlington Marble & Granite quotes the project based on the customer’s initial selection of stone material and the drawings. In some cases, a representative will visit the home or job site and provide a quote based on the site and project requirements. Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 7
Marble tub deck with waterfall panel, Birdseye Building Photo by Steve Renaud-Renaud Tile & Stone Design by Susan Ray
For most estimates, a customer will need to provide a layout drawing of the countertop surface or have a representative visit his or her home or job site. The
Architect: Birdseye Interiors & Photography by Susan Martin.
profiles, backsplashes, and/or other job requirements are recorded. During the template phase of the process,
customer will also need to specify an edge profile,
Burlington Marble & Granite may ask the designer,
provide sink and fixture specifications, and relay any
homeowner, or builder to make the sink and fixtures
available. This is to ensure a perfect fit with the template
Templating Once a customer has selected a material and the estimate is accepted, a representative from Burlington
before the fabrication process.
Fabrication Once the templating is complete, the file is edited
Marble & Granite will visit the home or job site to create
to insure accuracy of the final fit and then sent off to a
a project template.
programmer. The digital templates can then be overlaid
The template is made using a highly accurate laser
onto a high resolution photo of the customer’s slab and
templator. This process creates a “duplicate” of the
then manipulated to insure that the most beautiful parts
surface configuration, which reproduces angles and
of the stone are being highlighted. Once this layout
radii and shows the sink and other fixture locations.
is approved by the customer the job transitions into
During the template process, notations about edge
production where a combination of the 2 CNC machines
8 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
fabricates the countertops to the precise measurements of the templates. Occasionally, a stoneworker needs to complete the final stage of the fabrication process doing some of the more intricate details that the CNCs cannot with handheld grinding and polishing tools
Installation A typical slab weighs between 200 and 600 pounds,
When looking for the absolute best custom countertops Vermont has to offer, look no further
which makes bringing a piece of granite countertop
than Burlington Marble & Granite. From its extensive
into a house no easy feat. However, Burlington Marble
combined experience, to the state of the art, fully
& Granite has experience dealing with slabs as large
digitalized shop, the folks at Burlington Marble &
as 1,200 pounds. Once the slabs are in place, a team
Granite will provide not only the highest level of
of skilled craftsmen will complete the final trimming
customer service, but also the highest quality natural
and fitting. The sink is mounted underneath the new
and man-made countertop surfaces. When shopping for
countertop and is permanently attached. Amazingly,
a countertop, a customer can rest assured Burlington
what began as a massive slab of stone in the yard is
Marble & Granite will provide the very best materials
transformed by Burlington Marble & Granite’s “Art
and the best craftsmanship for the job. VM
of Stonecrafting” into an expertly installed, stunning countertop.
Looking to find that perfect assisted living community?
For more information visit BurlingtonMarbleAndGranite. com or call 802-860-1221.
Opening early Summer
Yes, we’ve got that. In Essex Junction, you’ll discover Assisted Living designed with you in mind. Chef-created seasonal meals.
√ Beautiful, spacious apartments.
Our first 25 waitlist depositors will receive $1,000+ worth of amenities at move in. CALL TO RESERVE TODAY!
√ Well-trained staff. √ A place that actually welcomes your pet.
√ A campus setting near restaurants, a spa, and golf.
2 Freeman Woods, Essex Junction, VT (adjacent to the Essex Hotel and Spa)
(802) 872-7775 www.MapleRidgeLodge.com
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 9
How to Read Medical Bills
by Clover Whitham
hen it comes to medical bills, being a savvy consumer means a whole lot more than remembering to clip coupons. But the extra effort to
understand these bills can save consumers far more
than 50 cents off a can of vegetables. “It’s critically important that consumers look over their bill very closely and understand what they are being charged for, and what their insurance or Medicare is going to pay for,” David Reville, communications director for AARP Vermont said. He reminds consumers that insurance is an agreement that the insurer pays a percentage and
patients, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding
the consumer pays a percentage. “You want to make
sure you’re paying your share, and not a penny more,”
The list of these codes and acronyms found on an itemized statement can quickly become overwhelming,
Reville adds. Sometimes digging into the details is the only way to make sure you’re saving those pennies.
Types of Bills Often, the bills medical providers send to the patient are “summary” bills. While easier to read and comprehend, they do not show all the charges associated with each procedure or visit. Itemized bills can be requested and are a good tool to use to make sure there are no mistakes. Errors to check for include double billing, incorrect number of pills provided, charges for a single room when a double room was used, and bills for canceled procedures. Itemized bills commonly include the billing code. These five-digit codes are called the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), or for Medicare 10 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
but if a patient suspects an error or is surprised by a bill, these details can help. The meaning of CPT codes can be found online, but Reville recommends that anytime a consumer doesn’t understand a charge, or suspects an error, he or she should call the medical provider’s financial office. CPT codes can also be used to get an estimate of the charges before a procedure. The University of Vermont Medical Center, for example, outlines a process to get an estimate that includes getting the CPT code from your doctor, calling the hospital for its rate and calling your insurer to find out the patient’s payment responsibility. The caveat is that estimates may not include other charges and fees for the services received based on individual needs at the time. Since 2018, all hospitals in the United States are required to make their current standard charges
We Believe In Angels America’s Choice in Senior Homecare®
available online. The current University of Vermont Medical Center list of hospital fees, for example, has
more than 3,000 codes and corresponding fees on it. Summary bills are certainly easier to understand, but itemized bills provide a lot more information and could uncover costly errors. Knowing exactly what
Mom wants to stay at home and we can help her do that.
you’re billed for could also help inform future care
• Meal Preparation
• Flexible Hourly Care
• Light Housekeeping
• Bathing Assistance
• Medication Reminders
• Dressing Assistance
• Flexible Hourly Care
• Medication Reminders
• Respite Care for Families
• Assistance with Walking
• Friendly Companionship
Check Insurance Payment The AARP advises consumers to make sure medical bills match the explanation of benefits from their insurers. Patients should receive an explanation of benefits statements, or EOP, from their insurer. “Make sure the dates and codes on that statement match the bills you receive from medical providers,” says the AARP in an article about understanding medical bills.
802.862.8777 Each Visiting Angels agency is independently owned and operated.
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 11
If insurance has yet to be charged, or has been
types of bills: green for facility bills, blue for physician
charged incorrectly, the patient’s share of the bill could
bills. The payment due date is also color coded: The
total amount for new charges is green, once bills are
The AARP also suggests looking for these five common billing errors: ✔ Incorrect quantities of medicine or supplies, or
duplicate charges. ✔ A treatment, medication or procedure you didn’t
receive. ✔ Inflated surgery and recovery room times. ✔ Charges for basic supplies. “Patients sometimes
discover fees for gloves, gowns or other routine items listed separately on their bill.” ✔ Room fees: make sure you are charged for the
correct type of room and right number of days for overnight stays.
Easier to Read Bills Bills that are easier to understand have long been a priority for patient advocates. Vermont’s largest hospital recently redesigned its
past due the total on the statement is orange. When the amount is red that means the account is in danger of being sent to collections. The hospital also says the new bills make more clear how patients can get information about fi nancial assistance or other questions.
Where to Get Help Consumers who need help understanding charges or who suspect an error may be able to get third party assistance. Some employers offer patient advocacy services as part of employee benefits packages. All Vermonters can turn to the Office of the Health Care Advocate, a program run by Vermont Legal Aid. Consumers can get help with billing issues from the Office of the Health Care Advocate as well as other health care and health insurance related issues. Another program in Vermont, the State Health Insurance Program, known as SHIP, also helps
summary bills, with the help of patients. The University
consumers navigate Medicare and private insurance
of Vermont Medical Center bills color code different
benefits. The program is run through local Area Agencies on Aging, such as Age Well in Chittenden County. VM For more information visit: The Office of the Health Care Advocate: call 1-800-917-7787 to speak with a health care advocate or visit Vtlawhelp.org/health. The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) “provides information, assistance and support to Medicare beneficiaries who need help selecting or managing public and/or private health insurance benefits.” Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for assistance at 800642-5119. Additional information can be found at Aarp.org and UVMHealth.org. Clover Whitham has been a journalist at Vermont newspapers for more than a dozen years and is now a freelance writer and editor near Burlington.
12 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Developing a Winning Exit Strategy with Your Home
by Ben Durant
n my two previous articles, we discussed how having a positive mindset is key to a successful move and how to get organized for a smooth transition to a new home. This article is the third article in my series of how to make a successful senior transition. This installment is how to create a winning exit strategy. The exit strategy is how to get out of your current home and into the next. The first step in developing your exit strategy is to determine what your ideal next “right-size” home looks like. What are your priorities? Are you looking for independent living, singlelevel living, do you want to be on the lake, the mountains, or near grandkids? Writing down what’s important to you is always the best place to start. As a senior real estate specialist in Vermont, I am very familiar with Vermont’s housing best options based on your goals. I’m happy to consult with you to explore your options. Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 13
Buy before you sell, you say? Here’s why:
Once you’ve decided on a plan for your “rightsize” home, it’s time to go get it. Of course, this is often way more difficult than it sounds. Normally the best Vermont homes for seniors are not well kept secrets. You may have to be patient and act quickly when the perfect match comes along. This is why it’s essential that you have a strong exit strategy. In your past, you may have traded up homes where you sold one house in the morning and bought your next home in the afternoon. It was a great strategy, but conditions in our market have made this increasingly more difficult to achieve. As Baby Boomers come of age, a tsunami of the people are “right-sizing” into Vermont’s senior friendly communities. Ideal homes tend to rarely come up for sale and often sell in hours. If your next move involves continuing to own real estate, it is very likely that you may be better to buy the next home
Moving before selling your current home is the graceful way to leave. You’ve paid your dues in life; it’s okay to make it easy on yourself. Finding the right home can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Flexibility to move quickly on the ideal home is very important to scoring the deal. When you are buying your next home, given the choice it’s likely that the sellers will choose to sell to buyers that aren’t required to sell a home to make the deal work out. Safety - if you move before selling, you won’t be subjected to would-be buyers traipsing through your home. Convenience - if you move before selling, your
before selling your current home.
schedule won’t be disrupted by buyers asking to see your house just when you want to relax.
Vermont’s leader and most trusted Memory Care Community We offer: • • • •
Individualized plan of care to meet your loved one’s specific needs 24-hr specialized dementia nursing care A Dedicated Geriatric Medical Director on-site Residential care & nursing home license so your loved ones can age in place • Daily specialized activities – 7 days a week (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) • Upfront pricing model; no tiers or hidden fees
Vermont’s Leader in Memory Care… for Over 30 Years
687 Harbor Road • Shelburne • arborsatshelburne.com • (802) 985-8600 14 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Beyond the inherent risk, most people don’t have
If you move before selling, you can proceed without the pressure to sell quickly, which means you can
enough cash under the mattress or in a checking
negotiate better deals on the sale and purchase your
account to buy a home. Even if you did have the ability
home when the time comes. I have seen firsthand where
to liquidate investments, there’s probably a better way.
my clients kept tens of thousands of dollars in their
Most of my clients do have enough equity in their
pockets by choosing to negotiate without pressure.
current home to buy another home. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) may be your solution to tap the
Last but not least, staging your home can raise the value of your home significantly. According to the
equity in your current home. HELOCs typically have
latest market statistics, 25% of buyers are making offers
low up-front fees, allow you to borrow 80% or higher of
without even seeing a home; staging your home has
your home’s value, and allow low interest-only payments.
never been as important. However, living in a home
The HELOC may be a part of your winning exit strategy,
while it’s being staged is not ideal for you. Staging homes
one where you can have your cake, and eat it too. In my next installment, I’ll examine the long-
is disruptive and messy business; best done when you’re
term trends caused by Covid-19 and how it will affect
enjoying life somewhere else.
Vermont real estate. VM
There is of course inherent risk to owning two homes at the same time and I strongly urge you to consult a trustworthy advisor about the saleability of your home before going this route. Try to discern if that person giving advice is telling you what you want to hear or giving you prudent advice. And please, always grant yourself permission to get a second opinion.
Ben Durant is a Senior Real Estate Specialist® and Owner of Transitions Real Estate. He is dedicated to helping Vermont Seniors and Boomers find their best housing solutions. Ben lives with his wife and three children in Williston. He can be contacted by visiting Transitionsvt. com or by calling 802-355-6688.
Age Well makes staying at home a reality with over 40 years of experience in care coordination and a network of services.
• Helpline • Care Coordination • Meals on Wheels • Medicare Counseling agewellvt.org
Age Well is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 15
Budget-Friendly Healthy Eating is Possible
by Brigitte Harton, RD, LC, NBC-HWC
f your wallet is feeling stretched these days, you are not alone. When money becomes scarcer, many Americans turn to cheap fast food and junk food to fill their rumbling stomachs. The
adage that healthy eating is more expensive has
been around a while, but it is deceptive. Not only
is nutritious eating on a budget possible, but it is also necessary to maintain or achieve good health. Thankfully, with some know-how, planning, and a willingness to try new things, you can eat a healthy diet without breaking the bank. Before digging into tips for budget shopping, let us review the foundation of nutritious eating. Consider MyPlate (www.choosemyplate.gov) as a guide for healthy eating. It encourages half your plate of veggies and fruit, a quarter plate of lean protein, a quarter plate of grain (particularly whole-grains), and a portion of dairy product. Here is a quick guide to saving money by food group:
Veggies and Fruits We all know that eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits can help cut the risk of developing many chronic diseases. But did you know that research
sugar. As for frozen versions, choose those that are without sauces and marinades. Watch store flyers for the best deals on fresh produce, and buy them when they’re in season for the best quality and value.
shows it can also boost your mood? We could all use
Whenever possible, select whole-grains such as
this right now! Contrary to popular belief, the fruits
whole-wheat bread, pasta, and cereal as well as brown
and veggies you select don’t always have to be fresh to
rice, quinoa, and oats. These grains contain all their
count in your daily total. Canned, frozen, and dried
nutritious parts and have more fiber than their white
versions are just as nutritious and are usually cheaper.
counterparts. Watch for sales and consider buying in
Make sure to pick veggies canned with no salt added
bulk to save on non-perishables. You can freeze extra
and fruits canned in their juice to avoid excess salt and
bread and use it as needed.
16 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Dairy Products Dairy products are our most important source of calcium. Research indicates they help lower high blood
Make Our Home, Your Home.
pressure and maintain a healthy weight and strong bones. Look for store brands of yogurt, milk, and cheese that are more affordable.
Uniquely Affordable Residential Care Homes Active, Independent Lifestyle in a Homelike Environment Freshly Prepared Meals • Daily Activities Private Rooms and Suites • Medicaid Accepted 24/7 Nursing Oversight and Medication Management
Michaud Memorial Manor DERBY LINE • 873-3152 St. Joseph’s Residential Care Home BURLINGTON • 864-0264 The Loretto Home RUTLAND • 773-8840 St. Joseph Kervick Residence RUTLAND • 755-5133
Protein Foods Many folks think half their plate should be filled with a portion of meat, poultry, or seafood (when
WHEELCHAIR RAMPS, STAIR LIFTS & MORE STAIR LIFTS
only a quarter is enough to meet our protein needs). Imagine how much money could be saved by following the recommendations. Meat, poultry, and seafood are some of the most expensive items on the grocery list, so by buying less, you can help your wallet as well as your health. This is especially true by replacing some high saturated fat meats such as beef with more plant foods. Stretch meat in casseroles and stir-fries by using less of it and adding more veggies and whole-grains. Another alternative for meat is legumes (dry or canned beans,
FOR A FREE HOME EVALUATION CALL OR VISIT
800-649-5215 | WWW.AMRAMP.COM
peas, and lentils). They are excellent sources of protein, Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 17
fiber, and other nutrients with the bonus of being much cheaper.
Once you have your meal plan, use it to write your
Other Tips for Thrifty Shopping Determine how much money you have in your food budget. Divide this amount into a weekly or biweekly amount, depending on how often you shop. Pay attention to the price of the items you buy to help you stay within your budget. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Do an inventory of the items you have on hand to help you develop your meal plan. There is no need to buy more food if you can first use what’s in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
Use the store flyer when making meal selections to maximize money savings.
grocery list. Make sure to save both meal plan and listyou can develop a rotation of three to four weeks and make minor adjustments to your shopping list as needed. Th is strategy can save you time, money, and health.
Once at the store, stick to your list.
Think about the food you throw away. For less waste, buy or cook only what you need. Food tossed is money in the trash.
Resist temptations at the check-out. Those snack foods and candy are put there for impulse buying. Leave them behind. Compare unit prices to see which brand is the best value. Consider buying in bulk, but only if you can use the food before it goes bad. Th ink about the food you throw away. For less waste, buy or cook only what you need. Food tossed is money in the trash. Ask about discounts. Most grocery stores have a
1265 Laconia Road, Rte 106 Belmont, NH 03220 603-267-7778 ELECTRONIC LUCKY 7 MACHINES FULL BAR & RESTAURANT
senior discount or loyalty program. Use coupons when you can, but only for things you buy anyway. Take advantage of store brands. They offer quality for cheaper. VM
TABLE GAMES PO K E R BINGO KENO
www.lakesregioncasino.com 18 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Brigitte Harton is a consultant Registered Dietitian at Age Well and a Board Certified Wellness Coach. If you find yourself still struggling to put food on the table, contact Age Well’s Helpline at 800-6425119. Age Well can help you find out if you qualify for 3SquaresVT, Meals on Wheels, or other programs to help you eat healthy and make ends meet.
Investment Fraud is a Special Concern Among Seniors and Baby Boomers
by Kirk Shamberger
his is not a new topic, but one that certainly
as isolated, frail, and gullible. Do you know anyone who
deserves repeating. According to the SEC
meets the following description?
(Securities and Exchange Commission -
✔✔Self-reliant when it comes to making decisions
Sec.gov ) and FINRA (Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority - Finra.org) “investment fraud is
✔✔Above average financial knowledge
substantially on the rise”, especially among older investors and the Baby
Boom generation (the 78.2 million born between 1946 to 1964.) This population is especially
Holly Lemieux Attorney at Law
vulnerable as Fraudsters go “where the money is”. Millions of Boomers have been accumulating sizeable retirement nest eggs through company 401(k)s and personal accounts.
The Face of Investment Fraud Recent research has shattered the stereotype of investment fraud victims
Elder Law • Special Needs Planning Wills • Trusts • Estates • Probate Matters 21 Carmichael St., Suite 201 • Essex Junction, VT 05452
email@example.com | www.plantogetherlaw.com | 802-871-5410 Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 19
produced by FINRA can be found on their Facebook page. It discusses the 5 persuasion tactics fraudsters’ use and the 3 ways you can combat them.
How to Avoid Investment Fraud You are not immune to the sales pitch. Never give personal or financial information to a stranger, over the phone or in person. Be suspicious of “too-goodto-be–true” statements or promises. And if you have ✔ Above average income ✔ College educated
concerns contact The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (Dfr.Vermont.gov) As always, get the facts and do the math! VM
✔ Experienced a recent health or financial setback ✔ Open to listening to new ideas or sales pitches
Kirk Shamberger is a partner with C. K. Financial Resources and has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. He may be contacted at 802-2388187 or kirk@ckfinancialresources. com Subscribe to his blog at Consumerfinancialadvocate.com.
If so, you know someone who fits the profile of an investment fraudster’s prime target. (Excerpted from “Fighting Fraud 101: Smart Tips for Older Investors”, FINRA) One terrific video that I was recently introduced to is “How to Avoid Financial Scams.” This free video,
Are you Retired
VERMONT FURNITURE DESIGNS ______________________
" Thank you for the beautiful work you’ve done. It’s such a pleasure working with a company that practices such a high level of customer service, intelligent design, and superior craftsmanship. "
or about to Retire?
Consider your guaranteed life-time income options! 7% Annual Compound Growth for 10-years Guaranteed Bonus on Your Initial Deposit All gains Protected and Guaranteed by A Rated Insurance Companies Growth is Based on Leading Index Strategies Developed by Nobel Prize Economists
John, Burlington, VT
What part of your retirement income should be left to chance?
We are a financial services firm helping Vermonters prepare for retirement through the use of insurance and fixed annuities. We do not offer investment products or advice. Insurance and annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.
20 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Kirk Shamberger Kirk@ckfinancialresources.com • (802)238--8187
HEIRLOOM QUALITY FURNITURE, MADE IN VERMONT
4 Tigan St., Winooski 802.655.6568
Check us out on
How to Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses
by Jim Miller
nfortunately, it’s still true that original
and hospital services that original Medicare does, but
Medicare does not cover vision services,
many of them also provide vision as well as dental,
which includes routine eye exams and
hearing and prescription drugs too.
prescription eyeglasses – unless you’ve just
To locate Advantage plans in your area that provide
had cataract surgery. While there’s no one solution to
vision coverage, go to Medicare.gov/plan-compare or
this common need, here are a few tips that can help you
call 800-633-4227. But before enrolling in a plan, check
the benefit details to ensure the plan’s vision coverage
Medicare Advantage While original Medicare doesn’t cover vision services, there are Medicare Advantage plans that do. Medicare Advantage plans, which are sold through private insurance companies, cover all the same medical
includes routine eye exams, eyeglass frames and lenses. If you are currently enrolled in original Medicare you can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan each year during the open enrollment period, which is between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. Or, if you already have an Advantage plan that doesn’t provide adequate vision coverage, you can swap to another plan between Jan. 1 and March 31. Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 21
If, however, you don’t want to change your Medicare
members, for example, can get 30 percent off a pair of
plan, you can still get coverage by purchasing a vision
glasses (frames and lenses) at LensCrafters and Glasses.
insurance policy – see eHealthInsurance.com. Vision
com, and you save an additional $10 on a complete pair
policies typically start at around $11 to $13 per month
at Target Optical. AARP also offers $55 comprehensive
for an individual, but before signing up make sure
eye exams (dilation included) at participating eye
your savings potential is worth the cost of the monthly
doctors. See AARPVisionDiscounts.com for more
premiums and required copays.
Discount Stores Purchasing eyeglasses from discount retailers
Buy Online Buying eyeglasses online can also offer huge savings.
is another way to save. Costco Optical is one of the
Stores like and EyeBuyDirect.com sell prescription
best discount stores for good eyewear and low prices.
eyeglasses for as little as $6 and $7. These sites let you
Eyeglasses cost an average of around $184, but to shop
upload a photo of your face, so you can see what you’d
there you have to pay a $60 annual membership fee.
look like in different frames.
Some other good retail options for low prices include Sam’s Club Optical and Walmart Vision Centers. You also need to find out if you are eligible for any discounts. Some retailers provide discounts to membership groups like AARP and AAA. AARP
Or, for a snappier choice of frames see WarbyParker. com, which offers single-vision glasses starting at $95. They even offer a free program where you can request up to five pairs to try on at home for five days. To purchase glasses online, you’ll need a valid prescription from an eye doctor (typically no more than
Independent Living Rental Apartments for those 55 Years of Age and Older
7 & 9 Joshua Way, Essex Junction • 1-2 Bedroom Apartments w/Balconies • No Smoking & No Pets • Walking Distance to Pharmacy, Restaurants and Other Services • Coin Operated Laundry on Site
a year old), plus your pupillary distance number, which is the distance, measured in millimeters, between the centers of your pupils in each eye.
• Underground Parking • Outdoor Gardening
If your income is low, depending on where you
• Reasonable Market Rate Rent
live, there may be some local clinics that provide free
• State-of-the-Art Life Safety System
your local Lions Club to see what’s available in your area.
• Many Optional Extras
See Directory.LionsClubs.org for contact information.
• Monthly Calendar of Events
Call or E-mail today for more information 872-9197 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinecrest Full Circle Property Management, Inc.
A Senior Living Community
22 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
or discounted eye exams and eyeglasses. Put in a call to
You may also be able to get free eyeglasses through New Eyes (New-Eyes.org, 973-376-4903), a nonprofit organization that provides free eyeglasses through a voucher program to people in financial need. VM
Jim Miller publishes the Savvy Senior, a nationally syndicated column that offers advice for Boomers and Seniors.
Pat Priest’s Munster Memories
by Nick Thomas
hen Universal Pictures assembled the cast of the popular
TV series “The Munsters” for the big screen adaption in the 1966 film “Munster, Go Home!” another actress
replaced Pat Priest as Marilyn Munster.
“I was devastated not to be in the film,” said Priest,
Priest says fellow cast members Fred Gwynne
from her home near Boise, Idaho. “We were on the set
(Herman Munster) and Al Lewis (Grandpa) “went to bat
filming the end of the season and the producers sent one
for me,” but “that’s just the way it goes in this business.”
of their guys down to tell me. I was 29 and my contract
While her role throughout “The Munsters” series
was up for renewal, so I think they wanted a younger
was often small, Priest has always been upbeat about the
actress and didn’t want to pay me more.”
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 23
“Occasionally, there was a show built around me, but
said. “But interestingly, while the rest of us would later
I usually didn’t have a lot of lines and I just accepted that,”
meet at TV conventions and autograph shows, Fred
she said. “On a positive note, I could learn my three or
didn’t want anything to do with ‘The Munsters.’ He
four lines on the freeway on my way to the studio!”
preferred to be known as a fine actor, not just identified
Nevertheless, Priest still has fond memories of
with the Munster character and would never sign
working on the show, although there was a brief early
autographs or be interviewed about the show. He
encounter with Yvonne De Carlo (Lily Munster).
wouldn’t even stand beside Al to have his picture taken
“She was a major movie star from the 40s and 50s,” explained Priest. “My first day on the set the two of
even though they remained good friends.” After “The Munsters,” Priest continued in
us were in a scene together and the director asked me
commercials and took on mostly small acting roles,
to move forward into the light. Yvonne turned to me
but she looks back on her acting career as a wonderful
and said, ‘Let’s get something straight right now young
lady, don’t you ever upstage me.’ Man, I jumped back
“I’ve done everything I wanted to do and gone
and didn’t care if I spent the rest of the series in the
everywhere I wanted to go,” she said. “I’m 83 now and
dark! However, we eventually got along well and often
whatever happens in the future is all just pluses.” VM
had lunch together. But Fred and Al would always tease her about being a diva!” Gwynne and Lewis had previously starred in “Car 54, Where Are You?’ and Priest says it was clear that the pair had on-screen chemistry.
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 750 newspapers and magazines.
“They played off one another so beautifully, were best friends, and their families were all very close,” she Family Owned and Operated Since 1951
RESTAURANT: Lunch • Dinner • Eat-In or Take-Out
FULL SERVICE FISH MARKET: • Lobster • Clams • Fresh Fish • Bulk Seafood • House made Chowders • House made Soups & Salads
Try our Seafood Platters: Choice of Lobster meat, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Crab Claws, Shrimp Cocktail, Smoked Fish... & Chicken Wing Platters
Catering for parties or family gatherings
Open 7 days a week • 10am-8pm 7 Pinecrest Drive, Essex Junction | 879-3611 www.RaysSeafoodMarket.com
24 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Something To Think About James A Meunier, director
BEREAVEMENT, GRIEF, MOURNING The words “bereavement,” “grief,” and “mourning” are often used almost interchangeably. However, there are some subtle and significant shades of difference that should be understood. BEREAVEMENT is a statement of fact. It is a simple acknowledgement of your relationship to a person who has died and connotes nothing of the way you react to that death. The death of one close relative may be heart-rending, the death of another may leave you cold.
People who are bereaved often experience GRIEF. This is the powerful emotion that should, and usually does, follow the death of a loved one. For everyone it is unique, and must take its own course and duration. MOURNING refers primarily to social behavior following a death. There are a great variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious norms for mourning. Sociologists and psychologists are finding that these ritualized expressions of grief can be of great benefit to the bereaved.
OFFERED IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST EVERY MONTH BY
Elmwood Meunier Funeral Home & Cremation Service 97 Elmwood Avenue • Burlington, Vt • (802) 864-5862
Service to Five Generations
Grow Houseplants with Style and Convenience in Mind by Melinda Myers
It starts with one plant on a sunny windowsill then
Grow cacti and succulents in a cool, sunny location
morphs into an impenetrable jungle. You may feel you
for winter. Give each plant enough room to capture the
need a machete to reach each individual plant to water and
sunlight it needs and to show off its unique form and color.
tend. Clear the way to improved growing conditions and convenient care while showcasing every plant with style. Group plants with similar light and watering needs to
Expand your indoor growing space and enjoy greenery throughout your home by adding artificial lights. New furniture grade LED light fixtures fit into small spaces and
make maintenance easier for you and increase humidity
look great on countertops, work desks and shelves. You’ll
levels – something tropical plants need to thrive. Set
save energy with LED lights and add a bit of style to your
plants on attractive trays filled with pebbles to capture
home décor with these attractive light gardens.
excess water. The pebbles elevate the containers above the
Increase your success with the popular fiddle leaf
water to avoid root rot. As the water in the tray evaporates,
fig and other floor plants. These beauties are often used
it increases the humidity around the plants.
to decorate a bare wall, corner or other space in need of a focal point. Oftentimes these areas do not receive
YOUR PATH ONWARD AND UPWARD
Serving Vermont's Seniors and Boomers, statewide with all of their real estate needs. Ben is dedicated to problem solving the unique issues facing Vermont's greatest generations. Call Ben today for a free consultation. Phone number: 802.355.6688 Website: www.transitionsvt.com email: email@example.com
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 25
sufficient light for the plants to grow and thrive. Soon
results in less time. Indoor garden tool sets have perfectly
leaves begin to yellow and drop. Keep them healthy and
sized tools for pruning, transplanting and tending
beautiful with supplemental light. Hang a pendant light
houseplants. Many come with an attractive built-in case
above or set a plant light stand beside these large plants.
for easy storage and a tray for corralling the mess of
Many are trendy decorative fixtures similar to those used
potting and transplanting. You’ll waste less potting mix
to light your home.
and spend less time sweeping up debris.
Save time and increase success by growing
Increase your growing space and show off your plant
houseplants in self-watering containers. These pots have
collection with one or more plant stands. Many provide
built-in water reservoirs that extend the time between
multiple tiers, allowing you to display plants of different
watering. They also help reduce the mess of water spilling
sizes while positioning them in the light they prefer.
over the saucer and onto wood or carpeted floors.
Set large plants on wheeled caddies or a collection of
Take the hassle out of watering with an indoor coil
pots on a wheeled tray to move them out of the way when
watering hose and sprayer. These coiled hoses hook up
cleaning or hosting a gathering. Then wheel them back in
to the faucet, allowing you to water houseplants and
place once your company has left.
seedlings up to 50 feet away. You’ll eliminate the need to
Adding some convenience for easy care will allow you
fill and lug watering cans from plant to plant, leaving a
to spend less time keeping your plants looking their best
trail of water along the way.
and more time enjoying the individual beauty each plant
Maximize the time spent tending your plants by using the proper tools. Many indoor gardeners use old silverware or try adapting outdoor tools for indoor garden use. Having the right tool for the job provides better
provides as you grow them in style. VM Melinda Myers has written numerous books and hosts How to Grow Anything DVD series and the nationallysyndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Her web site is MelindaMyers.com.
Are you ready for the road ahead?
Low fees AND personal attention isn't a new idea. We've been offering unlimited financial planning and personalized professional investment management at a fee well below the industry standard since 1995. 802.658.2668 | 431 Pine Street, Burlington, VT | hansondoremus.com
26 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
Free Senior Transition Survival Starter Pack
Transitions Real Estate is offering a limited number of free Senior Transition Survival Starter Packs to help seniors that are in transition get organized for a smooth move. The Senior Transition Starter Pack includes a planner, a color coded sheet of stickers, a list of contacts that can make moving easier, a coupon for a free real estate evaluation and a Rubbermaid tote. This starter pack is the perfect way to get you well on your way to getting organized for a smooth move. For more information contact Ben Durant at 802.355.6688 or Ben@ Transitionsvt.com.
comprehensive financial options for our members. Our new Benefits Plus® checking account offers exclusive savings on purchases for travel, groceries, restaurants, entertainment, prescriptions, and more. This enhanced checking account option also provides identity theft services, with fraud alerts and Restoration Rescue®. You may also upgrade to a Benefits Plus® Premium checking, which includes additional protection from Ultimate ID®. This added feature entitles you to Daily 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring, Score Tracker, Lost Document Replacement Services, and more. To join the SeaComm family, open an account online at Seacomm. org or visit our South Burlington branch located at 1680 Shelburne Road. For more information call 800.764.0566.
Free Financial Report
SeaComm Offers New Benefits Plus Program
If you are looking for a full suite of financial services, no matter where you are in life’s journey, you will find it at SeaComm. As we continue to grow in the state of Vermont, our primary goal is to provide
C. K. Financial Resources is offering a free Economic Advisory Opinion on how to reduce your financial risk and help you assess if common financial advice is serving you well. This free report helps you examine important issues like the taxation rate of your retirement plan, running out of money in retirement and how
you can increase your monthly income, even if you are on a fixed income. For more information, call 802-227-2727 or visit CKFinancialResources.com/offer
Age Well Partners with CARS to Offer Vehicle Donations
Age Well, the leading experts on aging in Northwestern Vermont is introducing their partnership with the Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS) donation program. Individuals who are looking to get rid of their vehicles can donate them to the program and directly support Age Well and the services the organization provides. ABOUT THE PROGRAM: All vehicles are considered for donation – even non-running. This may include cars, trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles, boats, farm equipment, airplanes etc. CARS is a turnkey partner that handles everything from vehicle pick-up to the sale. There is no cost to the donor. All expenses are deducted from the gross sales price, and if the costs ever exceed the price, those costs are covered by CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services).
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 27
Estate Planning & Elder Law THAT’S ALL WE DO.
Glenn Jarrett and Jennifer Luitjens Certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation
Let our knowledge and experience help you plan for the future. ♦ Wills & Trusts ♦ Long-term Care Planning/Medicaid ♦ Special Needs Planning ♦ Trust Administration
Donating skips the costs and hassles associated with selling a car, like paying for advertising and insurance, or for car repairs to keep your car in running condition while you wait for a buyer. Donating avoids the costs associated with keeping a car, such as registration, insurance, car repairs, and more. Vehicle Donations are a unique and impactful giving option that helps Age Well support older Vermonters. Your unwanted car, truck, boat, motorcycle, SUV or even RV can be accepted as a donation. Your generosity qualifies for a tax-deduction and the program does all the heavy lifting for you. The pick-up is free and you can schedule it when it is most convenient. For more information, visit AgeWellVT.org.
Age Well Highlights 2 Board Members
♦ Probate Administration
1795 Williston Rd., Ste. 125 So. Burlington
Age Well, the leading experts on aging in Northwestern Vermont, is highlighting local board members, Liz Gamache and Lynda Ulrich. Liz Gamache is a resident of St. Albans and operates her own consulting firm, Liz Gamache, LLC. On why she made the decision to join the board in 2019, Gamache had this to say:
28 | January/February 2021 | VermontMaturity.com
“It is complicated and difficult to understand the issues older Vermonters face. When my parents’ needs began to change, Age Well helped our family to navigate very unfamiliar territory. It’s not an easy road to travel on -- we’re grateful for Age Well’s compassionate support and advocacy that helped to make the road less bumpy.”
Dr. Linda Ulrich resides in Fairfield and is co-director of Fiddlehead Dental, which she owns and operates with her husband Dr. Chuck Verderber. Dr. Ulrich explains why she joined the Board in 2019 to serve older adults: “I’m interested in how our notions of “Aging Well” can be expanded by technology and the coming “gratitude economy” that I have seen is emerging in our culture, this through my other work with EverWideningCircles. com.” Age Well is grateful to have the experience and dedication that Liz Gamache and Lynda Ulrich bring to the Age Well Board. Age Well is a nonprofit organization that has served Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties since 1974. For more information call 800-642-5119 or visit AgeWellVT.org.
BUSINESSCARDS A REPUTATION FOR RESULTS!
Home Inspections • Commercial and Manufactured Home Inspections • Mold Assessment, Testing, Remediation & Removal • Radon Testing • Water Testing
Virtual Tours Available Contact Us • Phone: 802.309.2648 • Belrosej5@yahoo.com Belrosehomeinspectionservices.com
NANCY JENKINS REAL ESTATE,.
WEB: NANCYJENKINS.COM E-MAIL: INFO@NANCYJENKINS.COM
Champlain Monuments, Inc. We are the area’s leader in monument sales for a reason. Beautiful memorials to fit every budget DISCOUNTS ON IN STOCK MEMORIALS
• Family Memorials • Monuments • Cremation Memorials • Lettering & Cleaning
• Bronze Plaques • Granite Signs • Markers • Benches
848 Sheldon Rd, St. Albans Call
Green Leaf Central
FREE DELIVERY, FREE SHIPPING
All Natural Therapy CBD in the Alley firstname.lastname@example.org A Health & Wellness Store featuring
Physical Address: 64 thorsen Way Burlington VT 05401
Vermont Made Products
Visit our Showroom at 4 Tigan Street, Winooski, VT 05404 PHONE:
High Quality Furniture for Your Bedroom, Dining Room, Office & More
802-655-6568 • VermontFurnitureDesigns.com
Over 35 Years Real Estate Experience in Vermont Certified Residential Specialist Janice Battaline
802-861-6226 janbatt7859 @gmail.com
Seniors Real Estate Specialist ReMax North Professionals VERMONT
Loc ally Ow ned
Your purchase of $75 or more
Get Fit by a Pro! WILLISTON
Maple Tree Place, Williston
Present at time of purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. VTM. Expires 12/31/21
Vermont Maturity Business Card Ads are Easy & Inexpensive For more information call 563.557.7571 or email Robin@ VermontMaturity.com
Vermont Maturity | January/February 2021 | 29
Free Subscription to Vermont Maturity Vermont Maturity is mailed free of charge to qualified recipients age 50 and older in the Chittenden County area. Vermont Maturity offers a wide range of local and regional coverage on topics important to boomers and seniors, including local stories and news plus articles on finance, travel, fashion & beauty, business, caring for aging parents, grandparenting, careers, health & fitness, food, and things to do.
To Qualify for a Free Subscription, Complete and Return this Form To*: RTN Publishing Attn. Circulation 6170 Forest Hills Drive Asbury IA 52002-9349 Fax: 563.557.7641 Email: VermontMaturityMagazine@gmail.com
Subscription is for:
____ Personal or Home Address
____ Business Address
Name _________________________________________________________________________ Business Name (Only if Mailed to a Business) __________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________________ State _______ Zip ______________ Phone ___________________________ Email _________________________________________ Check One: Male _____ Female ______
Date of Birth ____________________
Signature ________________________________________________ *All Information Must Be Provided to Qualify
Vermont Maturity Subscription 1
Worthy Winter Wisdom By Gary Richter
eomeone much smarter than I said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” I strongly agree, but also add: “...and bad habits.” New Englanders especially get this. Having lived and travelled in many states and countries, I feel that our bucolic countryside and climate with its localized and wide-ranging swings in humidity, temperature and wind is a much greater challenge than consistent dry cold. So, can we keep our feet and bodies happy walking and running all winter? Sure. Naturally, googling the issue will render too much good and bad advice. In less than 200 words, the following are what 48,000+ miles of running and walking in 30+ countries… but mostly between Vermont and the 59th latitude in northern Saskatchewan… has convinced me are the most undervalued and least often attended to tips.
Warm Head = Warm Tootsies
Warm headgear keeps toes and fingers warmer.
Yarn Trumps Bulk
The insulating properties of sophisticated yarns (synthetic and natural) makes a greater difference than thickness. If your sock retailer does not know which are best, find a new sock retailer.
Spacious Toebox & Circulation Trumps Insulation ANY pressure, tight points = cold feet. Roomy toebox fit = warm blood to your tootsies.
Generation Trumps Insulation
It is easy for us to generate 25X more heat walking briskly or running vs. sitting. Keep moving!
Head out Into the Wind
Return home with the wind at your back.
Dip Your Head
With a brimmed hat under that warm hat. Your basic ‘base-
ie gg ved! u A pro Ap
ball’ hat – not only keeps snow out of your glasses, but it also enables you to shield your eyes from inconsiderate oncoming drivers’ whose hi-beams blind you via pupil dilation.
Above All – Get Outside You CAN do it!
Gary Richter is a manager of the locally owned New Balance store in Maple Tree Place, Williston. Gary has a B.Sc. in Kinesiology and specializes in foot morphology and sexual dimorphism of feet and footwear. His colleague Sara LaBarre is a board certified pedorthist, practicing locally for 12 years. Sara works with local health professionals, transforming their footwear and orthotics to maximize their mobility. Between the two, they have 55 years of experience at all levels of the industry.
Come in and Get Fit by a Pro Free Fit Service! Maple Tree Place behind Best Buy
Open: M-F 10-6, Sat 10-4, Closed Sun (802) 288-9090