Vermont Maturity March-April 2020 Issue

Page 1

March/April 2020 Issue


Transitions Real Estate

Selling a home can be an exciting, yet challenging, experience.

RV Life Don’t Play Politics with Your Portfolio Will Independent Living Become Obsolete?

VERMONT MATURITY Product of RTN Publishing 6170 Forest Hills Drive Dubuque, IA 52002 Change Service Requested

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2020 TAKE YOU?



Table of Contents Vermont Maturity

For Vermonters Age 50 and Older

RTN PUBLISHING, INC. Phone – 802.332.3254



CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ben Durant Aaron Glosser Eric Hopper Clover Whitham Joshua Nichols


Cover Story: Transitions Real Estate by Eric Hopper


IT & WEB DESIGN Mark Chaney

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Phone – 802.332.3254 Fax – 563.557.7641 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.

RV Life

by Clover Whitham


Don’t Play Politics with Your Portfolio by Aaron Glosser

March is National Nutrition Month®

by Brigitte Harton, RD, CD, NBC-HWC



Will Independent Living Become Obsolete? by Ben Durant


10 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover by Jim Miller


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RV Life by Clover Whitham

What It’s Like to Live Life Roaming in an RV Who hasn’t daydreamed about packing just the essentials and hitting the road for a few weeks, or even full time? For some, retirement or empty nests are the perfect excuses to make that dream a reality. Christine Carrington started living that dream when she retired at 60 in 2004. She now travels across the country with her dog, Edna, in a 1994 Toyota Winnebago Warrior.

6 | March/April 2020 |

Carrington spends her summers at a campground in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where she’s from. She leaves Vermont before October ends and heads someplace warmer, either Arizona, Florida, New Mexico or Texas. “I sold my house and everything I owned, moved into my RV and have been traveling ever since. I love the freedom it gives me to go anywhere, no reservations, just up and go when the mood strikes. “Of course being able to always go where it is not too hot or cold is a big draw. Best of all, I love making new friends,” Carrington wrote via email in January.


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Christine Carrington bought her first RV in 2004. She travels the country in a 1994 Toyota Winnebago Warrior.

Do Your Homework Now is the perfect season to do research, both about RV units and all that is necessary to live on the road. Several consumer shows take place in the Northeast in the winter and spring, which allow customers to view and walk through many units in a day. Dealerships also host events and can work with customers to purchase and prepare an RV in time for summer. At a consumer show or dealership, customers can try out the seats, stretch out in the beds, see if the showers are big enough and get plenty of inspiration from that new RV smell. But the first question is, what kind of recreation vehicle is right for you? The main categories of RVs are: Towable RVs: These units are towed by another vehicle or mount on the back of a pickup truck. Some of today’s towable trailers can have the same amenities found in motorized RV, and some are light enough to be towed by a sedan. 8 | March/April 2020 |

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Christine Carrington lives full time in her 1994 Toyota Winnabago Warrior. She travels the country with her dog, Edna, and returns to Vermont each summer.

Motorized RVs: Also called motorhomes, in these the living area is built on a motorized chassis and can be larger than a towable RV.

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They’re designed to be parked for a season or longer. There are a few basic questions future travelers may want to mull before heading to the dealership, such as: ✔ How many weeks do you think you’ll be on the

road? ✔ How many people will be joining you? ✔ How do you want to get around? If you don’t

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Still not sure? A dealer can steer customers in the right direction. At an RV dealership several experts may help customers through a purchase. At Pete’s RV Center in South Burlington, for

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Park model RVs: These look like moveable houses.

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and others to narrow down a list of options. When customers enter the Pete’s RV Center showroom they will see up to six RVs inside and

Try Before you Buy Before purchasing, Phil LeClair, marketing director at Pete’s RV Center, suggests first trying out an RV lifestyle. He recommends camping with RV-owning friends or family, or renting a unit, to get a sense of what feels right. There are also several online resources that can help customers narrow down their choices and educate themselves about what it takes to operate and maintain an RV. There are tools to compare RVs, video walkPhil LeClair, marketing director at Pete’s RV Center, shows the inside of an RV on the lot in South Burlington in January.

hundreds more outside. Adjacent to the showroom is a store full of RV essentials, from camping chairs and grills to leveling jacks and awnings. There is also a service center and garage. Post purchase, customers learn all about operating and maintaining their RV from an orientation specialist.

throughs of units and even how-to videos for common maintenance tasks. LeClair points out an RV is a home on wheels, and with that comes home maintenance. At a dealership, customers can test drive RVs to get a sense of how it feels to tow or drive the units on the road. LeClair says those who plan to camp for more than 2 weeks a year are good candidates to buy an RV rather than rent. He also estimates about 25 percent of his Vermont customers who are 55 and older plan to RV full time.

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are preparing to sell their house in Vermont and head south with their towable camper. Zisselsberger first experienced full time camping when she was 13. Her family sold their home and lived in a travel trailer on the south Florida coast after her father retired. Zisselsberger says she loved being homeschooled and spending her time fishing, clamming and boating. That adventure lasted only a few months but later, when her own son was 5, Zisselsberger dove into tent camping as a Campfire leader. In 2004, she and her husband bought their first fifth wheel trailer. Zisselsberger says she likes the ability to take the Suzanne Zisselsberger’s travel trailer set up in Davenport, Florida.

The Allure of the Open Road Suzanne Zisselsberger is planning to join the world

comforts of home, and her pets, with her. “There are new adventures everywhere you go,” she said. “I love state parks the most ... I love the woods, the wildlife and the views. I myself, feel free.” Steven Lee Fletcher, who maintains

of full time RVing. She’s long been a fan of both tent and, has spent

camping and seasonal camping in a travel trailer. Now

about 25 years RVing full time. Fletcher said the draw

Zisselsberger and her husband, who is about to retire,

to RVing is the same now as when he started. “The adventure of seeing what is just around the next curve in the road, over the next hill, and in the next town,” he wrote via email from California. For Fletcher, the journey to RVing started with Sunday drives with his grandparents when he was about 5 years old. “I was told I would cry when I realized they were bringing me home,” Fletcher said. Fletcher also loved joining his father, a truck driver, on the road for day trips. Gradually, Fletcher’s travel experience grew. “In 1962 Dad bought a new car and rented a small travel trailer and took us to Seattle, Washington for the World’s Fair. This made me realize there were places other than lumber yards at the end of the trip. Although the journey is still just as important, and sometimes more so, as the destination,” Fletcher said. More family trips expanded his world, and when Fletcher was 17 he enlisted in the Navy and his international travel began. When he married his wife, Fran, the couple began their own tradition of Sunday drives, which over time got longer. In 1978 they took a

12 | March/April 2020 |

Suzanne Zisselsberger and her husband, Ronald, plan to sell their house and live in their Puma 2009 travel trailer full time after Ronald retires from Vermont National Guard

month off to drive across the country in a 1965 Chevy van. That “grand adventure” stuck in their memories and eventually inspired them to RV full time in 1998. They lived in an RV park for about a year before selling their business, then hit the road. “Home has always been where we parked our house,” Fletcher said. Several years ago Fran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, so the couple parked their RV. Fran died in October. “It won’t be the same without Fran but my plan, if all goes well, is to get back on the road and continue the adventure,” Fletcher said.


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Vermont Maturity Cover Story

Transitions Real Estate by Eric Hopper

Selling a home can be an exciting, yet challenging, experience. Transitions Real Estate understands that buying and/or selling a home is a life-changing experience, especially for boomers and seniors. Having a real estate professional who takes the time to figure out the unique needs and lifestyles of each client is essential. Finding a trustworthy agent is of the utmost importance. In this world of fast-paced technology and growing scams, seniors must seek out a reliable and knowledgeable real estate agent. Transitions Real Estate is an experienced and trusted company; helping seniors experience a stress-free transition to their next chapter. Transitions Real Estate’s founder, Ben Durant spent years as a real estate lender, including the development of senior care facilities. With this background, he came to understand how

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Cleaning, de-cluttering and getting rid of bulky computers were the keys for the family room.

hard it is for boomers and seniors to transition. Ben is a licensed Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) agent in Vermont. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) awards this designation to realtors who complete an intensive training


program specifically focused on the needs of buyers who are 50+. Ben’s sole focus is helping seniors 50+ transition to their new homes.



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Transitions Real Estate is Vermont’s most trusted resource for helping a beloved family member fi nd a new home, downsize or move into a single-level living space, or transition into assisted living or other senior care specialized assistance.

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Specialties of Transitions Real Estate, LLC Transitions Real Estate specializes in transitions for seniors. In other words, that is its focus and its forte. Transitions Real Estate can help its clients through any of the challenges associated with a laterin-life transition.

Senior Sellers Many of Transitions Real Estate’s clients have been in their homes for over 30 years. Their home has been an investment. Pricing the home correctly and

A deep cleaning, some de-cluttering and a repaint turned the kitchen into a bright and airy room.

making sure the client gets top dollar are main

this position, it found me.” As a teen, Ben watched


his own ancestral family home’s decline in the final

Senior Buyers

years of ownership by his grandparents. “They never looked worse than on the day they sold.” This heart-

Downsizing is a big change in a person’s life;

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easier. Transitions Real Estate will help clients figure out what to take and what to leave behind.

John, Burlington, VT

Senior Care Transitions Transitions Real Estate can also help seniors who can no longer safely stay in their own homes make the transition into a senior care facility.

Client Empowerment Ultimately, the goal of Transitions Real Estate is to empower its clients to make decisions about their


future by choice rather than by circumstance. Ben


Durant is uniquely qualified because of his specialized


seniors with later-in-life transitions. Ben considers this his life’s calling and frequently says, “I didn’t choose


education and experience in helping boomers and 4 Tigan St., Winooski 802.655.6568

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breaking experience was transformative for Ben; although he was young and not in a position to help his grandparents, he was inspired by the memory. Ben’s special care and compassion, as well as his skills in staging and property management, allow him to help boomers and seniors in a way he wasn’t able to help his own grandparents. With his deep pool of contractor contacts and senior move specialists, Ben has created a unique and all-inclusive solution for seniors: The Boomer and Senior Five Step Transition Program.

The Boomer and Senior Five Step Transition Program In order to make the transition process easier and straightforward, Transitions Real Estate offers a five step transition program for boomers and seniors.

The massive ceiling cracks were a big distraction. Repairing them allowed everyone to focus on the beautiful space.

This five step process includes everything from the

are decades younger. Staging helps potential buyers

initial discussions all the way to the completion of the

imagine themselves living in the home. According to a

transition process.

survey conducted in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors, over 81% of buyers “find it easier to visualize


the property as their future home” when it is staged.

The process begins by meeting with senior real estate specialist, Ben Durant, for a complimentary home evaluation. Together, the client and Ben form an action plan to start the selling process.

Transitions Real Estate will help increase the revenue on a property sale by utilizing effective staging practices, combined with micro-improvements. It’s not uncommon for a seller to fetch $30,000 to $70,000 more for an average home in our current market simply by

Staging and Organizing

making micro-improvements. Micro-improvements may be small aesthetic updates, like painting and/or

Staging and organizing are very important steps in the real estate transition process. Expediting the home’s sale and increasing the seller’s profit are largely dependent on staging and organizing. Boomers and seniors tend to benefit more from staging than other sellers because they have owned their homes longer. Many seniors are not

Aaron Glosser, CFP® Financial Advisor

latest trends, but this is of great importance to buyers who


interested in catering to the

Member SIPC

336 Watertower Cir Ste 102 Colchester, VT 05446-5927 802-655-5512

Vermont Maturity | March/April 2020 | 19

Contractor Management

repair of any deferred maintenance on the home. These seemingly small changes allow Transitions Real Estate to launch a market listing in a way that captures the largest

In order to get the home in show ready

amount of potential buyers; often triggering a bidding

condition, Ben can help with the names of reputable

war. Without these minor updates, many homes can

tradespersons who are needed to make repairs or

become stagnate on the market and the sellers might


have to accept a low ball offer just to get it sold. With

The Sale

Ben’s expert planning and a small investment to prep the home for the market, there could be a huge difference in the selling price of the home.


Transitions Real Estate will sell the home for top dollar and ensure a smooth transition to the next home. Ben will be there to answer any questions and lend a hand in all aspects of the sale of the client’s home.

Transitions Real Estate will help clients with the

Beyond the Five Step Transition Program,

difficult task of deciding which possessions to keep and

Transitions Real Estate works with clients to identify

which to give up as part of the down-sizing process.

any obstacles that may make their transition to the

To help with this undertaking, Ben has established

next home difficult. Ben loves problem solving and

relationships with auctioneers, estate sale specialists,

fi nding resources to take the pain out of moving. Many

and donation facilities.

of the moving requirements placed upon boomers and seniors can be oppressive. Many times Ben’s clients

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Finishing the beam and eliminating unsightly wires made this a great living space.

are not getting the medical care they need and are too

moving for boomers and seniors well within reach.

often dealing with fraud. “I rely pretty heavily on my

Most remarkably, he does so without charging more

peers at the Vermont Elder Resource Group to solve

than the average real estate agent. “I take my duty

these issues.” Vermont Elder Resource Group, Inc. is a

seriously and I’m a proud guardian of my client’s

membership organization that includes both for-profit

equity.” Ben’s passion for what he does sets him apart

and non-profit professionals serving the Vermont elder

from the crowd. According to Ben, “I have found that


working with boomers and seniors isn’t a job, it’s a

In order to make a client’s transition as

calling and I feel great about what I do for the people

comfortable and easy as possible, Ben will also partner with colleagues like Donald Rathgeb at Second Act Transition Services (a senior move management company) or Annemarie Minor, a partner at Elder

that I’m privileged to be able to work with.” VM For more information or to set up a consultation, contact Ben Durant at 802-355-6688, Email or visit

Care Connections of Vermont. For Ben, compiling a team of like-minded individuals is just part of the job. The end goal of Ben’s partnerships with

Holly Lemieux Attorney at Law

other organizations is to make moving easier and less stressful for his clients. Ben Durant is one of the only real estate agents in the state of Vermont who focuses solely on boomers and seniors. His education and experience speak volumes to his credibility. Through Transitions Real Estate, Ben provides many specialized services that make

Elder Law • Special Needs Planning Wills • Trusts • Estates • Probate Matters 21 Carmichael St., Suite 201 • Essex Junction, VT 05452 | | 802-871-5410 Vermont Maturity | March/April 2020 | 21

Don’t Play Politics with Your Portfolio by Aaron Glosser

You’re probably aware this is an election year.

poorly under different administrations and when

During the next several months, the candidates will

different parties have controlled Congress. And after

discuss issues that should greatly interest you as a

all the votes are counted, outcomes in the investment

citizen. But as an investor, how concerned should you

markets can be unpredictable. Consequently, you’ll be

be with the results of the presidential and congressional

helping yourself greatly by not making big moves in your


portfolio in anticipation of new legislation or political

Maybe not as much as you might think. At different times, the financial markets have performed well and

moves down the line. Of course, that’s not to say that nothing emerging from Washington could ever have an impact on your investment decisions. For example, if a future president and Congress decide to change the capital gains tax rate, it could affect some of your choices, such as which stocks and stock-based mutual funds you should buy, and how long you should hold them. Overall, though, your investment results will ultimately depend on actions you can take, including these:

Making Changes for the Right Reasons While the results of an election may not be a good reason to make changes in your investment portfolio, other factors can certainly lead you to take steps in this direction. For one thing, as you get closer to retirement, you may want to shift some – though certainly not all – of your investment dollars from more growth-oriented vehicles to more conservative ones. Conversely, if you 22 | March/April 2020 |

decide, well in advance, that you might want to retire

businesses without any stockholders. Furthermore,

earlier than you originally thought, you may need to

companies with shorter track records can be much more

invest more aggressively, being aware of the increased

unpredictable investments. However, you do want to

risk involved.

avoid some real mistakes, such as chasing “hot” stocks. By the time you hear about them, they may already be

Following a Long-Term Strategy

cooling off, and they might not even be appropriate for your needs. Another mistake: failing to diversify

In pretty much all walks of life, there are no

your portfolio. If you only own one type of asset, such

shortcuts to success – and the same is true with

as growth stocks, you could take a big hit during a

investing. You need to follow a long-term strategy based

market downturn. Spreading your dollars over a wide

on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, and you

range of investments can help lower your risk exposure.

need the patience and perseverance to keep investing in

(However, diversification by itself can’t guarantee a profit

all markets – up, down and sideways.

or protect against all losses.) After Election Day, regardless of the outcome, you

Avoiding Mistakes

can help keep your portfolio on track by not playing politics with it. VM

Many people think of an investment mistake as

Aaron Glosser is a certified financial planner for Edward Jones. He can be contacted at 802.655.5512 or Aaron.Glosser@ His office is on Water Circle in Colchester.

failing to “get in on the ground floor” of some company that ultimately grew to huge proportions. But it’s pretty hard to become an early investor in companies like these, many of which start out as privately held











Get started today

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Kevin Holmes 802-318-2647

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Vermont Maturity | March/April 2020 | 23

Will Independent Living Become Obsolete? by Ben Durant

The Active Adult Community and Why it Could Make Independent Living Obsolete The baby boomer generation is quite used to setting cultural trends. From mini-skirts to rock & roll, it’s hard to imagine a generation that has been more impactful on our culture. Just think of the themes in boomer iconic anthems for the generation: ✔✔ The Who’s, “My Generation” ✔✔ Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” and perhaps ✔✔ Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.”

Can you spot the trend? According to Boomers, they will never grow old. They thought that when they were young and they have not outgrown this state of mind decades later. These ideas of age and preferences will have a deep impact on life as we know it, including senior housing. When the largest generation to ever grace our planet perceives itself as forever young, one can understand why boomers are tending to stay away from the last generation’s gateway to senior housing; independent living (IL). These facilities are still doing well and are still seeing active investment and development across our community and country. But are developers lagging 24 | March/April 2020 |

behind the trend? The reality is that these communities are seeing a higher than expected age of residents along with a higher level of acuity of care required for these residents. This trend is catching some analysts by surprise and some are asking: Where have all the boomers gone? And if they’re not going to IL, where are they going? My in-laws Bob and Linda Livingstone provide a great example of where the boomers have gone. In the past year, the Livingstones downsized. Instead of buying a single level condo, or entering into an IL facility, they sold all of their possessions except what they could fit on their 44 foot power catamaran. Instead of settling down and slowing down, as I write this, they are steaming towards Key West FL with good times on the horizon. According to Bob Livingstone, “I’m far too young to settle down into an independent living facility. That’s not even on my radar.” According to Bob, his concerns are connecting with friends, the next destination, and what Linda is

mixing up for “docktails” at four. Could these preferences

to Sam Beall, a leading Vermont architect and certified

exemplified by the Livingstones upset the trend and

aging in place specialist at the architecture firm Duncan

threaten to make an entire senior housing sector obsolete?

Wisniewsi, It has to go far deeper than just a rebranding/


marketing effort.

Bob and Linda are part of a growing number of

Beall explains that “Vermonters want to stay young.”

boomers who are pursuing an active lifestyle. This is why

When explaining how this trend is presenting itself here

one of hottest burgeoning trends of today is the Active

in Vermont, Beall states that “It has become about where

Adult Community (AAC). Like IL residences, Active

you build as much as how you build that is important.

adult community homes include universal design that

It’s all about adjacencies. What is close by for amenities,

allows aging-in-place to happen gracefully. But beyond

recreation, and shopping? Is the community walkable?”

these basics, Active adult communities are centered

These are some of the driving factors that guide Mr. Beall

around active amenities such as slope side skiing, golf and

as he works with his development partners to build

tennis, as well as dockside yacht club homes that feature

Vermont’s communities of tomorrow - communities that

owned dock spaces. These options are a far cry from the

may well exclude the term independent living anywhere

traditional IL shoe boxes that we’ve seen produced in the

in the community’s marketing, while including a higher


quality of life for today’s active boomers and seniors. VM

This push for active communities may well replace IL as we know it. We have already seen that many of the operators of Vermont’s senior living facilities are racing to catch up to this trend. Some of this may just be a rebranding of IL to make it sound more active. According

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 or by calling 802.355.6688.

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10 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover by Jim Miller

While Medicare (Part A and B) covers a wide array of health care services after you turn 65, it doesn’t cover everything. If you need or want certain services that aren’t covered, you’ll have to pay for them yourself unless you have other insurance, or you enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, which may offer some additional benefits. Here’s a look at some commonly needed medical services that original Medicare doesn’t pay for. Most dental care: Routine dental care including checkups, cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions and dentures are not covered by Medicare. However, some Medicare Advantage plans do cover basic dental care services. Routine vision care and eyeglasses: Medicare does not cover routine eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses (except following cataract surgery), but tests, treatments

Hearing aids: Medicare will not pay for hearing

and surgeries for medical eye diseases like cataracts,

exams or hearing aids, but may cover a hearing and

glaucoma and macular degeneration are covered. Some

balance exam if your doctor determines it’s necessary.

Medicare Advantage plans do offer routine vision benefits.

Some Medicare Advantage plans do offer hearing benefits.

Alternative medicine: Acupuncture, chiropractic

Long-term care: Nursing home care and assisted

services (except to fix subluxation of the spine), and

living facilities are not covered by Medicare. But,

other types of alternative or complementary care are not

Medicare will help pay up to 100 days of skilled nursing or

covered by Medicare.

rehabilitation care immediately following a hospital stay

Prescription drugs: Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t provide coverage for outpatient prescription drugs, but

of three or more days. Personal home care: If you need to hire help for

you can buy a separate Part D prescription-drug policy

bathing, dressing or getting out of bed, Medicare typically

that does, or a Medicare Advantage plan that covers both

won’t cover these costs either, unless you are homebound

medical and drug costs.

and are also receiving skilled nursing care. Housekeeping

Cosmetic surgery: Most cosmetic procedures are

services, such as shopping, meal preparation and cleaning

not covered, however, if the surgery is due to an injury or

are not covered either unless you are receiving hospice

deformity, it might pay. For example, Medicare will cover

care. But a few Medicare Advantage plans do offer in-

a breast prosthesis for breast cancer survivors.

home support services.

26 | March/April 2020 |

Routine foot care: Medicare

gov/coverage and type in your test,

does not cover most routine foot

item or service, or download the

care, like the cutting or removing

Medicare “What’s covered” app on

of corns, calluses and toenails. But

the App Store or Google Play. And to

they do cover medically necessary

look for Medicare Advantage plans

podiatrist services for foot problems

that offer additional benefits visit

like hammertoes, bunion and heel

spurs, along with exams, treatments

Medicare covers a service or item,

you have diabetic foot problems.

they don’t pay 100 percent of the

Overseas coverage: In most cases,


Also keep in mind that even if

and therapeutic shoes or inserts if

cost. You will have to pay a monthly

health care outside of the United

Part B premium (which is $135.50 for

States is not covered by Medicare

most beneficiaries) and unless you

except for very limited circumstances

have supplemental insurance, you’ll

– such as on a cruise ship within six

have to pay your annual deductibles

hours of a U.S. port. But, Medigap

and copayments too. However, most

supplemental plans D, G, M and

preventive services are covered 100

N cover 80 percent of emergency

percent by Medicare with no copays

care abroad, and some Medicare

or deductibles. VM

Advantage plans cover emergency care abroad too. The best way to find out what Medicare covers is to talk to your health care provider, visit Medicare.

Estate Planning & Elder Law

Jim Miller publishes the Savvy Senior, a nationally syndicated column that offers advice for Boomers and Seniors.

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 ♦ Probate Administration

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864-5951 Vermont Maturity | March/April 2020 | 27

March is National Nutrition Month® by Brigitte Harton, RD, CD, NBC-HWC

March is National Nutrition Month®, and this year’s

habits a reality- like when developing the habit of teeth

theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite- a message that emphasizes

flossing or carrying a water bottle to improve hydration.

the importance of making small, sustainable changes in the

Bite by Bite is a way to remind you that making a healthy lifestyle change can be achieved by taking small,

diet. Let’s face it; Rome was not built in one day. Your

doable steps. Step by step or bite by bite can bring you closer

lifestyle habits were also developed over several years,

to your health goals. When you are successful in making

maybe over your lifespan. That means these habits (good

a small change, you feel empowered by the knowledge

or bad) cannot be undone overnight. If you’ve never been

that success is possible, and this brings on more success.

a vegetable eater, it’s not likely you will start enjoying them

This concept is called self-efficacy which is your belief in

all of a sudden because your doctor or dietitian said you

your own abilities to deal with various situations. Since

should. The same goes for exercise, if you’ve always been

small steps are easier to achieve than giant leaps, you are

active, you’ll probably continue to be active as you age.

increasing your chances of success by making one small

Think about the time and effort needed to make healthy

change at a time. Here are a few examples of small steps to consider in honor of National Nutrition Month®: If you feel you should eat more fruits and vegetables, start with adding one additional portion to your day. Maybe you can sprinkle dry or fresh fruit in your morning cereal or yogurt, or add chopped tomato, carrot or onion to


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

your spaghetti sauce. Consider switching one of your grain portions from refined to whole grain. Examples are eating oatmeal in the morning instead of puffed rice; choosing whole wheat bread instead of white bread, or including a side of quinoa or brown rice instead of white rice. Concerned about your blood cholesterol level? How about reducing your meat portion to the size of a deck of cards? This will help reduce the amount of harmful saturated fat in your diet. Switch from whole milk or cream to 1% reducedfat milk in your coffee for an easy way to reduce fat and




a plant-based protein source such as legumes, tofu, nuts,

28 | March/April 2020 |

Have at least one meatless meal per week. Choose seeds, or quinoa.

Include one to two portions of fish per week. Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and is a lean protein source that has benefits for heart and brain health. Cut down on junk food in a way that is doable for you. Maybe it’s reducing your soda intake by one can each day, or swapping popcorn for potato chips. Only you know what small change you can make in your diet. Pick a change that is important to you and that you know you can make- set yourself up for success. Once the small change has become a habit, you can then move on to another challenge. Ask yourself why you want to make the change and write it down as a reminder. Working with

A Bhutanese elder enjoying a nutritious banana at one of Age Well’s community meals

a health coach is another way to help you make changes in

This March, you can also support access to healthy

your diet and lifestyle that last. Bite by Bite, you can make a

nutritious meals here in Vermont by joining Age Well’s


March for Meals. Throughout the month of March,

Are you finding it hard to pay for nutritious groceries?

hundreds of Meals on Wheels programs across the country

Learn about 3SquaresVT and CropCash which can help

reach out to their communities to establish a network of

you stretch your food budget or find a food shelf near you

support that will enable them to serve America’s seniors

by calling Age Well’s Helpline at 800-642-5119.

all year long. As the largest Meals on Wheels provider in Vermont, Age Well oversees 60 routes, serving over 225,000 (CONTINUED BOTTOM OF PAGE 30)

Something To Think About James A Meunier, director

MOURNING BEHAVIOR Is mourning natural? Consider the fact that it isn’t only people who mourn. Scientists have watched what they call “mourning behavior” in animals as well. The famous biologist Konrad Lorenz studied geese and learned that when one partner of an adult pair of geese dies, the other one mourns. First, the remaining partner tries to find where the other one has gone, searching everywhere. Even though the goose may be a strong, fullgrown adult, all of a sudden it

starts running away from even the youngest and weakest geese. Usually very pushy and aggressive, it becomes very shy and won’t approach human beings or go to its feeding place. Although it has been away from its parents and siblings for a long time, it goes back to them again, acting much younger than it really is. Other biologist who study monkeys and apes say they’ve seen similar kinds of mourning behaviors among those animals


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Vermont Maturity | March/April 2020 | 29

vermont maturity

BUSINESSCARDS Since 1974, we have provided Northwestern Vermonters with essential services to help them age well.


• Helpline • Care Coordination • Meals on Wheels • Tai Chi • Community Meals • Medicare Classes Helpline: 1-800-642-5119 To learn more visit




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meals each year. A volunteer team of 500 drivers delivers meals to older Vermonters every day of the week. Not only are we are experiencing a significant increase

For more information about the services Age Well provides such as Community Meals, Meals on Wheels, Care Coordination, and more call 800-642-5119 or visit

in the number of individuals who need our services, but we are also facing uncertainty in receiving Federal and State funding. To avoid waitlists and to ensure that aging Vermonters maintain their independence and health, we ask for your support in helping to take care of those who once took care of us. Learn more about getting involved visit Brigitte Harton is a consultant Registered Dietitian at Age Well and a Board Certified Wellness Coach. You can reach her at VM 30 | March/April 2020 |

Adding more fruit into your day can be as easy as eating an apple or orange.

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