Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Low Cost Prescriptions

There are several pharmacies that offer free or low cost prescriptions:

Publix offers a 14 day supply of many common oral antibiotics for free. These antibiotics include: Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Ciprofloxacin, and Erythromycin Stearate. The full list can be found here. One only needs to bring in their doctor's prescription to one of the Publix pharmacies to get these antibiotics for free.

Walmart offers many generic prescriptions for $4 for a 30 day supply and $10 for a 90 day supply. The full list of generic medicines included in this program is located here. Walmart is also starting a pilot program in Michigan to offer free mail delivery of the 90 day prescriptions.

In addition, there is a nonprofit organization called NeedyMeds, which helps people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. You can search for low cost medication programs on their website by the name of the drug or by the name of manufacturer of the drug you need. The website gives information about how to apply for the different programs. In addition, it lists low cost clinics, disease-based assistance, and government programs that can help with health care costs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Planning Ahead for Travel

When you plan for your next trip, you might want to prepare for any health problems that could arise on the trip. If you become ill on your trip, you can use your Medicare coverage within the United States. However, not all doctors will take Medicare. So before your trip, you should search for a doctor in that area who accepts Medicare. You can search this webpage on the Medicare website to find a doctor

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Free Lunch" Sales Seminars

Many financial services firms are marketing to senior investors, who are a growing segment of investors. These firms have a sales technique - they offer free lunches to seniors, if they are willing to listen to their seminar information. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is concerned with unscrupulous and abusive sales practices of financial advisers who market to older adults. The Securities and Exchange Commission published a report in 2007 called "Protecting Senior Investors: Report of Examinations of Securities Firms providing "Free Lunch" Sales Seminars".

This report found that:
  • Free Lunch Seminars are advertised as "educational", but they are really geared to sell investments.
  • Attendees are not informed that the seminar is presented by a company that has a financial interest in selling these investments.
  • 23% of the seminars had financial advisers who recommended investments which were not suitable for particular customers.
  • 57% of the investigated seminars gave exaggerated or misleading claims about the investments.
  • 13% of the investigated seminars were selling fraudulent investments.
The AARP has a "Free Lunch" Monitor program where volunteers attend many of the free lunch style seminars and report their experiences back to AARP. There is an AARP online discussion group which provides a place to exchange stories about these free lunch seminars, which is located here.

The AARP has a good article about spotting financial scams. This article stated the the following phrases are warning signs of a financial scam:
  • "There's no risk".
  • "Your profit is guaranteed."
  • "The offer is only available today."
The AARP recommends that you take your time investigating an investment before committing to it. For more advice on what questions to ask at a free lunch seminar, please see the AARP article "Free Lunch Seminars: Questions to ask a Financial Professional."

How to find out more about a particular investment opportunity:
  • You can find out whether the investment is registered by using the EDGAR database.
  • You can find information about an investment firm or a broker by using the FINRA BrokerCheck.
  • You can investigate investment adviser firms on the SEC website here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Arthritis Information Program

The Hudson Regional Library will host an arthritis program next week:
  • Arthritis Q and A - Tuesday, May 19th, at 1:00pm at Hudson Regional Library.
[Hudson Regional Library is located at 8012 Library Road, Hudson, FL and the phone number is (727)861-3040.]

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis affects 1 in every 5 Americans. It is the most common form of disability in the United States. The Arthritis Foundation website provides information about the disease, publishes research updates, and provides message boards for support.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Older Americans Month - Census Information

The U.S. Census bureau has published their fact sheet for Older Americans Month 2009. Here are some highlights:
  • 37.9 million Americans were 65 or older in 2007, which is 13% of the total population.
  • $28,305 is the median income in 2007 for households headed by individuals 65 and older.
  • 65% of Americans 65 and older live with relatives.
  • 74% of people 65 and older have at least a high school diploma.
  • 17% of Florida's population were 65 or older in 2007.
  • Nine counties in Florida have at least 25% of their population age 65 or older.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Older American's Month 2009

May is the month to celebrate older adults. This observance was originally called "Senior Citizen's Month" when it was created in 1963, but it was renamed "Older Americans Month" by President Carter in 1980. The Administration on Aging has announced the theme for this year - Living Today for a Better Tomorrow. According to an article from Administration on Aging, "Nearly 40% of deaths in America can be attributed to poor health habits such as lack of physical exercise, poor eating habits and smoking. Older Americans can prevent or control chronic disease by adopting healthy habits such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and ceasing tobacco use." The Administration on Aging provided the logo above and the poster below. These files can be downloaded and printed.

The following websites have helpful and accurate information about healthy aging: