New Year Preparations

Are you busy making New Year preparations?  Even if you aren’t one for making resolutions, this is a good time to take a few minutes and review some information in preparation for the start of 2016.

Social Security

The laws change in 2016, with the “file and suspend” with spousal benefit option being eliminated.  If you became 62 in 2015 or earlier, this benefit might still apply to you. Make an appointment with your local Social Security office to discuss your specific benefit options; whether you are currently eligible or will be in the next two years.

Medical Insurance

No matter what plan you have for your medical coverage, become familiar with the 2016 benefits: copay and deductible obligations, prescription benefits, providers in your network, the emergency coverage and process.  Don’t wait until you need to use the plan to find out there have been changes!


Take a few minutes and make a list of the medications which you are currently taking, both prescription and over the counter, including eye drops, etc.  Your loved ones should also do this.  There is a form on this site to assist you with the process. You might also want to have your current physicians listed with their phone numbers.

Then, have this information available for your loved ones in case you are in an emergency situation.  Keep it on your phone, a copy in your purse or wallet; somewhere secure but accessible.

Password Protection

We all know how important it is to keep your password information secure.  However, it is also important that someone you trust knows how to access your accounts.  Do you have access to the computer with all the family photos?

Facebook, Linkedin, etc. all have policies regarding what happens to your information when you are gone.  You might want to let others know which sites you routinely use so that appropriate measures can be taken to protect, or eliminate, information.

Legal Paperwork

If you haven’t already done so, make plans to review your will, medical and financial power of attorney forms, and your estate planning with your attorney early in 2016.  The medical power of attorney forms in Illinois have changed.  Is yours current?  When is the last time you reviewed any of these documents?  You might be surprised that some of your designations don’t seem as relevant as when you initially created these documents.

Bookmark Important Websites

Can you quickly access the websites for your medical insurance provider? Social Security? Medicare? The VA?

Some of these links can be found on my website to help you quickly create your own easy access.

New Year Preparations

New Year preparations are more than just celebrating the new year.  And while it might not be as much fun as partying with your friends, make the time in your new year preparations to organize and become familiar with your important life documents.  You and your family will be glad you did.

Finally, I have included a link to an article about the changes in health care in 2015.   More changes will certainly occur in 2016.

Best wishes for a happy and health new year.

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