Posts by plfarnworth

To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 3

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 3

To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 3     Choosing a Hearing Aid Several factors need to be considered when selecting a hearing aid. The type and severity of your hearing loss Manual dexterity – how easily can you manipulate the small device. Lifestyle – how active, phone use The hearing aid one person likes might not work for someone else; even if it is identical hearing loss. In a survey of people wearing hearing aids 33% feel multiple program settings was important to adjust to the environment quiet or loud. 20% felt an automatic noise level adjustment was the most important feature. Why are hearing aids so expensive? Hearing aids are sold in relatively low volume compared to other electronic equipment (i.e. television, DVD players, cell phones). Manufactures spend millions of dollars on research and development every year. Research and development results in improvements in product size, quality and performance. That cost gets passed on to the consumer. Ongoing servicing of hearing aids is usually provided for free at the time of service. 70% of those surveyed who use hearing aids waited 2 or more years after noticing a hearing loss to buy hearing aids. 50% blamed the delay on high costs. Affordable Solutions Very few health insurance policies cover hearing aids. Some Medicare plans can offer partial coverage or discounts. You should anticipate paying for these yourself. You can use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work. Employer will cover expense upfront while you deduct medical cost form your pay check over the year. Health Savings Account (HSA) is another source for covering the cost of hearing aids. This plan may be offered by your employer or you can do independently. Buy only what you need. Hearing aids can come with many bells & whistles. Do you need blue tooth? It might be convenient but adds hundreds of dollars to the cost. Be sure and get a written contract Check the details of a trial period. What is the last date to return and be refunded? What is the length of the warranty and what does it cover? What are the services provided? Cost of loss and damage insurance. Look for bargains. Costco is competitively priced but has fewer models available. Buying on-line may be cheaper. However, you will probably pay for local technicians to service your hearing aids. To get the most value from your hearing aids, you need to be consistent in using them. The brain ‘adapts’ to what it hears. You are exercising a muscle. Inconsistent use of hearing aids confuses the brain; you lose speech recognition. The brain has to readjust to hearing ‘life noises’. Wearing hearing aids more will help a person become comfortable with a ‘new’ normal. Audiologist Patricia Chute states “It’s going to bring people back to hearing but because of the way we process sound, it’s not going to bring them back to normal hearing”....

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To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 2

Posted by on May 22, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 2

To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 2 Who do you see about your hearing? Be aware that most audiologist professionals are attached to a store front. Many hearing aid brands promote their own products in their store. You may find a few private practices that have a selection of brands they prefer to use. An audiologist has a doctoral degree, over 1000 hours of clinical training and has passed a licensing exam. A hearing aid specialist usually has some formal training. More states are requiring licensure. Specialists may have an exam. Many states require 2 years of supervised training. A qualified hearing aid specialist can provide testing and fitting of hearing aids. If there is any medical issues with your ears, you will need to see an audiologist or an ears, nose & throat doctor. Items to look for in choosing a service Offer walk in repair services Tested in a sound proof booth You receive a copy of your hearing test results Fit with hearing aids and review instructions Test hearing aids with the phone Provides written material that covers the information the provider reviews with you. You may want to bring a friend or family member with you. Somebody that is taking notes and confirm your lack of hearing. The testing begins with questions, medical history and quality of life issues with your hearing. How is it impacting your work? How is it impacting your relationships? How are you compensating? We started with Consumer Reports as a place to evaluate hearing aids. Costco scored well in their survey. The Boise location has an audio center with a sound proof booth. We scheduled for testing. My husband flunked the first round. He had too much wax in his ears for the testing equipment to work. We stopped at a ‘doc in the box’ to have his ears cleaned out. We returned to Costco a week later to resume the hearing test. The results were, my husband has lost much of the high tones but hears 80% of the base sounds. He is border line for needing hearing aids. The tinnitus is his primary issue and hearing aids don’t really resolve that. His hearing tests were part of member benefits for Costco. We felt it was quality service, a knowledgeable technician. The technician suggested we adjust the balance of treble and base for easier TV viewing. Increasing the treble and lowering the base, this was...

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To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 1

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 1

To Hear or Not to Hear – Part 1   We recently explored the complicated world of hearing aids. My husband is one of 48 million of that suffer from some form of hearing loss. Older adults are the majority of those with some hearing loss. One third of people between ages 64 to 74 report some loss. That number grows to 50% for the population over 75. Signs of Hearing Loss One of the first signs of hearing loss is turning up the volume of the TV or radio. You may have difficulty hearing people- especially if they are behind you. You hear men’s voices easier that women’s; women’s voices are in the higher range of tones which are lost first. You may find yourself cupping your hand behind your ear (This behavior I observed in my dad – often in noisy environments). What do you do if a friend or family member needs to deal with their hearing loss? Hearing loss can be a sensitive topic to address like weight loss. Keep in mind that hearing loss impacts the quality of life. It makes social interaction difficult and socializing is important for overall health. Hearing well may impact how well you can perform your job. Approaching your family or friend is in their best interest. There are websites and phone apps that have sample hearing tests. Try these out and see how you score. Avoid the ‘tell mode’ lead with questions. Click here for online hearing test -> Hearing Test In our home, my husband was having trouble hearing the TV at lower volumes. He was also dealing with tinnitus which is a constant ringing or buzzing in your ear. He initiated the testing process. However, with my dad, he resisted the thought of hearing aids. Until it impacted his job. His employer told him he needed to address the issue. Causes of Hearing Loss Medications like some antibiotics or too large of doses of Aspirin. Loud noise Continued exposures to a noisy environment. Smokers are more likely to experience hearing loss. Mineres can lead to hearing loss. In my husband’s situation, his military service on a missile site exposed him to high power radar. Causes of Tinnitus Tinnitus is ringing or buzzing in the ear. This also can be caused by exposure to loud noises. It can also be the result of middle ear infections, head trauma, and aging. The ringing may be reduced by diet and managing stress.  ...

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What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen

What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen Follow these easy steps to protect your accounts online by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin JAMES STEINBERG/THEISPOT.COM Say yes to added security when protecting your personal data. En español | Almost every transaction you make — be it using a credit card, getting a blood test, posting on Facebook or collecting a paycheck or retirement benefit — gets captured in cyberspace and stored in databases operated by corporations, health care providers, government agencies and other organizations. That data is a treasure trove for identity thieves. It’s no wonder, then, that hackers are relentless in their attempts to break into the computers that store it. When they succeed, the result is a “data breach.” There was a record number of such breaches last year, with 2,644 documented incidents exposing some 267 million records, reports the Open Security Foundation, which tracks information security risks. Last year was also a big one for identity theft: One in 20 Americans was hit by this crime — that amounts to one every three seconds — at a total cost of about $21 billion. Half of known fraud victims had previously been subject to a breach, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Get investment advice and money-saving tips in the AARP Money Newsletter. Sign up now! Although you can’t prevent data breaches, you can minimize your personal risk. Here’s how: Be sparing with your data. If you’re asked on an application to provide your Social Security number, ask why. It may not really be needed. It’s always safest not to store financial account information online for bill paying. But if you do, credit cards offer better protections than most debit cards or bank account numbers if compromised. If the hacked company has your address, expect breach notifications to come by U.S. mail. Be suspicious of notification emails, especially those containing links or attachments (they may contain computer-infecting malware). If your Social Security number was taken in a breach, your risk of ID theft is five times greater than the average consumer’s. As soon as you can, place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report at the three big credit-reporting bureaus. Sid Kirchheimer Learn more about scams expert Sid Kirchheimer and read recent articles. Lottery rip-offs: when winning means losing Protecting your parents from scams Scams to avoid Say yes to added security. If the breached organization offers you a free monitoring service, take advantage of this extra layer of security. Only 20 percent of breach victims do. Protect your medical records, which are especially prized in breaches because they fetch more on the black market than financial data. Read every letter you receive from medical insurers and providers — including those that say “this is not a bill” — to ensure that no one’s been masquerading as you to get treatment. To be extra safe, ask for a listing of medical insurance benefits paid out in your name each year. Keep tabs on recent breaches by going to sites like privacyrights.org/data-breach or idtheftcenter.org. Remember: Not all breaches are reported to victims. Monitor your accounts, including your Social Security earnings record. Ask your bank or credit card issuers to set up free email alerts to notify you about activity on your account, including change-of-address requests. Change your passwords frequently and order, for free, your credit report once every four months — once a year from each agency — at annualcreditreport.com. Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP...

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You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

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