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Financial Conversations with Fitz #39 - Wrap-up of Part D and Volunteer Hours - 10/27/2009

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NO  weather comments for a couple of days at least…Busy make-up schedule of high school sports this week.  Algona and Forest City cross country today at Spencer and volleyball at both cities.  Good luck today but Thursday night we will be competive, I am sure.

We had lots of fun this weekend at the Winnebago County Family Fun Festival.   We even had ISU’s Cy on hand.   He was the happiest I have seen him for awhile.   How about this weekend of football?  My Panthers are the only ones that lost.  The kids had lots of fun on a hay ride and seeing Cy walk around.   Great turn out.

Going to the different church dinners and community events, I really noticed all the volunteer hours that go into these productions.  Even with our busy sports week this week, you will see many volunteers.   I know that National Volunteer week isn’t until April, but now is a good time to look at your schedule to see when you last volunteered for some event.  National agencies allow $20.25 per hour in computing value of volunteer hours.  IF we all gave just one hour per week, that would a $1,053 value per year towards our community.   Just take a look at any opportunity you may have from school, church, or your favorite organization.   We had 30 people out to “Make a Difference Day” this Saturday for raking people’s lawns through Waldorf.    I am trying to build up points so when I can’t rake my yard, these young people can come out and do it.   One thing I really like about volunteering is the social aspect you enjoy.   I worked with two juniors from high school on Saturday and on Sunday stood by a couple of bankers in the county serving food.   We even have fun with our Steppin’ Up Campaign at TSB with our green tennis shoes.

In November and December, TSB’s Steppin’ Up Project is helping our customers age 65 and above.   As you know, Medicare created the Part D for prescription drug plans.  TSB is hosting representatives from the Senior Health Insurance Information Program at TSB’s Forest City office, so customers can make an intelligent decision when they go to their insurance people to buy coverage, if they like.  As you know, Senior Health Insurance Information Program is a non-profit program supported by the state.   There are so many different figures that are covered that one needs to read them in detail through the internet or newspaper.   If you would just google “Medicare Part D Drug Plans,” you can read all the details.  You can enroll online at, if you like.  You have until December 31, 2009, to sign up for 2010.   If you like what you have and understand it or don’t have a need for a prescription program, you can just stay with what you have.  Here is what we are doing at TSB.   ON November 4 and December 9, we will be hosting SHIIP representatives two days from 8:30 to 5:00.  We will have on-site in Forest City a counselor to meet with you in a private appointment.   You will need to call and schedule your appointment.   At these meetings, they will help you compare plans and enroll.   These are quite helpful appointments to ask your questions and clarify your understanding of your program.  You will be getting packets in the mail this month.  Part of your mail by November 15 will also be from your current insurance program, comparing it to the new Medicare program .   Look it over and ask questions or bring it with you to your appointment.  You can have coffee in our lounge before you go into your appointment.   If you don’t have a carrier or want to change, be sure to talk to Sue Heyer in our insurance agency after your appointment.

Stay tuned for more information from TSB with press releases and information in any of our offices.   Do plan to make an appointment for yourself or your caretaker to come into TSB and visit with the experts from SHIIP.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations.  When you work with them, you know that you are working with people you will also see at ball games, church, or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.