Skip to main content

The Federation is open for normal business hours. While in green masking remains optional. Click here for the most up to date COVID guidelines.


SHIP - Learning How to Navigate Medicare

During our recent Flea Market, I was having a conversation with one of our vendors about Social Security. I asked her what she expected to receive. The response was “About 75% of my average paycheck.” When I told her that it was only 40% of the average amount over her working years, she was taken aback. But indeed, that is the case, as printed on the form from the Social Security office.

People often say, “I can’t live on my Social Security check. I need more money.” Truth is they are correct because the system is not meant to be the sole support. It is expected that one has savings and that this check, to which you paid in, was only meant to be a supplement. What really needs to be done when you are young is to amass enough funds to live out your retirement years with ease. One finance guru suggests that one should invest at least as much money as one pays in taxes. As to what types of investments one should make will depend upon one’s risk comfort level and trusted financial advisor.

Speaking of retirement, presently I am training to be a SHIP counselor so that I can help our seniors navigate the Medicare/Medicaid system. There is a lot of information to digest. When you should sign up, what happens if you sign up late, whether or not your present insurance counts towards Medicare credit, parts A,B,D, etc. And that was only the first class! It’s definitely a lot to learn, but if you plan to sign up, know your options! (When I finish this course, if there is interest, I could present a short class explaining the system.)

Personally, my biggest takeaway so far is the importance of educating oneself and learning your options before you celebrate your 65th birthday. It’s easy to listen to people tell you of their experiences or what happened to their friends. Or to go to social media and see what people are saying. But when I was in Yeshiva, I learned that going to original sources is the best way to learn, do research, and arrive at a proper understanding of the subject at hand, whether it be Social Security rules or anything else. The more information that one has, the better one will be able to make a decision.

Jewish Family Services (JFS) is a human services agency operating within the Jewish Federation that provides crucial aid and support to the Jewish community. Our mission is to strengthen and preserve life in the Jewish community through every stage of the life cycle. JFS provides a breadth of services and referrals for services we cannot manage, with the goal of helping people in difficult times get back on their own feet.

Rabbi Fred Nebel
Jewish Family Services Director
574-233-1164 x1806

Close Menu