Half The Population Gets 100% Of The Work
The fact is that the administrative responsibilities for multiple generations, all at once, largely go to the responsible adult female. I am not going to solve gender role bias here. I don’t think it matters which country, please correct me if I am wrong.
This becomes even more challenging when the responsibilities are handed over when encountering a life event, such as illness/death/divorce. Add in that women earn less than men, and you get a difficult situation.
I discuss this with Kate Daniels, out of Seattle, I’ve been her guest on multiple occasions.
[00:00:00] Kate Daniels, Host: I’m Kate Daniels. Happy to be welcoming once again, Jae Oh so that we can discuss things financial, with a focus on retirement, Medicare, and the role women play in the broad picture of it in families. Jae Oh is a certified financial planner and chartered financial consultant who’s the author of a top rate, top selling book on Medicare.
Maximize Your Medicare. It keeps needing to be updated, which Jae diligently works on because the Medicare landscape just keeps on shifting Jae’s with us so that we can take time to consider the planning we need to do, and largely because we may be the ones taking these steps for our senior family members.
So let’s meet up with Jae. Jae Oh. Good morning and welcome. It’s so great to talk to you actually here in the middle of the year rather than at the end of the year, right at the beginning of the year.
[00:01:01] Jae Oh, CFP: Kate, it’s always a privilege to be with you. Thank you for having me back.
[00:01:05] Kate Daniels, Host: I appreciate your dedication, all the information you have, and then the desire to share it, because of course, what is information if you’re going to just keep it to yourself, and in this case, when we’re talking about Medicare, about.
That age timeframe and what it means, and the fact that it’s just gotten more and more complicated, complex, convoluted, all those kinds of words. We need some guidance and addressing this earlier in the year before Medicare needs to. Happen like regular enrollments, but this could be new enrollments, and this is even prior to enrollments because this time what we want to focus, what you were suggesting would be really beneficial for all of us is to see how women factor in what our role as women is in this whole big picture because it’s not really a soul act there.
It’s much more diverse than that and reaches out in so many angles, right?
[00:02:11] Jae Oh, CFP: It is just enormous, the responsibility, and you and I are not gonna solve gender bias around the world. But the reality is that most people know that when extended families are considered, that the responsibility largely falls on the desk of the responsible adult female of that ex extended family.
What that entails. What becomes involved can be overwhelming. The number of new topics, depending on the situation, the different language, so complicated ones that you may have to learn or relearn. And this ultimately falls on the desk of half of the population more so than the other half. And so I appreciate your time, Kate, in dedicating this time to discuss, the new challenges that face women and especially those pre-retirement or those people who are taking care of multiple generations, thus known as the sandwich generation.
[00:03:20] Kate Daniels, Host: Exactly as if there wasn’t enough to be taken care of, to add this layer and feel the real deep responsibility of it. Because w we’ll say this right at the outset, enrolling in Medicare is such a critical thing that if we don’t get it right and all the pieces fitting in place at the right time, it can cost us for the rest of our lives.
[00:03:48] Jae Oh, CFP: There’s no doubt that the rule of Medicare are complicated of maximize your Medicare in my book, which is, been a decade of work has gone into it, just to try to explain in language that everyday people can understand how important healthcare cost planning is. Not only for themselves personally.
For example, if they have a medical condition that requires constant care, but in addition to that, they’re taking care of their senior parents who may not have the ability, the faculties, to keep all of the moving parts straight, generally speaking, as a professional, serving the community. I generally try to ask whether or not someone who is in their eighties, for example, who reaches out to me.
I ask them, do they have a responsible adult child or family member who can help assist? Be a second set of eyes and ears so that my explanations are clear not only to the 80 year old person. But in addition to that, the 55 year old, the 60 year old adult responsible, who is as a partnership, if you will, so that everyone can be on the same page.
[00:05:10] Kate Daniels, Host: That is so great, Jae. It really strikes me in that same arena that we always recommend people when you’re going to a secondary doctor’s appointment, even a primary one when, where there’s a big concern. Is to have a companion with you so that you get everything or try to get the most of what is expressed heard.
So this, I think, is in that same category. It’s so critically important to our life, to our health, to to have someone there to really walk alongside us as uric our coach through the book, through the videos online, all of that.
[00:05:53] Jae Oh, CFP: It’s especially important and it, you get my empathy, the audience gets my empathy because when it comes to Medicare, first of all, people generally have a, not a great handle understanding of what health insurance is, how it works, and then Medicare has its own special language that.
It may have terms that look and feel sound, the same as health insurance that you may have gotten from your employer or you’ve purchased from through the Affordable Care Act, healthcare.gov or your state specific portal. Nevertheless, even though that language may look the same, the mechanics are not precisely the same, making it even more challenging.
[00:06:42] Kate Daniels, Host: Exactly, and which is the thing, looking at your book, we see how it’s it’s not just light reading and it’s hundreds of pages. So there’s so much information that for e each of us to comprehend all of that. Is asking a lot, and so to have you as our guide. And I love the fact that if we do have questions, we, there’s a place on the website where we can place that question and there will be someone to respond.
Perhaps it’s you, but you have a team. We can get answers when things get really questionable or convoluted.
[00:07:26] Jae Oh, CFP: Yes, absolutely. The website for the book is me is the title of the book, which is Maximize Your medicare.com. There is contact form there that so that people can ask questions. The information is kept private because once we get the first inquiry, we will follow up within 24 hours.
To get us on the right track and your information’s never distributed. The audience is already tired. There’s consumer fatigue out there, kit Kate from all of the commercials and mail. So the reason that we have maximized your medicare.com and a way to reach out to us is because in addition to the fact that I’ve been dealing with everyday people across the country for a very long time.
There is also the fact that professionally speaking, I have to have licenses, I have to have permissions, et cetera. In other words, the amount of regulatory oversight on me professionally is a layer of comfort, if you will, to say that this is it’s very difficult to understand or to determine who knows what, and I’m sensitive to that.
So to the greatest degree that I can, I try to actually personally answer the in incoming questions from the website myself.
[00:08:56] Kate Daniels, Host: A big wow to that, to feel that we have your expertise and Yes, so many years of just such a very much focused attention on this subject. And yeah, as we’ve established, it’s pretty complicated.
To have you there to really give us the insights is I think just the best kind of comfort and care that we could ever expect.
[00:09:24] Jae Oh, CFP: It is complicated. I do encourage people to have teams or to understand that healthcare cost planning is such an important part of a person’s overall financial plan.
And that unfortunately, we live in a world where most of the, almost all of the attention is given on income matters. Meaning how to get the best career, how to claim for social security, how to increase your investment portfolio, that most of the advice that we have in available in public has to do with revenue in or income.
Unfortunately not enough attention, and like I said, I appreciate your time and attention here for your audience because everyday people understand that’s only part of the equation, that controlling cost, and not only that, being worried about the cost, bouncing up and down uncontrollably is very worrisome and rightfully because as many people know that if you require healthcare services, the sticker price can be very high upending households entirely. So that for me, your, your kindness and willingness to have me is very important because every, this is the fact for everyday households. In every zip code, irrespective of location, irrespective of their career background.
[00:11:08] Kate Daniels, Host: Exactly, and that’s why yes. I so appreciate being able to team up with you, Jae, so that we can get the regular consistent message shared with the audience in some. Different focuses at times like today to really focus on the fact that women often end up being the ones w carrying the burden of the responsibility.
So we have to know so much and yet feel perhaps so inadequate because it’s just not our field of expertise. So we. Have this opportunity to team up with you to get this information and you help us, not just for ourself, but to help with our extended household, with our parents perhaps even grandparents, depending on the households.
But there’s just so much. Really involved. And so to be able to plant these ideas and get these thoughts moving forward and planning is the critical piece here.
[00:12:11] Jae Oh, CFP: I think it, if I could leave some easy takeaways for your audience, irrespective of age division, it is that to understand that health insurance is not the same thing as healthcare.
Meaning health insurance is a financial matter ultimately because you’re paying for health insurance, you’re paying for Medicare or whatever the choices that you might have are, but then you are getting some combination of benefits if you require healthcare services. It’s so important, Kate, that these things are these differences.
Even simple things like this first statement I’ve made here are neglected. And as a result, people don’t know who to ask what to ask. And so I’m here with you and our multiple conversations over time to try to make sure that people have a clear understanding, a clearer understanding, and especially for women, because of the fact that this new language, these new responsibilities, land on the desk under duress.
Largely some event a parent got ill there’s been a family change. For example, people become unmarried and then for example, that wasn’t necessarily their responsibility or un a responsibility that they’ve not been tasked with in the past, just to under the worst possible situation, or un, like I said, under duress, get handed new responsibilities just to find out that.
The language that they need to learn is entirely new, making it challenging to start emotionally and then of course, challenging to know technically because ultimately health insurance is a technical matter
[00:14:09] Kate Daniels, Host: and when it comes to Medicare it. As we already have known in the past, but will reestablish.
It’s not like this single porthole we, of course, enroll for Medicare, but then it has all these other roadways that branch out as to making choices. So it really is very complex.
[00:14:34] Jae Oh, CFP: Yes. What just again, the basics here, especially for your audience who is not Medicare eligible. If you’re trying to assist someone.
Who is Medicare eligible? If you are trying to prepare for your financial future under retirement, or let’s say you’re thinking about not working any longer, or your spouse not working any longer, and how to plan for healthcare cost planning in your financial future is the fact that. Medicare, original Medicare, which is a red, white, and blue car that many people have seen.
65 million people in the United States have. One is that it is like a good chassis to a car. It is got the basic framework. It is a framework which is very accessible. It is, you have lots of rights and lots of options largely in the consumer’s favor. That said, that car may not have all the safety features that someone requires, and learning about which safety features at which price for which person will vary.
Case by case, locations of location, situation by situation. And so you can under, that’s part of the awareness that I appreciate that you raised to a larger audience. Many people understand already they’re approaching 65. They say they’ve got a friend, oh, I need to learn something about this. But reality is the population affected is much, much broader than that, that you’re the adult child of a senior parent, they all of a sudden can’t take care of their bills.
The stack lands on your desk. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that women are the only, I’m just saying that you’ll forgive my gender bias in the sense that, in my experience, this has landed at the female’s desk, but it can be a male of course.
[00:16:46] Kate Daniels, Host: Yes, of course. But yeah, I think the reason we are even having this more kind of let’s call it a feminine leaning conversation, is because probably percentage wise, it does fall more on the desk of the woman.
For whatever reason, maybe it’s because of that caretaker aspect of our beingness, it’s just needing to be responsible and and so taking that on though, we want to do the best possible job, but again, with something that is so layered as Medicare is and wanting to be sure we get. The best thing for our loved ones and really for ourselves too because we are learning for our future potentially, or maybe it’s just a stones throwaway.
Everything that we learn on this, which changes and shifts a lot, but everything we learn is going to benefit all us in the long run.
[00:17:49] Jae Oh, CFP: I call Medicare and health insurance as well as healthcare cost planning. It’s a license for you to lead the life that you want, meaning that if you are well protected within your means, within your situation, then you can pursue.
What you want, whatever you value. And I’m not here to dictate what that value, that set of values is. I presume that everyday people have common sense and have their own set of priorities. If you do have these matters taken care of you, if you have thought through them, if you’re, and you have the knowledge so that you are making the conscious choice, the intentional choice.
That. Then from there, then you can get on with it if you will, meaning live your life, pursue what you want, deal with your own priorities as best you can in the way that you deem fit. That ultimately is what these financial products do allow you to do. Healthcare, insur, health insurance, being very much on the top of that list.
[00:19:01] Kate Daniels, Host: And sadly as we age, we may have been healthy throughout our life and we expect that to going forward. But age just has a way of causing certain things to not work exactly the way they used to in our bodies. So to be anticipating planning, establishing for this is a really a wise course of action.
[00:19:29] Jae Oh, CFP: This is not to say that people should be insurance poorer. For example, in my professional practice, we deal with persons who are from every different financial background, economic background, or geographic locations, and it is not by any means me suggesting privately to any person. That don’t eat. But yes, the idea that they would plan and reasonably think through what can face themselves or their, and their situation over time.
And then we candidly just allow the consumers to choose for themselves. Whatever their prior, again, I’m not here to dictate what someone’s value set or personal philosophy to be, but rather so that they have the full set of information as much as they can and clearly understand. So to empower the people to choose for themselves so they can pursue their course of action, whatever
[00:20:37] Kate Daniels, Host: it would be, because.
It’s always better to be in this seat of making choices without outside pressures, rather than being in really tough circumstances and having to make decisions on the fly, and then we’re so scattered it’s tough to do. So thinking about this in advance, preparing I and making these financial plans.
Getting educated is so critical.
[00:21:12] Jae Oh, CFP: It’s vital. And by no means am I saying that healthcare cost planning is the only, and part of the reason that I started this conversation today was because of the fact that healthcare cost planning is just a single component. That’s not to say that understanding about income stability, financial stability, as far as.
Cash flows go and cash flow planning isn’t important. In fact, I’m sitting as an education fellow at basically a think tank, which is called the Alliance for Lifetime Income, which is an education resource to educate people about protected lifetime income. And so it’s from every angle. It’s like a spokes, a spoke on a bicycle wheel.
They, you need to think about all of these different moving parts and the way, and as I said, it just so happens that one half of the population gets handed this whole stack of different responsibilities and may have to learn new language under duress, and these resources exist so that they can be prepared.
If and when that time would come to pass, of course. And so protected income.org is this location, which is to raise awareness that the fact that there are other financial products, if you have the right process or a thought process of planning in mind.
[00:22:51] Kate Daniels, Host: And I’m so glad that you mentioned that. It feels like just wetting our appetite for our next quarter conversation where we’re going to delve in that to a greater degree.
And I know it’s invaluable information for all of us, so that’s something to look forward to. But I’m glad you mentioned it today, Jae. And. In thinking in terms of today and planning for Medicare, one of the key things is yes, we make enrollments for Medicare at the end of the year, but initially it happens at turning age 65.
Correct. So that’s anytime during the year.
[00:23:34] Jae Oh, CFP: Generally the way that people should consider this is the fact that you are able to apply. Apply for Medicare three months prior to the beginning of the month that you turned 65. So if your birthday is in July that you can go, you can apply for Medicare three months prior to July one.
That makes it April one. It, your coverage would begin on July one, but the process that you can formally start to apply would be April one. It’s my thought, it’s the recommendation of the book that actually in the ideal case, at least a couple of years prior to that, and the reason for that is now there are technical financial ramifications, financial planning recommendations.
We deal. I actually deal a lot with other financial advisors throughout the country to try to bring them up to speed on what the different implications that I just, referred to here. There are tax matters involved. The financial outcomes are all over the map. As I said, We need to understand Medicare, but then also the plan here the way to think through all of these moving topics and the, and maybe I’ve not major made the task easier or better, but the reality is that these topics interact and one can affect the other.
So as a result, care is required. But yes, for most people, Who do not face this and three months prior to the month that they turned 65, they can apply. That would be, the absolute last gate to be getting informed about Medicare.
[00:25:37] Kate Daniels, Host: And mentioning this because that’s typically been the thought.
So we’re going to discuss more detail about that, in the next quarter. But at this point if so, if you or someone in your network that you is part of your family, extended family is churning 65 sometime this year, to really be aware of that, if Medicare has not been applied for yet.
[00:26:06] Jae Oh, CFP: Absolutely. Like you rightly pointed out at the beginning here of our conversation, Kate, there are late enrollment penalties and these late enrollment penalties never expire. And in addition to that, your act, the activation, in other words, if you are late, then there can be delays in terms of when Medicare can begin.
And then you’ve got this peculiar lapse of coverage, something that you want to avoid just by the fact that Murphy’s Law exists. That’s precisely the time, unfortunately, that something occurs. So for a number of reasons, you’ll wanna be informed about the enrollment rules about Medicare at the very minimum.
[00:26:53] Kate Daniels, Host: Precisely. So here we are, running out of time once again, which is right. It, that’s our enemy isn’t it? Is time in so many ways, but. I so value that we at least get the insights that you are able to fit into this space of time, Jae Oh the fact that we’re able to continue having this conversation and education.
And let’s mention the website again, where so much good information can be found, as well as getting your book. Maximize Your Medicare.
[00:27:31] Jae Oh, CFP: Thanks Kate. It is maximize your medicare.com. There is also a freeing newsletter, which introduces a lot of the different types of topics that we’ve touched on. You could understand in only 30 minutes or so, impossible to delve into every possible tributary of this, very wide river of financial topics.
There’s a newsletter which tries to introduce that, those different topics so that people can. Get a, at least an introduction, a feel for all of the different inputs that go into making a financial plan, irrespective again, of age or gender or location.
[00:28:18] Kate Daniels, Host: I am so grateful that you do the work that you do because you obviously love it, which translates to wanting to share and giving the most infinite details that you possibly can that will make our lives better, should we choose to take on this opportunity.
So I’m grateful that you do this work and that you take time with us Jae Oh to really make us better informed.
[00:28:46] Jae Oh, CFP: The privilege is mine.