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When You know Better, You Do Better

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

I was watching a tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou, an American Poet, who passed away recently and was reminded of one of my favorite expressions from her. “When you know better, you do better.” Although I don’t know if it was original with her, many have quoted her, including me. Remember, when we used to reprimand our kids and say, “You should know better!” The kids would say something like, “You never told me!” Is it the parent’s fault or the kid’s fault that they don’t know better? It doesn’t make sense to reprimand someone for something they’ve never been taught. But on some level, it becomes an individual’s responsibility to know.

That is why I continue to encourage everyone to get an education on all things concerning the aging process. If you are in your 60s, you need to learn about Social Security and Medicare. You’ll start getting mail about it because the government knows exactly how old you are. Don’t put it in a pile and ignore it. There are penalties when you don’t sign up properly, and there may be missed benefits and income too. It was a red-letter day when my husband came home from the Social Security office and told me I could sign up for half of his full SS benefit the following year. We had a party! Find a competent advisor to educate you so that you can ‘do better’ when you are making decisions. Whether it is Long Term Care insurance questions, rehabilitation stays, Medicare entitlements, or Medicaid, there are counselors to help you. Watch for seminars on these topics, and don’t be shy about going. Check out resources at the library or online. Call retirement communities and ask if they are sponsoring programs that deal with these topics. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

"When you know better, you do better." Dr. Maya Angelou

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