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This Week's Editorial
It's the Pitts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lee Pitts   

The perfect neighbor

Billionaires have rediscovered land as a secure investment, and my neighbor ReRide and I were wondering what kind of neighbors these new ranchers will be.

“They’ll make awful neighbors,” opined ReRide. “Them and their huge ranches that cover two time zones, pressed jeans, hundred-dollar monogrammed shirts and their cows all the same color. Who wants a neighbor like that?

“They’ll invite you over to preg-check cows, and they’ll have color-coordinated facilities designed by Temple Grandin. They’ll use a different needle for every cow, have electronic ear tags, and their hydraulic squeeze chute will be inside a building. The next thing you know, your wife will be asking, ‘Why don’t we have one of those?’”

“I see your point, ReRide,” I said.

“They’ll have a veterinarian, a manager of sustainability and a Ph.D. in wildlife management all on staff,” ReRide went on. “They’ll have weekly meetings, and the No. 1 agenda item at every meeting will be how to keep your cattle on their own side.

“They’ll have fences of razor and concertina wire with guard towers at every corner just to keep their $15,000 bulls from breeding your $800 cows.

The full article can be viewed on our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811 for subscription details.



Holyoke Enterprise December 18, 2014

 
Thinking About Health PDF Print E-mail
Written by Trudy Lieberman, Rural Health News Service   

Medicare will pay for obesity counseling, really?

It’s amazing how much we talk about making people healthier. Consider all the discussion in America about overweight people who are stigmatized for making poor food choices. Think about the warnings that obesity is a leading cause of preventable death. So it’s puzzling that Medicare offers an obesity counseling benefit that must be one of the best kept secrets outside of Washington.

Three years ago Medicare announced with some fanfare that it was adding coverage for obesity counseling sessions to help seniors lose weight. Some 30 percent of people in this age group are obese, and studies have shown that regular counseling sessions in a doctor’s office increase the chances an overweight person will drop some pounds.

Medicare was eager to add obesity counseling to the growing list of preventive services it covered, and the head of the agency told the press in 2011, “It’s important for Medicare patients to enjoy access to appropriate screening and preventive services.”

That was then. This is now, and the government doesn’t seem interested in promoting or publicizing obesity counseling. Very few seniors are enjoying this preventive service so widely touted three years ago.

The full article can be viewed on our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811 for subscription details.


We want to hear your questions and comments about your health care experiences. Tell us what you’ve experienced with insurance, medicines, hospitals and doctors. Write to Trudy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Editor’s note: The Rural Health News Service is funded by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund and distributed through the Nebraska Press Association Foundation, the Colorado Press Association, the South Dakota Newspaper Association and the Hoosier (Ind.) State Press Association.



Holyoke Enterprise December 18, 2014

 
Investor Guide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold Wong   

Social Security questions from the readers

This year, I wrote a five-part series on Social Security issues, especially those that affect Baby Boomers. All five parts can be accessed by clicking on www.DrWongInvestorGuide.com.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions from attendees at my seminars, as well as questions from other readers:

—“I am 55, and if $1,294 is the average monthly Social Security benefits of retired workers in 2014, how can I possibly pay my bills in retirement?”

Suggestion: Only 5.2 percent of men and 11.4 percent of women waited until age 66 (considered full retirement age for workers who were born between 1943-54). FRA increases for younger workers and is 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Only 1.2 percent of men and 2 percent of women waited until age 70.

You should strongly consider working until age 70 so that you can collect the maximum SS benefits at 70.

You are 55 now, and that will give you 15 more years to increase your life savings. If you can save $10,000 annually, and earn 5 percent, that will be an extra $226,575.

The full article can be viewed on our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811 for subscription details.

Contact Dr. Harold Wong at 480-706-0177, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or www.drharoldwong.com.



Holyoke Enterprise December 18, 2014