Winter is now here...the snows are falling...and
recently we received a touching reminder that "winter"is more than just another season...it's the close to
the end of 2014...and...
year in our "senior" lives" !
One of our readers sent us this moving
commentary that we would like to share with you.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we
Most importantly, as we enter 2015,
rather than viewing this with sadness, we want you to look at the "winter of your life" as a time of
happiness by reflecting and smiling at the cherished
memories that have been compiled over a lifetime...a lifetime that has
allowed you to age like vintage wine...
...a lifetime that must enjoyed to the
fullest because...Father Time.... is now your peer.
AND THEN IT WAS
Time has a way of moving
quickly and catching you unaware of the passing
It seems that it was just yesterday
that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet
in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years
I know that I lived them all....I have
glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and
But....here it is..."the winter of my life"...
...and it catches me by surprise.
How...did I get here so
Where did the years go....and when did
my youth disappear?
I remember seeing older people through
the years and thinking that "they" were years away from me...and that I couldn't
imagine what it would be like to ever be that old !
But...here it is...it finally
happened. My friends are retired and getting grey....they somehow move slower
than they used to....and I see an older person now.
Some are in better shape than
me...others worse...but...I see the great change now...not like the ones I
remember who were young and vibrant....but are NOW...like
...their age is beginning to show and
we're now the older folks we thought we'd never be !
And how my lifestyle has
Taking a nap is no longer a
treat...it's mandatory...because....if I don't...I just seem to fall asleep
where I sit !
And so...now I enter into this new
season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of
strength and ability to and do things that I wish I had done....BUT NEVER DID !
But...at least I know, that though the
"winter has come", and I'm not
sure how long it will last....
...this I know
That when it's over on this
earth...it's not OVER !
A new adventure will begin
regrets ! There are things I did that I wish I had never
...but indeed...there are tons of
things that I did...and am happy to have done them !
I guess it's all in a
So...if you're not in the "winter" yet...or you believe you
aren't, but that mirror tells you otherwise....it comes faster than you think
Whatever you would like to accomplish
in your life...do it quick !
Don't put things off too
Life goes by SO QUICKLY....so....do
what you can TODAY, as you can never be sure whether it's your last "winter".
You have no promise that you will see
all the seasons of life in the coming years...so live for
...and....say all the things that you
want your loved ones to know and hear...NOW....and hope that they appreciate and
love you for all things that you have done for them in years
"Life"...is a gift to
The way you live your life...is the
gift to those who come after. Make if a fantastic
Live it well
Let's conclude this "opinion" by enjoying a look at life though song.
We are at times asked if there is a specific topic
or article that has the greatest readership; and surprising, since our
commencing publication in November, 2012...
...in both 2012 and
2013, our "Memorial" to those we lost during
that particular year is far and above the most read.
We have continued that tradition in 2014 with two changes that we
hope will allow you to better remember and appreciate the significance of the
lives of those we lost in the past year...
First...in addition to
bringing you the list, we have also included links to youtube.com videos that will be allow you to more fully
explore their contributions to our lives while they were with
list is extensive, we have divided our memorial into two
articles; those who have passed from January to June, 2014; and secondly,
those we lost from July to December.
We also want to tell you that if you choose to
view the videos, this might involve a lengthy period of time on your
part....but...it will also allow you to more properly honor them for the
accomplishments that in many cases, changed our
And so....to close
...Anthem Opinions...brings you the first of these
Social Security, Medicare and retirement accounts will all have new
rules next year.
Social Security and Medicare will be making important changes to their programs next year.
Individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s will also be tweaked in significant ways.
Here's a look at the new features of your retirement benefits will have next year.
Social Security recipients will receive 1.7
percent bigger payments in
2015, due to the annual cost-of-living
Most workers will continue to pay 6.2 percent of their earnings
into the Social Security system, but the maximum taxable
earnings amount will increase next year from
$117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 in
Security administration will also mail Social Security
statements to workers
turning ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 in 2015 who haven't created an
The standard Medicare Part
B premium will
remain $104.90 monthly in 2015, although high-income beneficiaries pay
more, and the deductible is unchanged at $147 a year.
The Medicare Part A hospital inpatient
deductible will increase from $1,216 in 2014
to $1,260 in 2015.
Medicare Part D premiums vary by plan and are expected to increase
by 4 percent to an average $38.83 in 2015, assuming retirees stick with their
current plan, according to an analysis of Part D plans by researchers at
Georgetown University, the University of Chicago and the Kaiser Family
The maximum possible Part D deductible will be $320 in 2015, but
some plans may charge smaller deductibles or no deductible.
The open enrollment period has now closed.
The 401(k) contribution limit will increase by
$500 to $18,000 in 2015.
The catch-up contribution limit for workers age
50 and older will also grow by $500 to $6,000 in
The IRA contribution limit will remain $5,500
in 2015, and savers age 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000
as a catch-up contribution.
Workers who have a retirement account at work can claim a tax
deduction for making a traditional IRA contribution until their modified
adjusted gross income is between $61,000 and $71,000 for individuals and $98,000
to $118,000 for couples in 2015, up $1,000 and $2,000, respectively, from
without a workplace retirement plan who are married to someone with a 401(k) can
claim the IRA contribution tax deduction until their income is between
$183,000 and $193,000 in 2015.
The Roth IRA income limits will also increase
by $2,000 in 2015 to between $116,000 and $131,000 for individuals and $183,000
to $193,000 for married couples.
However, investors who earn more than these limits may be able to
convert traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA.
Workers who save in a 401(k) or IRA may be eligible for the
saver's credit if their AGI is less than $30,500 for singles, $45,750 for heads
of household and $61,000 for married couples in 2015.
These limits are between $500 and $1,000 higher
than in 2014.
This valuable tax credit is worth 50 percent, 20 percent or 10
percent of your 401(k) or IRA contributions up to $2,000 ($4,000 for couples),
with the biggest credit going to savers with the lowest incomes.
The maximum possible saver's credit is worth $1,000 for individuals
and $2,000 for couples.
These Roth accounts with be funded with
after-tax dollars via payroll deduction, but they are
not tied to your job and are guaranteed by the government to never lose value.
The myRA will be available to workers with an
annual income of less than $129,000 for individuals and $191,000 for couples,
and they can use the account for up to 30 years or until their account balance
hits $15,000, after which the balance will transfer to a private-sector