Oct/Nov 2016, Vol. XVII, No 2

Calling All Medicare Beneficiaries!
The 2017 Open Enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries runs from October 15th through December 7th. No matter how pleased you may be with your current prescription and health insurance coverage, we encourage you and your loved ones to review your options for 2017.
 
Traditional Medicare, aside
from the premium, pretty
much stays the same. There will be changes, however, to Medicare D prescription plans and Advantage plans in 2017. Additionally, your personal health situation may have changed, including the medications you are taking, so reviewing what your current plan or plans will cover and the other options available to you is critical.
 
Your Council has team members and volunteers available to review your options so you can make the best decision for your personal situation. There is no charge for this review and we are not affiliated with any provider. For many of you with whom we have worked before, this review may very well take a simple phone call. Others, and those new to the Council for this annual review, may be better served by sitting down in-person. You can also review your options by going to www.medicare.gov 

We also invite you to join us for the October 26th Medicare Check-Up & Wellness Event at the Xenia Community Center (1265 West Second St). Medicare reviews will be offered from 11am to 6pm and the Wellness Event will be in the gym from 11am to 4pm.

The Wellness Event is free and open to adults of all ages. Some of the wellness topics include balance and fall prevention, diabetes management, cardio and fitness, hypertension and stress management, and keeping records of your medical info. There will be healthy snacks, doorprizes, and secure shredding bins will be on-site from Greene Inc. for you to drop your old papers/records for destruction.
 
The event flyer is on our website and we will be posting updates on our Facebook Page. For those receiving our information via email, watch for the flyer and Open Enrollment reminder. If you are not able to join us on the 26th or have an especially complicated situation, please contact the Council to schedule an appointment for your review (376-5486/info@gccoa.org). Appointment slots will fill up quickly, so don’t wait to call. Our last day for appointments is December 2nd.
 

It's Your Money: Open a College Savings Account
My spouse recently received a very small inheritance from her mother, and we considered how we could honor her mom’s memory with a gift or donation. After some thought, we decided to open a college savings account for our one-year old granddaughter. Christmas will be here before you know it, and if you are looking for innovative gift ideas for a special young person in your life, a college savings account might be a good idea for you also.
 
Ohio sponsors a college savings program called “College Advantage”, run by the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority. The specifics of this program are too numerous to cover, but in a nutshell, College Advantage is a “529 savings plan” that offers a way to save money for a child’s college education. A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for college costs.
 
Anyone can start and/or contribute to a College Advantage account, and while the primary focus of the plan is children, there is no age limit for someone to use funds from the program. When you open a 529 savings account, you are the ‘owner’ of the account and you designate the ‘beneficiary’ who will actually use the funds. You can open an account for a family member or even a friend. Your beneficiary does not have to be a relative. The minimum amount to open a new account is only $25. Once the account is open, you can continue to contribute additional funds at any time, but there is no requirement for further contributions. Other friends or family members can also contribute to your same account rather than opening multiple accounts for a single beneficiary.
 
Funds from a 529 account can be used at any eligible educational institution anywhere in the country to pay for qualified higher education expenses. Eligible educational institutions are accredited post-secondary schools offering credit toward an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, a graduate level or professional degree, or another recognized  post-secondary credential. In other words, your beneficiary does NOT have to attend an Ohio university to use this college savings account. If your child/account beneficiary wants to go to school in California, no problem.
 
Investments in the account grow tax-free, and Ohio even gives the contributor a tax write-off on his/her Ohio tax return. Withdrawals used for qualified higher education expenses are exempt from federal and state of Ohio income taxes, provided the recipient is not claiming other education tax incentives.
 
If you are worried that your gift recipient might not go to college immediately after graduating from high school (or at all), stop worrying. College Advantage does not require a child to attend college immediately after graduating high school, and there are no age restrictions on when you can use your account to pay for college expenses. If your original gift recipient/beneficiary doesn’t want to attend college, you can transfer the funds from one person that doesn’t need the money to someone else who does. You can also withdraw money from your account at any time for any reason. However, if the money is not used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, the earnings portion will be taxed as ordinary income at the recipient’s tax rate.
 
So, what are you waiting for? Ohio’s College Advantage 529 plan is one of the top college savings plans in the country. Open an account now and you can contribute to it for every special occasion from this point forward. For more information on Ohio’s 529 plan, call 1-800-233-6734 or visit
https://www.collegeadvantage.com/give-the-gift-of-savings/how-to-give-gifts
 

Creativity Expo
Creative expression is great for the brain, not to mention fun! So for those who enjoy expressing their creativity and those willing to give it a try, please join us for the Creativity Expo on Friday, October 28th from 10am to 2pm at the Xenia Community Center (next to the Council’s office). You will select three of the six sessions being led by our talented and patient instructors ~ watercolor, origami, paper beads, rustic signs, fabric yoyos and clay.
 
Registration is required and the deadline is October 17th. There is a $5 fee, which includes supplies, a grab n’ go lunch and a special ‘craft bundle’ to give you a boost to continue creating after the Expo! Brochures are available at the senior centers, Council offices, and our website.

Homemade Treats and Jam Fest a Success

We want to share our appreciation to all the individuals and organizations who supported the August 17th Homemade Treats & Jam Fest. It was fun, entertaining and tasty! We also exceeded our fundraising goal, raising over $6,000 for our Charitable Account with the Greene County Community Foundation.
 
Congratulations to Sharon Fulcher who went home with the coveted Cloud Race trophy and thanks to our race announcer Paul Newman Jr. who kept things ’on track’! And in addition to the great food, the Country Store, the family-friendly games hosted by our sponsors, and music from Mad River Railroad, the highlight was the Live Auction led by our favorite auctioneer Lee Duteil and his ‘trusty sidekick’ Ed Marrinan. The auction items included a variety of homemade cookies, jam, bread, cakes and pies. Mark your calendar for August 16, 2017!

Mark Your Calendar...
Preparations are well underway for the  Council’s Holiday Gift Soiree & Open House at the Xenia Community Center next to the Council’s office. The main event is Wednesday, December 7th from 11am to 6pm. Watch for more information!
Donor Spotlight  
Please join us in thanking these generous donors who shared a gift since the last newsletter.  All unrestricted financial donations go to our charitable account with the Greene County Community Foundation, for future senior and caregiver services/programs.   
In Memory Of:
William L. Duncan
Donald Phillips
Lorraine Rodgers Rosemary Smith
Florence Zeljak

Donors:
Ray & Marlene Acus
Willis & Mary Current
Jo Ferguson
Velma Joslin
John & Beth Kinsel
David & Donna Krile
Edward Martin
Nate Miller
Mary Ann Noble
Corinne Pelzl
Ed & Fran O’Shaughnessy
Donald Pennewitt
Louis Schatzberg
Ellen M. Sisk
Joe & Pam Sowder
Alice Woody
Debra Zeljak
Elaine Zevada
Energizers (givers of time and talent):
Judy Baker
Pat Beal
Vickie Bell
Jack Busby
Linda Bullock
Judy Cartisano
Jerri DeVoe
Lee Duteil
Elva Fallis
Evelyn Ferguson
Betty Gibson
Muriel Keyes
George Knight
Ed Marrinan
Kathy Morgan
Foy Neff
Paul Newman, Jr.
Fran Porter
Ken Richardson
Michel Smith
Joan Staloch
Pam & Joe Sowder
Priscilla Stephens
Ginny Vikmanis
Barbara Werth
Polly Werth
Dollie Williams
Jam Fest Bakers, Treat Makers, and Sponsors:
Lou Brannigan
Debbie Brickey
Denise Buckner
Margaret Burns
Jean Clements
Susan Finster
Marty Heide
Diane Hollenbeck
Karen Jonas
Linda Jones
Michele Kirk
Edith Leonard
Lynn Martin
Marian Miller
Foy Neff
Kathy Schmaltz
Ellen Slone
Pam Sowder
Lisa SanGregory
Sara Wallen
Polly Werth
Added Touch
Clossman’s Catering
Dynamic Senior Solutions
Elmcroft of Xenia
Fairborn Senior Center
Jamestown Senor Center
Greene Oaks
Homecare by Blackstone
Trupointe
Wicklines
Classic Country Radio ~ WBZI
Greene County Historical Society
Greene Memorial Hospital/Soin Medical Center
Xenia Adult Recreation & Services Center
Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 6th ~ 3pm—4:30pm
Medicare 101
GCCOA Office ~ 1195 W. Second Street, Xenia
 
Tuesday, October 18th ~ 2:30pm—4pm
GCCOA Membership Meeting
Xenia Adult Recreation & Services Center ~ 130 East Church Street
 
Wednesday, October 26th ~ 11am — 6pm
Medicare Check-Up & Wellness Event
Xenia Community Center ~ 1265 W. Second Street, Xenia
 
Friday, October 28th ~ 10am — 2pm
Creativity Expo
Xenia Community Center ~ 1265 W. Second Street, Xenia
 
Tues, December 6th ~ 6—8pm & Wed, December 7th ~ 11am—6pm
GCCOA Holiday Soiree
Xenia Community Center ~ 1265 W. Second Street, Xenia

 

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Greene County Council on Aging
937-376-5486
Committed to Seniors and Caregivers
Our mission: To promote independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers by facilitating and supporting the development, implementation and continual improvement of a comprehensive and coordinated system of contact and care.