The early fall Senior News has arrived in my mailbox. This wonderful publication is from the Southern Maine Agency on Aging and includes so much information, it provides reading for a week. (To find out how you can receive this in your mailbox, call the SMAA number listed below).

This past summer several of my friends started talking about retirement. Some are taking early retirement, but some have decided that working full time past the age of 65 means no time to do anything else. The older you get, the more important it is to do the things you always wanted to do.

The Senior News this month provides a list of helpful “Are you ready for retirement?” seminars, to help acquaint pre-retirees with what they can expect as far as health insurance and Medicare are concerned.

You will find this is the first thing or one of the first things to be considered when planning retirement. Medicare and health insurance options for Mainers is the major topic for this series. By participating, you can learn about basic Medicare coverage, health insurance options available under Medicare, options for prescription drug coverage after 65, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and health insurance field, other types of insurance you may want to consider and financial assistance programs.

The schedule of seminars is as follows. For more information, call Carol Rancourt at Southern Maine Agency on Aging, 1-800-427-7411.

Sept. 24 – Sanford Adult Education – 4-6 p.m.

Sept. 25 – Massabesic Adult Education, 1-3 p.m.

Sept. 27 – Scarborough Adult Education, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 – York Adult Education, 3-5 p.m.

Oct. 2 – Kittery Adult Education, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 – SAD 6 Adult Education, 6-8 p.m.

Oct. 16 – Windham Adult Education, 1-3 p.m.

Oct. 20 – York Adult Education, 10 a.m. to noon

Oct. 22 – Massabesic Adult Education, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Nov. 1 – Gray-New Gloucester Adult Education, 6-8:30 p.m.

Nov. 8 – Cape Elizabeth Adult Education, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Nov. 19 – Wells Adult Education, 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 27 – Cape Elizabeth Adult Education, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Southern Maine Agency also provides the services of Elder Advocates to help seniors deal with the “everyday” issues of retirement including Medicare and insurance. This service is free, and appointments need to be made. Be prepared; once you have made an appointment, gather together your Medicare card, Social Security and pension information; a list of current medications; information on current insurance coverage and your income and asset information. Bring this information with you. Following is the schedule for Senior Advocates.

In Bridgton, you can meet with SMAA volunteer Stan Cohen every Tuesday, 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the Bridgton Hospital. Call 647-6000. Also advocates are at the Community Center, by appointment. Call SMAA.

In Scarborough, first Thursday of every month by appointment. Call SMAA.

In Windham, third Thursday of the month at Unity Gardens, Tandberg Trail (Route 115). Call SMAA.

In Portland, second Wednesday each month at Salvation Army, 10 a.m. to noon, drop-in.

In Biddeford, multiple locations. Call SMAA.

To make an appointment, call SMAA at 1-800-427-7411 unless a different number is given, as in the case of Bridgton.

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