I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on my blog, so I’ll tell the sad story now: I wanted the larger 8-quart Instant Pot instead of the 6-quart model I’ve been using for several months, so when I saw a great deal for one, I ordered it from Kohl’s, online. It was under $70 with all the coupons and discounts involved, so I got a great deal... I thought. Unfortunately, the third time I used it, it died completely. No light came on when I plugged it in. Cliff and I tried everything. I googled the problem. In one place, fuses were mentioned, so we looked for a place a fuse would be. No luck. I called the number for the manufacturer. The lady on the other end said there wasn’t a fuse, but if I jumped through a lot of hoops, they would give me the bottom portion of my 8-quart Instant Pot at half-price. Really? I bought this thing in September and it died in mid-November! That’s the best they can do?
Kohl’s has always been great to deal with if you want a return or replacement, so I took it to the nearest location and traded it for another one. I just took it out of the box yesterday, but didn’t use it yet (Thanksgiving leftovers aren’t gone). I follow several Instant Pot Facebook groups; this morning I just happened to see a comment that bothered me. A lady said she had intended to get the 8-quart, but after reading the Amazon reviews, decided that model must be defective. I went to check it out: At first things looked great, with an average of at least 4 1/2 stars out of 5. But as I scrolled through, I saw far too many people saying theirs stopped working after very few uses. The reason the average rating is so high, I imagine, is that most people do their reviews after they use the product only a few times. I’m guilty of this myself.
So I did a Facebook post telling people about this, and I’m repeating it here: If you bought the 8-quart Instant pot on Black Friday, you’d be wise to return it for a refund, or else exchange it for the six-quart model. Go to Amazon and scroll through the reviews: At first you’ll see nothing but praise for the 8-quart Instant Pot, but keep going and you will see one-star reviews saying theirs stopped working after one or two uses. If the manufacturer won’t replace a defective product... and this company will not... you really don’t want to do business with them. Please spread the word!
On to another subject, retirement and Social Security. Cliff and I neither one had a pension coming when we retired. We both had very small amounts of money in 401K accounts (by very small, I mean not really enough to buy a decent used car less than five years old). I didn’t work outside the home more than half my married life, and Cliff spent a lot of time working for small businesses that didn’t have any perks. My knees gave out after less than five years at Kohl’s Distribution Center, so I put in for Social Security at age 62. It wasn’t much, believe me. Now, Cliff spent 13 years at his last job, which was a great one with many benefits. We made a point of putting enough in 401K so the company would match it. Cliff retired at age 66. Between the two of us, with our house paid off, we live quite well on what we receive. Or we did, until the medical bills began coming in.
Medicare makes sure the bulk of the bills are paid, but the amounts they don’t cover add up to more than we can continue to handle. We have managed up to now, but alas, it won’t always be so. I’m in the process of trying to figure out what steps to take for future hospitalizations and major illnesses. I guess I should say here that we did NOT sign up for supplemental insurance. Why? Because even with the house paid off, at $200 each per month, we wouldn’t have had enough to live on.
The grandson’s suggestions was this: Just don’t pay the bill. His point was that we don’t need good credit anyhow, because we don’t use credit any more. He has a point, but that really goes against the grain. We have always, even in our poorest times, had a perfect credit rating. I’d only choose this option if there were no others.
The next time one of us has to go through expensive medical procedures or hospitalization, we could wait for the bill, then go talk to someone about making affordable payments. I’d love to be able to talk to someone about this right now, so I’d know what’s going to happen in such a case, but I don’t think that’s a possibility. It’s one of those bridges you can’t cross until the time comes.
Recently I realized there is another option: Truman Medical Center (East) isn’t so far away; it’s where people go who can’t afford anything else. That place deals with you according to your ability to pay. I have a local Facebook friend who is in poor financial straits and has many health issues who was deliriously happy when he found out he doesn’t have to pay anything at all there... and he isn’t old enough for Medicare yet. One of my dearest friends who died a few years ago always went to Truman East and loved the doctors and the care she and her husband received. So that’s an option.
You younger folks, these are decisions you might make when you are considering retirement. If you can afford it, get the supplement. In our case, it was hardly a choice, because we’d have been living from hand to mouth with that extra $400 coming out of our Social Security.
Am I worried? Nope. If you have pensions or a 401K, you certainly will have no problem getting the Medigap coverage. By all means, do it. We had no choice, and we will take one step at a time. Everybody has to die sometime. Even in the ‘60’s when my grandma died, most people just died when it was their time, rather than having drastic measures taken to keep them living. Once you realize that yes, you ARE going to die, it isn’t so scary; you aren’t that concerned about when it will happen, once you are past 70.
I still believe in the words of the old hymn: “Be not dismayed whate’er betide. God will take care of you.”