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New Medicare Cards will be mailed out over the next year with new ID numbers on them in place of social security numbers. The cards are free and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services says they are being issued to protect your social security numbers and prevent fraud. 06/18

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Medicare open enrollment ends on December 7th, so if you’re thinking of changing your Part D drug plan or supplemental insurance, now is the time to do it. 11/16

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Prostate Problems?
Eat watermelon! 
The fruit can help increase prostate health and decrease erectile dysfunction. The credit goes to lycopene and citrulline, which can help improve blood flow to all the right places. 8/16

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Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated in the summer. Eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like watermelon, oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce can also help keep you hydrated. 7/16

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The hot weather has arrived, and the National Institute on Aging at NIH says, “too much time in the heat can cause health problems, especially in older adults. Lower your risk by:

Drinking plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit/vegetable juices. Stay away from drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.

Keeping your house as cool as possible. Limit your use of the oven. Keep your shades, blinds, or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day.

Spending time during mid-day some place that has air conditioning—for example, go to the shopping mall, movies, library, senior center, or a friend’s house.” 7/16

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The National Institute on Aging says Exercise can help prevent falls by helping improve your balance. Exercise can: help maintain and improve overall physical fitness and strength;  can help you manage diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis; and can help reduce feelings of depression and improve your mood.

To gain the most benefit the NIA recommends you incorporate four different types of exercise in your routine: 1. endurance - walking, yard work, dancing; 2. strength - weights, resistance bands, using your own body weight; 3. balance - standing on one foot, heel-to-toe walk, Tai Chi; and 4. flexibility - shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch, and yoga. 6/16

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According to an AARP article on the 
New Realities of Aging, Americans over the age of 50 generate more than 7 trillion dollars in economic activity—a number that’s expected to nearly double over the next 16 years. 3/16

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Slap in your teeth and start eating carrots. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, carotenoids—the pigments which give carrots and  kale their rich colors—may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects the central part of the retina and can decrease the sharpness of our vision. The research shows people who consumed the highest level of carotenoids had a lower risk of AMD. 10/15

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A systolic blood pressure reading of 140 used to be acceptable. Not anymore. A new study finds the death rate dips when our systolic rate is 120 or lower. Systolic is the higher of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading. It measures the pressure on our arteries when our hearts beat. The lower number, the diastolic rate, measures the pressure between beats. The recommended diastolic rate is 80 or lower. 09/15

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Want access to your Social Security Statement at your fingertips? 
Sign up for a my Social Security account. Before retirement, you can use your account to verify your earnings record and find out what to expect in future monthly benefits. After retirement, it’s a great tool to manage your benefits by changing your address, starting or changing your direct deposit, or getting a replacement Medicare card.

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Weight creeping up? Eat more fiber. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a group of overweight adults who ate a lot of fiber lost almost as much weight as a group of their peers who were assigned a much stricter diet. 

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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
—often attributed to Socrates (470 BC - 399 BC), but may predate him

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Eat a square of dark chocolate each day. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, and it causes the brain to release "feel good" endorphins for a natural high.

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Add a spoon of crushed red pepper flakes to pasta sauce to increase metabolism and strengthen your immune system.

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Wearing glasses with an ultraviolet filter when in the sun can help prevent macular degeneration.

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Dark cherries help alleviate inflammation and pain and can help you sleep better.

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Butter can be good for you. Studies show it aids absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from vegetables.

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If you're having trouble navigating the complexities of Social Security, Social Security for Dummies may help. You can find it at bookstores or on 

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