Retirement is a Dish Best Served Well-Prepared

Well prepared retirement
A well-prepared retirement can be healthy and fulfilling

Retirement will be most successful if you take some time and do some planning.  This is true whether you stop working completely or adjust responsibilities to have more flexibility.

Like every phase of life, big decision, or major transition, planning helps navigate the expected and provide the flexibility to negotiate the unexpected.

What is Retirement Planning?

When you search using terms like ‘retirement planning’ the items listed are almost solely about financial planning.  There are numerous large companies, small companies, and individuals offering assistance in making financial decisions that will enable the retirement you desire.

Financial planning includes amount of funds available, timing of fund use, anticipated monthly budgets, and a diversified portfolio.  (And more I’m sure; this is definitely not my area of expertise).

Succession planning is a key part of preparation to leave or reduce time at your workplace.  You want to be sure what you have worked so hard to build or support will be left in capable hands.

Family care is another element of retirement planning.  You are assuring the house, the car(s), the major purchases are updated and ready for the days of a more ‘fixed’ income.  Legally, this is a good time to assure wills, estates, powers of attorney, and other legal documents are updated.

What ELSE is Retirement Planning?

At Retirement Wellness Strategieswe are focused on your health and wellness as you approach retirement.

‘My doctor already does that,’ you might be saying.  Your doctor is certainly doing some of that.  Your doctor also has a very limited time with you and is frequently using that time to address issues of the moment.  Healthcare in general is mostly reactive.  We want to be proactive!

Retirement Wellness Strategies is

  • PROACTIVE
  • RISK REDUCING
  • As interested in your MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, and SOCIAL health as your PHYSICAL health.

Retirement is a major life transition.  Far too many men in leadership positions are stumbling as they leap the chasm from a very full, rewarding, consuming work life to retirement.

These stumbles are leading to rapid health decline, failed marriages, and suicide.  This DOES NOT need to happen.

Let’s plan these critical elements of your retirement today.

Call us at 410-472-5078, e-mail michelle@retirewellness.com, or learn more at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Part of retirement planning is spiritual health planning.  How much emphasis have you placed here so far?

How are you managing these complex times in our world?  They shouldn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t make them easy.  Have you found that deep down peace and joy of Christ? That is a beautiful thing and worthy of sharing!

1 Peter 3:15  NIV

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Matthew 24:44  NLT

You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

When I think of preparation, nothing excites me or sobers me like preparation for eternity.  I love trying to imagine Heaven, eternity, God’s omniscience.  Do you ever try to wrap your mind around those concepts?  I can’t wait to experience them in person!

In Matthew 24, Jesus gives insights into the times before His return.  There will be a lot of people trying to deceive us.  There will be wars and famine and earthquakes.  I can think of a lot of examples of each of these things right now.

In 2 Timothy 3 there is a description of the difficult times for Christians in the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

In Jude, who was Jesus’ brother, we learn more about the last times.

Jude 17-21 NLT

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted.  They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.  These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.

 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,[a]  and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

I read in a devotion recently that we prepare in three ways:

  1. Prepare yourself
  2. Prepare those close to you
  3. Prepare your church and community

How are you preparing for difficult times ahead?  How can we build a more solid network of believers to support each other through these times? Once disaster strikes is not the time to develop a plan.

Blessings,

Michelle

24 Hours per Day and Relationships

Prioritized relationships
How do you prioritize your relationships?

A friend posted this on Facebook this week.  She got it from Relationship Rules.

People make time for who they want to make time for.  People text and reply to people they want to talk to.  Never believe anyone who says they’ve been too busy.  If they wanted to be around you, they would.

Wow, that snapped me to attention.  How about you?

Same 24 hours

I know you know this. We each have 24 hours in a day. We each need to spend 6-8 of those sleeping to be our best.  We each take time out to eat.  Beyond that, we have so many choices.

Are you choosing to spend some of your 24 hours with other people?

With which people?

Do you focus on the person right in front of you at any given moment?

Do you gravitate to the ‘squeeky wheel’ or most annoying just to make them stop?

How about the relationships you claim are the most important in your life?

Are you guilty as I am? I know I can get so caught up in the immediate needs placed before me, I can get through an entire day shortchanging my family, especially my husband.

What about friends? Which relationships will still be with you into retirement?  How much attention do they receive from you?

Investing in Personal Relationships

There’s an exercise we do in Retirement Wellness Strategies™ to think through which relationships will fade and which will sustain.

Think about with whom you would plan a vacation or weekend getaway.  If you were traveling, with which friends would you stay while in their area, or at least let them know you’re in town to get together?

How much of your attention are you giving your spouse these days?   Is it enough? How much time will you spend together after retirement?  Are you on the same page with these answers?

Planning for a socially healthy retirement takes some focus.  We can help!  Contact us at Retirement Wellness Strategies to learn how we can help you have a healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially – retirement!

www.retirewellness.com

michelle@retirewellness.com

410-472-5078

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Do your stated priorities and the way you spend your time align?

Does the time you spend with people reflect their importance in your life?

Whew, those are tough questions!

Are you waiting for later to spend quality time with the people who matter most?

Just when we think we are good planners and have our lives prioritized and together, James is brutally direct:

James 4:13-15 ESV

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

It is so easy to take those we love for granted and give all of our time to people who will not be with us in our most critical times of life.  It is also easy to be around people who are comfortable and avoid relationships that are more challenging.

And what about our call to love our neighbors?  Who is that? What does it mean?

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Psalm 39:4-5 ESV

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”

Look to the one source of ‘right living’.  It is amazing how all of the important things fit into a day when the Lord directs it.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Your future is loving and beautiful when you are living a life dedicated to God.

Matthew 24:36 ESV

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

May we all make wise choices with each of our 24 hours.  I’m praying for you as you prioritize those God calls you to love.  Please pray for me, too.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

Who are You? Who gets to write that description?

Who will you be?
Who and what defines you? Who do you want to be?

Who are you? 

Does that question excite you?

Does it stress you?

Does it depress you?

Does it make you stop and wonder?

When was the last time you paused and really thought about this?  Have you purposefully become who you are today?  Or has this version morphed from a series of events out of your control?

Describing You

I encourage you to grab a piece of paper and pen or a device.  Shut off all distractions.  Take a deep breath and do your best to clear your mind.  Set your timer for 10 minutes.

Over the next 10 minutes of quiet, retrace your steps.  How did you get here? What are your greatest moments?  Who are the people who have led you to this point?  What have been your greatest challenges?  What are your principles?  What is most important to you?  Who matters most to you?  What do you stand for?  What are your dreams?

Outsiders who try to define you

It is hard to find quiet time to reflect in our society.  Messages, demands, and noise are everywhere.  If you haven’t already decided who you are, there is a world waiting to create this definition for you.

Those over you– how do you help the company meet the bottom line?

Social Media– do you measure up?  Is your life as exciting as your ‘friend’s’?

Politics– do you agree with me on very point, or are you one of ‘them’?

Movies and TV– are you as beautiful and perfect as these fictitious characters?

Wealth– are you as rich as your neighbor, and do you have as many cool toys?

Spouse– are you everything your spouse expects of you?

Faith/social community– do you measure up to the expectations of your groups?

Ultimate last word about who you are

Your future is not already scripted based on your past.  You are in a unique position to choose your trajectory.

Are you pleased with your current self?  You can stay on this path that is working well for you.

Are you ready for change? You can change your direction, your purpose, or your values.  You don’t have to be shaped by the things currently defining you.

Do you have a plan to avoid the retirement pitfalls of rapid health decline, divorce, or suicide?

Retirement Wellness Strategies

At Retirement Wellness Strategies we talk with many people who have landed in a place they don’t desire to be.  That is not the end of the story!  We have a number of tools to help you explore what could come next.  The years beyond retirement can be fulfilling, purposeful, and meaningful.

Let’s talk!  You can reach us at 410-472-5078, michelle@retirewellness.comwww.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

How about you?  How have outside influences ended up defining you? What roles do work, family, money, appearance, or belongings play in your self-description?

I know they have way more impact on my self-perception than I would like.

I had the opportunity to spend a week in one of the poorer parishes in Jamaica on a mission trip.  On this second international missions journey for me, God gave me such a life-altering revelation.

We are called to, ‘Live Jesus and squeeze in life’.  This is in opposition to living life and squeezing in Jesus.

You might be saying, ‘No duh’, but can you say you’re able to claim this each day?  Life gets busy and demanding.  Jesus is not demanding.  Living Jesus requires a conscious, dedicated, disciplined decision. And this decision can be required each minute.

As I typed this last paragraph, the song, ‘Just Give Me Jesus’ by Unspoken came on the radio.  I thrive on these God moments.

The Bible points us toward living for Jesus repeatedly.  Here are a few examples:

Romans 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 22:37 ESV

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Galatians 1:10 ESV

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Matthew 6:33 ESV

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Each day is a fresh new opportunity to decide who and WHOSE we are.  What will you choose?

Blessings,

Michelle

Retirement – The Next Major Life Transition

Transition to retirement
What is your strategy to navigate the transition to retirement?

What are the feelings and thoughts that come to mind when you consider the word ‘RETIREMENT’?

I am finding one of four answers from executive men who are nearing this transition.

  • I have been planning with fitness, travel plans, family plans, hobby plans and can’t wait to retire.
  • I am consumed with reaching my final goals at work and succession planning, so I’ll deal with retirement when I get there.
  • I am not looking forward to retirement, so I plan to die at my desk.
  • I am being coerced to retire before I am ready, and I am very unhappy about it.

No doubt there are other scenarios, but these are those that have been communicated most frequently.

Major Life Transitions

In life, we all traverse many transitions.  Some are small and others are large.  Some are planned, even eagerly anticipated, while others come out of nowhere.

Some of the major transitions in our life are:

  • Leaving home
  • Choosing a career
  • Marriage
  • Children
  • Moving
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Losing a loved one
  • Retirement
  • Chronic illness

There is a planning process that can be used to prepare for most of these major transitions. Consider the number of life skills training, wedding planning, child preparation, career building, and grief counseling resources that are available.  These transitions can be very difficult, and the help and counsel of wise experts can make the leap much more manageable.

Retirement Wellness Strategies

We exist to help you strategically plan for retirement.  This process will benefit you the most if you start about 2 years prior to retirement. This will minimize the surprises and disappointments that are common with unplanned retirement.

You will have

  • Your personal board certified specialist health advocate to walk through all medical and health encounters
  • A thorough health review to enter retirement with optimal health and stamina
  • Risk identification and minimization based on your personal and family history
  • Planning tools to avoid the unexpected
  • A retirement strategic plan for building a meaningful active next life phase

Contact Dr. Michelle Fritsch today at michelle@retirewellness.comor 410-472-5078.  Learn more at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

As we enter this New Year, consider the imposed transition of the calendar.  This is a good time to think about change, new goals, and exciting possibilities.

From way back in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, we have verses of promise for the future.

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Joshua 1:9 ESV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

What about the changing of years brings you hope?

What brings you sadness?

How adaptable are you to change?

I have been accused of creating change on purpose, so I’m definitely in the camp that appreciates and promotes change.  I have many friends who find change very difficult and often unnecessary.  Where are you on this spectrum?

I find great hope in the many verses that explain God’s promises of provision, even during change.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Romans 15:13 ESV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

In this change of the year, I pray you will live in great joy and hope in this new year.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

Feeling Stress – Find Health in Hope and Looking Outside Yourself

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This 3-step recipe can help you find hope and peace in the stress.

The media, social media, and even people on the street are expressing a lot of stress and insecurity. Change is difficult – even more so for some people than others. Uncertainty is also difficult to handle. Put the two together, as the United States did this week with a new election, and people react. No matter the outcome of this election, change and uncertainty were inevitable. Any new leader brings new ideas and ways of handling political situations, and each leader is elected with the hope of a brighter future. In the months before the election our fears are played upon to help steer us toward one candidate or the other. And once the election is finished, one set of fears, or the other, becomes the new reality.

So now what?

I heard a lot of people this week talking about heavy drinking, protesting, sleeping to avoid dealing with their thoughts, self medicating with anti-anxiety agents or drugs, having anxiety episodes, and feeling rage. At the end of any of these options, it is highly unlikely that person will actually feel better. These are destructive choices that won’t actually resolve anything.

Simple recipe

There are other alternatives that will both help overcome the stress AND help you to feel better.

  1. Focus on your source of hope.
  2. Focus on all of the good things in your life.
  3. Do something kind for someone else.

This simple three-ingredient recipe is a key to contentment and happiness.

Healthier options

Getting outside of yourself is good for your health – both physically and emotionally. Find even the smallest of ways to do something good for someone else. Get together with friends to work on projects together. Help someone celebrate a milestone. Take flowers to someone who is down. Walk around your house and remember the occasion that led to each picture, each memento, and each special possession. Talk on the phone with someone dear to you, and let them know how much they have done for you in life. And to top it all off, spend quiet time with God and your faith.

I’ve written before how impressed I am by the amount of science supporting this simple recipe. It can decrease anxiety, depression, hurt feelings, concern for the future, and stress. It can lower your blood pressure, lower your anxiety, and improve your outlook on life.

It might sound overly simple or pious, but it really works!

For more information about stress management to improve your health, contact us at Meds MASH at www.medsmash.com/contact.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

I can’t imagine life without my ROCK SOLID source of HOPE.

I have been blessed to know about this unwavering hope throughout my life.

I see the angst in the world right now and wonder how many people have never even heard about my source of hope. How many have heard only the ‘media version’ and never the truth? How scary would all of this unrest be without such hope?

Then I know of friends who attend church each Sunday and have for all/most of their lives. But attending church doesn’t equal having that deep-seated hope. Having Christ solidly in your life is a decision – a life altering decision that opens this whole world of peace and hope.

Having a source of hope gets you through all situations. Having an eternal perspective puts everything else in perspective.

Just as the Israelites were reassured, I HOPE we can be as well.

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

I mentioned a recipe for health. Here is a three-part recipe that has seen me through many difficult situations.

Romans 12:12 ESV

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Uncertainty will always be part of our world until Christ returns. These times of upheaval can draw us closer and closer to our one true source of hope.

Proverbs 23:18 ESV

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.       

There is nothing happening that God can’t see us through.

Blessings.

Michelle

 

 

Medicare Open Enrollment – comparing your options

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October 15 to December 7 is your window to select a Medicare plan. Let us help.

Medicare Open Enrollment for your 2017 plan is from October 15 to December 7, 2016.   Before you make a selection, here are some resources to help you compare your options.

Medicare provides a tool where you can compare options before you make a decision. You can find it at this link.

The information you need is:

  • Your Medicare number
  • If you have a Medigap or Medicare supplement plan, the name and type of the plan
  • Your zip code
  • A list of your medicines prescribed by each of your doctors
  • The name and location of your preferred pharmacy

You can search through options using your specific information or you can do a general search. I highly recommend you perform a search with your specific information at least once before you make final decisions. That will give you the best look at your anticipated likely costs.

The tool will walk you through step by step.

  1. It starts with your zip code and information from your Medicare card.
  2. Enter your current Medicare coverage type. Include whether you get extra help paying for your medication costs.
  3. Enter your prescribed medicines. Include the strength, whether you get your medicine every month or every 3 months, and whether you get your medicines from a local pharmacy or a mail order pharmacy.
    1. Be sure to include all of your medicines
    2. If your doctor has talked about maybe starting new medicine, include these, too. This will make sure the plan you choose will cover all of these medicines.
  4. Select your pharmacy. Note, if your pharmacy doesn’t show up at first, expand the number of miles from your home so that your pharmacy will be on the list.
  5. You can then choose whether you want to compare medication only Medicare D plans, Medicare Health Plans with drug coverage, and Medicare Health Plans without drug coverage.
    1. If you aren’t sure, select all three options
    2. If you know which you want to compare, select just that option
  6. A list of all options will appear on the next page. They appear in order of cost with the lowest annual cost option appearing first after Original Medicare. You have the option to select different sort options.
  7. Select three plans that you want to directly compare.
    1. The three options will be displayed side by side.
    2. You can compare three at a time as many times as you want.
    3. All costs for the year include deductibles, co-pays, gap payments, and other fees will be displayed.
    4. Look at your total annual cost
    5. Look at the deductible which is money you will pay at the first part of the year
    6. Look at the projected money you will pay in the coverage gap

To look at your options with Medigap plans, you can go to this link. This one will let you compare types of Medigap plans and their costs.

NOTE – A friend, and expert in the field, clarified that Medicare Advantage plans can be purchased at any time. Her comment: “Medicare Supplement policies do not have an annual open enrollment, but changes can be made based on your health after your original open enrollment or a special enrollment period.”

If you have any questions about how to use these tools or how to compare your options, please contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

For Medicare plan decisions, comparisons are good. They are key to making the best decision.

In the rest of your life, comparisons can be hazardous. How often do you compare yourself to someone else? You might not even realize you’re doing it.

Do you ever have negative thoughts about yourself when you see something you admire in someone else?

Do you ever feel extra good about yourself when you can do something that someone else can’t do?

In what sneaky ways can ENVY enter your thoughts?

I’ve read a couple of really good blogs about this from pastors recently. I know I’m guilty of comparison without ever intending for it to happen. I fall into a thought process of envy or comparison then catch myself and feel so ashamed.

Apparently I’m not alone. There are many Bible verses about the problems with envy.

Galatians 5:26 ESV

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

1 Peter 2:1 ESV

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

Instructions in the Bible can be very clear. It is clear ENVY is to be avoided. And if it’s mentioned this many times, it must be common.

Titus 3:3 ESV

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

James 3:16 ESV

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

The antidote to envy is to lay it all before the Lord. God has a very special, very specific plan just for you. Your gifts, your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities, your looks, your dreams are very UNIQUELY yours.

It doesn’t matter how other people are blessed. There are other blessings that are all for you!

Proverbs 16:9 ESV

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

This could be the week to turn your eyes from what everyone else has. Instead, look at what God has in store just for you. Ask, He’d be happy to show you all the good things you have and what is still coming you way!!

Blessings,

Michelle

New Year’s Resolution, Take Only In-Date Medications

Old medicine bottles
Take in-date medications

The new year is upon us. I hope your 2015 has been full of happy memories and joyous occasions. Now, as we move on to 2016, I have a New Year’s challenge for you. I challenge you to take only in-date medications.

WHY In-Date Medications?

Sometimes we think expiration dates are just there to make us keep buying new medicine. But, in reality, there are TWO big reasons expiration dates are important. Extensive research is done when medications are created to determine for how long they are effective and safe. This date, when either changes, is the expiration date.

Past this date the medicine will not work as well. If you take a medicine to control your blood sugar that is expired, it might not lower your blood sugar as much. If you take an expired medicine for pain, your pain might not go away.

The other risk is a safety risk. Chemicals change over time. Have you ever opened an outdated bottle of aspirin? It smells like vinegar. That is because it changes into new chemicals over time, one of which is vinegar. Other medicines change into chemicals that can be extremely dangerous.

It is not worth the risk.

HOW

Go through ALL of the medications in your house, cars, purse, etc. Check the expiration date on each one. If it is expired, put it in your discard pile. (But don’t throw it in the trash just yet, there are two more steps).

Next remove all labels that contain information about you or your family. Shred or cut up the label. If you can’t get the label off, scratch out your name and prescription number at least. This is one of many forms of possible identity theft.

Now comes the tricky part. What do you do with all of these medications? There is not an easy answer. In order of ‘best options’, dispose of them in one of these ways:

  1. Take them to a ‘Medication Take-Back’ event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Or call the DEA’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539
  2. Talk with your local pharmacist to see if you pharmacy can dispose of medication. Or, your pharmacist should know who in your community does dispose of medication, if there is a source.
  3. Dump them out of their bottles and put with kitty litter, coffee grounds, or something else that you can’t eat. Then, seal the container and put it UNMARKED in a garbage bag and out with the garbage.
    1. DO NOT flush the medication or put it down the drain. This leads to it reaching the water supply. This used to be encouraged, and now many medicines/hormones/chemicals have been found in the water supply.
    2. Ultimately, putting them in the trash can lead to them being in the water supply as the trash breaks down and leaches into the ground.
    3. This is why an official ‘take-back’ event is the safest option.

REPLACE

As you are sorting out your expired medicines, keep a list of those you use so you can replace them. If it is a prescription medicine, your can see on the label if there are refills remaining. Note, for non-controlled medicines, there are usually available for up to a year. For controlled medicines, the time might be shorter. If you are beyond that time, and you still need the medicine, call your physician to inquire about another prescription.

As you are replacing medicine, over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, and supplements, know that generic versions are just as good as brand. I purchase generic for my family. They have been carefully tested and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to assure they contain the same key ingredients and work the same.

Here at the end of the year, if you have a health-savings account, check the rules to see if you can use that to replace your expired medicines.

This is an important step in your New-Year’s fresh start. It is important for your safety and the safety of your family.

Happy New Year!

For more information about expired medication and proper disposal, contact us at www.medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

We are entering a new year. It can be a time to think of fresh starts and hope for the future. It is a great time to reflect on how your life has been changed through your faith.

At the moment we give our life to Christ, we know that our old self is gone. We now live a NEW life in Christ.

Ephesians 4:22-24

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

What a refreshing reminder! Bask in the glow of your new life in Christ as you enter this new year.

I challenge you to take a challenge I FINALLY took in 2015. Read the Bible from cover to cover. I have read my Bible, participated in Bible studies, had several Bible-based lessons, but I had never actually read it start to finish. It has been so enlightening! So many things make more sense. And I hear from those who have done this several times, the insights are new and different each time.

I am praying you will be richly blessed in 2016,

Michelle

 

Image Source:  National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services