Surviving Spouse Corner - June 2018

Sometimes the experiences of others can be of great help especially when it comes to 
people that are going through very dire circumstances. And thank God for those who are willing
to share their incidents.
 
A few weeks ago, Colonel Lenore Enzel, a board member of our association, sent me a text concerning the situation of the Social Security benefits of her deceased husband.
 
This is what she related to me:
 
“This has been quite the learning opportunity. I lost out on about $8500 because I didn't know better and nobody advised me.
 
1. You need to APPLY for the $255 death benefit that everybody gets paid. You have 2 years to do it. I lost out on that.
 
2.  If you have met the age to get full benefits (in my case age 66), you can get your spouse's full Social Security benefit. If you miss the window, they will only retro it for 6 months. Luckily ( I suppose ), I am only missing out on 5 months of benefits ( at $1700/month ).
 
3. You can get all the info at: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/onyourown.html
 
She said that this should be mentioned by financial planners.
 
That this is a difficult time for family members and that if she didn't know, she is sure many do not know.
 
Dear Members, as we know there are a lot of widows and widowers that their spouses either one or the other take care of the finances and when one of them passes away, it makes it extremely difficult to cope withwhat is happening. It is so important that we get informed of the things that have to be done so that we don't miss out on the benefits that have been so hard earned.
 
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Below is an article taken from the May 2018 Council and Chapter News section of the MOAA website.
 
SURVIVING SPOUSE CORNER: THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
 
Giving your time to help others not only positively affects the recipient and your community but also you. 
By Patricia Farnsworth, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member

Volunteering can have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or organization that is served. There are many ways you can realize these positive results. It begins with having a little free time and then finding a volunteer site that deals with causes or issues about which you care. If your own knowledge or skills can benefit an organization or activity in which you have an interest, volunteering might be a perfect way to use your spare time. 
 
The benefits of volunteering can be enormous for the volunteer and their family and community. Research has determined using your time in the right situation can reduce stress, help you make new friends, and provide opportunities to learn new skills. Research also indicates a strong correlation between volunteering and health. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression as they grow older than those who do not volunteer. 
 
Being a volunteer can help you feel more connected to a community — providing opportunities to meet new people and make new friends and make your community a better place. Even helping with the smallest tasks can make a real difference in the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. Using your free time to help in a hospital benefits you as the volunteer, the patients and their families, and the hospital staff. 

​Additionally, volunteering helps you stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy and maintain self-esteem. It can lead to graceful aging and add fun to your years. 
 
Research also indicates “volunteers who devote a considerable amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.” One key for deriving health benefits from volunteering is to do it for the right reasons. 
 
A 2012 study in the journal Health Psychology found that participants who volunteered with some regularity lived longer but only if their intentions were truly altruistic. They had to be volunteering to help others — not to make themselves feel better. 
 
Volunteering with friends or family can be a great way to get to know people better and can help keep you excited about donating your time. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to demonstrate to your children how satisfying it can be to do something for others.
 
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Want more information reference surviving spouses; see the MOAA Spouse Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/moaaspouse