Women's Retirement Radio

Bob Fitzgerald, Georgia Medicare Expert - Open Enrollment and Other Medicare Considerations - Episode 35

October 11, 2021 Russ Thornton Season 2 Episode 19
Women's Retirement Radio
Bob Fitzgerald, Georgia Medicare Expert - Open Enrollment and Other Medicare Considerations - Episode 35
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I'm joined by Bob Fitzgerald.

Bob is an independent insurance agent specializing in Medicare Solutions in Georgia and the Southeast.

He works with the top insurance companies to offer clients the best coverage for their situation. 

He design plans with a focus on risk management, low costs, and tax-efficiency, which he combines with personalized financial advice aimed at helping clients make better informed decisions..

For more on Bob and his Medicare work, please check out these resources:

You can also reach out to Bob directly at 678.402.1515.

Get in touch and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

And thank you for listening.

Visit my website to learn more.

Disclosures

Russ Thornton:
Hey everyone, it's Russ. And, welcome to another episode of Women's Retirement Radio. Today, I am excited to introduce you to a longtime friend and colleague Robert Fitzgerald. I know him as Bob, but has his own insurance agency, the Robert Fitzgerald Insurance Agency, and over the years, which I'll let Bob share with you in a moment, he has developed a deep expertise as well as a focus on Medicare. And I know that's a topic near and dear to many of your hearts, especially as you approach Medicare eligible age. So, Bob, really excited to have you on the podcast today. And thanks for joining me.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Thanks, Russ.

 Russ Thornton:
Why don't we start. You know, Bob, you and I have the benefit of having got to know each other for, gosh, I don't know, 10 years now, maybe more.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Probably more.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Why don't you start, though, and tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and the work that you do.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Okay. Thanks, Russ. Well, I got into this business, into the insurance business in about 2002, 2003. I actually come from a technology background, where I was helping companies sell technology and self services. And, I think in 2002, 2003, we ran into a hiccup of the economy changed, and I was out of a job. And, I had gotten, I guess, laid off two or three times. And, I got frustrated with that and I decided the next time I was going to pick a job that's going to be because of my business plan. And so, I jumped into the insurance world, and I did okay for a while. I was doing individual and group and helping clients. So, that was great, but in about 2006, 2007, I had these people asking me about Medicare. And, I realized there wasn't enough resources out in the marketplace to support those people or enough knowledge. And so, I started understanding it and I started dealing with it.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, in 2008, my wife had to go onto Medicare because the disability, she had an illness, and then it became personal because she was well under 65 at the time; she was in early fifties, and all of a sudden she had to go into Medicare. So, it gave me the real experience of... Sorry, Russ.

Bob Fitzgerald:
It really gave me the real experience of how complicated and how frustrated Medicare can be. And so, that's where I started. Today, I focus entirely on Medicare. I actually help train other agents to do it. I've got folks that work under me, well, they don't work under me; they're agencies that wanted to get into Medicare business, and I actually help train their employees or train them to go out and help people that are turning 65 or becoming Medicare eligible.

 Russ Thornton:
Got it. Yeah. And, I want to back up to something that you mentioned that I'm not sure that you and I've ever discussed. But, I know you've got the long kind of history or background in technology sales, and then, I know you decided to kind of change direction, as you mentioned, several years ago. Any particular reason why you decided to kind of go into insurance versus, maybe, other options?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, actually it was low cost of entry, and I've always been a salesperson, and it was an interesting business to me because at that time I went in, I was just shocked coming out of the technology world where, at that time in 2000, 2003, you could actually go online and figure out where you shopped yesterday, where you ate and all kinds of things that were just out in the world about you. But, one of the shocking things to me is you can show up on a gurney inside of a hospital, and if you're unconscious, they wouldn't know if you're a diabetic or not. And, that was just shocking to me that that was happening at that time.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. I always just find it fascinating to kind of understand the decisions that lead people to where they are today. So, I appreciate you sharing that. And then, to add on to kind of what you were explaining about how you kind of started to get questions about Medicare, and then, your wife needing to go onto Medicare early, due to a disability or an illness. And then, you've begun working with more and more other insurance agents and agencies. Clearly, you've got a ton of experience as well as expertise in Medicare, but you also, if I recall, you also are involved at the state level. I know you've told me before that you've done things here in the state of Georgia with the legislature, and you've gone to DC more than a couple of times, representing Georgia around meetings, conferences, discussions that pertain to Medicare and things of that nature. Could you just speak to that briefly?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, yeah. I've actually been involved in a couple of different things. I was actually on the National Association of Health Underwriters Medicare Advisory Board, and I just came off of that. My plate's gotten a little bit full, so I decided to take a year off. I'll probably be back on it again next year. But, I've actually testified in front of the Department of Justice when they had a lawsuit against Humana and Aetna for trying to merge. And, obviously, they didn't merge. I can tell you that I was on the side of them not merging, so I felt like that was a win for me. And, I got a lot of credit for my testimony there, so that was kind of exciting. And, I've also served on Governor Deal; one of his committees that we were, at the time, looking at adding other things to health care at the time.

Bob Fitzgerald:
And, I believe at that time, it was autism and food and some other things, and so, I was brought in on a committee, and that was pretty neat. So yeah, I've been pretty active. And as you said, I go up every year to Washington DC and I try to lobby on behalf of my clients on the things that need to change in Medicare to make it easier and certainly making it better for the clients that I have. And, obviously, everybody coming forward enrolling into Medicare in the future.

 Russ Thornton:
Well, and speaking of that, why could you give us just a little glimpse of what's your wishlist? What are one or two things that if you could snap your fingers, clearly you can't, but if you could snap your fingers to improve Medicare in a meaningful way, what are one or two things you'd love to see happen?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, you know, Russ, I run into this a lot where instead of going on Medicare people decide, "Well, I'm going to go on COBRA." And they don't realize that COBRA is not group coverage, it's individual coverage. And, if you're eligible for Medicare, that company that's administering the COBRA and paying the bills for your health insurance, doesn't have to pay any bills that A and B would pay for. And, that's a real hole. And then, you'll also have a problem if you're on COBRA for more than eight months after you're on Medicare, that you might not be able to enroll in Medicare for up to 18 months after that. So, that's something that people make a real honest mistake because they didn't know that COBRA was individual coverage. That's one of the things that we're trying to fix.

Bob Fitzgerald:
There's other things like in Medicare enrollment, where the way Medicare enrollment works, you have up to three months before and up to three months after to enroll in Medicare A and B; well, if you all of a sudden, lose your job in that second month after your enrollment, and you try to go enroll, you may not have the option of enrolling to up to three months from then. And that means you and your family could be without insurance for up to three months. So, there's little things like that make it very unfortunate for clients that really has no place even being their number one, because it does it from a financial sense; it doesn't make any sense on either side to be having those things in place. But, it really becomes problematic for the client making decisions, and really, they're trying to do the right things and keep their health care and they want it to be continuous, and then, they find out they're going to have a break, so it becomes very frustrating.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah, I can only imagine. As I've shared with you before, I probably know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to the world of Medicare, which is why I'm happy to introduce my clients and other contacts to you. And I've done that multiple times over the last few years-

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yes, you have. Thank you.

 Russ Thornton:
-Yeah. When they're approaching Medicare eligibility or when they want to review their coverage or things like that. And, we could probably spend hours just talking about all the ins and outs of Medicare and the different letters and what they cover and what they don't. But, maybe we could focus on, from your perspective, Bob, what's the biggest challenge that you help people address or solve when it comes to Medicare coverage?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, really understanding what decisions they have to make when they're eligible for Medicare. That's really the biggest challenge because clients usually walk in not knowing that they do have decisions to make; doing nothing can be a terrible decision; it could be a good decision, but you really have to have somebody help you with what decisions you have to make and the impact of those decisions, because there could be financial penalties, there could be breaks in coverage. So, that's really the biggest problem that I saw.

 Russ Thornton:
And, I know you spoke earlier about maybe a couple of things you'd love to see improve or change around COBRA and the timing of enrollment and things like that, where people could unintentionally find themselves in a challenging spot. What are, maybe similar to that, but maybe a little bit different, what are common misconceptions or what are things that you often find yourself explaining to folks about Medicare that maybe they just didn't understand completely or had a misunderstanding about?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, the costs, number one; people don't realize all the costs that are involved in Medicare. So, that's probably people find out, especially if you're a higher income earner, you are going to pay a higher part B premium than everybody else. And so, that's obviously one of the big surprises. But, I'd say the other thing is that people realize they're getting better insurance; they have better options and lower costs when they use the services.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, it really is to their benefit in a lot of cases that they ought to be going to Medicare.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And, clearly, you've got a ton of experience and know Medicare inside and out, but since Medicare is essentially a federal program, what is your role in the Medicare decision making an education process for clients? What do you actually help them put in place that maybe they wouldn't feel comfortable trying to tackle on their own?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, I am an independent agency, and really, I make my money helping that person buy an insurance product. And, I am not tied to any one carrier. I'm an independent, and I'm appointed with most of the carriers in the marketplace. And that's how I get paid, is I provide a solution to my clients using insurance product. My services to the client actually don't cost any money, which is a nice thing. But, I've got a real simple business plan; If I do good things for my client, they say nice things to her friends, and they send them to me. And, I have an all referral business right now. I do not do any marketing at all. And, it's just, I've been very worthwhile from my standpoint that I get to help the amount of people that I do, and the clients that come to me just by referral.

 Russ Thornton:
And, is your involvement typically introducing them to their options for a Medicare advantage plan or something along those lines or helping educate them about the different Medicare letters and Medigap policies or?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Everything.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yeah. So, my initial presentation to my clients is a Medicare 101 presentation, Russ. I want them to understand the ins and outs a little bit about Medicare. And, a lot of stuff's baked in, but it gets to the section where they have decisions to make, so they start understanding what decisions they have to make. And then, you mentioned Medicare advantage; well, they might want to go to a Medicare advantage plan; they want like want to stay on original Medicare with a supplement plan, a drug plan, and I help them through all that.

 Russ Thornton:
Got it. That's helpful. I want to be very clear about the role you play and how you help people. And, to your earlier point, when I've introduced folks to you, I've always, always gotten wonderful feedback about how helpful you were and things like that. So, I can speak to your comments about running a referral based business, especially when you take good care of your clients. Who's a perfect client for you, Bob? Is it like the months leading up to age 65, at which point they become eligible? Is it someone that's already on Medicare that maybe just needs to review their prescriptions and make sure they've got the right coverage for the right cost? Or, who do you feel you are best equipped to serve in the Medicare space?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, that's a more complicated question, Russ, that I'm sure you're aware of because Medicare has all different kinds of enrollment periods and when you can enroll, and then, the different products have different enrollment periods. You just mentioned prescription drug plans; well, we've got annual enrollment coming up and that's when clients need to review their prescription drugs and make sure that they're on the right plan for the coming year. And, same thing with the Medicare Advantage plans; between October 15th and December 7th, a client can make changes at that time to their plans and for January one. So, that's obviously, a very busy time for me, but throughout the rest of the year, you've got people turning 65; you've got people that, all of a sudden, they're leaving work and they're over 65 and they're coming off their employment plan.

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, that's a very big group for me because I work with some corporation where I go in with their HR department and I do a presentation on whether it makes sense for them to go on Medicare now or stay on the group plan. And then, you've got people that move into Georgia or move out of Georgia into another state where they have another enrollment period. So, I'm pretty busy throughout the year, and it really has to do with a lot of these enrollment periods. Most people are familiar, obviously, with the annual enrollment period, but they don't realize there's a bunch of other ones too.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Yeah. And is it correct, and I may be showing my ignorance here, but is it correct that if someone's working full-time and let's say they're on a group plan through their employer and they turn 65, my understanding and maybe I'm wrong, they still need to enroll in Medicare even if they're not going to use it, even if they're going to stay on their group plan; is that accurate?

Bob Fitzgerald:
It all depends. And then, I'm going to get a little bit deep into the weeds here. So number one, if you're on a group plan of over 20 employees, then yes, you can stay on that group plan and delay your part B enrollment without penalty, if you do it the right way. But, in a lot of cases, it does make sense to enroll in A; there's no penalty, you don't pay for it, so there's not a reason why you wouldn't. But, if you're on a high deductible plan with an HSA, you don't want to enroll an A or B because you lose that ability to get the tax deferral on those contributions into the HSA account.

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, you have to be a little bit careful there. And then, on top of that, I usually have a conversation with the client about, "I need to know if that drug plan that you're on, if it's an HSA type, a high deductible plan, whether it's credible coverage or not." And, if it is a credible coverage, you can to do that and you're fine. But, if you don't go on A and B and the drug plan, isn't a credible coverage, you might be subject to a penalty. And so, sometimes taking a penalty is worth the contribution going into the HSA account. So, we try to have that conversation also. So, everything gets a little bit tricky.

 Russ Thornton:
So the answer is, it depends.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yes, it certainly depends.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And, now that you say that, I'm actually reminded of a client situation I think you and I discussed a few months ago, where she was kind of faced with that decision where it was, does she stay on... it was actually a woman that was, I guess, divorced and was going to be covered by her ex-husband's COBRA coverage, and we were talking about whether or not she should stay on that or go to Medicare. And, I think you raised some of those issues as well.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yeah.

 Russ Thornton:
So, there's a lot of, there's a lot of factors that go into the decision-making process clearly.

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, the other challenge you have there with a group plan, that individual coming off the group plan could affect the rest of the family's insurance also. So, we try to have that conversation because, all of a sudden, if the employee is not on the group plan, well, the spouse and the kids are no longer eligible for the group plan. And then, they may have options to go on COBRA or go to an individual plan. So, there's a lot of things tied together here.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Wow. Yeah, a lot of moving parts.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yes.

 Russ Thornton:
So, Bob, you said you've been squarely focused on Medicare since... how many years has that been now?

Bob Fitzgerald:
I'm going to say a solid 13 years. It might be a longer.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. So over that time, you've clearly worked with hundreds and hundreds of different clients, maybe thousands by this point.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Thousands.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don't want to unintentionally diminish the great work you're doing. What's a favorite client success story that comes to mind for you of all the folks you've worked with over the years?

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, this has happened to me twice, where I've been brought a client that was on kidney dialysis coming off of the group plan. And, up until last year, that individual really didn't have any options when they're under 65; it's kind of a scary situation because I had to really dive into it. And, what I found is a rule that stated that if that carrier who had the group plan and that person was coming off the group plan, that carrier actually had to give them guaranteed issue if they offered a Medicare Advantage plan. And, I ran into that situation twice, and I was just so happy for these clients because they didn't really have any other option. And so, I actually had to call the carrier and say, "Look, you've got to take this on. I know it's a very expensive client, due to the kidney dialysis and all the other problems, but here's the rule."

Bob Fitzgerald:
And so, initially in both cases, the application was declined and I had to go up to the higher ups and point out the rule. And, it took me both times about a week or two, but they ended up taking both people. They're still very good clients of mine; they call me. They just couldn't have been more thankful for the work I did for them. So, that was pretty big because those people were really struggling; they didn't have a lot of options, and I was able to really make their lives and their family lives a lot better.

 Russ Thornton:
Wow. I mean, holy cow. Yeah. I mean, that's tremendous. And, clearly, that's where your knowledge of all the ins and outs and what different parties obligations were and things like that. I mean, literally could have added years to those people's lives.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yes.

 Russ Thornton:
Who otherwise would've been left to their own devices in a serious health situation. So, that's fantastic. Wow.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, a serious financial situation too.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, clearly. Yeah, I'm floored. Thanks for sharing that, Bob.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yeah.

 Russ Thornton:
I want to talk a little bit more about kind of retirement and get your perspectives on retirement. But, before we kind of transition to that, anything else that you want to mention or address around your work in Medicare or anything I didn't ask you that maybe I should have?

Bob Fitzgerald:
No. The important thing I'd say for the folks that are going to be listening to this podcast is, get help; Man, ask the questions; find the right resources so you're making the right decisions because, unfortunately, in my marketplace, there's a lot of Joe Namaths out there; I'm sure you've seen them on the TV. It's not as easy as that.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. I think we talked about that one time, one of those commercials that was on TV, and I think it might've been the Joe Namath one; it was actually a Medicaid plan, if I'm not mistaken, that he was-

Bob Fitzgerald:
That is correct.

 Russ Thornton:
-describing instead of Medicare, which is worlds different than Medicare coverage.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, the plans he was talking might not be available in Georgia.

 Russ Thornton:
Interesting.

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, no. And then, the words and the things that he's using is actually out of compliance with Medicare, so I'm not sure how he's even able to do some of the things he does in those commercials.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, I couldn't agree more. Clearly, in the work I do, I'm a proponent of people reaching out and seeking some help and some guidance and some expertise when the situation calls for it. So we'll, certainly as we wrap up, let people know how they can get ahold of you and we'll share all your contact information in the show notes for this episode as well.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Right. And, I got to tell you, you and I have both been down a path where you've kind of showed me where some bad guys in your industry are, so that's been very helpful for me to be aware, and I want to thank you for that because [crosstalk 00:25:48] which tell me there are bad guys in every industry.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah, that's true. And you know, at the end of the day, people don't know what they don't know.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Right.

 Russ Thornton:
I can say the same of myself. And so, I think it's certainly worth, as you said, asking the questions and seeking some input from someone that knows what's what, especially when it comes to something as complex as Medicare.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yes.

 Russ Thornton:
So, couldn't agree more. So, Bob, this is the Women's Retirement Radio Podcast; everything we do and talk about comes back to this idea of women as they prepare for and transition into retirement. So, I'm curious, when you think about the word retirement, what comes to mind for you personally?

Bob Fitzgerald:
It's just a date. I try to counsel my clients, if you're retiring from job or an activity you've been doing all your life and you plan on not doing that anymore, well, the transition can be challenging because I think to live a healthy life, you still have to stay social; you still have to stay active; and you have to eat well and you have to exercise. So, whatever you do in that transition, you want to make sure those things are involved because they're important to leading a healthy retirement and a healthy life. Myself, I've got my fifth grandchild last week.

 Russ Thornton:
Oh, congratulations.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Thank you. So, it's becoming more important for me to, as I get older, that I want to watch these kids grow up. That's probably the most important thing on my mind right now is that I get to be a part of their lives for as long as I can. So, that becomes real important on my behalf to stay healthy and be active so I can be a part of and contribute to know your lives.

 Russ Thornton:
Well, I think that's a wonderful perspective, and I'm going to take it a step further and maybe put you on the spot a little bit. But, talk about retirement as it relates to you personally. Do you imagine a time where you just wind down the business or sell it and you you're just not working or do you think you would maybe dial back and get some help or just kind of work at a little easier pace at some point? When you think about retirement for yourself personally, what does that look like for you?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Right now, I have a financial plan that says I'm going to stop at 70, but that's all it is, is the financial piece of it. I suspect I will continue after 70, but it won't be at the pace I'm at today.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Bob Fitzgerald:
And, how that looks like I'm not sure, but, I love what I do. I love working with the clients I work with. I get the opportunity to work with chairman of the boards of companies, people high in a religious environment, just different people of all kinds, and they're all interesting, and I just love that part of it. So, I will probably continue after 70, but it probably won't be at the pace on that right now.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And so, what I'm hearing is, your financial plan is, while there's a retirement date, it sounds like it's really more around the idea of financial independence after which you may continue to work for a period of time or not; I guess you'll have that option at that stage.

Bob Fitzgerald:
That's correct.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Yeah. That idea of independence or work optional comes up a lot when I ask people that retirement question, so thanks for your willingness to share that. And, I forgot to mention this earlier, but for all those out there listening, who happen to be tennis players in the Atlanta area, I'm sure everyone's familiar with the ALTA organization, and Bob is a past president not too long ago, as I recall.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, I was actually chairman of the board last year.

 Russ Thornton:
Okay. Yeah. So yeah, you were the big cheese when it came to ALTA. So, I don't know how between that and your commitments around your work and not just for your clients, but with some of the associations and the legislative bodies that you're involved with, I don't know how you find the time to do it, but I'm glad you do.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, my wife explains that I have this sick passion of giving back to the places that have given to me.

 Russ Thornton:
Well, there are certainly worse vices that you could be dealing with, Bob.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yep. I agree. I agree. And, I've enjoyed it too.

 Russ Thornton:
Good. Good. From your perspective, both as it relates to Medicare, but then more broadly, what do you think is the biggest challenge women face specifically when they're planning for retirement?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Oh, wow. You know, women are more in tune with the health care that's out in the market than men are. And so, they understand a little bit more about how the health plans work. They are using, I think under 65 certainly, the healthcare system more than men are. So, they're more detailed in their questions about, are my doctors in network? Do we cover this? Do we do this? So those kinds of things, I see from women, but they also, want to make sure they understand their coverage and they will also want to make sure they have the best coverage if they can get. I see women a lot more in-tune with the options and understanding what decisions that they really have to make.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. That's interesting. And, with that in mind, how does your work directly impact those women and their families as they're planning for or transitioning into retirement? I think we've covered a lot of this, but how would you say that, given maybe women's tendencies to be a little bit more engaged and involved in their healthcare options and choices and things like that, how does that tie into your work and how does that ultimately influence or impact their retirement planning?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, again, it gets back to them having the confidence that they understood the decisions they had to make and they understood the ramifications of the decisions that they're making. And at the end of the day, they understood all the options; they understood what was good, what was bad, and they were able to make a decision. And at the end of the day, they are going to be able to sleep better at night knowing that they made the right decisions at the right time and the right place.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And, I'm glad you mentioned that. I think as cliched as sleeping better at night and this idea of peace of mind is, I think there's really tremendous value in being able to help deliver that to people and from my perspective, women especially. So I couldn't agree more. Yeah. And, again, I'm just so happy that I know you and that I've got you as a great resource to point clients and other contacts to when they have questions about Medicare, whether that's their own coverage or whether they're dealing with an aging parent or whatever the situation may be. So, I'm really, really happy to have you as kind of my go-to local resource when it comes to all things Medicare.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, thanks, Russ. We've had a very good relationship, and we've actually become very good friends over time, I think because of the knowledge that we both bring to the party.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah, we have. And, yeah, despite your financial plan, no way I'm going to let you retire at 70 because I'm going to keep you in the game as long as I can. So, maybe you answered this a moment ago when you mentioned your fifth grandchild just coming into the world here recently, but you're a busy guy; you've got a growing business; you're about to get even busier when open enrollment starts here in a few weeks, in the middle of October, but when you've got an hour or two to yourself, Bob, how do you most enjoy spending your time?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, I like to walk and while I'm walking, I've got a set of Air Pods that I put in my ears and I get to listen to biographies of past presidents; and, I can tell you them up to Lincoln and that's like a 45 hour book. So, that's probably one of the things if I have a free hour, that's what I like to do.

 Russ Thornton:
Just on average, out of curiosity, how much do you walk in an average day?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, I walk at least three times a week. I live in Woodstock and we've got this trail that goes about four miles, so I usually do that; and, fortunately, on two of the mornings, I walk with three or four other men, two guys that I know really well, a coupler in the neighborhood. And so, we get to discuss the world issues and sports and everything else; so, I enjoy that also; so, I usually do that on Tuesdays and Thursdays about seven o'clock in the morning; so, that's a lot of fun too.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Wow. Well, that's interesting that you're working through the presidential biographies. Arguably, that can be a lifelong pursuit as many as you've still got ahead of you, but I think that's certainly an interesting way to spend your time when you're out in nature stretching your legs. So, I think that's pretty cool.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Well, I will give you one nugget; politics hasn't changed from day one.

 Russ Thornton:
I think that's come up in our lunch conversations more than once too.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Yeah.

 Russ Thornton:
But, interesting how things change and also stay the same.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Oh, yeah. It's been a dirty business since day one.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. So, Bob, we've covered a lot. You and I could probably talk for another couple of hours without even checking the clock. But, as we wrap up, if there were one thing that our listeners can take away from our conversation today, what would you want that one thing to be?

Bob Fitzgerald:
Ask the questions. If you really don't know, and you're not getting the right advice, find it because it's really important that you make the right decisions at the right time

 Russ Thornton:
Well said. And what a great place to wrap things up. And, and clearly anyone listening to this is welcome to reach out to me directly, and I'm happy to put you in touch with Bob. But, if you've got questions or you want to review your coverage, or you just want to learn a little bit more and be a little bit more educated, feel welcome to reach out to Bob directly. Bob, what's the best way for people to reach out to learn more to get in touch with you?

Bob Fitzgerald:
So, my office number is 678-402-1515. And, that's probably the best way, and in your call, if you could leave me your email address, because I'm starting to use a tool that Russ is using now called Calendly. And, what I'll try to do is email you my schedule so we can set up a time to talk.

 Russ Thornton:
Awesome. And like I mentioned earlier, we'll include links to Bob's website and his phone number in the show notes among other things, so we'll make it easy for you to reach out and learn more about Bob and more specifically, learn more about Medicare if that's something that's of interest to you. Bob, this has been great. I've been looking forward to having this conversation for a while, so I'm glad we were able to finally get it done, and maybe we'll have to have you back and have a part two at some point.

Bob Fitzgerald:
We have to get back on our lunch circuit too.

 Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Yeah, no kidding. Now that, hopefully, COVID is a thing of the past. Yeah, we're overdue to get a lunch here on the calendar again here, so we'll definitely have to do that. But Bob, thank you again for all you do, but for certainly, joining me today to share a little bit about who you are and the work you're doing with our listeners. This has been fun.

Bob Fitzgerald:
Thank you, Russ. You've been a great resource, and I'm sure you're a great resource for your clients.

 Russ Thornton:
And everyone out there, thanks again for joining us. Again, this is Russ Thornton with Women's Retirement Radio, and we look forward to catching up with you on our next episode.