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What to Expect at a Medicare and Retirement Planning Seminar

What to Expect at a Medicare and Retirement Planning Seminar

Anyone new to Medicare will tell you the topic is overwhelming. Your 65th birthday marks your eligibility for Medicare, but the advertisements and mailers come long before that.

We often hear from clients in their 60s that their mailbox is overflowing – just from Medicare mailers.

Once you start reading up on the topic, you quickly realize there are different parts, different plans, choices to be made, penalties to avoid, deadlines to be privy to – it’s a lot.

The fastest way to make sense of Medicare is to get some education from an expert in the field. Scheduling an appointment often feels committal or intimidating, which is what makes an educational Medicare seminar so convenient.

They’re free, there’s absolutely no sales pressure, and you’re not alone. Michael Sams, licensed agent here at Sams/Hockaday & Associated, hosts free educational Medicare seminars for the central Illinois community (mainly Decatur and surrounding areas).

If you’ve been considering signing up for an upcoming event, here’s a look at what to expect in a Medicare 101 and retirement planning seminar.

Medicare & Retirement Planning Seminars

Learn how to plan for retirement while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sams Ranch. It's a wholesome place where you can watch the horses, learn about Medicare, and enjoy a one-hour educational seminar!

Get Tickets Now
Medicare & Retirement Planning Seminars

Arriving at the Venue

Many professionals hold seminars at conference centers, hotels, country clubs, or libraries.

However, Michael holds his COVID-friendly seminars at his family ranch – Sams Ranch.

“It’s very relaxing; they’re very COVID-conscientious with people – we all sat at a distance and people wore their masks,” says Cathe Kellogg, past attendee. “It’s almost like being in your own home when you go.”

Watch Cathe's review: Cathe Kellogg Shares Her Experience at a Sams Ranch Medicare Seminar

Sams Ranch features an arena, a pond, galloping horses, and these incredible Watusi cattle.  

Sandee Moyer, a past seminar attendee, says, "It was like a destination. It was going to the old TV show Dallas – I loved it!"

Watch Sandee's review: Why Decatur, IL Retirees Must Go to a Sams Ranch Medicare Seminar

However, not everyone is centrally located in Decatur and can make it to Sams Ranch for a seminar. We are working on offering seminars in surrounding areas, so be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to get updates!

And if you’d like us to come to your city, please comment your city in the comments section below!

The setting of the seminar is very relaxed – it’s casual and light, and Michael says he does everything he can to make it fun.

“It’s hard to make retirement planning exciting. But we do it in a fun way that’s entertaining, informative, and adds so much clarity to all of the options you’re faced with,” he says.

Most seminars will have some light snacks and refreshments, and Michael’s seminars are no exception. His wife, Jill, always has some cookies and desserts available to snack on while you get your Medicare education!

While a full meal might sound tempting, Michael says he’s made a point to avoid that. “When you get a free meal, there’s this lingering expectation that you have to buy something. There’s none of that here. This is a no-pressure seminar,” he says.

The Pressure to Buy Something

When you think about seminars, there’s often this concern that you’ll feel pressured to buy something. It’s uncomfortable!

Michael’s No. 1 priority when putting together these educational seminars was to eliminate any sense of sales pressure.

“It’s all educational. There’s no signup sheet, and you don’t write your information down anywhere. Nothing about the presentation is salesy whatsoever,” Michael says.

Michael says he feels the information about Medicare and retirement planning is so important, valuable, and beneficial that he simply wants the central Illinois community to have free access to it.

“If you take nothing else away from this, I want to convey that our seminars come with no expectation or pressure at all,” he says.

For those that want to utilize Michael for help later on, he makes business cards available at the door. But other than that, you come for the seminar, check out the horses and cattle, and leave with valuable information for Medicare and retirement planning!

What You Learn in a Medicare and Retirement Planning Seminar

You probably guessed by the title that Michael’s seminars are about Medicare and retirement planning. However, there are a lot of fine details in-between that he covers.

You can expect to learn all about:

  • The parts and the plans of Medicare
  • Penalties and deadlines
  • How much everything costs
  • Social Security
  • Managing retirement savings (such as 401ks and IRAs)

Most seminars use a PowerPoint to relay the main points, which Michael does. The presentation is broken up into easy-to-digest parts, and don’t worry – he doesn’t read the slides word for word.

He explains all of the complex language in simple terms that anyone can understand.

“Michael talks very clear and very concise. Michael’s more about what your questions are and what he can answer for you to make you thankful you came,” Cathe says. “There’s absolutely no pressure whatsoever.”

The setting is relaxed and interactive. “I want everyone to feel comfortable asking questions and getting as specific as they like,” Michael explains.

The seminar itself is one hour long, though Michael says attendees often like to hang around after to visit and ask more questions.

“Most of the time, folks attending are all around the same age – in their 60s and 70s – and it’s a great opportunity to chat and mingle!” he says.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Medicare Seminar

Michael says there’s no prep work you need to do before attending one of his Medicare and retirement planning seminars.

He’s going to teach you everything you need to know, and you’ll walk away with some action items and his business card if you ever decide you need one-on-one help in the future.

He does have a couple of tips, though:

  • Bring your spouse – it’s best to be on the same page!
  • Many age ranges can benefit from the seminar, including those already on Medicare, those who like to play far in advance, and children who want to help their parents with Medicare and retirement planning
  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions – no question is a stupid one!

If you aren’t in the central Illinois area and are interested in a seminar, here are a few red flags to be cautious of:

  • Free meals: a free meal can lead to a high-pressure sales presentation. Plus, depending on what topics are covered, it could be banned by the Centers of Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).
  • You have to pay to attend: you shouldn’t have to pay for an educational seminar about Medicare and retirement planning! Ask yourself what you are getting for the cost and evaluate if there’s something fishy going on.
  • The presenter represents a specific insurance carrier: you want unbiased advice about all plans and all carriers. If a seminar is hosted or presented by one particular insurance company, you may not be getting the complete picture. Rest assured, our entire organization is a brokerage, meaning we can sell any plan from any company we represent – that’s dozens of options.

Conclusion

A Medicare and retirement planning seminar is a great way to learn about Medicare and retirement in a no-pressure, relaxed environment.

If you live in the Decatur, Illinois area, consider attending a free seminar hosted by Michael Sams. Sams is a licensed insurance agent and 8-time Agent of the Year award-winner.

“I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from my career. When I can simplify the complexities of Medicare for someone and see a lightbulb go off – that’s what it’s all about,” he explains.

To sign up for an upcoming seminar, typically held on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 pm, visit the Tickets page.

And if you’d like us to come to your city, please comment your city in the comments section below!

Medicare & Retirement Planning Seminars

Learn how to plan for retirement while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sams Ranch. It's a wholesome place where you can watch the horses, learn about Medicare, and enjoy a one-hour educational seminar!

Get Tickets Now
Medicare & Retirement Planning Seminars

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