What can singles do to make a move to a new location easier? Part 3
“I can enjoy anywhere, and I can leave it. Life is about moving on.” Waris Dirie
“Oh, my aching back.” may be what you’re saying now that you’ve moved into your new home. When you were in your old location, you would’ve just made an appointment with your doctor, chiropractor or massage therapist. Now you’re in uncharted waters. That trusted medical professional is probably several hundred miles away and you need to find someone to take care of your immediate needs and refill those prescriptions that we Baby Boomers often need to maintain our health. You look at your insurance plan or Medicare to see who’s the preferred provider. If you have an HMO, you realize you should’ve found new insurance before you moved. If you’re lucky, your ex or current employee insurance will cover you. You may have to pay more, but it’s better than paying the full amount. If you’re on Medicare or Medicaid and you’re in a new state, you need to find out from the Social Security Office what to do. Besides that, you miss your old health care professionals. If you’re like me, it took you years just to find the ones perfect for you. The ones who know your emotional and physical history, have the best credentials, nicest office staff, shortest wait times and are willing to really listen to you.
Once you’ve figured out who your insurance will cover, you start the search. I hope you don’t have anything wrong with you that requires more attention than a walk-in clinic, because there’ll usually be a wait since you’re a new patient. You can ask people with whom you work and socialize, scour the internet looking at reviews and credentials, but it’s usually a crap shoot. Just calm down and know that it’ll take awhile to find the professional you need and like. Don’t forget to do the same for your pet. In two years I’ve been through two veterinarians. You’ll feel better if you find a vet who really cares about your pet’s health even if your baby still hates going to see them.
Getting your car and driver’s license changed to your new state is usually much easier. Before you even go down to the DMV, make sure you have insurance in your new state. Call them to see what you need and hopefully you packed it in a place where it’s readily accessible. Go early and stay away from Mondays. If you’re lucky, your new city will have more than one location or you’re moving to a small town. Take your glasses, if you need them. If you do all this it should be relatively painless. Remember to bring something to read and be polite. You do not want an angry clerk waiting on you.
You’ve made new friends all of your life, but it’s not as easy in an unfamiliar place. I look at it as networking. You want to find a nice group of like-minded people who’ll enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs. It means getting out there and joining groups that interest you, volunteering or going out with the group at work even if you’re dead tired after the work day. One of my readers said that adults shouldn’t need a primer on how to make friends, but if you’re alone it can be difficult. I’ve found that most current residents are paired up or have families. Just be open to all opportunities that come your way and consider inviting people you feel may have common interests out for coffee or lunch.
Acclimating yourself with your new area is key and can be very enjoyable. As a single, you’ll find that people are generally willing to help you find your way around. Being alone and fairly well dressed makes you less threatening than a group or even a couple. If you’re big and burly, you may want to seek help from a couple. No one worries about someone who looks like their grandmother like I do. If you venture out without a GPS, keep in mind that locals navigate by landmarks. I always find the physical address online or call the place I’m going. When I worked in sales, I always asked clients for directions. Even then, I spent a lot of time lost in business parks and downtown Minneapolis in the skyways. I know you don’t want to hear this, but even we experienced drivers get lost and veer into other lanes when we’re looking for street signs in a new place. Plan your route before you get on the road.
Don’t be afraid to try the food of your new area. If you thought you hated seafood, try it anyway. Remember, anything fried can’t be all bad. Since I’m not afraid to eat anything cooked or raw, I’ve enjoyed many new and delectable treats in several countries. I’ve drawn the line at insects so far, but you never know. I’m sure I’ve eaten a bug or two while riding on the back of a motorcycle or in my convertible. Being willing to try new foods opens up a whole array of local eateries that are often better than the chain restaurants.
Don’t forget to ask your new friends and coworkers about trustworthy mechanics and contractors. Anyone who doesn’t know much about cars or appears to be gullible, like me, needs someone they can trust or a person to call when they have a car or home repair problem. I used to take a man with me, but the men in my life haven’t always been handy or car savvy. Mechanics and contractors believe the fairer sex and the elderly can be bamboozled into having unnecessary repairs done.
If you run into to problems anywhere the AARP Fraud Watch Network http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/fraud-watch-network is free of charge for people of all ages. You can download a free e-book, Protecting Yourself Online for Dummies to learn how to shop and bank safely, create strong passwords, protect yourself from identity theft and scams and use social media risk-free. The Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org/ also has helpful ratings and a system to negotiate with businesses when you have a problem. I’ve used them successfully when I had a dispute. Good advice for any situation is-get a second opinion or estimate and “Caveat Emptor-Let the buyer beware.”
I’m taking next week off to attend my mother’s 90th birthday. I know it’ll be great to see my family and the fall colors in Minnesota. During the next two weeks, please consider and comment on this question here or on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life.
What are your opinions of and/or experiences with elective cosmetic surgery?
I hope you have a wonderful week.