Time to get together
While winter is not yet over now is the time we begin to think about spring and getting out to meet old friends and find out what has been happening since the last time we got together. One place where this can take place is at the next Retiree Reception hosted by President Szathmáry .
The afternoon will get under way at 1:30 p.m. with a presentation by Susanne Oliver, retired botanist, on the topic "Caring for Your Houseplants". Susanne ran the botany greenhouses until her retirement in 1992. She now has her own plant consulting company. She has also been a frequent guest on CBC Radio providing advice on indoor plants. If you are planning to attend, please bring your plant questions for Susanne as she will be taking questions after her presentation.
Following the presentation the President will bring us up to date as to what is happening at the University There will be time for refreshments and to mingle and visit following these remarks.
So mark your calendar, Saturday, April 10, 1:30 p.m., Retirees’ Reception in the Common Room, St. John's College.
Please RSVP by April 5th to 474-8346 or e-mail to Julie_Mikuska@umanitoba.ca so we will know how much food to provide.
Have you taken advantage of being a retiree of the University?
While many retirees now have their own Retiree Identification Card others have not taken advantage of this opportunity. Perhaps they feel it isn’t worth the effort. However, it can come in very handy when you are on campus, particularly if you want to use the facilities at the Frank Kennedy or Brodie Centres or one of the libraries. You can use
these facilities at no cost while others have to pay a user fee. And it is useful when establishing a computer account to gain access to the Internet and the e-mail services of the University. University credit courses also are available to you at no cost.
Cards are available to those who qualify for retired staff health and dental benefits, their spouses and survivors of retirees. As the ID Card contains your photo, you need to obtain it at the ID Centre located in Room 400 (Student Records Office) in University Centre. The ID Centre is open 8:30 to 4:30, Monday to Friday. If you want more information, call 474-9428.
Another outstanding response to the United Way
Once again you have demonstrated you care about your fellow citizens in Winnipeg who are less fortunate by responding generously to the 1998 United Way Campaign. Contributions set a new high at $50,073. The average gift was $214, up from $202 for 1997. Your support made up 17.1% of the total contributions raised by the people at the University and enabled it to achieve its goal. Thanks go to the volunteers who participated in the phone call phase of the campaign and to Bob Hedlin and John Mundie who served on the University Campaign Committee.
Sources of Information and Support
Often we are looking for sources of information and support which will make our retirement more interesting and fulfilling. With this in mind, we have gathered a list of some of the agencies in the Winnipeg area, which provide services to retirees. For those retirees living in other communities, similar agencies exist. A good place to start is with the provincial government department similar to the Manitoba Seniors Directorate.
Manitoba Seniors’ Guide 1998-99
This comprehensive 64-page booklet is available from the Manitoba Council on Aging. It is an annual publication, with a new edition coming out around September 1st. It covers pretty well all of the agencies and services available for seniors in Manitoba. It breaks them down by major categories so it is easy to find any particular service that is of interest to you. The Guide is free and can be obtained by contacting the Council at 945-6565.
Age and Opportunity
Age and Opportunity operates six senior centres in Winnipeg. It provides a variety of services and activities, including education, recreation, personal counseling, resources for care givers, retirement planning, legal assistance, volunteer friendly visiting, elder abuse resource centre and older victim services. The main office is at 283 Portage Avenue. The phone number is 956-6440.
Centre on Aging
The Centre on Aging is located on the Fort Garry Campus. Each year it publishes a newsletter with articles of interest to retirees. It also holds a Spring Symposium where research findings are discussed. This year the Symposium is on Monday, May 10th at the Drake Centre. Call the Centre at 474-8754 for a registration form or to have your name put on its mailing list.
Creative Retirement offers an extensive program covering a wide variety of activities, such as fitness and health, languages, leisure time activities, music, art, literature, personal development, computers, and special events. While many of the classes are in full swing at the writing of this newsletter, some of the shorter courses and sessions are still open. Creative Retirement is located at 811-294 Portage Avenue. The phone number is 949-2565. You can also reach it through its Web site at http://www.crm.mb.ca/scip. Give them a call about what is available. The cost of joining the association is $15 per person or $25 per couple per annum. This entitles you to a reduced fee for most courses and free admission to special programs.
Manitoba Society of Seniors Inc. (MSOS)
This non-profit provincial organization was created for and operated by persons who are 55 years of age or older. Its primary role is to serve as an advocate for seniors. It also provides a wide range of programs and services, such as, income tax preparation, financial counseling, travel services, and referral to legal services. It can be contacted at 942-3147. It is located at 1700 – 330 Portage Avenue.
Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)
While there is not a local chapter of CARP in Winnipeg, many retirees have joined this association because of the various benefits they receive as members and its bimonthly publication, CARP News. A one-year membership plus the News is $15.95. Membership without the News is $8.00. For more information you can contact the CARP representative in Winnipeg who is Alf Chorney, 62 Malden Close, Winnipeg. His phone number is 632-7793.
A branch in British Columbia
Many retirees have moved out to the West Coast with the majority located in and around Vancouver and Victoria. We have received a request to establish a branch in either or both of these locations. In order to do so, we need to have some one living in the area willing to bring interested people together to determine what may be possible. If you are such a person, please get in touch with Julie Mikuska or John Mundie. Julie can be reached by e-mail at Julie_Mikuska@umanitoba.ca and John at Mundie@ms.umanitoba.ca. If you do not have a computer, write to Julie at University Relations Division, 106 Administration Building, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2.
Many of us rent a car when we go on vacation. When we rent we have to consider car insurance, what type and where to buy it. One alternative to buying a collision damage waiver from the firm where you rent the car is the insurance coverage available from Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). Your Autopac premium does provide basic coverage for any car you rent in Canada or the United States. However, the third party liability portion of such insurance may not be adequate. You should talk with your insurance broker about extending your coverage when you rent a car. Also find out about the Vacationer/Driver Policy available from MPI. If you have a gold credit card, which includes car insurance for car rentals, look into what it actually covers. It may be only for collision damage. The same applies to the damage waiver you purchase from the car rental firm. It is important to know what you are actually getting in the way of coverage when renting a car.
Tax Receipts and Income Tax
Very often we do not keep our receipts for prescription drugs, glasses and other medical services on the belief that the total amount spent in any one year will not be sufficient to make us eligible for a tax benefit on our income tax. Well, you might be surprised just how much you have spent on health related matters in any given tax period. In addition, you can never tell when you may have to spend considerably more that you do at present. So it pays to hold onto your receipts for the duration of the period in which they can be used for tax purposes.
For some time now we have talked about forming various interest groups based on the responses we received from retirees to a questionnaire mailed out two years ago. The major problem has been getting people who are willing to organize a group. Often the response has been, “I would like to belong but I don’t want to head it up.” Maybe if you were willing to host a gathering of those with a common interest, a leader will emerge and you won’t have to head it up. It is worth a try and you will do a service for everyone who would like to have such an interest group. Please let Julie or John know if you are willing to serve as a host.