FARMINGTON — The Senior Planning Center’s number one priority is to serve Maine’s seniors.

But, they also provide services for all ages, Anthony “Tony” Arruda, founder, said.

In 2012, Arruda opened the office in the Mt. Blue Shopping Plaza, 648 Wilton Road, because he saw a need for an agency that was devoted to helping seniors, he said.

“We want to help educate and work with seniors. It is not just about selling but also helping by being a resource center for seniors,” he said. “Our philosophy is ‘what goes around comes around.'”

The company has grown to include a statewide team of agents and a fully-staffed office ready to provide personal and business tax preparation, information on life insurance, the Affordable Care Act and retirement planning for all ages.

On May 4, a new partnership was started with Maine’s number one final-expense agency, Brad Dyer, director of operations, said.

David and Susan Staples of Wilton of Staples Life Insurance Agency will partner with the Senior Planning Center to counsel on final or burial expenses and insurance.

The staff at Senior Planning Center works hard to educate seniors about their options with Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and retirement planning and now final expense insurance.

“We have made a strong effort to fill the gaps for seniors as they try to navigate MaineCare, the Medicare Buy-in program, Medicare health and the Part D drug plans,” Arruda said.

There are other agencies who work on aging issues but their locations may not be near. Some state agencies encourage seniors to apply for programs online on their own.

We’re here to assist seniors not replace other agencies, he said. We want to help people learn about what programs are available and help them qualify.

The staff meets with clients in person or by phone to discuss their options and then makes the application for them, Dyer said. There is never a charge for that service, he added.

A large space in the shopping plaza provides a number of offices and a conference room where the friendly staff can sit down for a “table type discussion,” Arruda said. Staff will also visit clients homes.

Defining the Senior Planning Center as “Maine’s Number 1 Senior Resource,” means helping people with a variety of issues, Dyer said. They recently helped one person find a warming hut.

Not every senior question falls under their expertise but the willingness to research and help others, offered at no charge, is an important aspect of their service.

“Doing the right thing for people pays off,” he said.

Tax work and product sales provide income.

The Center also wants to do other things for seniors including seminars and potential summer tours, Arruda said.

An upcoming seminar, Women and Social Security, will be offered in Farmington at no charge. It is for everyone, Dyer said. An RSVP is requested by calling the center at 778-6601.

The seminar begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, and is being held in Room 131 of Roberts Learning Center at the University of Maine at Farmington.

While the Center has people to research different programs and explain it to the staff so they can help clients, this seminar will feature a Social Security agent, Joshua Lyons, Dyer said.

Seniors Planning Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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