Elaine Ryan is the vice president of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration (SASI) in AARP's Government Affairs group. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with Governors and state legislators, helping people 50+ attain and maintain their long-term financial security and health.

Follow Elaine on Twitter: @RoamTheDomes.

Caring for Mom Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your Job

The phone rang one day when I was at work. It was my mom. “Come right away, Elaine, we need you,” she said. Mom had just driven Pop to the emergency room. I knew Pop must have been very sick, because Mom hadn’t driven a car in years. So I talked to my boss and headed straight for the airport to find the first flight home. After a week-long stay in two hospitals, Pop recovered from pneumonia only to learn …

Can You Afford the Health Care You Need?

Imagine this: You’ve been unemployed for a year and, as a result, don’t have health insurance. You have type 2 diabetes. You need blood tests, but they cost $600 and you can’t afford that. You have a broken tooth that you can’t get fixed. You want to work, but no matter how hard you try, you haven’t been able to find a job. Unfortunately, nearly 3 million hardworking Americans may face scenarios like this. When the decision to expand affordable …

‘There Will Be No Retirement for Me.’

Meet Jeff and Capi Saxton. Jeff is a bookbinder and Capi manages a small fabric and sewing supply store. Now in their 50s, they’ve found it hard to save for retirement. “There will be no retirement for me,” Jeff says. “I’ll always have to work.” Jeff and Capi are not alone. In fact, the average working-age household has only $3,000 saved for their future. And if you have anything at all saved, you’re ahead of the curve — 45 percent …

How We’re Fighting for You in 2016

This month, as state legislative sessions start kicking off across the country, AARP, too, will go to work — fighting for you and your family. In all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, we’ll be fighting to make sure your voice is heard, focusing on the key issues you’re facing front and center, in your daily life. Enhancing Retirement SecurityToday, 55 million Americans have no access to a retirement savings plan at work. Why is …

It’s in Giving That We Receive

It was a few days before Christmas when our family got the news that Mom would be in the hospital for the holidays. Family caregiving can be tough enough, but somehow it is a bit tougher when your loved one is in the hospital. My siblings and I sprang into action to develop a list of people who could visit Mom in the hospital on Christmas. We thought of presents like a new robe and slippers, a hair appointment when …

Let’s Give Small-Business Owners a Competitive Edge

“People give their time to their job. They shouldn’t have to fear what happens when they’re done working.”  — Molly Sumner of Kindred Companions Molly Sumner of Frenchtown, N.J., owns a small business called Kindred Companions, training dogs and selling pet supplies.  Unfortunately, Molly’s employees are some of the nearly 2 million New Jerseyans — and 55 million Americans — who don’t have a retirement savings plan through work. “It’s something I want for my employees,” Molly says, but not …