Medicare Celebrates a Half Century

Give Medicare and Medicaid an AARP card — they’re turning 50 this year. At a special program on Wednesday commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary, experts spoke about how the two federal programs have transformed both the country’s health care system and the health of its older citizens. “Medicare has been a health care lifeline for millions of older Americans and must be strengthened for the future,” AARP President Jeannine English said at the conference, sponsored by the LBJ Presidential Library, …

Spring Clean Your Identity Theft Risks

Spring cleaning should include more than de-cluttering your garage and closets. Take these simple steps to reduce your risks of identity theft: Shred – don’t just trash – unnecessary documents with your name, birthdate, address, account or Social Security numbers. Typically, bank deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts should be shredded as soon as the transactions appear on statements, credit card statements within 45 days, and pay stubs and medical bills after one year. Never simply discard without …

Labor Department Proposes Rule to Save Retirees Billions

Financial advisers would have to adhere to more stringent standards when giving advice on 401(k) plans, IRAs and other retirement accounts under a rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The proposed rule would protect people saving for retirement from being steered into accounts with high fees and commissions that benefit the adviser at the expense of the saver. It would force financial professionals to act in the best interest of their clients — a move that advocates say would …

Major Report Shows What Works, What Doesn’t, for Better Brain Health

The Institute of Medicine today released a groundbreaking new report that spells out what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy into very old age, while offering insight into the lifestyle habits and medications that can lead to cognitive decline. The report, cosponsored by AARP and authored by some of the leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and brain-health experts in the country, offers the first multidisciplinary look at how aging affects the brain. It creates a new term — “cognitive …

Short Men at Greater Risk for Heart Disease

Here’s one more thing to add to the list of ways to reduce your heart attack risk: Don’t be short. Yeah, we know. As if you could control your height. Still, a new study finds a surprising link between some of the genes responsible for height and the risk of heart disease. And the evidence appears much stronger for men than for women. Scientists have known for more than 60 years that there was a relationship between height and heart …

The 411 on Two-Factor Authentication

In an era in which online accounts can be cracked with sophisticated software or a hacker’s ingenuity, taking an extra step when you log in can give you miles in added protection — even when using “strong” passwords. It’s called two-factor authentication (2FA), and it requires both something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a cellphone). Once enacted, after you successfully log in to an online account, you receive a code to your phone, via text …