Investing in Transportation Strengthens the Economy and Saves Lives

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer travel. But our nation’s transportation system is fraying at the seams. The pride we once took in the roads, bridges, and rails built by the Greatest Generation has given way to daily frustration at the disrepair that makes it harder to get where we need to go. The recent Amtrak tragedy is yet another sign that our transportation infrastructure is not what it needs to be. It’s time to invest in the future. …

Elizabeth Dole Receives Andrus Award, AARP’s Highest Honor

Elizabeth Dole has received the 2014 Ethel Percy Andrus Award, AARP’s highest honor, for her support of military family caregivers. The leader of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and former U.S. senator, Cabinet member and president of the American Red Cross accepted the award at a dinner March 11 in Washington. Dole’s foundation aims to strengthen services for those caregivers — the nation’s “hidden heroes,” she calls them — through innovation, evidence-based research and partnerships across all sectors. In presenting the …

Government Nursing Home Ratings Getting Tougher

Starting immediately, the federal government is making it harder for nursing homes to get top grades on a public report card, in part by increasing scrutiny of their use of antipsychotic drugs and raising the bar on an array of quality measures. Those grades — in the form of one- to five-star ratings — are part of Nursing Home Compare, a government website to help consumers evaluate nursing homes. While the star ratings, which debuted in December 2008, are lauded …

Across the States: Fighting for You in 2015

This month, state legislatures throughout the nation are convening to mark the inauguration of new governors, state legislators and other state leaders. We will then begin to hear State of the State messages from governors that detail the challenges, opportunities and priorities they have defined for the year ahead. At AARP, we’ve also set our priorities for 2015 with a state advocacy agenda that highlights how we will continue to fight for you in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto …

New 529 Plan Created for People With Disabilities

Tax-friendly 529 savings plans no longer will be just for college. Legislation recently signed by President Barack Obama will allow states to set up similar savings programs to benefit those with disabilities without jeopardizing their federal benefits, such as Medicaid. Money invested in an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account — sometimes also called a 529A account — can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for qualified expenses, including education, housing, transportation, health care, employment training and legal fees. “It …

Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape. Here’s what you need to know: What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between …