Celebrating All Grandparents

Today we honor Marian McQuade of West Virginia. In the 1970s, McQuade worked tirelessly to educate people about the important contributions of older Americans, and she urged Americans to “adopt a grandparent” and enjoy the benefit of their wisdom and experience. She even convinced governors, Congress and then President Jimmy Carter to set aside a day each year to celebrate this special group of people. Sept. 7 marks the 35th anniversary of National Grandparents Day, and in the spirit of McQuade, …

A New Boomer Grandma’s Tips for Buying the Right Stuff

Only two weeks till I become a first-time grandmother – and I desperately need some baby basics. I’m told that the must-have item these days is the Pack ‘n Play. That’s what we used to call a playpen, children, but now it’s a “play yard, complete with options like “micro-fleece newborn napper station, changing table attachment, night light (!), music player (!!) and detachable toy bar. As someone who came of age in the ’60s, may I just say: Shoot me now. …

Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders

We arrived with jasmine garlands and two rosettes folded out of Thai baht. We slipped off our sandals and felt the cool, smooth tiles beneath us as we walked toward a woman sitting on her front porch. The woman was my friend Fon’s 90-year-old great grandmother, Chid. Fon had invited us – my friend Jess, my boyfriend Joe and me – to go to the beach, a few hours south of Bangkok. But first, she asked, could we stop to …

Kids’ Best Financial Adviser: Grandma or Grandpa

Grandparents apparently hold more sway over their grandchildren’s saving habits than they know. According to a survey by TIAA-CREF, a New York-based financial services firm, most young adults (73 percent) say their grandparents do influence their money decisions and more than half call their elders excellent savers. Yet few grandparents capitalize on their standing: Only 8 percent say they’ve had or are likely to have a conversation with their grandchildren about money. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Among …

Senate Panel Holds Hearing on Scams Aimed at Seniors

By Kristin Keckeisen, Fraud Watch Network campaign manager Finally, some much-needed attention to the long-running grandparent scam. The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on July 16th as part of an ongoing series highlighting fraud’s devastating impact on seniors. Among the witnesses: an 81-year-old Ohio resident who lost more than $7,000 to a con artist impersonating his grandson. The grandparent, or “family emergency,” con is simple – and effective. Scammers troll obituaries and social media sites to glean personal …

Top Summer Travel Scams

As you look forward to a summer getaway, watch out for these common scams: Tricky tickets: Received a letter promising free or steeply discounted airline or cruise tickets? Read the small print – and between the lines – for words such as “eligible” and “guaranteed to win.” These mailers are often sent by vacation clubs as a lure to attend a high-pressure sales presentation where you’re promised huge travel discounts. The hook: You join by paying upfront fees that could approach five figures …