Encore! The Highest Honor for Veterans

What timing for Veterans Day! Winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, for people 60+ who are making a difference in others’ lives by combining their personal experience and passion, were announced this week. Two of these annual prizes, awarded by the nonprofit “second act” organization Encore.org, went to people working with vets. This year’s social entrepreneurs could be a resource for readers. If nothing else, their efforts will blow you away. Vicki Thomas: A career public relations and marketing executive in Connecticut, …

Good News for Couples with Reverse Mortgages

You probably know that AARP represents the interests of older Americans. But did you know that it’s actually out there in court, making sure that the rights of people 50+ are not violated? This week, two plaintiffs represented by the AARP Foundation Litigation won their case against the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A federal trial court in Washington, D.C., ruled that HUD violated federal law when it did not protect surviving spouses of holders of reverse mortgages. Let’s …

Try On These Clothing Storage Tips

Funny, I don’t recall that sweater being monogrammed. That’s what I thought last fall when I unpacked a box of cold-weather clothing that I’d stowed away in the attic the previous spring.  Sure enough, my favorite blue sweater wasn’t monogrammed, though moths had done a pretty good job of carving out something that looked like my initials. Improperly storing clothing between seasons can actually be tougher on garments than daily wear and tear. And since the average American household spends about …

A New Voice for Homeowners?

Washington hears from interest groups that represent everything from medical specialties to cattlemen to professional wrestlers. Now there’s an organization for one of the largest constituencies in the country: homeowners. The current homeownership rate in the United States is 65 percent (down from a high of more than 69 percent in 2004), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. America’s Homeowner Alliance (AHA) is the brainchild of Phil Bracken, a former executive of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and now the chief …

Community Caregiving in Cohousing

Remember when neighborhoods were like caring villages? I never had that experience, but got more than a hint when I visited Camelot Cohousing in Berlin, Mass., a couple of weeks ago. I went to do a housing story and found a family caregiving story! It also brought home the point that there are many ways to grow old and have support. Whether you’re a boomer or in your 70s and beyond, it’s an interesting option. First, the cohousing concept: People …

What’s Happened to Housing Affordability?

The National Association of Realtors announced earlier this year that its Housing Affordability Index shows 2012 was a record year for housing affordability.  Subsequently, articles appeared in the media with titles such as “Housing Today Is More Affordable Than at Any Time in History” and “2012 a Banner Year for Housing Affordability, Industry Group Says.” In addition, I’ve seen TV reports that continue to note how affordable housing has become. All of these are at odds with study findings presented …