The Despair That’s Killing White, Middle-Aged Americans

En español | For decades, the death rate among all groups of Americans has been steadily declining, thanks to advances in medicine and quality of life. But 15 years ago, that trend suddenly reversed for one group: white Americans ages 45 to 54. In what a new study termed “an epidemic of despair,” two Princeton economists find that suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse are driving up deaths among less-educated, middle-aged, white Americans — some of it due to job loss and financial …

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Is Underway; Shop Smart

AARP encourages Americans to review their health insurance options during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period that started Sunday. Open enrollment (from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31) is an important opportunity for consumers to find a plan that could save them more money, offer better services, or include more of their doctors. Since the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period in 2013, the uninsured rate for pre-Medicare Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 has dropped …

Brokerages May Be Getting More Tools to Protect Older Clients

En español | A securities industry group recently proposed changes to how brokers and their firms handle accounts in an effort to protect older consumers and vulnerable clients against fraud. Investment firms have been increasingly concerned about the financial exploitation of older clients, particularly those who might suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairment. But many firms say they’re limited by regulations governing just how much they can intervene. Currently, regulations require firms to protect a client’s privacy, so firms …

Three Big Wins for Retired People in New Budget Act

People of retirement age and their families scored three significant victories in the budget act passed by Congress. 1. We preserved every cent of current Social Security recipients’ benefits. Millions of Social Security recipients were going to have their benefits automatically cut by 20 percent in 2016. That’s been stopped. No current recipient will lose a cent of Social Security benefits. Social Security Calculator: When Should You Claim Your Benefits? » 2. We halted skyrocketing Medicare premiums. Millions of Medicare recipients …

How AARP Helped One Homeless Vet

John Cherry had no job, no money, no home. What he did have were debilitating health problems and drug and alcohol addictions. “I hit rock bottom,” says the 60-year-old Washington, D.C., resident. But a year later the Navy veteran is on a path lined with hope. Guided by the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), an affiliate of AARP, Cherry secured a $1,400 monthly pension he was entitled to through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plus more than $12,000 …

With No COLA Increase, Congress Should Pass Medicare Fix

AARP sent the following letter to Congress on Oct. 14. AARP has deep concern that for only the third time in over 40 years, there will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2016. To make matters worse, as a result, 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will see their monthly Medicare Part B premium dramatically increase, and all Medicare beneficiaries will experience an increase in their Part B deductible. Congress should protect the 16.5 million Medicare beneficiaries — which includes new …