At Your Fingertips: A Trove of Data on Boomers and Americans 50-Plus

We are a data-driven society. We need data to address the challenges and opportunities facing the 50-plus population. I am pleased to announce that today AARP’s Public Policy Institute launched the AARP DataExplorer, a free website tool that provides a rich collection of data on issues relevant to people age 50 and older. The 50-plus group accounts for a third of the United States’ population, with about 110 million people. People in the baby boom generation make up 80 million …

Why We Should Rise to the Pope’s Challenge

En español | Today I was honored to attend the White House arrival ceremony for Pope Francis. Along with the president and the first lady, my husband and other invited guests, I witnessed firsthand the pope’s energy and style, as he dove into his much-anticipated visit to the United States. Pope Francis engenders incredible enthusiasm wherever he goes. So whether it’s social media (#followfrancis), politics (meeting with President Obama and addressing Congress) or the cities he visits (closed streets and …

Celebrating Social Security’s 80th Anniversary

En español | On the morning of Aug. 14, 1935, Americans awoke in a country vastly different from the one we know today. The Great Depression had brought us to the point where, in the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “one-third of the nation [was] ill-housed, ill-clad [and] ill-nourished.” Suffering the most were America’s elderly. Nearly half of our older population in 1935 lived in poverty! At approximately 3:30 on that August afternoon, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security …

Helping to End Poverty, One Person at a Time

“What does the world need me to do?” When Mark Bergel, 51, asked himself that question, his answer was to start A Wider Circle, a nonprofit in Silver Spring, Md., that provides everything from furniture to job training and clothing to support those in need. Now, 13 years later, Bergel, who serves as the organization’s executive director, is on a mission: End poverty in America. As I sort and fold donated baby clothes in the organization’s huge warehouse, Bergel, a 2014 CNN …

How to Find Reward by Working With Those in Need

As Maureen McCarty and I meet with Maria (not her real name), I realize the compounded struggles of the poor. Maria’s English speaking and comprehension are limited. She and her husband are separated. Her son’s health issues complicate her search for work. And at this moment, with area rents topping $1,000 a month, even for a small apartment, Maria needs rent assistance. Can we help her? Each Wednesday morning, McCarty and other finance counselors who volunteer with a Christ Church’s …

More Grandparents Living With Grandchildren Work, Live in Poverty

The first U.S. Census Bureau report in more than a decade on grandparents living with grandchildren highlights growth and diversity, and confirms that, while the trend has slowed some as the economy recovers from recession, multigenerational living is not going away. Fully 10 percent of the estimated 65 million grandparents live with at least one grandchild, up from 7 percent in 1992. “Recent trends in increased life expectancy, single-parent families and female employment increase the potential for grandparents to play …