11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. The average cost of a wedding stands at $32,213, including $555 for the cake. (Learn more at The Knot) 2. Social Security records erroneously show that 6.5 million people in the United States have reached the age of 112. (Learn more at Associated Press) 3. Barbra, Nanette, Sondra, Elmo and Waldo are on their way to extinction as baby names. (Learn more at Yahoo! Parenting!) 4. The zorro bubble-nest frog, Amsterdam albatross and tropical …

Tampa Forum Kicks Off Conversations on Aging

“Make this a national conversation,” Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, urged participants in Tampa at the first in a series of five regional forums preparing for the White House Conference on Aging this summer. The invitation-only forums allow older Americans and those who work with and for them an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on various issues. Discussions aim to form a vision and agenda for the White House conference, held in Washington …

You’ve Got Skills You Can Use in Retirement

Some people aspire to retire at 60, 62 or 66, reducing the amount of their Social Security payment by 20 percent. Others are in it for the long haul, planning to work to 70 and beyond. Indeed, 1 in 5 older adults plan to work after 66. Where will they work? Some companies have mandatory retirement at 70 — or earlier. Others may make exceptions for highly skilled employees. As you consider retirement, review ways you can be of added value …

Are Longevity Annuities in Your Future?

I’ve been pretty critical of many annuities in the past, but there is one out there that might be worth a serious look. It’s called a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) — yes, that’s a mouthful. Recent technical changes to this annuity OK’d by the U.S. Treasury offer a partial solution to the not-outliving-your-money challenge. Unlike many other annuities, this one is fairly straightforward and easy to understand. It also has some tax advantages. In fact, in five years, says Stan Haithcock, aka …

Social Security Expands Office Hours

Beginning March 16, Social Security field offices across the country will be open an extra hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This change is thanks in part to the agency’s new budget, which gave it the resources for the longer office hours. Previously, hours were reduced because of congressional budget cuts, along with a reduction in staff, amid a growing workload, the agency says. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Social Security offices …

New House Rule Limits Full Consideration of Social Security Solutions

AARP wrote to members of the House of Representatives to express our strong concern with a last-minute amendment to H.R. 5, the House Rules Package for the 114th Congress, that would effectively limit potential options regarding Social Security, including options to protect benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Under the amendment, the House could only consider legislation affecting any part of the Social Security program if the overall effect of the changes improved Social Security’s Old Age and …