Unpaid Student Loans May Impoverish Older Americans

Though a small percentage of older Americans carry student loans, those who do are incurring this debt faster, have a higher default rate and, as a result, can find themselves living in poverty in retirement, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. While older citizens are more burdened by mortgages, auto loans and credit-card debt, student loans among this age group are a growing concern. And unlike young borrowers who have many working years ahead of them to repay, older …

Colorado Senate Candidates Face Off in First Debate

The candidates in a hotly contested Colorado race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate sparred over Social Security, Medicare and other issues during their first campaign debate on Sept. 6. Polls show that Sen. Mark Udall, the Democratic incumbent, and Rep. Cory Gardner, his Republican challenger, are locked in a virtual dead heat two months before Election Day. >> AARP Voter Education Guide When a panelist asked the candidates how they would protect Social Security for future generations, …

What Happens to Your Pension When the Company Goes Bust?

Studebaker auto workers found out the hard way in 1963. When the Studebaker Corp. shut down its plant in South Bend, Ind., workers who had been promised pensions saw their hard-earned benefits vanish in an instant. Instead of receiving fixed payments throughout retirement, thousands of employees were forced to take one-time lump sums worth a fraction of what they’d earned. Thousands more received no benefits at all. The Studebaker Corp. had been promising pension benefits to its employees, but in …

Check Out AARP’s Online Social Security Resources

By  Jean C. Setzfand “How secure do you feel about your retirement?” I may be the only person around using that question as a cocktail-party opener. But even if you’re not constantly surveying everyone you know, it’s likely you’ve seen the recent attention-grabbing headlines about people’s lack of retirement savings. So you won’t be surprised to learn that my unscientific surveys match the more qualified studies, in which folks report feeling “anxious” and “uncertain” about retirement or even that it’s “not possible.” …

Protect Your SSN, and Be Thankful It’s Not 078-05-1120

Seventy-nine years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, birthing that most important government program and, as a result, a coveted prize of identity thieves: your Social Security number. You know why you need to guard your SSN like an amped-up Rottweiler: In the wrong hands, it’s the quickest and arguably most common way for an ID thief to pose as you to open credit accounts and get medical care, your tax refund, even a job. …

Cut Social Security? Say Goodbye to Older Voters

Seventy-nine years after its creation, Social Security remains a vital key to Americans’ retirement security. And with the 2014 elections less than three months away, strengthening the program is a top priority for older voters, according to a new AARP survey of voters 50 and older. The message to candidates is clear: Stop treating Social Security like a line item in a budget. Older voters have earned their benefits through a lifetime of hard work and paying into the system. …