What the Spending Bill Means for Older Americans

The $1.1 trillion spending bill will do more than keep the federal government open well into next year. Nearly half of the appropriations will go toward non-defense programs, and in some cases, the bill directs more money to programs that benefit the lives of Americans age 50 and up. “This bill not only avoids the deep cuts to scores of critical programs, it provides noteworthy increases for many services critical to older Americans, including health, nutrition and caregiver services, as …

Taking a Stand for Social Security

Social Security hasn’t gotten much attention yet in the presidential campaign. But we aim to change that. A growing cadre of AARP volunteers and concerned citizens is calling on every presidential hopeful to lay out a plan to keep the promise of Social Security for future generations. We call our new effort Take a Stand. I’m helping run it, and I recently traveled to the early battleground states of Iowa and South Carolina to see how it was faring. What …

Federal Agencies Team Up to Help Workers Make Smarter Retirement Decisions

Workers are often confused about Social Security, which can lead them to shortchange themselves later when claiming benefits. A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) cites studies that find only 1 in 5 preretirees know their full retirement age for Social Security. (For anyone born after 1942, the age is 66 to 67 years old.) And only 1 in 8 understand how benefits would change if they claimed them before, at or after their full retirement age. Simple …

Medicare Releases Official 2016 Part B Premiums

After months of speculation, Medicare’s standard Part B premiums for 2016 have been officially announced. About 70 percent of beneficiaries will continue to pay the same amount that has been charged for the past three years: $104.90 a month. Others will pay $121.80 a month, or more for higher-income beneficiaries who already pay higher premiums. As previously reported, the double standard arises from a quirk in the law that occurs only when there is no Social Security cost of living …

News Outlets Take Notice of AARP Pushing 2016 Presidential Candidates to Take a Stand

News outlets and early Presidential primary and caucus states have taken notice of AARP’s Take a Stand campaign announced last week.  “We’re asking candidates who are running for the highest office to take a stand for how they will update Social Security,” said Todd Fahey, state director at AARP New Hampshire, in a Public News Service article. As a national organization that fights for the issues that matter, AARP launched the campaign as a push for 2016 presidential candidates to …

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 …