Why I Like 529 College Savings Plans

If you want to help pay for higher education for a child or grandchild, consider using a 529 college savings plan. These plans allow you to put money aside for tuition and other college-related expenses, while getting some nice tax advantages as well. Since I have a son who will be college bound in a couple of years, I’ve looked at all sorts of ways to pay for it and can say the 529 plan is by far the best …

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

States have divided almost evenly on whether to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income Americans, many of them uninsured. Many Republican governors or state legislatures have rejected expansion, saying that although the federal government will pick up most of the tab now, states could be left on the hook in the future. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter And although expansion aims for low-income people, “you’re expanding coverage for graduate students and Starbucks baristas,” says Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Francis is the first pope on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. (Learn more at Rolling Stone) 2. The Grand Canyon could be 6 million years old … and 70 million years old. (Learn more at NPR) 3. Men are more forgetful than women. (Learn more at Medical News Today) 4. Your cellphone carries 10 times more germs than your toilet. (Learn more at AARP) 5. Cyber criminals are using malicious “RAM scraper” software to steal information about you and …

Is Your State a … Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to … New Hampshire. Actually, the magazine’s ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president’s annual State of the Union address. Here’s what Politico‘s Margaret Slattery has to say: Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is “strong.” Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, …

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

Sometimes, if you fight very, very hard against injustice, you win. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania last week, where a court struck down the state’s voter ID law. As the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia described in its complaint and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania acknowledged in its opinion, the evidence of disenfranchisement is vast and the stories are compelling. The court found that “approximately 430,000 electors remain without compliant ID.”  That’s 4 percent of eligible Pennsylvania voters!  Just …

Should Elder Abusers Be Able to Inherit From Their Victims?

Say there’s an older adult - let’s call her Judy - who has difficulty caring for herself. Judy’s son, Charles, is her primary caretaker, but he abuses her, pinching her and refusing to give her dinner if she doesn’t stay quiet during his favorite TV show.  Judy’s doctor notices that she has bruises on her arms and is rapidly losing weight; she reports Charles to family services, and Charles is eventually convicted of felony abuse. After several months, Judy dies of unrelated …