11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. A seven-foot long, salamander-like amphibian with razor sharp teeth roamed the earth more than 200 million years ago. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. A ketchup bottle with a slippery interior can end the “anticipation” of waiting to top your hamburger or fries. (Learn more at NY Times) 3. As they age, women’s memories stay sharper than men’s. (Learn more at AARP) Enter the Family Fun Travel Sweepstakes. No purchase necessary. See official rules. » …

African Americans Share What Makes Them Happy

In 2012, AARP released a study titled “Beyond Happiness: Thriving,” which explored what happiness means to adults and what it takes to thrive as they age. AARP surveyed more than 4,000 Americans ages 35-80, including African Americans/blacks. Regardless of age, relationships were found to be universally important and key drivers of happiness. Among African Americans/blacks age 50 and over, family, relationships and faith top the list of experiences that contribute to personal happiness. The most significant were: Watching your children, …

Creditors Can Snatch Your (Inherited) IRA, Supreme Court Rules

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has just made estate planning a lot more cumbersome for some high-net-worth parents who want to leave tax-free money in a Roth IRA to a child. Retirement accounts are protected from creditors in bankruptcy cases so people don’t wind up destitute in old age. However, the court unanimously ruled on Thursday that this is not the case for those who inherit IRAs. The court decision involves a case of a woman who inherited about $450,000 in an IRA from her mother …

Beware the ‘Befriender’

It’s often true that older people feel lonelier as their children leave the nest, their friends move south and their spouses pass away. That’s one reason they’re particularly vulnerable to new “friends” who in truth are out to exploit them. As Katherine Pearson, a professor at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, explains in the Elder Law Prof Blog, these “befrienders” aim to gain the trust – and eventually access to the assets – of their victims. But if you …

Don’t Trust the Government? Join the Club

Public trust in the government is near an all-time low – not exactly a shock for a survey taken during a shutdown of the federal government. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter. Only 19 percent of American adults trust the federal government to do what’s right just about always or most of the time, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than four-fifths of respondents said they are …