Earlier this month, AARP made a big splash in the run-up to the 2020 elections, hosting a series of presidential forums in Iowa – the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Over the course of six days in five Hawkeye State cities, 17 Democratic contenders answered questions about Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs and other issues that are top of mind for voters age 50 and up.
Whenever I chart a course - whether it be for a trip, scheduling my day or planning for the future - I am confident of two things. First, I need a map. Second, I must have tools on hand to avoid – or manage - pit falls on the way to my destination. But, when it comes to planning and saving for retirement, women experience a lot of obstacles that are nearly impossible to overcome.
A career in Washington, DC, means a lot of turnover, and so, at the tender age of 50, I was job hunting after leaving the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative towards the end of the Clinton Administration. Freshly polished resume in hand, I recall going through at least three different job interviews where the questioner probed for my age instead of focusing on my qualifications and experience. While I didn’t feel a need to hide how old I was – I certainly didn’t consider myself to be “old” – perhaps the interviewers were reacting to my head of white hair. Whatever their reason, it was disconcerting, to say the least.
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents. That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.
As another baseball season draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the incredible opportunity every at bat represents: three strikes means at least three chances to make it count before it’s back to the dugout. But imagine you were stepping up to the plate, and the ump said you already had three strikes against you. Whether anyone has told you that or not, there’s a good chance it’s true. Every day millions of women suit up, head to work, care for their families, and dream of a comfortable future, all while carrying three strikes against them.
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