Building a Family Caregiving Strategy to Align with the Real Needs of Families

In workplaces and at kitchen tables across the country, Americans are grappling with a growing issue that touches so many of us: the enormous struggles we face when caring for relatives and friends who need ongoing help because of a chronic illness, disability, or a serious health condition. Although family caregiving is an intensely personal issue, it also has become a critical public policy matter that can no longer be ignored. It touches just about every family in every state …

Unemployment rate for those ages 55+ increases in December

  Employment Overview The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) December Employment Situation Summary showed the economy added 148,000 jobs in December 2017—a decrease from the 252,000 jobs (revised up from 228,000) added in November. Jobs were added in the health care, construction, and manufacturing industries, and average hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent, or 9 cents, in December. This compared with a 0.1 percent increase in average hourly earnings in November. Though the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 …

Even Higher Income-Related Premiums are Bad for Beneficiaries, and Bad for Medicare

The Medicare program requires higher-income individuals to contribute more toward the cost of the program than the general population. When enrolled in Medicare, people with incomes of $85,000 (or $170,000 for couples) pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B (doctors’, other health care professionals’, and outpatient services) and Part D (prescription drugs) coverage, including if they have a Medicare Advantage plan. Over time, the proportion of people with Medicare who pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D …

Employment for those ages 55+ holds steady in November

Employment overview The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) November Employment Situation Summary showed the economy added 228,000 jobs—down slightly from the 244,000 jobs added in October (revised down from 261,000). Both the overall unemployment rate and the unemployment rate for persons 55 and older remained unchanged from October at 4.1and 3.1 percent, respectively. The number of unemployed individuals ages 55+ was also unchanged at 1.1 million and the labor force participation rate for those 55 and older increased slightly to …

Senate Bill: Millions of Older Americans Could See Higher Tax Bills

The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) recently passed its tax reform proposal — the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” This bill, like the House-passed tax legislation, warrants the attention of older Americans. Not only because it increases taxes on some taxpayers 65+, but also because it would trigger rules that, barring congressional action, would result in automatic cuts to federal programs. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, those cuts would be $136 billion in fiscal year 2018, $25 billion of …

Older Adults Who Don’t Have Meaningful Relationships are Sicker—and Cost Medicare More

Elizabeth “Izzy” Barnett, 80, is a full-time caregiver for her husband, Bob, who has dementia. They have no children or family to help and Izzy has lost contact with friends because she is busy taking care of Bob. Izzy’s is not alone in this situation. Millions of older adults are socially isolated—in other words, they lack meaningful relationships with family and friends. Life circumstances—losing a spouse, friends, and loved ones, or retirement—put older adults at increased risk for isolation.   …