Representative Payees and Social Security

Representative Payees Provide Vital Support to Millions of Social Security Beneficiaries Connie, 86, lost her husband, Joe, to cancer a few years ago. Without children or other family members to help, and dealing with her own dementia-related challenges, she’s finding it increasingly difficult to manage her day-to-day finances and expenses, which she pays almost exclusively with her monthly Social Security income. She recently received a letter from her bank saying there were insufficient funds in her checking account to cover …

Bipartisanship: Hard to see, but still alive

We certainly are living in very divisive times. On the big issues of the day, party and ideological lines are drawn with little, if any, common ground. And, the collegiality of Congresses past – the “disagree without being disagreeable” comity – seems like something for the history books. But is that really the whole story? Back in December, I spent some time with a group of senior congressional staff. There was nothing specific on the agenda, just a nice end-of-year …

Nancy LeaMond named Top Lobbyist by ‘The Hill’ newspaper

AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond was recently named a 2017 Top Lobbyist by The Hill.  This year, she is being recognized in the grass roots category, which includes a number of leading power players in the Nations Capital. During her tenure at AARP, LeaMond has led several landmark campaigns, including: Take A Stand, You’ve Earned a Say, Health Action Now and Divided We Fail. LeaMond is a nationally recognized leader in health, retirement security and other issues …

Social Security Innovation Opportunity: How We Can Nurture New Ideas

Policymakers have been talking on and off for decades about ways to make Social Security solvent and adequate. However, the conversation often seems stuck in the 1980s, the last time Social Security was addressed, with a small set of policy tools to raise revenue or cut benefits being recommended by each politician or group. Yet most of those standard tools are not well-designed. Take, for example, the proposal to raise the retirement age. Policymakers often cite the fact that average …

Tax Day Special: How Much of the Income Tax Pie Do Older Americans Contribute?

By midnight on April 18, millions of Americans will have hit the File button in their tax preparation apps or dropped their tax returns in the mail. With 2017 tax season almost behind us, it’s a good time to take a look at taxes as they relate to Americans over 50 — specifically, older Americans’ impact on the federal coffers as well as the impact taxes have on their own wallets. And there’s another reason to look at this issue …

We Hear You, but Do the Candidates?

I spent an evening recently watching a focus group — a moderated conversation about the election and Social Security with 30 undecided voters. For those of us in Washington, D.C., who are around policy and politics all the time, it’s very helpful to hear what “real people” think. The group included men and women, from young adults voting in just their second presidential election to older voters who have witnessed a lifetime of political promises. Maybe that’s where the cynicism …