Senior Living





Why is Medicare Part D’s IRMAA premium so high?

Senior Living / Toni Says /

Dear Toni:

I am turning 65 in June, self-employed, and my income together with my wife’s is over $300,000. Recently I received a letter from Social Security telling me that my monthly Medicare Part B premium of $174.70 would double to $349.40 per month due to 2022 reported income. That was no surprise, but Social Security also said that ...Read more

Social Security and You: Foreign-Born Parents Not Mooching Off the Social Security System

Q: I am sick and tired of all these people who bring their parents over here from foreign countries and then immediately put them on their Social Security account. No wonder Social Security is going broke! I personally know two couples in my neighborhood who get Social Security. They brought their parents up from Mexico and now they are mooching...Read more

Anna Claire Vollers/Stateline/TNS

‘Are nursing homes our only option?’ These centers offer older adults an alternative

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — George Raines, a white-haired man in a red track suit and matching University of Alabama ball cap, cracked jokes as physical therapist Brad Ellis led him through a series of exercises designed to strengthen his legs.

Raines, who is 79, pretended to be in pain, but his grin belied his tone of mock suffering. The men were ...Read more


The typical retiree might not look like what you imagine

ATLANTA -- America is facing a looming retirement crisis, according to a recent Business Insider report. Many older adults are financially vulnerable and live off less than $30,000 a year.

There was a spike in early retirements during the pandemic, but some have since “unretired” because of high costs and elevated interest rates. As of 2023...Read more


Study: Cannabis might lower blood pressure in older adults

A study from 2020 found the number of Americans age 65 and older who smoke marijuana or enjoy edibles increased 75% from 2015 to 2018. A newer study suggests that might be a good thing for some.

The study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center found medical cannabis might reduce ...Read more


Column: Death is certain, but funeral home pricing often isn’t

ATLANTA -- There’s a new scam that has been sweeping the nation.

Crooks search funeral notices to identify people who have recently lost a loved one. After waiting enough time for funeral arrangements to be made, these unscrupulous folks call family or friends pretending to be the funeral home, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Then,...Read more

Anna Claire Vollers/Stateline/TNS

'Are nursing homes our only option?' These centers offer older adults an alternative

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — George Raines, a white-haired man in a red track suit and matching University of Alabama ball cap, cracked jokes as physical therapist Brad Ellis led him through a series of exercises designed to strengthen his legs.

Raines, who is 79, pretended to be in pain, but his grin belied his tone of mock suffering. The men were ...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Steve Lopez: A cancer survivor's advice: research, persistence and second opinions

In the fall of 2022, Robin Clough and Dr. Gene Dorio were going about their lives as they had for many years, serving older adults in the Santa Clarita Valley. Clough was busy with her work as an administrator at the local senior center while Dorio, a house-call geriatrician, crisscrossed the valley visiting his patients.

In November of that ...Read more

Enrolling in Medicare with a blocked Social Security account

Senior Living / Toni Says /

Hi Toni:

I’m turning 65 in July and not receiving my Social Security check. Last week I tried to open a “My Social Security” account to enroll in Medicare online and discovered that my Social Security account is blocked. Two years ago, someone falsely filed for a tax refund with my Social Security number. Now anything that involves me ...Read more

Social Security and You: Divorced Man's Guide to Social Security

Over the 27 years I've been writing this column, I have probably written a hundred columns directed at divorced women. But after answering emails from men who had questions about benefits for divorcees, it dawned on me that I've never written a column for divorced men. Today, I'll make up for that.

I should point out that I will be ...Read more

Explaining ‘lifetime reserve days’ in simple terms

Senior Living / Toni Says /


Why did a hospital medical claims division employee ask my husband James to sign a form stating that he is aware that he is now in his “lifetime reserve days” while he was waiting for his lung/heart transplant?

He went into the hospital in December of last year for congestive heart failure only to discover that his heart and ...Read more

Social Security and You: How Many Stars for Social Security Service?

I've been writing this column for about 27 years. And more than a few times, I took my former agency, the Social Security Administration, to task for sometimes falling down on the job. That's because I frequently hear from readers complaining about misinformation they received from Social Security representatives or about service issues -- ...Read more


Burden of getting medical care can exhaust older patients

Susanne Gilliam, 67, was walking down her driveway to get the mail in January when she slipped and fell on a patch of black ice.

Pain shot through her left knee and ankle. After summoning her husband on her phone, with difficulty she made it back to the house.

And then began the runaround that so many people face when they interact with ...Read more

Leaving employer’s benefits after age 65 is puzzling

Senior Living / Toni Says /

Hello, Toni:

My husband, Jay, retired 6 years ago when he turned 65. He enrolled in Medicare Part A only and decided to delay Part B since I put him on my employer’s group health plan. Recently, I read an article about failure to enroll in Medicare Part B when turning 65 and the additional cost for each year that one delays enrollment.

...Read more

Brandon Bell/Getty Images North America/TNS

Home Depot pays $18.25 billion for SRS Distribution to expand contractor sales

The Home Depot said Thursday that it will pay $18.25 billion for Texas-based SRS Distribution to expand its business with the professional residential builder and remodeler.

SRS is a leading construction materials distributor with a sales force of more than 2,500 working from 760 branches across 47 states. It supplies to the home building and ...Read more

Miguel Martinez/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

City of Atlanta announces funding to help seniors with rising home costs

ATLANTA — Funding to help protect homeowners and renters from being forced out of their neighborhoods because of rising home costs is on the way to the city of Atlanta.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new pilot program Thursday that will bring $550,000 to residents concerned about housing stability through Rocket Community Fund, a ...Read more

Social Security and You: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

In today's column, I'm going to talk about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Despite what many people think, these government programs are not like three peas in a pod. They are more like a pea, a bean and a stalk of celery. In other words, they are all sort of connected because they are government programs that sometimes have an ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How do you help homebound, hungry seniors? These services deliver free meals

LOS ANGELES -- When Elizabeth Shayne had a hip replaced and her husband, Harry Shayne, had the same done to both of his knees in 2016, they became homebound. Simple tasks like getting groceries and cooking meals became nearly impossible for the couple, who are now 78 and 79. They were at an impasse: They couldn't afford to move into assisted ...Read more

Kathy Witt/Kathy Witt/TNS

Travel Trending with Kathy Witt: Carnival’s new Jubilee cruise ship is the destination

Psst. Here’s a not so carefully guarded secret about cruising: A lot of cruisers never leave the ship. Rather, the ship is their vacation destination. And one of the most fun and appealing destinations at sea is Carnival’s new Jubilee.

The third ship in Carnival’s award-winning Excel-class and sister ship to Mardi Gras and Carnival ...Read more

Isn’t Medicare Part A free?

Senior Living / Toni Says /


I need your help because I have made a mistake enrolling in Medicare. This February, my husband Sonny was laid off and lost his employer health insurance, which I was on. He is a veteran and is receiving his health care from the VA, so he did not have to enroll in Medicare.

I have enrolled in Medicare since I am turning 65 in April....Read more