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Dreamstime/TNS

Zooming into the statehouse: Nursing home residents use new digital skills to push for changes

Patty Bausch isn’t a Medicaid expert, lawyer or medical professional. But she still thinks Connecticut legislators need her input when they consider bills affecting people like her — the roughly 18,000 residents who live in the state’s nursing homes.

With help and encouragement from Connecticut’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Bausch...Read more

Social Security and You: Self-employed People 'Cook the Books'

Most of us work for wages, and there isn't much we can do to avoid paying Social Security taxes on those earnings. But people who are self-employed can frequently "cook the books" to lessen their tax burden. (By the way, I totally understand that when self-employed people do pay Social Security taxes, they pay twice the rate of the rest of us. ...Read more

Social Security and You: File a Social Security Claim to Protect Your Rights

I frequently hear from readers who tell me that they contacted the Social Security Administration with the intention of filing for Social Security benefits of one kind or another and then were either told they were not eligible for any benefits or were just otherwise talked out of filing.

Of course, sometimes that is good advice. For example, ...Read more

Social Security and You: Yet Another WEP and GPO Column

Because of the high volume of emails I get from the small minority of government employees who don't even pay into Social Security, I guess it's time for me to trot out my old WEP and GPO column. (I'll explain what those abbreviations stand for in a minute.) Who are these folks? They are primarily teachers in some states and police officers and ...Read more

Satjawat Boontanataweepol/TNS

As pandemic eases, many seniors have lost strength, may need rehabilitative services

Ronald Lindquist, 87, has been active all his life. So, he wasn’t prepared for what happened when he stopped going out during the coronavirus pandemic and spent most of his time, inactive, at home.

“I found it hard to get up and get out of bed,” said Lindquist, who lives with his wife of 67 years in Palm Springs, California. “I just ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Tips for older adults to regain their game after being cooped up for more than a year

Alice Herb, 88, an intrepid New Yorker, is used to walking miles around Manhattan. But after this year of being shut inside, trying to avoid covid-19, she’s noticed a big difference in how she feels.

“Physically, I’m out of shape,” she told me. “The other day I took the subway for the first time, and I was out of breath climbing two ...Read more

Social Security and You: There Oughta Be a Law!

Readers are always asking me to explain various Social Security rules and regulations. But sometimes they want more. They want to see something official -- something in black and white. In other words, they want me to give them a legal reference for whatever rules I am explaining to them.

I sort of know where they are coming from. Frequently, ...Read more

Social Security and You: Clarifying Benefits for Wives

Several weeks ago, I wrote a column explaining benefits that are payable to spouses. And by spouses, I almost always am referring to a wife and the benefits she might be due on her husband's Social Security record.

And whenever I write such a column, my inbox is immediately flooded with emails from women who think they are being cheated out of ...Read more

Gretchen Brauer-Rieke/TNS

COVID forces cohousing communities to examine shared values and relationships

Tensions were running high at PDX Commons, a cohousing community for adults 55 and older in Portland, Oregon. Several people wanted to keep visitors off-site until all 35 residents were vaccinated. Others wanted to open to family and friends for the first time in a year.

How do communities with dozens of members decide what to do during a ...Read more

Social Security and You: What Happens to Your Social Security check if You Live Abroad?

Maybe it's because COVID-19 restrictions are easing up a bit. And some people probably have a bad case of wanderlust. I'm sure others are just thinking about retiring and returning to their homeland. Or perhaps still others see some of the same websites I do that entice you with headlines similar to this one I recently read: "Live like royalty ...Read more

Social Security and You: Spousal Benefits - What You Can and Cannot Do

Before I even start, I'm going to address the gender issue. This column is about benefits available to spouses. However, I don't want to spend the whole column trying to be gender-neutral and using awkward combined pronouns like "he/she" or "him/her," or jumbled phrases like "benefits for husbands and/or wives." Because statistics show that 90% ...Read more

American Red Cross/TNS

‘It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I don’t get paid for it’: Dottie Brier, 91, Red Cross volunteer, looks back on three decades of service

NEW YORK – At 91, Dottie Brier has found the secret to eternal youth: volunteering.

For the last three decades, the plucky nonagenarian has been a proud member of the Red Cross, offering her strong hands and warm smile to those who have survived the worst disasters in our country’s history, from Hurricane Andrew and Superstorm Sandy to the ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/TNS

Florida couple say they need a golf cart to get around. The Sheriff’s Office says otherwise.

HUDSON, Fla. — When he could no longer walk 10 feet without taking a break, Lawrence Boudreau looked for help.

The vascular disease in his legs was worsening. And his wife Wanda Boudreau, 71, had bad knees and nerve damage from shingles. The Hudson couple, who don’t own a car and whose only income is monthly Social Security checks, searched...Read more

Ryan Roenfeld/TNS

Travel Trending with Kathy Witt: Guidebooks reveal weird, wonderful and obscure staycation ‘secrets’

Shrunken heads. A nudist resort. George McFly’s footprints. If spring is enticing you outdoors for warm-weather adventures just this side of the strange and unusual, look no further than your own backyard.

St. Louis-based publisher Reedy Press makes it fun to have a staycation at home, treasure hunting for all variety of weird, wonderful and...Read more

MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE/TNS

‘How are you?’ A phone call lets seniors know someone cares

GULFPORT, Fla. — She pulls up to the senior center just before 10 a.m., walks past people outside waiting for help with their taxes, others lining up for the food pantry. “Good morning!” she greets folks.

As she props her cane by the welcome desk, an elderly man approaches, admiring the cool weather. She nods, answers briefly, then sits ...Read more

Chris Urso/TNS

Tampa Bay seniors isolated by pandemic find a virtual connection

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Most mornings, Joyce Lindsay flips on the TV in her living room and starts moving. She shakes to the music during Zumba classes, stretches her limbs wide during yoga flows, and eventually stops for a moment of calm.

Sometimes she does as many as four classes, nearly three hours of working out. She said the exercise helps...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/TNS

‘We weren’t wealthy. But we were rich.’ Black residents reflect on generational wealth

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — They came together late last year, about a dozen Black residents of St. Petersburg, to talk to each other and to the Tampa Bay Times about generational wealth. Generational wealth — financial assets passed down through generations of a family — has traditionally been more difficult to accumulate for minority families...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Father Joe celebrates 80th birthday with stories about life

SAN DIEGO — His name is synonymous with programs that help homeless San Diegans, but Father Joe Carroll reveals something surprising in a new book about his life.

"I told him I didn't want the job," he wrote about the day in 1982 when Bishop Leo Maher told him he was being assigned to head the St. Vincent de Paul Center.

At the time, Carroll...Read more

American Red Cross/TNS

'It's the best job I've ever had and I don't get paid for it': Dottie Brier, 91, Red Cross volunteer, looks back on three decades of service

NEW YORK – At 91, Dottie Brier has found the secret to eternal youth: volunteering.

For the last three decades, the plucky nonagenarian has been a proud member of the Red Cross, offering her strong hands and warm smile to those who have survived the worst disasters in our country’s history, from Hurricane Andrew and Superstorm Sandy to the ...Read more

Social Security and You: The 3 Rules About Social Security Checks Everyone Should Know

There are some basic facts about when and how Social Security checks are due and delivered that confuse many people. To help you understand, here are three rules about getting Social Security checks that everyone needs to know.

No. 1: Social Security benefits are paid one month behind. In other words, the benefit payment for May will be sent to...Read more