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AARP Reaching Out

Monday, April 8, 2013  
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AARP Reaching Out

Volume 2, Number 1

It has been a busy and productivequarter at AARP, wehave spent the first three months defending Social Security, discussing the health care system and ways to make it work, partnering with the Small Business Administration to hold a month's worth of events and preparing to help potentially millions of older Americans with their taxes. And it only promises to get busier.

Social media can seem like a lot of fun and frivolity, but it also takes hard work and planning. Take a brief glimpse at all the ways that AARP is trying to keep up with our members and prepare for a new technological age.

Finding a caregiver can be a really tough task for anyone. But what happens when the person to be cared for doesn't speak any English? One woman took it on herself to help her family and others.

Take a look at the articles that follow. As always this is just a small sample of the kind of work we do here at AARP. To learn more, go to www.aarp.org or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AARP. If you have questions or ideas about items that AARP is doing or could do, drop us a line at publicoutreach@aarp.org.


We Must Improve the Health Care System
Medical costs are threatening the middle class and future retirees
by A. Barry Rand, CEO AARP, The Bulletin, April 2013

One of the biggest challenges we face as a nation is the rising cost of health care. It is driving people out of the middle class and driving up the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the budgets of state governments and employers. Looking ahead, steadily rising out-of-pocket medical and health care costs will overwhelm the retirement savings that many Americans have tried to accumulate. Clearly, the standard of living for future retirees is threatened. All because of rising health care costs.

Over the past generation, the percentage of our nation's gross domestic product dedicated to health care has nearly doubled, to 17 percent - and it's still rising. We spend more than any other developed nation - more, in fact, than the next 10 biggest spenders combined - and often with poorer outcomes.

We can't continue this pace, especially when the Institute of Medicine estimates that up to a third of health care spending is wasteful or inefficient.

Read the entire article.


Senate Victory Against chained CPI - But the Fight Is Not Over

Some Washington politicians are considering changing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and veterans benefits, resulting in a combined $146 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. The COLA change, called the "chained CPI," would hurt seniors and veterans already living on tight budgets stretched by rising utility costs, grocery bills, mortgages and health care.

But, the United States Senate voted for an amendment that explicitly prevented adoption of Chained CPI as part of the Senate budget. AARP Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Joyce A. Rogers released a statement which, in part, read:

"Any consideration of the Chained CPI as part of deficit reduction would simply be a stealth attempt to cut critically-needed benefits for millions of Americans. Social Security is a self-financed program that didn't cause the deficit, and we applaud this budget - and today's amendment - for agreeing that Social Security not be used as part of deficit reduction."

Read the entire statement.


Chained CPI. What Will President Obama Propose?

Next week the president submits his budget proposal. While AARP is not certain what it will entail chained CPI is still seemingly on the table. AARP has been hearing from several sources that chained CPI may be in the president's budget.

Click here to see a very informative infographic to learn more. Then use the Facebook and Twitter links above to share it with your friends, family and neighbors. Together, we can make sure your hard-earned Social Security and veterans benefits are not included in a harmful budget deal!

For more information and background on Social Security and the chained CPI, visit www.earnedasay.org or click on the links below.

Top 5 reasons why the chained CPI would hurt the disabled (PDF)
Top 5 Reasons Why the Chained CPI Would Hurt Women (PDF)
Top 5 Reasons Why the Chained CPI Would Hurt Veterans (PDF)

Unsure what the chained CPI is or how to explain it to your members? Try this video.

What the heck is chained CPI?

Also, be sure to read this editorial from the New York Times about the future of Social Security.


AARP Teams Up With SBA for National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month

The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Building on the success of a joint SBA and AARP Mentor Day in October, the two organizations will match "encore entrepreneurs" with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/mentormonth.

Throughout April, SBA District Offices, state AARP Offices and SBA Resource Partners will host more than 100 events around the country. Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors and entrepreneurs to share information for five-minute sessions, and mentor lunches for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners.

SBA developed a 50+ toolkit that includes free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. The training courses include profiles of successful entrepreneurs, recommended action steps, and information on licensing and financing. Go online to www.sba.gov/encore for the toolkit and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50. AARP and SBA are also producing two webinars in April to help current and potential entrepreneurs. For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness.

Read the full press release.


Leading up to 2014 - How are States and Stakeholders Managing Medicaid Expansion?"
Keynote presentation by President-Elect Jeannine English at World Health Care Congress

Join Jeannine English, President-Elect of AARP, as she speaks on the keynote panel of "Leading up to 2014 - How are States and Stakeholders Managing Medicaid Expansion?" at The 10th Annual World Health Care Congress. The event takes place April 8-10, 2013 in National Harbor, MD. Over 1,600 attendees from around the globe will hear from 200+ visionary speaking organizations, such as Mayo Clinic, Medtronic, Kaiser Permanente, AARP, and Whole Foods Markets.

Register at www.worldcongress.com.


Resources for Finding a Job or Starting a Business

Are you looking for a new job and hoping you'll find one with a company that values your years of experience? Or are you thinking about starting your own business? Either way, AARP can help turn your goals and dreams into real possibilities.

Get started now
Start a business
Use your experience
Find a job today.


A Less Taxing Time
AARP President Rob Romasco discusses the value of Tax-Aide volunteers
by Robert Romasco, AARP The Magazine, February 7, 2013

Few of us welcome tax season, but AARP takes some of the sting out of the annual ritual of digging up all those receipts.

Year after year, 36,000 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers donate as many as 40 hours a week - and some give even more - for 10 weeks to help mostly older, low- to moderate-income individuals prepare their tax returns, free of charge.

The payoff? Last year these trained volunteers helped people obtain $1.3 billion in refunds and more than $228 million in earned income tax credits by preparing a whopping 2.6 million tax returns.

The U.S. Tax Code seems to get more complicated every year, and struggling taxpayers may overpay or fail to file for credits they deserve. Tax-Aide volunteers unravel the mysteries behind everything from missing forms to foreclosure snags - and they do it with "accuracy, professionalism ... and friendliness," according to thank-you notes from grateful clients.

This is one of my favorite AARP Foundation programs. It's also a volunteer favorite. Ninety-seven percent of the Tax-Aide volunteers we surveyed say the most important part of the experience is the satisfaction they get from helping others. The taxpayers they assist are equally enthusiastic: 95 percent said they were very satisfied with the service they received. Many of them return year after year for assistance. Read more.



AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation for low to moderate income taxpayers - especially those 60 and older - at nearly 6,000 locations nationwide. Help your members find a location nearby by using the search.



Finding a non-English speaking caregiver

Recently, AARP blogger Sally Abrahms attended a conference and spoke to a woman who opened her eyes to a not uncommon plight. Finding a caregiver for non-English speakers, especially for many older immigrants can be tough.

The woman she spoke with, Im Jai Choi, was faced with this problem but saw an opportunity to help not only her mother but also others. Read more about how she helped to find caregivers for other non-English speakers as well.


Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Innovative apps. Tablet computers.
What do these things have in common? AARP.

In the burgeoning world of social media, it seems that certain brands and companies and celebrities have made their homes and their reputations online or in the social media landscape. You probably are familiar with some of them. But did you know that AARP is there as well?
On Facebook, AARP's main account has over 1,000,000 followers! Its Twitter feed is followed by over 61,500 people. But that is only a small section of the total AARP presence. In addition there are individual state Facebookand Twitter pages, a Public Outreach twitter account, andTwitteraccounts forPolicy, Foundation, Advocates, Bulletin and AARP Viva (a Spanish-language feed) among others.

AARP launched a customized YouTube destination that streamlines the user experience and better organizes the more than 2,000 videos available for site visitors. In 2013, AARP will continue to expand its online content offerings by developing premium original programming for the AARP YouTube channel in the form of weekly series, such as "The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager," featuring AARP savings expert Jeff Yeager, and "Movies for Grownups," with AARP entertainment editor Bill Newcott.

The AARP Online Community is a thriving network of groups and message boards where people with shared interests - such as caregiving or dating - can connect.

Mobile devices -whether text messages, or an iPad or iPhone or another type of device -AARP is on it. From optimizing our website to ensure the best possible experience, to up-to-the-minute legislative actions you can take, to apps that can be downloaded on mobile devices, to getting the magazine through an iPad - AARP is breaking new ground and ensuring that members and our partners continue to have the best platform and experience they desire.

Whatever your interests and however you choose to interact with us, you can count on AARP for information, resources and opportunities to stay connected - wherever you are and whenever you want. Spend some time with us at any of these sites: www.aarp.org / blog.aarp.org / www.twitter.com/aarp / www.facebook.com/aarp / www.youtube.com/aarp. / www.aarp.org/online_community

What's next? Who knows. But AARP is ready to go.


AARP in your corner

AARP offers several different pages, customized to various communities. Find out more at these pages:

Black Community
Spanish-speaking Community
Asian Community

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