Category Archives: Money Matters

Black, Latino Seniors More Likely to be in Poverty in Retirement

 

 

Black and Latino seniors in the U.S. are facing a tougher time in retirement: Elder poverty rates are twice as high among these groups compared to the U.S. population as a whole, according to a new study by the University of California, Berkeley.

Some 19.4 percent of black and 19.0 percent of Latino seniors have incomes below the federal poverty line, compared to 9.4 percent for the senior population overall, according to the analysis, which is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey and U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

“Recent household surveys show that retirees of color, especially blacks and Latinos, rely more heavily on Social Security and have less access to other types of retirement income than their white counterparts,” researcher Nari Rhee of UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, said in a statement.

Less than one-third of employed Latinos and less than half of black workers are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, a key resource in ensuring adequate retirement income.  As a result, they are disproportionately reliant on the limited income provided by Social Security, the report found.

Among retirees age 60 and older, people of color are disproportionately likely to be low-income:  For 2007-2009, 31.6 percent of blacks and 46.5 percent of Latinos were in the bottom 25 percent income group.  The “other” race category of the Census, which includes Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American populations, is also more likely to be low-income (38 percent), the report noted.

“It is critical to improve both job access and job quality — in terms of wages and benefits, including pension benefits — to improve retirement prospects for current workers,” Rhee stated.

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/research/retirement_in_security2012.pdf

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT GRIOT CIRCLE

TO ENLARGE THE CALENDAR, JUST CLICK ON THE IMAGE.

10 Tips For Finding The Right Doctor

By Lissa Rankin

If you weren’t getting what you needed from your massage therapist, hairdresser, or yoga instructor, you would find someone else, right?  Why should your doctor be any different?  And yet, your doctor is even more important.  This is serious stuff we’re talking about here.

Plus, medicine is, after all, a spiritual practice.  At least it should be, and if your doctor doesn’t believe that, do you really want to put your body and your life in his or her hands?  If you didn’t like your priest, minister, guru, or shaman, you would go elsewhere, right?  It’s your body.  Your health. Your life. Your choice.

Ms. Rankin suggests you: Seek someone who shares your beliefs … Be willing to get what you pay for… Demand what you deserve … Listen to your intuition … Feel the love … Know that you deserve the best care possible.

TO READ LIST OF TIPS, JUST CLICK THIS LINK –> 10 Tips To Help You Find The Right Doctor | Care2 Healthy Living.

No one in NY or NJ should go hungry this holiday season

Do you know where you’ll be eating your Thanksgiving dinner? Chances are, there’s a senior in New York or New Jersey who doesn’t know if they’ll be eating dinner at all on Thanksgiving – or the days that follow.

There are nearly 9 million older Americans who wake up in the morning and don’t know if they’ll get enough to eat. You can change that.

This Thanksgiving, make twice the difference to help a senior in BROOKLYN who’s struggling to find their next meal. Every penny you give will go directly to hunger relief organizations in New York and New Jersey.

Make your tax-deductible donation by November 22 and your gift will be MATCHED – up to $100,000!

With your support, we can reach older Americans who won’t get the nutrients they need without a helping hand.

Through our targeted, community-based programs, AARP Foundation will use 100% of your donation to help with local food assistance programs. Senior hunger is a threat close to home and your gift today will make a difference for real people struggling just around the corner from you.

Right now, hungry seniors in New York and New Jersey need your help. Will you step up to lend them a hand? Every donation you give today will be matched by Met Life Foundation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000!

Give older Americans facing hunger a reason to be hopeful this Thanksgiving by making your urgent tax-deductible donation to AARP Foundation.

Thank you for helping seniors facing hunger, and standing with us as we help seniors facing other challenges, such as housing, income and isolation.

Sincerely,
Jo Ann Jenkins
President, AARP Foundation

HOW MEDICARE FAILS THE ELDERLY (nytimes.com)

By Jane Gross

(Published Oct. 15, 2011)

HERE is the dirty little secret of health care in America for the elderly, the one group we all assume has universal coverage thanks to the 1965 Medicare law: what Medicare paid for then is no longer what recipients need or want today.

No one then envisioned the stunning advances in medicine that now keep people alive into advanced old age, often with unintended and unwelcome consequences. Indeed, scientific reports have showed the dangers, not merely the pointlessness and expense, of much of the care Medicare is providing.

Of course, some may actually want everything medical science has to offer. But overwhelmingly, I’ve concluded in a decade of studying America’s elderly, it is fee-for-service doctors and Big Pharma who stand to gain the most, and adult children, with too much emotion and too little information, driving those decisions.

In the last year alone, and this list is far from complete, here is what researchers have found both useless and harmful, according to leading medical journals:

• Feeding tubes, which can cause infections, nausea and vomiting, rarely prolong life. People with dementia often react with agitation, including pulling out the tubes, and then are either sedated or restrained.

• Abdominal and gall bladder surgery and joint replacements, for those who rank poorly on a scale that measures frailty, lead to complications, repeat hospital stays and placement in nursing homes.

• Tight glycemic control for Type 2 diabetes, present in 1 of 4 people over 65, often requires 8 to 10 years before it helps prevent blindness, kidney disease or amputations. Without enough time to reap the benefits, the elderly endure needless dietary limits and needle sticks.

TO READ FULL ESSAY CLICK HERE –> How Medicare Fails the Elderly – NYTimes.com.

50 Best Companies for Workers Over 50 – AARP

1. Scripps Health

2. Cornell University

3. National Institutes of Health

4. First Horizon National Corporation

5. West Virginia University

6. The YMCA of Greater Rochester

7. Atlantic Health System

8. Mercy Health System

9. Bon Secours Richmond Health System

10. The Aerospace Corporation

 

TO SEE ENTIRE LIST, CLICK ON THIS LINK –> Best Employers Winners 2011 – AARP

Bed-Stuy Grandma Blocks Eviction

By Natasha Lennard

From inside Mary Lee Ward’s small and sparsely furnished living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, it sounded Friday as if a block party was in full swing in the street below.  Cars and trucks honked their horns as they passed and almost 200 voices could be heard cheering and chanting.

But this was no street party; it was not yet 9 a.m. and the crowd outside was there as a line of defense.

Ms. Ward — a tiny, soft-spoken 82-year-old — faced eviction by a city marshal on Friday morning, as the result of a subprime mortgage she took out in 1995. The lender, which filed for bankruptcy in 2007, had subsequently been investigated for predatory and discriminatory practices.  And so neighbors, friends, housing advocates and supporters formed a thick human wall outside Ms. Ward’s small, gray house on Tompkins Avenue.

If I’m evicted today, that’s it for anybody who’s a senior citizen,” Ms. Ward, who has lived in the house since 1967, said earlier in the morning, sitting in her living room next to a table covered with legal documents.  “It would show they can break up the community and do anything to us.”

Fifteen years ago, Ms. Ward says, she needed money for a lawyer to help keep her great-granddaughter from being put up for adoption.  Like many others in her neighborhood, she turned to a subprime lender.

She signed a contract with Delta Funding, a company she found advertised on a flier tucked in her mailbox. She borrowed $82,000 against her house, but claims she only ever received a payment of $1,000.

TO READ FULL STORY, CLICK HERE –> FALLOUT FROM A SUBPRIME MORTGAGE IN BROOKLYN – NYTimes.com.

100 Stores offer Senior Discounts

Finding a ‘early bird special’ for dinner in some areas may be a challenge.  But hundreds of retailers are featuring new and valuable discounts just for consumers who are 60 and over.

The folks at BradsDeals.com compiled a useful list of senior savings that will help you keep more money in your pocket.  Aging isn’t such a bad deal, in fact, age clearly offers some consumers the best deals in town!

If you’re looking for savings with restaurants, apparel retailers, groceries, travel and cell phone providers, or on entertainment and grooming services, just click this link: 107 Stores with Senior Discounts for a great hook-up.

Here’s a glimpse of the companies offering senior discounts:

Rite Aid, Gristede’s, Albertson’s, Compare Foods Supermarket, Amtrak, AT&T, Verizon, Holiday Inn, Hertz, American Airlines, Mc Donald’s, IHop, Chili’s, Wendy’s, AMC Theaters, Bally Total Fitness and Regal Cinemas.

Frugal is the New Fierce!

One of the benefits of living in a big metropolis is that there is often a good deal, a better bargain or fab freebie waiting for you to snap it up.  Living with limited income has a host of realities that may take some time to master.  Jean, a new retiree, spends hours scouring the Sunday paper for coupons, that’s fine, but also visit your neighborhood hair salon, bakery, parlor, laundry or diner for dollar-stretching deals.  If the small business that you regularly support does not offer occasional savings for seniors, step up and suggest they start to as a way to appreciate customer loyalty.  Sometimes just one or two voices can trigger change.

Be aware, or just avoid, group deals designed for seniors that require membership dues or cash upfront to earn points in a discount program.  It’s usually a scam.  Some frugal consumers we know sent us their tested and perfected pointers for bargain hunting for those necessities, take a read and feel free to add your own tips:

>  Be mindful, a “SALE” sign doesn’t always mean real savings.  Allison keeps a list of the prices of product(s) and service(s) she uses frequently so when a sale shows up she can judge whether it’s a great deal.  Businesses know that four-letter word attracts eyeballs even if the markdown is only a penny.

>  Craig and his partner Carlos cut their weekly dining expense and save by dining at a restaurant that regularly offers two-for-one Sunday brunch.

>  Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides coupons for fresh produce to low-income seniors.  Local area agencies on aging, local chefs, farmers or farmers’ markets associations, and various non-profit groups provide nutrition education to SFMNP recipients to encourage recipients to improve and expand their diet by adding fresh fruits and vegetables bought with SFMNP coupons.  Learn more, click here: eat fresh foods  SFMNP New York Coordinator: Jonathan Thomson via phone: 518-457-7076, email: jonathan.thomson@agmkt.state.ny.us.

>  Roger calls on dental schools at Columbia or NYU that offer specialty and general dentistry services performed by students or dental residents and supervised by licensed faculty.  Medicaid is accepted and financial assistance is available to cover the reasonable fee.  Schools for chiropractors and podiatrists also offer general services.  Learn more, click here: Columbia Dental School 

Please post your ideas for stretching dollars and where you found super deals and bargains for seniors on services and necessities.