May 6, 2019 Herb

Elder Fraud Photo Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reminds seniors that cruising the internet can be hazardous to your pocket book.  The statistics (gather complaints in 2018 – an average of more than 900 every day) by the FBI’s internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for 2018 reveal that internet-enabled theft, fraud, and exploitation remain prevalent and were responsible for a whopping $2.7 billion in financial losses in 2018. The FBI’s annual internet crime report pulls together information from 351,936 filed complaints of suspected internet crime, with reported losses in excess of…

April 29, 2019 Herb

About two weeks ago, S. 512, The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2019 authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) cleared the Senate Commerce Committee (ordered to be reported without amendment favorably) and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.   The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by helping educate seniors about fraud schemes and improve monitoring and response to fraud complaints Schemes directed at seniors include fraudulent investment plans, prizes, sweepstakes, Internet fraud, charity scams, predatory home lenders, telemarketing and…

April 22, 2019 Herb

A Social Security Check… Photo Credit: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its 2019 annual report on the long-term financial health of the Old-Age Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Funds.  The report notes that the combined funds reserves are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of scheduled benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund reserves are estimated to become depleted in 2052, extended 20 years from last year’s estimate of 2032, with…

April 14, 2019 Herb

Photo Credit: National Institute of Health Why not catch some midday z’s?  According to new research study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session on March 18, taking a nap may do more than reenergizing and improving your mood, it may also result in a noticeable drop in your blood pressure when compared with those who don’t take naps. The benefits of napping were similar to what would be expected from things like lifestyle changes and medication. “For example, salt and alcohol reduction can bring blood pressure levels down by 3–5 mm Hg,”…

April 8, 2019 Herb

Grandparents with Grandchildren Photo Caption: U.S. Census Bureau Today, the Washington, DC-based AARP released its Grandparents Today National Survey, taking a close look the latest trends impacting the growing number of American’s who have become grandparents.  Since 2001 the number of grandparents has grown a whopping 24 percent from 56 million to 70 million. The online survey of 2,654 grandparents ages 38+ was conducted between August 20 and September 4, 2018. According to AARP’s research study, released on April 8, grandparents spend an average of $2,562 annually on their grandchildren, pumping $179 billion dollars per year…

March 31, 2019 Herb

During the 116th Congress, legislation has been introduced to put the brakes on rising pharmaceutical costs. Recent poll results find that Americans want Congress to hammer out a bipartisan fix to this issue. Last month, AARP kicked off its Stop RX Greed campaign to lobby Congress to pass legislation to lower drug costs.  The goal of AARP’s sustained media campaign is to help drive down drug prices for all Americans by advocating for a variety of legislative, executive, and regulatory actions at both the federal and state level. As part of the campaign, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit conducted a study to…

March 16, 2019 Herb

A new study, published in a Gerontological Society of America (GSA) periodical, finds that when older adults feel they have more control over their daily lives, regardless of stress or health issues, they feel younger. But, the researchers say that stress and health – not a sense of control – play a significant role in how younger adults feel. “We recently found that there are things older adults can do to improve their feelings of control in their everyday lives,” said Shevaun Neupert, Ph.D., FGSA, a professor of psychology at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and co-author of a paper…

March 14, 2019 Herb

Last Tuesday, the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association announced the release of its 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease 2019 Facts and Figures.  The newly released report details both state and national specific statistics, useful to state and federal officials who are hammering out aging policy. The 90-page report warns that incidents of the Alzheimer’s and other dementias are skyrocketing.  This year, an estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia and nearly 14 million will have the disease in 2050.  By 2050, the new report projects the total cost of care reaching over $1.1 trillion. The 2019 Alzheimer’s…

March 3, 2019 Herb

UT Research Study Shows Benefits of Social Engagement Researchers at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin add to body of research literature that says the variety in your social circle may help you live a longer life. The findings found that those older adults who spend more time interacting with a wide range of people were more likely to be physically active and had greater emotional well-being. In a recently published article in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, the UT researchers reported that study participants who interacted more with family…

February 26, 2019 Herb

It’s tax season so don’t fall victim to unethical tax preparers.  Towards the end of the second full week of the 2019 tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns taxpayers to avoid unethical tax return preparers, called “ghost preparers”. According to the IRS, by law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing federal tax returns must have a valid 2019 Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign the return and include their PTIN.  Watch out for “Ghost” Tax Preparers But ‘ghost’ preparers do not sign the return, only printing the return and…