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Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?

July 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?
Filed under: General 

Why is skincare the focus of longevity research? I guess a cell is a cell, and if you can crack the code for one human cell, it is only a matter of time to solving the puzzle with different types of cell – and skin is without doubt the most visible cells each of us have. And it’s our faces in particular we often judge ourselves and others by, and we are in turn quickly scrutinized, and often opinions reached in a fraction of a second. Our faces often show the most visible signs of aging, and for many in modern society age is by nature “bad” and young or looking young is the ideal. That is why billions and billions of dollars each year are poured by consumers into all sorts of treatments to minimize wrinkles, to push back the effects of gravity, and to turn back the hands of time. And with that much money to be spent by consumers, there are many manufacturers eager to find the next step in arresting Father Time – and at least detaining him until the next stagecoach arrives, where hopefully he can be encouraged to move on before too much damage can be done.

The Entire Issue Explained – In A Pair of Shoelaces

Some time ago a friend gave me a simple analogy that puts this entire issue in perspective. The science may not win a Nobel Prize, but it gave me the necessary ah-ha moment.

The double helix of the DNA strand – our most basic foundation for life – is held together at each end by things that act in the same way as the hard plastic bits on the end of shoelaces do – preventing the DNA from unraveling, and the individual chromosomes scattering across the floor like dropping a string of pearls down a marble staircase. These things are called telomeres.

Somewhere programmed into these tiny telomeres is the entire basis to how long the DNA stays intact – and by inference these are the keys to the length of life of the organism. Somewhere written into the telomere is a great musical score but like all musical scores it has a double bar somewhere to signify the end; but is it to be a minuet or a Wagnerian epic? But sure enough, when the time comes, and the telomeres blow the full time whistle, the DNA strand will unravel and die – and the circle of life begins again. Telomeres govern how often our skin cells are replaced; why a puppy and a child born on the same date may age exactly the same chronologically, but the puppy has become a geriatric before the child reaches puberty.

Telomeres, my friend explained, occasionally go on the fritz (that must have a very specific scientific meaning). One of the ways this occurs is they may forget their programming to release and unravel, and they just hang on, allowing the cells thus affected to multiply again and again without dying. In fact, when this occurs often they become very difficult to kill and to all intents and purposes once the telomeres act in this way, the cell – and those it propagates – are effectively immortal.

This condition has a name which we all know. Cancer.

But, what if we were able in some way to persuade the telomeres within a cancer to behave normally – would that not be the “magic bullet” cure for cancer? And the other side to that equation – if the telomeres in healthy cells could be persuaded to act as they do in a cancer – then is this the recipe for a healthy cell that does not die? Does the cure for cancer and immortality hang on just this one thread?

Whatever your views may be, the reality is that some of the world’s finest research scientists are working on that exact question and some would say it is only a matter of a decade or two before this is neither conjecture nor science fiction, but a reality to face up to. The changes that would take place in society even if life expectancy were to take a leap forward by say 10 or 20 years are enormous, but we should all be thinking that this is a distinct possibility.

From the dab of lanoline a generation ago to what I know hold in my hand as an anti aging skincare treatment is more than just a revolution – and I have no doubt in a few years I will be saying this cream will not just slow the aging process and reduce the visible signs of aging, making your face appear younger – but it will actually be younger.

But before that, let’s look back at how this whole engagement with life extension and anti-aging started. Mankind has always striven for longevity and mused about immortality – but the past 50 years has seen some dramatic steps in reality toward this goal.

Genesis

The thought of extending life has been on the mind of mankind for millennia. References to the search for ways to prolong life can be found as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh was reputedly the fifth king of the kingdom of Uruk, the modern-day Iraq, around 2500 BC. According to the Sumerian list of kings, he reigned for 126 years. The Torah or Old Testament records Methuselah as living over 900 years, with life spans measured in centuries apparently commonplace before the time of Noah.

Throughout the development of scientific thought from the Reformation onwards, scholars have applied themselves to solving this riddle and these endeavors continue today at the very leading edge of scientific progress.

Unraveling Secrets

As the secrets of our existence are unraveled in ever more minute detail, we are beginning to understand what it is that makes us grow from tiny babies into adults. We now know, for example, that cell functions slow down as the body ages and that production of certain substances required by the body to regenerate decrease or cease completely.

Skin, for instance, needs two substances to retain strength and firmness.
The production of these substances namely collagen (strength, tightness) and elastin (flexibility) decreases with age. The decreases in production together with other factors that include the threat of free radicals make the skin age and become wrinkly. Free radicals are essentially incomplete oxygen molecules causing destructive chain reactions within cells.

The same kind of thing happens in every cell, every tissue and organ around the human body. For example, people develop frown lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles. Nutrients are no longer absorbed easily and vital cell functions, hormones and other substances are produced at decreased rates resulting in the body aging.

A Brief History of the Life Extension Movement

Science has been looking for ways to slow down this process for centuries. The forming of life extension movements, however, did not really begin until around 1970.

➢ In this year, Denham Harman, the originator of the so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’, decided that an organization dedicated to the research and information sharing between scientists working in biogerontology (the field of science concerned with the biological aspects involved in the aging process) was needed. As a result, the American Aging Association was formed.

➢ In 1976, two futurists, Philip Gordon and Joel Kurtzman wrote a book on the research into extending the human lifespan. This popular volume was titled ‘No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life’.

➢ Kurtzman was then invited to speak at Florida’s House Select Committee (HSC) of Aging, which was chaired by Claude Pepper, an American politician and spokesman for the elderly. The aim of this talk was to discuss the impact on Social Security by life extension.

➢ In 1980, Saul Kent, a prominent activist in the field of life extension, published the book ‘The Life Extension Revolution’ and founded the nutraceutical (from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, in other words, a nutrition supplement) firm known as ‘The Life Extension Foundation’.

This foundation is a non-profit making organization promoting dietary supplements and publishing the periodical ‘Life Extension Magazine’. Kent was later involved in work relating to cryogenics. He was jailed in the course of this work over a dispute at one point, although charges were dropped at a later stage.

➢ In 1982, American health writer and life extension advocate Sandy Shaw and her co-writer, Durk Pearson, popularized the term ‘life extension’ even further with the bestseller ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach’.

➢ Roy Walford, a gerontologist and life-extensionist, published ‘Maximum Lifespan’, another popular book on the subject. He and Richard Weindruch, his student, followed this up in 1988 with their summary on the research they had conducted into the ability to prolong the life of rodents through calorie restriction. The title of this book is ‘The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction’.

Although this ability to extend life with calorie restriction had been known since the 1930’s, when gerontologist, biochemist and nutritionist Clive McCay did some research into the subject, it was the work of Walford and Weinbruch that gave solid scientific grounding to the McCay’s findings.

Walford’s scientific work was driven by a personal interest in life extension. He practiced calorie restriction as part of his own life and eventually died at the age of 80. The cause of his death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive motor neuron disease.

➢ A4M, the ‘American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’ was founded in 1992 to create a medical specialty for anti aging that was distinctly separate from geriatrics. This allowed scientists and physicians interested in this particular field of science to hold conferences and discuss the latest developments.

➢ The sci.life-extension, a Usenet group, was created by California-born author, philosopher and translator Brian M. Delaney. This represented an important development within the movement of life extension. It made it possible, for example, for the CR (Calorie Restriction) Society to be created.

➢ A more recent development is the proposal of Dr A. de Grey, a biogerontologist at Cambridge University. This proposal suggested that damage to cells, macromolecules, organs and tissues can be repaired with the help of advanced biotechnology. This is evident in hair restoration products, for instance.

More than Books

Although it would appear that most of the work revolving around life extension has been done solely by writing books or founding societies or organizations of some kind or another, the reality is that these books were written in response to or based on very specific, detailed scientific research that have yielded positive results.

They are no longer the works of hopeful minds, but the works of dedicated scientists who have spent their lives working on discovering facts about aging and trying to find ways to slow down, or even reverse the process.

Many breakthroughs have been made, and in many ways, we are already able to extend lives to a certain extent. The average lifespan of a human being is already far greater than it used to be as a result of medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional advances brought about by research and development.

The work continues, and scientists around the world are continually conducting research, comparing results, discussing options and making advances on our behalf.

Driving Forces behind the Development of the Life Extension Movement

What factors are driving this movement into ever greater efforts to find solutions to the extension of Life? The answer to this question actually includes a whole range of factors.

Expectations Have Risen

As the ‘baby boomer’ generation (born between 1946-1964) enters retirement age, expectations of this group are dramatically different from those of the preceding generations. They have greater expectations and desires to enjoy their life as pensioners to the fullest and for as long as is possible. This expectation covers not only length of life, but quality of life as well and this is not a passive request but an active and strident demand in many cases.

Pharmacology

Progress in pharmacology has led to a wide selection of drugs that allow people to live longer and fuller lives being developed over the last two decades or so. The work is still very much in progress and many more drugs are being developed daily.

One of the classic examples of a drug raising the quality of life for older individuals are erectile dysfunction treatments – notably Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These drugs have dramatically reduced the number of fatalities or serious injury resulting from elderly men rolling out of bed, as well as a number of more qualitative benefits.

Advances in Genetics

Some of the latest scientific research and subsequent advances made in biotechnology and genetics are providing some hope that it may be possible to hold back some of the fundamental causes of aging.

As we outlined previously, chromosomes containing DNA strings are essentially capped with a binding substance known as telomeres. In effect, the telomeres are consumed during cell division and over time, they become shorter and shorter.

This was first observed by a scientist called Leonard Hayflick, and the process of limited cell division was subsequently named the Hayflick Limit. Advocates of life extension work on the thought that lengthening the telomeres through drugs or gene therapy may ultimately extend the Hayflick Limit and thereby fool the cells, and as such the body, into ‘thinking’ it is younger than it actually is.

Developments in Precision Manufacture

Advances made in the fields of nanotechnology, miniaturization, computer chips and robotics also provide hope for potentially life extending solutions.

In the 1970’s, a popular TV series starred Lee Majors as the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’? Science fiction then. Today, it is science fact. Millions of people now walk through life with artificial ankle, knee and hip joints and healthy feet. A generation ago, mass production of this kind of technology was a distant dream.

The same applies to many individuals with artificial limbs. Artificial legs used to be crude wooden contraptions that were just able to keep a person balanced. Today’s artificial limbs are almost fully functional.

The Blessings of Medical Progress

Who would have thought even 50 years ago that it would become possible to bypass a coronary artery, or even replace a heart completely? Yet there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individuals enjoying their lives after having this kind of surgery – few of whom would be alive just half a century ago.

Millions of people no longer have to wear glasses, because of the availability of laser surgery. This, too, was science fiction just a few years ago. Today, it is advertised next to shampoo in magazines and on TV.

In other words, science is moving rapidly towards not only extending life, but making the quality of these extra years better as well.

Is it Science, Science Fiction or Lunacy?

What should the average person believe? This question is almost as difficult to answer as finding solutions to extended life. Even among scientists, opinions are divided. Some do believe that extending the quality of life is as possible as extending life in general.

Others brush off the thought as un-scientific nonsense. This is often simply based on the fear of anything ‘new’ disturbing the status quo of established limits. Fortunately, real scientists do keep on looking, because if every single scientist had decided that some of the advancements already in medical, pharmaceutical and technological fields could not be possible, we would all still be dying at 30.

So where does that leave us?

There is no doubt what-so-ever that there are many charlatans out there trying to make a quick buck out of people’s desire to retain their youth. Even today, many products being sold in their millions are essentially non-effective – often given fantastic names and have the most bewildering ingredients to make them look scientific to consumers and justify their cost.

But the facts are while many advancements are being made and research points to the possibility of eventually finding the key to maintaining youth for longer, the scientific community is still warning the public that many of the products being sold today are unreliable to say the least.

➢ Although food supplements may assist in keeping a body healthier – something that can often be achieved by simply adopting a healthier life style and diet – there is as yet no categorical and undeniable proof that they slow down aging as such.

➢ The same goes for many hormone treatments. Although they may have a short term effect of some kind, it is not yet scientifically proven that they will actually work in the long run. The fear that it may not work is based on the fact that taking hormones, a good example is the hormonal acne treatment, will ultimately actually slow down the body’s own production of these hormones.

In addition, many treatments may have potential (and yet unknown) side effects in the long run that could be harmful to the user’s health. This includes the fears that such hormone treatments could increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and other major illnesses.

➢ Other ideas, like the calorie restriction method, are working for rodents. In fact, studies conducted with rats on 30 to 50 per cent restricted diets have shown to almost double the life span of rats.

Similar studies conducted on primates have also shown tendency to extend life to a certain extent and prevent a list of age related illnesses. There are as yet no studies on humans, although some are actually living on calorie restricted diets. Whether this will prolong their lives, however, is a question of having to wait and see.

The theory is that by reducing calorie intake, the metabolism of the body is slowed down, thereby slowing the aging process as well. Nutritionists say there is a certain amount of calories a body of a certain size and weight needs to have to maintain health. Reducing this amount by up to 50 per cent is hardly a good idea in the long term.

Time will tell, as they say, but how will anyone be able to tell the difference? If a person lives to the age of 80, is this because they are on this diet or would they have lived to this age anyway?

Where Will This Lead?

Many believe there is realistic hope and expectation of making significant strides in the area of longevity within the next two decades. This group typically believes the answer will ultimately lie within genetics and biotechnology. It is too early to make definite predictions, but the research so far shows promise and, as mentioned earlier, some of the results of this research are already being used in certain treatments to improve patients’ lives.

At present, overall aging is difficult to slow down, to say the least. Some products indicate they will assist in maintaining overall health/longevity, but the area we are seeing the first commercial products being developed is in the area of skin care and given the size of this market, it is likely that this will continue to be the weather-vane of longevity treatments.

Science or Snake Oil?

It will be difficult to tell these two apart for many years. Charlatans are likely to about, because it is difficult to disprove many theories easily. Equally difficult will be positive proof from those with an ethical perspective on the trail of a real breakthrough, as products based on valid research and using technology or ingredients that will actually have an effect rarely promise overnight results. This is something that anyone looking to find improved youthful looks, etc, will have to bear in mind. None of these products can perform miracles. Even the best of them will take time and regular use in order to achieve the desired effect.

The bottom line is that where we stand now, we can be sure there are some things which are ineffective or even harmful; there are some that show some promise and there are some that are starting to cross the line of being able to demonstrate results – albeit modestly at this point.

In the meantime, it is wise to research products very carefully and to refuse to be baffled by weird and wonderful sounding ingredients or fantastic sounding promises of instant youth. Regeneration will take time – let’s face it, it has taken a lifetime to get to this point, turning back the clock can never be possible over night.

Skin Care and the Life Extension Movement

One may well ask just what all this, and in particular the life extension movement as such, could possibly have to do with skin care, health and beauty products. The fact is, much of the research into life extension is resulting in new approaches to skin care as a kind of by-product.

A greater understanding of how genetics and cellular processes affect the aging and condition of skin allows these research and development teams to investigate different compounds, their compatibility with human cells and genetic make up.

Many compounds found in nature are not just compatible to human skin but in fact the skin cells actually have natural receptors for these compounds. Because life extension research has discovered these receptors, skin care developers can now use this knowledge and create the formulae for their products to provide maximum effect.

Another skin care ‘by-product’ of life extension research is the use of nanotechnology. The use of nanotechnology, or, to be more precise, nanoparticles, has had a huge impact on the way nutrients and other components of skin care products are being delivered to the skin cells. In some ways, nanotechnology has already revolutionized skin care. It is now possible to use active ingredients previously difficult to effectively deliver to the skin, as well as making old, proven ingredients even more effective. Some ingredients used in cosmetics for hundreds, if not thousands of years by certain cultures can now be even more effectively used to improve skin condition and maintain a healthy, youthful look.

Even the moisturizing effect of skin care products can be improved with nantechnology. For this effect, so-called nanosomes are used. Nanosomes are small, pocket-like particles that melt or disintegrate on skin contact. By doing this, the moisturising effect is accelerated, assisting the skin faster and more efficiently.

Nanotechnology plays a key part not only in slowing the aging of skin, but is believed to actively assist in repairing and healing skin cells and tissue.

Another breakthrough in life extension research that is beginning to make itself felt in skin care products is the research into stem cells. Stem cells are elements of all life, plant, animal and human. Stem cells have two properties other cells do not have. These properties are the ability to develop into any kind of cell type and the ability to divide almost indefinitely. The use of plant stem cell extracts in skin care is likely to become one of the next ‘big things’ in the industry. And prepare for the debate when human stem cells are proposed as part of an anti-aging skincare regime, as will inevitably occur!

One thing we can be certain of, is that science will continue to search for answers to the question of life extension, and business will drive the commercialization of discoveries. But whether these lead us to a utopian future or potentially a minefield of strife as we debate who will use and who will benefit from these new godlike powers. In the meantime, at a practical level in the skincare, health and beauty industry we remain hopeful and expectant we will see the emergence of products that not only promise results, but produce them.

David Christensen is a veteran of Asia Pacific business, currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand and heading up the business he was a co-founder of, Royal Siam Natural Health & Beauty – who can be located at [http://www.royalsiam.asia], and the information supporting site at [http://www.royalsiam.info]. Royal Siam was established after careful planning in early 2011, spending 2011 concentrating on building the necessary business infrastructure and concentrating on the domestic Thai market. Early in 2012 Royal Siam launched its international website and online store, and in April 2012 publicly declared the ambition to be among the world’s top 20 premium health and beauty brands by the year 2020. Royal Siam is a unique business, operating in the premium skincare, anti aging, and related fields. At its core, one mission is to commercialize and bring to a global market the immense wealth of knowledge about the healing and beneficial properties of Thai and South East Asian plants – a knowledge base carefully built up over the last thousand years. At the same time, the mission is to bring to market the very latest in scientific advances in the area of anti aging… resulting in the unique position of having a Thai heritage and offering the best of nature, tradition, and science.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_D_Christensen/1317312

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Changes Are Expected, Allsup Explains

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Changes Are Expected, Allsup Explains

New Medicare plan options for 2014 will be available Oct. 15, but Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment could confuse beneficiaries 

There are only a few weeks before the Medicare annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 15. This year’s Medicare season crosses calendars with the rollout of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so it’s important Medicare-eligible beneficiaries understand the differences between the two government programs, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Medicare plan selection services.

During the Medicare annual enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, all Medicare beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare plans for the coming year to better match their needs. This includes anyone using original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans.

“Because the federal and state-run health insurance exchanges open for business just two weeks prior to Medicare enrollment, some people may be confused,” said Paula Muschler, manager of the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a Medicare plan selection service offering personalized help that includes customized research and enrollment assistance.

“Medicare beneficiaries may falsely think they need to enroll in an exchange plan to avoid penalties. Or, they may be so flustered that they don’t carefully evaluate their Medicare plan options for 2014, which could be detrimental if their plan or their needs have changed,” Muschler said.

Another potential area of confusion is for those individuals turning 65 during Medicare annual enrollment. “Because some seniors become Medicare eligible during this time period, they need to look at their Medicare selections for coverage that takes them through year-end 2013, as well as coverage that will begin Jan. 1, 2014,” Muschler said. “These first-time enrollees can benefit from the help of a Medicare specialist like Allsup when it comes to navigating their Medicare plan decisions.”

What to Expect: Medicare Coverage 2014

Nearly 50 million people are enrolled in Medicare. Each year, annual open enrollment brings with it changes that can affect their Medicare plan selections.

Following are factors to keep in mind for 2014 coverage:

Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Anyone with Medicare is considered covered and won’t face penalties for being uninsured under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Medicare annual open enrollment runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. (Note: Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment is from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).)

Medicare recipients reaching the drug donut hole will benefit from lower costs. The gap in prescription drug coverage starts when someone reaches the initial coverage limit, estimated at $2,850 in 2014. It ends when they have spent $4,550, when catastrophic coverage begins. (These are reductions of $120 and $200, respectively, from 2013.) During the donut hole, all costs are covered by individuals out of their own pocket. In 2014, those who reach the donut hole can receive a 52.5 percent discount on brand-name drugs and 28 percent discount on generic drugs (an increase from 21 percent in 2013).

Under catastrophic coverage, they are responsible for a co-pay of $2.55 for generic or preferred multisource drugs (down from $2.65 in 2013) with a retail price up to $51 and $6.35 for all other drugs (down from $6.60 in 2013) with a retail price up to $127. For 2014, however, beneficiaries are responsible for a 5 percent cost-sharing fee for drugs over those retail prices.

Medicare Part B premium changes are expected. In each of the past three years, Part B premiums have increased. The 2013 monthly premium for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) was $104.90, an increase from $99.90 in 2012. In addition, because Part B premiums are based on the beneficiary’s income and those income levels are frozen at 2010 levels, more individuals could see their premiums change. Information on the standard Part B premium for 2014 should be available by the time Medicare annual open enrollment begins Oct. 15.

Prescription drug Part D plans will see slight changes in deductible and premiums. The Part D initial deductible decreases by $15 to $310. HHS also recently reported the Part D monthly premiums will remain relatively stable, at $31 for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014. This is close to the reported average premium of $30 for the past three years (2011-13). Part D premiums are subject to the same income-based thresholds as Part B.

Changes anticipated for Medicare Advantage plans. Not all plans change every year, but common changes include costs, such as premiums, deductibles and co-pays, and changes to covered procedures, tests, medical facilities and other provisions. Some plans may be eliminated, which means beneficiaries will need to select a new plan or default to original Medicare Part B. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans continues to grow with 14.4 million people enrolled, an increase of more than 1 million from 2012, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Most Medicare participants will receive their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EO) from their current Medicare Advantage and Part D providers by Sept. 30, according to Muschler. “It’s crucial people review materials as soon as they receive them and asses their current healthcare needs,” she said.

“Healthcare costs are a critical line item in most people’s budget, and especially so for seniors and people with disabilities,” Muschler added. “Believing your current plan will continue to cover your needs in the same way can lead to unexpected and costly surprises.”

Medicare specialists such as Allsup are available to help consumers and their family members review Medicare plans and choices for 2014 coverage, Muschler added.

“For many people, this can be a time-consuming, confusing and complex evaluation process, especially when comparing Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans,” Muschler said. “Many Medicare beneficiaries are pleased to find out there are Medicare specialists like Allsup who look at the comparative details of the plans, and then provide them the assistance they need to make choices that suit their needs and budget in the coming year.”

The Allsup Medicare Advisor is an affordable, flat-fee based service for Medicare-eligible individuals.

For an evaluation of Medicare options, call an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist at (866) 521-7655 or visit Medicare.Allsup.com to learn more about the service.

The Allsup Medicare Advisor also has features that help financial advisors guide their clients to the Medicare plans that match their specific lifestyles and healthcare needs. Employers also use Allsup Medicare Advisor for their employees who are retiring and transitioning to Medicare. For more information, go to FinancialAdvisor.Allsup.com, or call (888) 220-9678.
ABOUT ALLSUP

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.

# # #

Contact:
Rebecca Ray, (800) 854-1418, ext. 65065, r.ray@allsupinc.com
Mary Jung, (773) 429-0940, mtjung@msn.com

Senior Citizen Information – The Social Security Funding Problem by Glen Jensen

September 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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The Baby Boomer generation will begin taking early retirement in 2008. In 2011 they will approach the traditional retirement age of 65. As more and more Baby Boomers retire they will put a tremendous strain on the Social Security system. So far, no significant changes have been implemented to lessen the impact Baby Boomers will have on the Social Security system. The longer any action is delayed the more drastic the changes will be. Will these changes affect you? If you were born between 1946 and 1964, then you are officially a Baby Boomer and will probably be impacted by the Social Security funding problem.

The current and projected future financial status of the Governments’ trust funds is presented in the “The 2007 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds (OASDI).” The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) states that there are no plans to reduce benefits for current retirees. In fact, benefits for current retirees are scheduled to continue growing with inflation. However, the 2007 OASDI Trustees Report also states, “Social Security’s combined trust funds are projected to allow full payment of scheduled benefits until they become exhausted in 2041. This means that unless changes are made soon, benefits for all retirees could be cut by 26 percent in 2040 and continue to be reduced every year thereafter. If you are “younger” senior citizen or a want to-be senior citizen, this is not good news

The Trustees of Social Security, the Comptroller General of the United States and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board have said, the sooner we address the problem, the smaller and less abrupt the changes will be. The independent, bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board has also said: “As time goes by, the size of the Social Security problem grows, and the choices available to fix it become more limited.” Addressing the problem now will allow today’s younger workers planning for their retirement to have a better assurance of the future of Social Security. The problem has not been addressed as of 2007.

If Social Security is not changed we have a limited number of options in the future. The options are to increase payroll taxes, reduce the benefits of today’s younger workers or borrow from the general fund. Social Security’s Trustees state, “If no action were taken until the combined trust funds become exhausted in 2040, much larger changes would be required. For example, payroll taxes could be raised to finance scheduled benefits fully in every year starting in 2040. In this case, the payroll tax would be increased to 16.65 percent at the point of trust fund exhaustion in 2040 and continue rising to 17.78 percent in 2080. Similarly, benefits could be reduced to the level that is payable with scheduled tax rates in every year beginning in 2040. Under this scenario, benefits would be reduced 26 percent at the point of trust fund exhaustion in 2040, with reductions reaching 30 percent in 2080.”

Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of income in retirement and that especially applies to the Baby Boomer generation. It is often said that a comfortable retirement is based on a “three-legged stool” of Social Security, pensions and savings. American workers should be saving for their retirement on a personal basis and through employer-sponsored or other retirement plans. If a Baby Boomer is not preparing for retirement with a pension and/or savings to supplement their Social Security benefits, they will have to delay retirement or continue working part-time.

Glen Jensen is a writer for [http://www.SeniorCitizenDirectory.com] which is a site that provides Senior Citizen Information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Glen_Jensen

Debt and Senior Citizens by David Cunningham

August 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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We are in a consumer driven world. There are so many things all around us that make our lives easier and, in a way, influence us to think that we must have them. There are always things that we want which we simply cannot afford. As banks and credit card companies mushroom out of control, we are barraged with opportunities to accept so-called help from these financial institutions just so we can buy more merchandise we want but do not need.

The best part is that you do not even have go to them asking for the credit that you want. They will be at your beck and call offering credit cards, store credit cards (from those stores you wanted to purchase from anyway), merchandise cards (you’re given hundreds of dollars in credit to purchase from the company’s specific catalog), and leasing arrangements that allow you to pay over time.

The only problem with buying on credit is paying it off. Using an analogy, it is easier to step into quicksand than it is to get out. There isn’t always a branch lying around attached to a willing helper. Credit may be no problem if your current job earns enough money to repay your debts completely each month. It simply becomes part of your overall expenses. What happens, though, when your debt overextends your pay check?

Unfortunately, retired senior citizens are more susceptible to this pitfall. In prior years, they worked and earned a certain amount of money, but upon retirement are saddled with little more than Social Security – definitely a blow to the pocket book. Their income is not as flexible as it once was. There are solutions, however, from which seniors can benefit. Some are even geared specifically toward them.

As a senior citizen, you can request the help of a professional. Financial advisors are available to help tackle your problems. Asking for the aid of one such professional can save you a great deal of anxiety, credit ruin and, more importantly, stress. Your financial advisor can act as a mediator between you and creditors to develop “payoff amounts” that won’t leave you destitute – and usually at a fraction of your current payments. If you feel that you’re drowning financially, you shouldn’t wait until the water is over your head. Contact a financial advisor now for assistance.

Before meeting with an advisor, there are steps you should take to be best prepared for the discussion. Grab a notebook and pen to list all your creditors. List them in order of importance, starting with your mortgage (or rent or community fees, etc.) and ending with small payments like store credit cards. List their amounts as well. If you owe $50,000 on your home then list $50,000 and your current monthly payment. For example:

ABC Mortgage Company $50,000 (debt), $775 (monthly payment)

Listing the information this way will show your credit advisor that you are serious about getting your debt in order. It also is incredibly useful for the advisor in contacting your creditors since your financial advisor can then, at a glance, see what you owe and to whom. A sample short list follows below.

It is important that you have a clear comprehension of your financial situation. The best solution to debt is to not get into any that you cannot handle. However if you have already reached that “destination,” especially as a retired senior, then utilizing a financial advisor is certainly a great option to help rid yourself of the burden.

And now, the sample I promised:

John Smith

Total Monthly Income: $1200

DEBTS / MONTHLY PAYMENTS

ABC Mortgage $50,000 (debt), $750 (monthly payment)

Car Payment $20,000 (debt), $450 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #1 $3,000 (debt), $25 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #2 $1,200 (debt), $15 (monthly payment)

Store Credit Card #1 $5,000 (debt), $75 (monthly payment)

House Phone $50 (monthly payment)

Cell Phone $55 (monthly payment)

Total Debt $79,200

Total Monthly Payments $1,400

As you can see from this example, this person is losing $200 every month ($1400 monthly payments minus $1200 income). A financial advisor can usually negotiate with the credit card companies. They may even suggest that this person discontinue either their home phone or cell phone, for example, as most can probably get along with just one or the other.

For practical debt & credit assistance [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com/credit_card_debt_solutions.shtml] information, please visit [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com], a popular site providing great insights concerning how to address your issues and worries related to nagging debt struggles [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com/usa_debt_management.shtml].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Cunningham

 

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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For Immediate Release
May 3, 2013
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities
SSI Restoration Act of 2013 Positive Step in Debate Over Benefits for America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Washington, DC – The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) supports Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in his dedication to improving the lives of low-income older Americans and individuals with disabilities. Rep. Grijalva recently introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2013 (H.R. 1601), which includes long overdue efforts to modernize the SSI program.

“Rep. Grijalva and House co-sponsors should be congratulated for their leadership in presenting the SSI Restoration Act. Over the past four decades, SSI has become the most important government program for bare subsistence for the poorest of our aged, blind, and disabled citizens, and yet, the allowable income and resource standards are locked at 1972 levels while inflation has significantly reduced the value of these amounts,” said NAELA member Neal Winston, CELA, an expert in SSI and Social Security.

More than 8 million Americans rely on SSI for their daily survival. Unfortunately, a growing number of older SSI recipients are homeless because of these outdated financial restrictions. The SSI Restoration Act seeks to align the SSI program with modern day financial realities by updating the income disregard and the resource limit and repealing the in-kind support and maintenance provision and SSI transfer penalty.

“Modernizing these benefits to align with today’s cost of living will help improve the quality of life for older Americans and individuals with disabilities. SSI is a critical benefit that protects low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities from absolute poverty but the current benefits and transfer rules make it too difficult for these individuals and their families to handle unpredictable costs and adequately plan for the future. This bill will help older Americans and individuals with disabilities meet their basic living needs,” said NAELA President-Elect Howard Krooks, CELA, CAP.

The SSI Restoration Act enjoys wide support from several leading disability and aging organizations and NAELA joins members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations in advocating for this important legislation. NAELA urges members of Congress to support Rep. Grijalva’s modest effort to help older Americans and individuals with disabilities.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visitNAELA.org.

Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

At a time when thousands of Baby Boomers are reaching the age of 65 every day, the issues of senior rights, elder laws, and anti-ageism have never been more important, more volatile, or more questioned. After all, this is the generation that was ready to take down the establishment fifty years ago, and they haven’t lost any of their desire to change the world for the better. And, they have the numbers to do it. Here are our 100 top blogs for seniors dealing with senior rights, law & policy, and anti-ageism.

Boomers Against The Law

  1. Elder Law Plus: lawyer Evan H. Farr blogs about topics concerning elder law, including probate strategies and parental care.
  2. Michigan Elder Law Blog: the attorneys at Barsch & Joswick provide seniors and their loved ones with sage advice on a variety of Elder law issues.
  3. Everything Elder Law: Evan Farr is back at it again, this time focusing on Elder Law news, concepts, and innovations from around the country.
  4. Massachusetts Estate and Elder Law Blog: lawyer and blogger Stephanie Konarski gives tips on estate planning and other elder law topics.
  5. New York Elder Law Attorney Blog: your source for elder law news and comment in New York, this blog analyzes nursing home legislation and elder care costs.
  6. Elder Law Prof. Blog: Elder Law professor Kim Dayton authors a really nice blog that covers a wide range of Elder law issues, from Supreme Court cases to seminars.
  7. The Pop Tort: can a consumer advocates blog dealing with civil justice be cute? This blog proves it can, complete with an adorable “Pop Tort” logo, even while exploring such issues as Medicare and Medicaid lawsuits, nursing home scams, and medical malpractice against the elderly, among other legal issues.
  8. Supportive Senior Solutions: this blog from a geriatric care management practice in New York covers issues related to geriatric care, caregiving, and healthcare laws for the elderly and infirm.
  9. Aging Beats the Alternative: elder care specialist Lorie Ebers uses her blog to talk about overcoming the challenges of aging, caring for aging parents, and the less talked about side of elder law: Boomer divorce.
  10. Elder Law Blog: lawyer Ronald C. Morton’s elder law blog is full of sage advice for seniors looking how to tap into Veteran’s benefits, how to plan for their golden years, and more.
  11. The Best Elder Law Blog: published by the attorneys at Lamson & Cutner, this blog discusses elder law cases, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage.
  12. Elder Law Tips and News: the lawyers at Cooper, Adel & Associates bring you posts on living trusts, aging issues, and general estate planning.
  13. The Connecticut Elder Law Blog: lawyer Michael Keenan provides his readers with estate planning tips, elder fraud, and Medicare rules.
  14. The Teddy Bear Lawyers: attorney Rick Law gives readers a great resource for Elder Law in the Chicagoland area. Find articles on protecting vulnerable seniors and financial planning.
  15. Oregon Elder Law: attorney Orrin Onken blogs on elder law, estate planning, and probate proceedings in plain, easy to understand language.
  16. Florida Elder Law and Estate Blog: this informative blog includes great articles on VA benefits, estate planning, and trusts.
  17. Golden Law Center: written by attorney Sasha Golden, the Golden Law Center blog discusses elder law, special needs planning, guardianship, wills and trusts, and estate administration.
  18. Kraft Elder Law: attorney Robert Kraft blogs about Medicaid, Medicare, wills, trusts, probate, veterans benefits, and other elder law topics.
  19. Pennsylvania Law Blog: this elder law blog by the attorneys at the law offices of Shober & Rock discusses Medicaid, taxes, Veterans, banks, and annuities.
  20. Long Beach Elder Law Blog: this blog focuses on elder abuse, estate protection, the Cal MediConnect program, and reform of health law.
  21. Houston Elder Law Blog: the folks at Wright Abshire Attorneys blog about care planning, estate planning, Medicaid Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, and and Veteran’s Benefits.
  22. Hauptman Law Blog: readers of this blog can learn more about elder, estate, and special needs law. Includes articles on the Medicare Settlement and VA Aid.
  23. Fulkerson Elder Law Blog: the function of this elder law blog is for the firm to respond to common questions clients have about elder law and review developments in the law impacting elder law and estate planning.
  24. CMLP Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog: readers can look forward to reviewing articles on simplifying their estate plan and elder law news items of note.
  25. Massachusetts Estate Planning and Probate Blog: attorney Matthew Karr keeps readers up to date on estate planning and probate news and information.
  26. Marshall Elder and Estate Planning Blog: the author of this elder law blog has over 30 years experience in estate planning, special needs planning, and estates.
  27. Hartford, CT Elder Law Blog: the attorney’s at Ruggiero Ziogas & Allaire discuss estate planning, care planning, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, and Probate.
  28. El Paso Elder Law Blog: the law firm of Stephanie Townsend Allala and Associates blogs on estate planning, guardianships, Medicaid Planning, Nursing Home Abuse, and Trust & Probate.
  29. Miami Probate Law Blog: the folks at the Byrant law firm keep readers up-to-date on estate administration, probate court, estate litigation, and the nuisances of will and trust disputes.
  30. Elder Law News: attorney Brian A. Raphan is based in New York City and specializes in Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Elder Care issues. His blog is full of great resources.
  31. Aging & Law in West Virginia: this blog contains news in law and aging in West Virginia, written by the West Virginia Senior Legal Aid organization.
  32. Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning: this Florida Certified Elder Law attorney provides in depth insights and news to help Floridians protect themselves and preserve their assets.
  33. Family Law Blog Maryland: while this blog looks at all matters pertaining to Family Law, elder law sneaks in as a prevalent theme in many of the cases discussed. They look at legal matters like when divorce and retirement coincide, or when grandparents wish to take custody of their grandchildren.
  34. Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog: looking at issues older couples face in Arizona, this family law blog explores the specific challenges elders face in divorces and custody battles, complete with the latest policy changes and laws.
  35. Otherspoon: hospice volunteer and blogger Ann Neumann talks about care-giving and the realities, politics, and senior rights involved in death and dying.

Seniors Talk Policy And Politics

  1. Aging in Place: this blog is concerned with seniors who are dealing with shrinking benefits and increasing costs—seniors find answers on how to protect themselves.
  2. Estate in Denial: providing news, analysis, and commentary on abusive practices occurring in probate courts. Features original perspective and direct communication.
  3. Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog: this blog covers estate planning legal issues, cases of interest, and news with a focus on Florida elder law.
  4. McGuire Woods: the people at McGuire Woods author this great blog on long term care legal issues, including timely news, articles, and white papers.
  5. Illinois Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: published by the law office of Wilson & Wilson, this blog covers asset protection, banking, estate planning, and trusts.
  6. Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog: covers Illinois nursing home law, including Supreme Court cases and other information relating to residents and family members.
  7. Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli Blog: provides readers in New Jersey with information on elder law, estate and special needs planning, and mediation services.
  8. Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog: this blog offers insight on nursing home abuse reports, legislation, and legal opinions of elder law in Maryland.
  9. Massachusetts Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law: elder law attorney Brian Barreira writes on legal issues involving death, taxes, special needs, and long-term elder care.
  10. New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: blog posts explore life and death in New Jersey from a perspective of estate planning, elder law, taxation, probate, and estate administration.
  11. Medina Law Group: postings provide readers with advice on estate planning and management, estate taxes, elder law, and VA benefits.
  12. North Carolina Wills and Trusts: this blog provides readers with estate planning and elder law news with a North Carolina focus.
  13. California Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog: covers nursing home abuse, elder law abuse, and features many quality articles relating to California elder law.
  14. Nursing Home Law Blog: this well written blog discusses elder issues, legislation, legal news, protections of elder rights, and helpful health tips.
  15. PA Elder Estate and Fiduciary Law Blog: focuses on elder law, long-term care, end-of-life and health care surrogate decision-making, and estate planning.
  16. Patti’s Blog: find information about this lawyer’s practice, which concentrates on advocacy for seniors. She shares personal interests and her passions.
  17. Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog: this blog discusses nursing home abuse laws, cases, and news items from Pennsylvania.
  18. Barbara Cashman Blog: Barbara blogs about elder law and policy issues, and often hosts guest bloggers to share their insights on elder law and news.
  19. NJ Elder Law: lawyer Kenneth Vercammen blogs about topics related to estate planning and elder law. He was once awarded the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year.
  20. The Senior Sentinel: a blog compiling news and information for Baby Boomers, the Senior Sentinel concentrates on the intersection of ageism and public policy both nationally and world-wide.
  21. Elder Consult: this geriatric medicine blog not only covers Alzheimers, dementia, financial decision making, and medications, it also discusses related legal issues such as elder financial abuse.
  22. Grey Pride: a UK blog by the Anchor Digital Marketing team is dedicated to keeping older people at the top of the political agenda and petitioning the government to create a Minister for Older People to ensure their needs are met.
  23. Over 65 Blog: project organizers from Harvard, Yale, and The Hastings Center host this blog for “seniors seeking solutions for health care and security, mainly looking at health care system reforms, elder law policies and practices, and how seniors can achieve a stronger role in the future of health care.
  24. Reaping Hope Blog: a blog from an NGO in Nepal promoting dignified aging and elder rights, Reaping Hope explores elder abuse and elder oppression while actively helping elderly people claim their rights and challenge discrimination.

Age Against The Machine: Anti-Ageism

  1. Ageist Beauty: the musings, product reviews, and random thoughts of a woman who is fighting against her age.
  2. Everyday Ageism Project: this blog aims to capture people’s everyday experiences dealing with ageism. The author has discovered that ageism is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice.
  3. The Lonely Gerontologist: professor Kelly Yokum blogs about all things aging—including aging stereotypes and other aging topics that come to mind.
  4. My Elder Advocate: this blog provides comprehensive coverage of ageism, the dangers of nursing homes, elder abuse, and elder care.
  5. The Roaming Boomers: David and Carol are great examples of a couple who doesn’t let age get in the way of living life to the fullest.
  6. The Gypsy Nester: Veronica and David show readers how to rock the empty nest and get the most out of life as you age.
  7. Changing Aging: this multi-blog platform challenges conventional views on aging. The authors believe aging is a strength, rich in developmental potential and growth.
  8. The Elders: founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders is a group of seniors committed to addressing global challenges, including child marriage and climate change.
  9. Beauty and Wisdom: the blog of photographer Robbie Kaye, who traveled to salons throughout the US to photograph and interview women in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and discovered that beauty is ageless.
  10. Advanced Style: don’t tell these women they are too old to model hip and alluring fashions. This blog teaches women how to dress to impress and that age is only a number.
  11. RL TV: the only cable network and online destination for folks 50+, features a nice blog that provides tips on elder issues and promotes active living.
  12. The 70-Something Blog: blogger Judy informs readers how to live a full and engaging life as she chronicles her journey of aging.
  13. Retirement is Work: newly retired librarian and blogger resolves to post one good thing about retirement every day for a year, but along the way struggles with senior rights and anti-ageism.
  14. Yo Is This Ageist?: a humorous blog by Ashton Applewhite dedicated to determining whether age-related remarks are offensive, “challenging the stereotypes that segregate us by age.”
  15. This Chair Rocks: a smart and sassy blog by Ashton Applewhite that challenges the ideas of ageism with humor and snark. All stereotypes and insensitive remarks are grounds for brilliant blog posts.
  16. Senior Planet: “aging with attitude” is the tagline of this blog community of older adults using technology to connect with each other and take on the issues of ageism and senior rights.
  17. Changing Aging: a blog founded by Dr. Bill Thomas to promote “a radical reinterpretation of longevity” which focuses on anti-ageism and senior rights, as well as getting the most out of a long life.
  18. Time Goes By: Ronni Bennett takes on aging, ageism and related issues with humor, exploring the truth of “what it’s really like to get old.” She starts by rejecting the “cutesy” terms for old people – they’re called “elders” around here!
  19. The Magic of Middle-Aged Women: author Daniel Even Weiss – a man – blogs on the theme of his latest book, The Magic of Middle-Aged Women, where he challenges the prevailing ageist idea that women don’t get better as they age. They do.
  20. Advanced Style: Ari Seth Cohen, a young-ish photographer, roams the New York City streets photographing stylish and creative elders. Here, art challenges the paradigm that age and beauty can’t co-exist.
  21. The New Old Age: the New York Times blog on aging takes advantage of the newspaper’s top writers to explore the unprecedented intergenerational challenge of the Baby Boomers.
  22. The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or doesn’t): explores the “lives, lifestyles and issues of interesting older people,” touching on the issues surrounding ageism, elder rights, living with dementia, and overcoming the struggles of aging with strength and good humor.
  23. Naked at Our Age: advocate of ageless sexuality, Joan Price, talks about sex and aging, taking on Senior Rights subjects like safer sex for seniors while providing helpful tips.
  24. Aging & Work at Boston College: scholars, academics, and researchers share their findings on ageism in the workplace and the challenges aging workers face in this PhD-heavy blog by The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College.
  25. Ethnic Elders: this newsy blog by New America Media examines the Senior Rights issues and Elder Law of minority groups such as age discrimination, lawsuits related to Social Security, and elder healthcare reform.
  26. The Everyday Ageism Project: blending blogging and research, this site’s goal is to capture the experience of age discrimination. The forum is full of people sharing their experiences in a supportive environment.
  27. Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens Blog: the Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens sub-blog offers wide ranging posts on issues including senior rights and ageism – with its signature left-wing perspective.
  28. Clinical Geriatrics: created as more of a peer-reviewed clinical journal by the American Geriatrics Society, some of the top scholars in geriatrics converge on this blog to discuss geriatric health and wellness issues, which often cross over into legal and anti-ageism issues.
  29. Age Action Alliance: this organization brings together a network of 300 organizations and individuals committed to helping older people. Its blog is dedicated to improving older people’s lives through advocating against ageism, particularly in Britain.
  30. Manitoba Senior Centres: this Canadian blog covers the rampant ageism in Canada and promotes world elder abuse awareness. It also has a list of resources for older adults.
  31. Fierce with Age: defying ageism goes mainstream at this blog, created by veteran journalist Dr. Carol Orsborn. Having written about the Boomer generation for major newspapers and blogged for the Huffington Post and NPR’s Next Avenue, Orsborn is well equipped to take on the spiritual and policy hurdles of aging.
  32. Live Better Boomer!: a Philadelphia-based blog, by social worker Tiffany Matthews, devoted to helping educate and empower Boomers advocate for their own improved healthcare.
  33. Third Age: billed as “health for Boomers and beyond,” Third Age offers relatively fluffy fare, like “Change your Mood with Color,” to the legal issues surrounding Boomer divorce and care-giving.
  34. The Old Gunhand: one facet of senior citizen rights you don’t see every day is elder gun advocates. This website not only tells you the best types of guns for elderly wielders, it also goes into gun policy and senior self-defense.
  35. Age Discrimination Info: a simple name for a one-stop source of statistics and information on age discrimination, including legislation, cases, news, publications, events and training. The perfect resource for the activist.
  36. Age UK: the largest organization in the United Kingdom for working with and for older people, this website has an entire section dedicated to age discrimination and ageism.
  37. National Youth Rights Association: not just for youngsters, the National Youth Rights Association combats ageism in all its forms. In fact, they probably wouldn’t appreciate being called “youngsters.”
  38. Disability and Representation: a blog by writer, photographer and activist Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg that discusses (and tries to change the discourse about) disability rights and ageism, along with autism.
  39. Over 50: Career coaching and workshops for the over-50 crowd, this blog doesn’t stop at finding a job. This site explores Baby Boomer activism in and out of the workplace.
  40. Activist Post: while this blog deals with many topics requiring advocacy, they often include issues that regard Senior Rights, Elder Law and anti-ageism.
  41. California Booming: an informational blog dedicated to California Baby Boomers, this blog covers everything from sex, to diet, to politics of the Boomer generation, including issues concerning senior rights and ageism in the workplace.

IRS Back Tax Prevention Tips For Senior Citizens by Roni Deutch

May 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Make Work Pay Credit While the “making work pay” credit proposes it will  cut taxes for 95% of families, there is an interesting loophole for senior  citizens, which is causing some to end up with unforeseen back tax liabilities.  According to the law, non-working senior citizens-in addition to retired  railroad workers and disabled veterans-cannot claim the full credit. The problem  is that the credit automatically adds 6.25% of earned income to taxpayer’s  paychecks. Therefore, if you are a senior citizen who does not qualify for the  full credit, then you will need to make sure to change your withholdings to  prevent owing a tax debt at the end of the year.

Taxes on Social Security income The IRS has specific guidelines to follow  when deciding whether you social security payments are taxable. Accidentally  overpaying is okay, but if you make the mistake not to pay taxes on your social  security benefits, then it could lead to IRS underpayment fines. These  additional penalties, on top of the already owed taxes, can be difficult for  struggling seniors to pay come tax time. Next time you receive a check from  Social Security, be sure to check the benefit statement to see if you are having  any taxes withheld. If you did not have any taxes withheld on social security  and you have other sources of income, you may be creating for yourself an  underwithholding problem come next tax season. To ensure that you are not  creating an underwithholding problem, you should seek the advice of a tax  professional. The tax professional can review your financial situation to  determine whether you need to up your withholding to cover your expected tax  liability.

Pension When receiving pensions, you may have a hard time deciding how  much to withhold, or if you want or need to withhold anything at all. Whether  you should have taxes withheld from your pension payments depends on your filing  status, number of dependents, personal exemptions, additional sources of income,  and the amount of retirement payments you receive. If you do need to pay taxes,  you need to figure how much to withhold. Withholding too much is not a good idea  as you may end up giving the IRS an interest free loan. However, not withholding  enough can result in hard-to-estimate taxes at the end of the year, which could  lead to back taxes, penalties, and interest if you are not careful.

Be Aware of Deductions & Credits When preparing your income tax  return, it is essential that you take advantage all eligible deductions and  credits since they will help to lower your total tax liability. Remember, the  IRS has set up a number of deductions and credits directly targeting senior  citizen taxpayers. To learn more about tax tips for seniors, check out this  article on the RDTC.com blog.

Early Distributions If you are under 60 years old and need to take an  early distribution from a retirement account, then be forewarned that you will  likely have to pay an additional 10% tax on the funds withdrawn. However, the  tax does not apply to funds from Roth IRAs, and there are various other  exceptions to the tax. To learn more, check out the IRS’ list of the top ten  facts about taking early distributions from retirement plans.

Accurate Tax Information The best way to prevent unnecessary tax debts  before they occur is to have your returns accurately prepared by a qualified  professional. There are several community service programs devoted to helping  senior citizens with tax preparation, and the IRS has also set up a free  tax-counseling program to provide financial and tax planning advice to seniors  all year long.

The Tax Lady Roni  Deutch and her law firm Roni Lynn Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation  have been helping taxpayers across the nation find IRS tax relief for over  seventeen years. The firm has experienced tax lawyers who can fight IRS tax liens on your behalf.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roni_Deutch

 

Investing for Senior Citizen Retirement by JD Stratis

April 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Senior citizen retirement could be an extended way off for you or it may  represent something in the near future. Regardless of that amount of time, you  without a doubt, need to begin saving up for it at once. Even so, preserving  cash for retirement Is not what it used to be with the cost of living and the  un-stableness of government social security.

Lets begin by having a look at the senior citizen retirement plan provided  from your company. At one time, these programs were very well-grounded.  Nonetheless, after scandals such as Enron and all that came after, folks aren’t  as protected in their corporate retirement plans any longer. Whenever you decide  not to commit in the company’s senior citizen retirement plan, you do possess  other alternatives.

Initially, you could put money in stock markets, bond markets, mutual fund  markets, CDs, or money market accounts for your retirement. You don’t need to  express to anyone that your payoffs on these investment funds will be utilised  for senior citizen retirement. Simply allow the money to mature over time, and  once reliable investments achieve their maturity, reinvest them and proceed to  allow the revenue to grow.

You may also begin an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). IRAs are very  fashionable since the revenue isn’t assessed until you take out your cash. You  might as well be capable of deducting your IRA contributions from your taxations  that you owe. An individual senior citizen retirement account can be started at  most financial institutions.

A different common type of senior citizen retirement vehicle is the 401-k  plan. 401(ks) are commonly provided via employers, though you might be able to  begin a 401-k plan) on your own. You had better talk with a retirement planner  or accountant to assist you with this.

Whatever retirement investment you decide on, just be sure you decide on one!  Once more, don’t rely on social security, corporate senior citizen retirement  plans, or even an inheritance that might or might not materialize! Attend to  your financial future from investments done today.

JD Stratis is a contributor to Equity  Cash  North Americas premiere program for protecting your hard-earned equity  and creating Cash Flow with ZERO risk to your equity!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=JD_Stratis

 

Senior Citizens Can Become Great Customers by Michael McCann

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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If you think the senior citizen market isn’t dynamic, then you’re really out  of touch with marketing. Thirty-five percent of our population is over 55 years  old, and these very affluent seniors control almost 45 percent of the disposable  income of our country.

Neither Madison Avenue nor the advertising agency down the block takes this  group seriously, and as a result, the market is virtually untapped. Here are  four suggestions on how to target your business efforts to penetrate this  market.

o Gain an understanding of this large market… Throw out  everything you ever heard about the over-55 group. These people are vibrant and  full of life. They are looking for new ideas, challenges, and new and innovative  ways to enjoy life. Thanks to Social Security, wise investing and good  retirement plans, they have the money to pay for what they want. Most senior  citizens want what you want: health, happiness and security. Many want  excitement, romance and adventure. They want to maintain close ties with their  children and grandchildren.

o Target products and services… Yes, senior citizens want to  know about cruise ships, vitamins and wheelchairs, but so do thousands of people  under 55.

The difference is that seniors are looking for solutions to problems. They  want to make their life easier and more enjoyable, and they have the money to  pay for the services and products that can help them achieve these goals. If  your product solves a specific problem, you will find this market is for  you.

o How to advertise to seniors… Forget the flowery phrases, cute  word plays and fast-action ads. Senior citizens want to know the facts and what  benefits those facts will provide for them.  Your products and services are just  the carrier of benefits, not benefits in themselves.

Seniors want to know how your offering will make life easier or better or  more fun. Problem solving is high on the list of benefits wanted, and proof of  claim is requirement. Straight talk is appreciated, and as usual, a picture is  worth a thousand words.

Two-step advertising works well in the senior market. Seniors have time, so  snap decisions are seldom made. Advertisements that offer more information work  especially well. Always be positive in your advertising, and never talk down to  your audience. Most seniors are a lot smarter than you or I.

o Things to avoid… It is not a good idea to sell marginal ideas  to senior citizens such as work-at-home projects and get-rich-quick business  schemes. The senior lobby had watchdog groups looking for scam artists, and  these two topics top the list of no-nos. Get on their list and you will find  your business in trouble.

If you’re looking for the best source of information as to how to advertise  to the senior market, read what they read. Buy some of the newsstand magazines  on retirement, vacations, travel, cooking or investing targeted toward seniors,  and read both the articles and the ads. Find copies of Modern Maturity.  This and other magazines and periodicals will provide valuable insight into how  to advertise to this lucrative market.

Make more money faster by easily connecting with hard-to-reach decision  makers who can buy your products and services…NOW! Get started free by getting  Michael McCann’s new Special Report excerpted from his newest edition of his  popular business development book, Connecting with Key Decision Makers (How to  Reach Hard-to-Reach Businesspeople Who Can Say “Yes”)…just for asking at http:/www.GlobalBusinessCafe.com/  http://Twitter.com/MikeHMcCann Go now!

Michael McCann is a 25-year veteran of developing unique and professional  business development programs that create tangible results for individuals and  companies. Let him help you instantly…free!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_McCann

 

Advocacy Service for People 50 Plus

April 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events 

Advocacy Service for People 50 Plus

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 50 Plus Disability is an advocacy service for people 50 years of age and older who want their Social Security disability benefits. 50 Plus Disability is the only organization in the United States that provides this kind of advocacy only for individuals 50 years of age and older.

50 Plus Disability is a service organization and comprehensive disability resource for people 50 years of age and older. The purpose of this organization is to obtain Social Security disability benefits for people 50 years of age and older. 50 Plus Disability is headquartered in Beverly Hills , California . The organization services individuals in California and throughout the United States .

50 Plus Disability is comprised of highly experienced advocates and top-level executives. These individuals work in teams to prepare the strategy needed to obtain Social Security disability benefits for people 50 years of age and older. 50 Plus Disability’s goal is to obtain Social Security disability benefits without the need for a hearing. However, if a hearing is required, one of the seasoned advocates will be present with you and for you at your hearing.

50 Plus Disability recognized the special needs of individuals 50 years of age and older. This recognition has had a large influence on all aspects of the organization. The philosophy of the organization is one of service to individuals 50 years of age and older.

50 Plus Disability makes it easy for individuals 50 years of age and older to obtain valuable income and medical benefits.

For more information, contact Alex Hughes, Director of Public Assistance for 50 Plus Disability, at 1-800-PLUS-FIX.

What Makes Someone a Senior Citizen? by Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Good question!

Developmental Psychologists have long used either ages or stages to define  segments of the population. Many developmental textbooks are divided into  chapters based on one or the other of these definitions.

Age definitions are ones that use numbers – such as: being 65 or older means  you are a senior citizen; or all over 55 get a senior citizen discount.

Stage definitions are usually feeling and behavior related – along the lines  of: “you are only as old as you feel or act.”

Over the last few decades, as we learn more and more about the later  stages/ages of the lifespan, the thinking about aging is changing – and so are  the textbooks. But the definitions are still stuck in the past.

The field of Developmental Psychology is itself aging – as are the original  developmental psychologists – and more information is becoming known and  understood about the lifespan.

Add to this that we are living longer. In 1940, the average life expectancy  at birth in the USA was 62.9 years; in 1960 it was 69.7; by 1980 it was 74.1 and  in 2000 it was 77.2. [The statistics differ by sex and ethnicity but these are  the averages for all persons.]

Average only is a middle figure. Half die before and half after the ages  cited. And if one lives past infancy, life expectancy increases and it increases  every year one is still alive. So those who were born in 1940, and are obviously  now well past 62.9, have a far different life expectancy than when they were  born. That expectancy is now somewhere into their mid 80s.

So as to defining what makes you a senior citizen? It is often left up to the  language or stereotypes we use and some legal definitions.

Most jurisdictions rely on when you can start collecting social security  benefits to define what is their senior population. Eligibility for full Social  Security benefits will increase to age 67 for those born in 1960; yet as we can  still sign up for Medicare at age 65 – 65 seems still to be the “age” definition  of senior citizen.

Will that change? It might…but not for those who are already at or near 65.  We ARE labeled senior citizens.

And what about behavioral definitions – the stages aspect?

That is up to us. We can continue to do what we have been doing – living life  to the fullest and not becoming the stereotypes many have about senior  citizens.

We are who we are – and are the ages we have accumulated!

If we let someone else’s characterizations of “senior-ness” define us or our  behavior – then we are falling prey to their stereotypes. Create your own  definition of senior.

I am of the thought that we are only as old as we feel and act! So feel  and act young!

You may still be called a “senior” but you’ll wind up confounding a lot of  people.

I invite you to read more of my take on aging at http://growolderbetter.com – and where you can sign up for  even more tidbits.

From Lynn Dorman, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist who was around way back  then and is now a 70-year-old-senior-citizen who is still figuring out what she  will do when she grows up.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynn_Dorman,_Ph.D.

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!