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August 2015 edition

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$18.1 Billion in Senior Student Loans

Up until 1996, social security checks were entirely protected from any kind of garnishment. Then, Congress carved out an exception for student loan debt. With 706,000 homes headed by a senior citizen, aged 65 or over, that is still carrying student loan debt (and a whopping $18.1 billion in total), it’s worth keeping in mind that if you fall behind on those payments, your social security check is not immune. Aside from the best advice — keep up on your payments — it may also be worth reaching out to your representatives. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) is leading up an effort to review the current rules.

 

NEJM Calls on House to Reauthorize Older Americans Act

 

As this blog recently reported, the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act passed the Senate on July 16th. Now, the bill is on the floor of the House, awaiting their approval. The New England Journal of Medicine has joined many other voices in encouraging the House to pass the bill saying, “If we fail to provide these essential services reliably, people will suffer from hunger, malnutrition, and having other basic needs unmet; and health care costs will accelerate rapidly during the oncoming age wave, which will strain budgets for federal and state governments and for families.”

 

Get on The Right Side of The Digital Divide

Since 2011, Comcast has had a program called Internet Essentials. To date, it has focused on low-income families with children, and has provided affordable broadband web service to more than 500,000 families (over 2 million people). Today, they announced enhancements to the program broadening the number of families eligible, doubling the speed of the connection at no additional cost, and providing a free Wi-Fi router. But more importantly, they’re starting a pilot program to make it available to senior citizens as well. So far, it’s only in Palm Beach, but keep your eyes on the news, as they’re going to be expanding it quickly.

 

 

Are You Healthier? Yes, You Are.

 

As much as this blog has been harping on about being careful while engaging in activities, increases in split-and-fall accidents, etc…, etc…, the truth of the matter is, you folks all seem to be much healthier than you used to be. Over the past 15 years, deaths, hospital stays, and healthcare costs have all decreased for America’s elderly. In fact, the rates have fallen so much that there have been literally millions of fewer people hospitalized than there would have been had the rates from 1999 held out. Here’s to your health!

 

Updates to SNAP May Keep Seniors in Their Homes Longer

Hopefully, not many of the seniors you know are living on food stamps. But a surprising number are, and maybe even more should be. Only 42% of eligible seniors sign up for SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), a USDA program that is distributed on debit cards, but can mostly only be used in stores. The thinking is, changes by the USDA to allow seniors to have their food delivered might encourage higher enrollment, and a side effect might be that the elderly can stay in their homes longer than they might, otherwise.

 

 

Seniors League Finds Things to Like in Aging Conference

 

As this blog reported Tuesday, the Federal government just had their once-a-decade Conference on Aging. The Senior Citizens League, often a critical group, has found much to like in the proposals that came out of the White House. This is probably not surprising, given that there were nearly twenty new initiatives that were proposed at the conference. Three that in particular caught TSCL’s attention were a proposal on retirement savings, one on quality and safety requirements for nursing homes, and one focused on nutrition for the home-bound.

 

If A President Can Fall, So Can You

It may not have made the headlines, but President George H.W. Bush had a fall last week, and ended up breaking a bone. We’ve covered several times recently the increasing propensity for seniors to suffer injury from falls, but this article from Deseret News is particularly interesting for two reasons. First, it reports on a study from the University of Michigan that sites some alternative explanations than those we’ve reported in the past. Second, it provides several pieces of good advice on how to prevent it from happening to you.

 

 

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Since 2002, Mario and STC Loans
have been servicing the senior community throughout Florida. World class customer service, continuous contact with our clients, and exceptional knowledge of the Reverse Mortgage industry is what fuels our company. And at STC Loans, you will find a fully bilingual staff: English and Spanish.

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