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Jul 16, 2013

Employee stock purchase plans see uptick in post-Enron era

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Invesco is a big believer in employee ownership. But in 2005, the investment management giant dropped a feature in its 401(k) plan that allowed employees to accumulate its shares in their retirement accounts.

The decision stemmed from worries about the risks of company stock in a retirement plan, where plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility to put the best interest of employees first.

Jul 11, 2013

Column: Want to grow old at home? Technology to the rescue

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Getting old? There’s an app for that.

And a smartphone interface. And a tablet device that lets family members monitor your medication schedule, send text messages and share photos.

A major new wave of technological innovation is aimed at helping people stay in their homes as they grow older and require care. These “age in place” products are coming from companies ranging from tech mainstays like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to much smaller tech startups.

Jul 11, 2013

Want to grow old at home? Technology to the rescue

CHICAGO, July 11 (Reuters) – Getting old? There’s an app for
that.

And a smartphone interface. And a tablet device that lets
family members monitor your medication schedule, send text
messages and share photos.

A major new wave of technological innovation is aimed at
helping people stay in their homes as they grow older and
require care. These “age in place” products are coming from
companies ranging from tech mainstays like Samsung Electronics
Co Ltd to much smaller tech startups.

Jul 9, 2013

Column: Long-term care clock ticking for U.S. Congress

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Eighty-four days and counting. That’s the time remaining that a new Congressional commission has to come up with solutions for one of the country’s most vexing problems: how to properly fund long-term care.

The Commission on Long-Term Care is an offspring of the January deal that averted the so-called fiscal cliff mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. Back then, Congress and the White House agreed to kill the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS), which would have provided a public option for long-term care insurance under Obamacare. The consensus is that the math on CLASS did not work – but there is also widespread agreement that our current approach to financing long-term care is broken.

Jul 9, 2013

Long-term care clock ticking for U.S. Congress

CHICAGO, July 9 (Reuters) – Eighty-four days and counting.
That’s the time remaining that a new Congressional commission
has to come up with solutions for one of the country’s most
vexing problems: how to properly fund long-term care.

The Commission on Long-Term Care is an offspring of the
January deal that averted the so-called fiscal cliff mix of tax
hikes and spending cuts. Back then, Congress and the White House
agreed to kill the Community Living Assistance Services and
Supports Act (CLASS), which would have provided a public option
for long-term care insurance under Obamacare. The consensus is
that the math on CLASS did not work – but there is also
widespread agreement that our current approach to financing
long-term care is broken.

Jul 2, 2013

Healthcare reform to end ‘job lock’ for the over-50 crowd

CHICAGO (Reuters) – When Carmen Oberai was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, she knew the treatment would make it tough for her to stay at her job. But she needed the health insurance provided by her employer, so she worked through the illness.

Oberai, 62, works with at-risk pregnant women for a nonprofit agency in Port Charlotte, Florida. “My treatment wasn’t as brutal as they make it sound, but you do get tired as a side-effect, and my work is very demanding,” she says. “I didn’t really know how much time I might need away from work, and I was worried that if I quit I’d lose my insurance and couldn’t get covered anywhere else with my pre-existing condition.”

Jun 26, 2013

Gay marriage ruling boosts key retirement benefits

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) means that the spousal benefits of the two most important U.S. retirement programs – Social Security and Medicare – will be extended to married, same-sex couples.

But for some same-sex couples, much will depend on how the Obama Administration, federal agencies and courts interpret and implement the decision.

Jun 26, 2013

Do no harm: Protecting retirees in shaky pension plans

CHICAGO, June 26 (Reuters) – We’ve all heard the physician’s
Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm.” But there’s a similar,
less-well-known principle in the world of pensions: First, do no
harm to retirees.

When pension programs are changed, it’s almost unheard of to
cut benefits for retirees in their seventies, eighties or
beyond, who would have trouble adjusting to abrupt reductions in
income. The principle is a cornerstone of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which governs
private-sector pension plans.

Jun 20, 2013

How to keep older patients from returning to the hospital

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ann Marie Schmidt had knee replacement surgery last month. The operation was for an old injury that made walking painful, but the 71-year-old resident of Temple, Texas, has other, more serious conditions. She suffers from neuropathy (nerve pain), scoliosis and meningioma – a type of benign brain tumor.

Schmidt is the kind of high-risk patient Medicare worries about as a candidate to land back in the hospital after surgery. Nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days, at a cost of $17 billion every year to Medicare, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Jun 17, 2013

The best place to work after age 50? NIH, says AARP

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Phil Lenowitz works in Bethesda, Maryland, but a year ago he moved to Asheville, North Carolina. At age 63, Lenowitz spends three weeks each month in Bethesda, where he is deputy director of human resources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and one week in Asheville with his wife Peggy, 62.

Lenowitz is on track to retire in Asheville – somewhere down the road. The current split schedule hasn’t caused any friction at work.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Miller is a journalist and author who writes about trends in retirement and aging. He has a special focus on how the baby boomer generation is revising its approach to careers, money and lifestyle after age 50. Mark is the author of The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work and Living (John Wiley & Sons/Bloomberg Press, 2010) and edits RetirementRevised.com. Mark is the former editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, and former Sunday editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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