— Loneliness isn’t just joyless. It can shorten your life, increasing the risk of premature death by 30 percent. That’s why AARP North Carolina has teamed up with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to sponsor the Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge. The challenge aims to reduce social isolation while helping participants achieve their personal health goals. For details about the challenge and a calendar of events, go to DisruptAgingChallenge.org. To read about other efforts to make Buncombe County increasingly age-friendly, …

— By Michelle Crouch Douglas Sherrow, a severely disabled Army veteran in Mint Hill, struggles to make ends meet on his military pension and Social Security. He and his wife are raising two grandchildren, and he said they’ve racked up thousands in credit card debt over four years. “I’ve never been in the hole this far,” said Sherrow, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a walker. “Taxes keep going up, and my ability to pay them is going down.” Sherrow, 69, …

— By Michelle Crouch Rob Cooley knows that keeping his 40 employees happy is crucial to the long-term success of his business, two Apple Annie’s Bake Shops in Wilmington. But it’s tough for small-business owners to offer the same benefits as larger companies, he said, especially when it comes to retirement. “Setting up some kind of retirement plan is just cost prohibitive,” said Cooley, 49, who is also a co-owner of a beer and wine store with his family. “Small businesses …

— Did you know that AARP offers workshops every week in the Charlotte region? Whether you’re an AARP member or not, over 50 or not, all of our programs are free of charge, free of any sales pitches, and all geared towards helping you achieve real possibilities. This summer we began offering our programs at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery! Come have a beverage on us and take advantage of our informative programs led by our dedicated facilitators!   Life Reimagined The life …

—   Did you know that AARP offers workshops every week in the Charlotte region? Whether you’re an AARP member or not, over 50 or not, all of our programs are free of charge, free of any sales pitches, and all geared towards helping you achieve real possibilities! Beginning in July, AARP is very proud to unveil a new topic to our program offerings: The Road to Medicare. This program, conducted in partnership with the North Carolina Senior Health Insurance Information …

— This month, Forbes Magazine named Charlotte and Raleigh as two of the top ten cities in the Unites States people are moving to right now. But whether you are coming or going, moving can be stressful, especially for older adults. This week on “Without Limits,” you’ll learn more about a great AARP read that can help you move and downsize. You’ll also get some tips and advice from Charlotte relocation expert Cindy Greer with Transition with Care. AARP’s Downsizing the …

— By Lisa H. Towle Janet Garner-Mullins embraces a passion for lifelong learning. A mother of three adult children with nine grandchildren, she’s earned three degrees and two certifications, and is considering doctoral studies. An ordained minister, Garner-Mullins has also taught in her church. She retired from an almost 30-year career in the insurance industry but still volunteers her workplace training skills in faith-based settings. An AARP mailing had her at the first line: “Reimagine your life now.” “I retired from …

— Much attention and debate has been focused on LGBT rights after the North Carolina General Assembly overturned a Charlotte bathroom ordinance. But what are the issues when it comes to LGBT rights and aging? On this week’s “Without Limits,” co-hosts Mike Olender and David Gwilt speak with Charlotte Attorney Connie Vetter, whose law practice serves North Carolina’s diverse community, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals and couples as well as straight individuals and couples. Among the issues they discuss are …

— By Lisa H. Towle Nancy Graham, 74, just wants to go back to West Virginia, according to her son Jeff. But the Graham family’s story shows how messy and difficult a guardianship case can become. A uniform law linking North Carolina to other states could help resolve the situation. Jeff Graham, 51, and his family helped care for his mother, who could not drive because of a disability. Living on her own, Nancy Graham started behaving erratically. Catawba County was …

— By Mike Holsinger RALEIGH — When it comes to being ready for a major flood or natural disaster, a new AARP North Carolina survey indicates several weaknesses in readiness for older adults in the state. A survey of 257 AARP members conducted October 1-6, found that over 60 percent did not have a waterproof emergency kit and over 65 percent did not have important documents such as ID cards, health insurance cards, Social Security cards, insurance papers, deeds, wills and …