— 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 …

— Midlife can be a time for new beginnings, whether by starting a business, taking a dream trip or building relationships. But it helps to have a guide. AARP North Carolina encourages members to forge a path with Life Reimagined, a program that offers interactive, online tutorials as well as live seminars to help people navigate the next stage of their lives. North Carolinians can start online and then attend seminars in Wilmington and other locations across the state. “It’s a …

— By Sue Price Johnson Perhaps no one knows more about career and life transitions than people serving in the military. Now, AARP—with 4 million veterans as members—is expanding its efforts to help those who served and their families. It’s a natural fit in North Carolina, home to one of the nation’s largest active-duty military populations. The state has about 775,000 veterans, and two-thirds of them are 50 and older. Military and civilian AARP members face many of the same issues: …