— By Callie Jones Providing low-income older adults with counseling and other assistance is a passion of mine. It’s also what I do as a social worker when I’m not also interning at AARP Texas. I’ve come to realize there’s a lifeline for many older people, and it’s Social Security. Social Security is what keeps food on the table for many of the clients I serve. The clients I’ve worked with struggle to make ends meet, and they count on Social …

— With the scheduled end of the 2017 Texas legislative session approaching, AARP continues to fight for passage of several bills that aim to improve nursing home quality, ease the stress of family caregivers, protect older Texans from financial exploitation, and help consumers avoid and respond to surprise medical charges. Here’s a brief overview of some of the issues the AARP Texas team is working on at the state Capitol: Nursing Home Quality and Safety: Texans deserve quality care that ensures …

— Texas Appleseed and AARP today released five “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides, a toolkit for financial caregivers in Texas who manage money or property for those unable to do so for themselves. This interactive series of guides, in English and Spanish, is available in print and online at www.ProtectTheirMoneyTx.org. Nearly 3.5 million unpaid family caregivers in Texas provide a great labor of love by helping their parents, spouses and others manage their financial affairs – but they often lack the …

— When state lawmakers convene next month for the 2017 legislative session, AARP Texas will pursue an agenda that includes strengthening nursing home quality, easing stress for family caregivers, helping millions of Texans save for retirement, and protecting seniors from financial exploitation. AARP’s non-partisan Texas legislative priorities also include a focus on eliminating surprise medical bills, and advocating for the age 50+ community to ensure that insurance costs are reasonable, coverage is reliable, and utility services are affordable and dependable. The …

— By Tracy Sutton Schorn Cynthia Stubblefield, 60, of Mansfield, worked at J.C. Penney for 27 years, paying into Social Security. A recent statement from the agency said she stood to receive about $1,200 a month if she retired in two years. But when she called Social Security and said she had been a teacher’s aide in Arlington for the last 13 years, they recalculated her benefit to be hundreds of dollars less a month. “I was so upset and crying,” …

— By Tracy Sutton Schorn Les Wallace could be considered part of the booming Texas economy. In 2012, he started his own air-conditioning and heating company in Austin, iNtelligent Air Services, employing five workers. It has grown to 14 full-time employees. But having a retirement savings plan for Wallace and his workers seems out of reach, as it is for many small businesses. “Retirement? That sounds like a good but far-fetched idea,” said Wallace, 38. “I wish I could offer a …

— By Verónica Zaragovia Jesus Villalobos didn’t expect to spend more than 10 years volunteering after his retirement—but he’s not surprised, either. He’s known the importance of lending a hand his entire life. “I grew up in an orphanage,” said Villalobos, 81, “and I know people need help.” Speaking English and Spanish, he’s helped dozens of people since 2003 as a regional supervisor in El Paso for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. Founded in 1968 by four volunteers, Tax-Aide is the …

— Austin Community College will host a series of seminars this fall to help local women find jobs. Funded by a grant from the AARP Foundation, these workshops will help women age 50-plus gain valuable job skills. Despite recent improvements in the nation’s unemployment rate, half of U.S. workers ages 45-70 who were unemployed in the past five years either are still unemployed (38 percent) or have dropped out of the labor force (12 percent). Among those who found new jobs, …

— Statistics tell a powerful story. Consider that 36 percent of Texas residents age 65 or older depend on Social Security as their only source of income. Or that more than four of 10 in this age group would live in poverty were it not for Social Security. Then there are people like 72-year-old Raechel Foerster, who paint a face on those numbers. She is one of 3.7 million Texans who could tell their own story of how Social Security makes …