— State retirees paid into Social Security throughout their working lives and now count on it to make ends meet. What they don’t appreciate is having to pay state taxes on that vital retirement money. But Utah is one of 13 states that tax Social Security income. AARP Utah is urging legislators to remove at least part of this tax on older residents. Members can press lawmakers on the issue during the 45-day session that starts Jan. 28 and also fight …

— When Montana’s Legislature convenes its biennial session on Jan. 7, lawmakers will address several critical priorities for 50-plus residents. AARP Montana will push for full funding for Area Agencies on Aging to help the 118,000 Montanans who provide unpaid care to family members or friends. Other priorities on the agenda include protecting Medicaid expansion—which provides health insurance for 96,000 residents—from attempts to defund it, and urging reinstatement of money for guardianship training. In addition, AARP will support efforts to stave …

— Kansans who aren’t able to put money away for retirement through payroll deductions at work may soon have another way to save. More than 420,000 residents, or about 42 percent of the state’s private-sector workers, don’t have a way to save for retirement through their jobs. AARP Kansas is working with legislators to develop a “work-and-save” program so small businesses can provide employees with professionally managed and easy-to-use investment options. AARP Kansas is asking members to contact their legislators (through …

— By Jill Gambon When she’s doing her grocery shopping, Gail Bielizna often runs into neighbors who ask her questions about income taxes. As a longtime volunteer for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, the South Hadley resident prepares 150 to 200 returns each year as a tax counselor. “It’s really about being part of the community,” said Bielizna, 66, a retired computer programmer. “I enjoy helping people. A lot of older people are really nervous about taxes.” Bielizna is one of …

California State Capitol

— By Laura Mecoy AARP California has an ambitious lineup for 2019, according to its state director. “We’re focusing on supporting family caregivers and the launch of a retirement savings program, and encouraging communities to be age-friendly, along with protecting Social Security and Medicare,” said Nancy McPherson. “We do this through outreach and education—and with the support of volunteers who share the same passions,” she added. Among the ways AARP California is getting its message out is by organizing teams of …

— Gloria Harlan of Biloxi has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit organization for people 50 and older, to receive the 2018 AARP Mississippi Andrus Award for Community Service — the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service. AARP Mississippi selected Harlan for her remarkable service which has greatly benefited her community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. Harlan volunteers with the American Red Cross in Mississippi and other parts of the country. She …

— The job search game has changed a lot over the last few years. But thanks to two recent AARP workshops, nearly 50 Twin Citians age 50+ are better equipped to find, apply for and land a job. I’m one of them. So is Diane Autey, a Maple Grove business communicator recently laid off from her job after the company she worked for merged with a competitor. “In the past two months, I’ve been doing some freelance writing while networking and …

— AARP Mississippi is happy to announce our Scholar Athlete of the Week every Friday this fall. We partnered with Super Talk Mississippi to seek nominations for outstanding students who excel in sports and academics. The response was overwhelming! Meet Sema’J Harris, a senior at West Point High School and member of the football team. He was nominated by Coach Chris Chambless.   Coach Chambless said Sema’J has a great “Team First” attitude and is an all-around example of good character. …

— AARP Mississippi is happy to announce our Scholar Athlete of the Week every Friday this fall. We partnered with Super Talk Mississippi to seek nominations for outstanding students who excel in sports and academics. The response was overwhelming! Meet Austin Castleberry, a senior at Kemper Academy and member of the football team. He was nominated by Dr. Darrell Zehr. “Austin is a senior that plays football and basketball, and also has incredible academic skills,” Zehr said. Kemper Academy Coach Chris …

— AARP Mississippi is happy to announce our Scholar Athlete of the Week every Friday this fall. We partnered with Super Talk Mississippi to seek nominations for outstanding students who excel in sports and academics. The response was overwhelming! Meet Kamri Price, a senior at Terry High School and member of the volleyball team. She was nominated by Coach Tiffany Cavanaugh. “Kamri Price is a natural born leader,” Cavanaugh said. “She’s the Team Captain. She’s that person in pre-game warm up …