— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Hawaii. We hope you’ll join us!

— Elizabeth Hata-Watanabe, owner of Burgers on Bishop, treats her workers like family. She’s strict, but caring, and wants her workers to succeed. She also wants them to start saving for retirement. But she can’t give them the easiest way to save at work: a payroll deduction savings program. “Although retirement savings is something that we as a small business would like to do, it’s almost impossible for us to take on another burden and another expense,” Hata-Watanabe said. Senate Bill …

— Like most small business owners, Elizabeth Watanabe, of Burgers on Bishop, wants to help her employees save for the future because they work hard for her. But it’s not easy to set up a savings plan at work. Most small business owners say it’s too expensive, complicated and time consuming to offer retirement savings through payroll deduction, the most effective way to get people to save. A new AARP survey found that nearly two-thirds of Hawai‘i’s small businesses do not …

— AARP Hawai‘i released its 2018 Gubernatorial Video Voters’ Guide as part of AARP’s “Be the Difference. Vote™” campaign, which continues AARP’s long tradition of nonpartisan voter engagement. This guide will provide Hawai‘i voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues that matter most to older residents and their families and help these impactful voters make their voices heard on Election Day. AARP’s 2018 Gubernatorial Video Voters’ Guide features state Rep. Andria Tupola (R) and Gov. David Ige (D) …

— At this time of the year, those of us 50 and older are the most powerful people in America. Why? Because we vote. And we generally vote in greater numbers than other age groups. Critical issues that affect kupuna, caregivers and your financial security are at stake. In Hawai‘i, the next Legislature and governor will decide on services for kupuna and caregivers, including funding and possible expansion of the Kupuna Caregiver Program, which provides adult daycare and other services to …

— Medicare contributes $2.4 billion to Hawai‘i’s economy, equivalent to  15% of state and local government spending in the state, according to a new report from AARP released just before the 53rd anniversary of the law. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid laws into effect on July 30, 1965 as amendments to the Social Security Act. Former President Harry Truman, who was the first president to propose national health insurance, was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary. The Medicare program …

— At Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering in Waipahu, the line sometimes stretches out the door for their famous ahi limu poke, maki sushi and sashimi platters. The family owned business takes pride in its local roots, community service, quality food and the service-with-a-smile attitude of its 150 workers. Founder Mel Tanioka and daughter Jasmine Tanioka, the company’s chief financial officer, want to offer a 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings plan to their workers, but found the administrative costs too high …

— Marcelo Barra, who works as a sail maker at a company in Kalihi, wants to save for retirement. But after paying bills and other family expenses, there never seems to be enough money for savings. Barra works for a small business with only five employees and his employer doesn’t offer a 401K or other retirement savings plan that deducts money directly from his paycheck — the most effective way to save. “This puts my family and, ultimately, myself at a …

— Our AARP Hawai‘i volunteers are active and visible in their red shirts as the 2018 Legislature gets underway. We’re working to make sure that the interests of people 50+ are heard and to push for bills that will make life better for kupuna, caregivers and people of all ages. On Monday, Advocacy Director Kerry Komatsubara briefed volunteers on the issues we will be lobbying for at the Legislature. We then visited with lawmakers on Tuesday to thank them for their …

— Hawaii’s 154,000 family caregivers have more support when a loved one – such as a parent, spouse or friend – goes into the hospital because the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act is now a law as of  July 1. AARP is launching a public awareness campaign that will inform people about the support the CARE Act provides to family caregivers. The campaign also celebrates family caregivers and lets family caregivers know about some of the resources available to help …

— Do you want to help your community become increasingly age-friendly? Are you interested in advocacy for Social Security, Medicare, pedestrian safety, transportation or other aging issues? Would you like to learn how to shoot photos and videos for Facebook and Twitter? AARP Hawaii is recruiting enthusiastic volunteers who are eager to learn communications and advocacy skills to share information about issues affecting Hawaii residents 50 and older. Orientation sessions for new volunteers are scheduled Wednesday, Jan. 10, 9:30-11:30 a.m., in …