— By Christina Hernandez Sherwood In an election garnering national attention, Garden State voters on Nov. 7 will choose their next governor: Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, a Republican, or Democratic challenger Phil Murphy. New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states with gubernatorial elections in 2017. Two-term governor and onetime presidential candidate Chris Christie will be replaced by Guadagno, 58, his running mate, or Murphy, 60. Guadagno has served as lieutenant governor since 2010. She was previously the first female …

— By Aliya King Four years ago, Phyllis Soffer noticed $2,900 in unauthorized charges on her credit card. “I hadn’t even taken my credit card out of my wallet,” she said. Whether it was digital pickpocketing or a hacker who bought credit card information, Soffer did not lose any money. She used the experience to remain vigilant and spread the word about fraud. “These days, it’s so hard to keep up with all the ways you can be taken advantage of,” …

— Statistics from the National Council on Aging show that 1 in 10 Americans 60 and older have experienced elder abuse, and there is broad consensus that the crime is significantly underreported. That’s why AARP New Jersey is working with other organizations on a recently created state Task Force on Abuse Against the Elderly and Disabled. The task force will develop policy proposals to reduce elder abuse, including mental, physical and financial exploitation. A key goal is to strengthen the capabilities …

— By Christina Hernandez Sherwood When Ed McFadden, 66, retired from his job as director of operations for an outsourcing company in October 2015, he and his wife moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey’s Sea Isle City. Their decision to make the Garden State their retirement home isn’t typical. With its high taxes and housing costs, the state is traditionally seen as one of the worst for retirees. But a tax change strongly supported by AARP New Jersey and signed into …

— The Federal Trade Commission received more than 60,000 complaints of identity theft and fraud from New Jerseyans in 2014. AARP New Jersey wants to bring that number down. The state office offers AARP Fraud Watch Network presentations to community groups across the state. Volunteer speakers are prepared to address one of two topics: common scams and how to avoid them, or how to use the state’s security freeze law to protect yourself from identity theft. The free presentations are available …

— AARP supports a bill (S992) awaiting Gov. Chris Christie’s signature that would tremendously help women facing employment discrimination in pay and benefits. This bi-partisan legislation should be made law to address continuing and persistent gender-based wage discrimination. In 2014, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 percent. The gender gap is worse for minority women. In 2012 the median annual earnings of Hispanic women were $28,424, just 54 …

— By Christina Hernandez Sherwood Richard Satyavan has been helping people in Middlesex County prepare their tax returns since 2011. Now he’s the coordinator for three of the county’s 12 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites. Helping others prepare their taxes, and learning about various areas of the tax code, helps Satyavan with his own returns. “It keeps me challenged and informed,” he said. “It’s a kind of win-win situation to help people to be helped.” A retired software consultant originally from India, …

— It’s that time of year again, tax season. For many people filing tax returns is a very stressful and complicated process. It can also be an expensive one for those seeking professional assistance. If you are a New Jersey resident and fall into one of these categories, fret no longer. AARP New Jersey offers a Tax Aide program that will assist you with filing your taxes free of charge. The AARP Tax Aide program has been around for almost 50 …

— Through the Fraud Watch Network, AARP is arming New Jerseyan’s with the tools they need to spot and avoid fraud and scams so they can protect themselves and their families! Across the US one person every two seconds becomes a victim of identity theft, and identity theft is the number one type of fraud committed in NJ. As tax season gets underway in the Garden State, watch out for this tax scam making headlines: The IRS Imposter Scam   What …

— As hard as it is for families to ensure a secure future in these difficult economic times, the last thing you need to worry about is whether their financial adviser are looking to increase their own profits at your expense. A current loophole in the law allows financial advisors to do just that, and some have recommended investments carrying higher fees, riskier features, and lower returns to further their own gains. This loophole has cost Americans at least $17 billion …