— By Aliya S. King Making communities more livable for people of all ages does not depend on large, expensive projects. “Livable” can mean sidewalk improvements on street corners, or tables and chairs along with painted walls to spruce up an unused alleyway. In Jersey City, the idea of livable can be as simple as $3,000 for a row of hardy red maple and birch trees planted at a public housing project parking area. In the city of Garfield, livable is …

— By Aliya S. King Cities and towns around the world are taking steps to make sure they are growing in ways that support older residents. In New Jersey, two communities—Prince­ton and Montclair—have officially joined the global movement to become more age-friendly. When Susan Hoskins, executive director of the Princeton Senior Resource Center, learned about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, she knew hers should be added to the list. Communities must show progress in several areas, such as walkability and …

— One of AARP New Jersey’s newest volunteers, Jacqueline Robinson worked in the Pharmaceutical industry for the majority of her career. When she was downsized after working at her last company for 27 years, Jackie decided to step out on a limb – she opted to take the retirement package offered to her and start JRR Consulting, Inc., and the division “Retire and Reinvent” (www.retireandreinvent.com). Because Jackie is passionate about helping people become the person they were meant to be, she became …

— © iStockPhoto\donskarpo Many times, resources are more readily available than you think. You just have to know where to look. Below are some key resources that AARP has been working to provide for you. AARP Smart Driver What is it? – A defensive driving course focusing on the rules of the road, driving situation techniques, and how to handle aggressive drivers. Those who enroll may be eligible for a discount of 5% on car insurance. Who can use it? – …

—   ©iStockPhoto\piranka Whether you are a PSE&G, JCP&L, or Atlantic City Electric customer, rest assured in knowing that AARP has worked, or in some cases, is still working, to ensure that utility customers across the state don’t pay a dime more than necessary when it comes to their utility bills. However, despite our efforts, we know that utility bills are still high in this state, and that the winter cold, which we are still in the midst of, can make …

—   ©iStockPhoto\dina2001 by Gary Blauth AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified to prepare your IRS and NJ tax returns. We have 1,000 volunteers at 150 NJ locations who are ready to assist you. We prepared about 38,000 tax returns last year. You can find a convenient location by going to the AARP website www.aarp.org/taxaide and clicking on “AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator”, or by calling 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669). This year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects some tax returns. If …

— © iStockPhoto\shironosovPaid sick time for private-sector employees in the two largest cities in New Jersey will soon be a reality. Indeed, new ordinances in Jersey City and Newark will assure these workers of having paid sick time at their disposal if they or a loved one in their care should fall ill. Under these new city ordinances, full time private-sector employees would be entitled to mandated paid sick time after having worked for a specified time period. The number of …

—   © NALC More than 9 million Americans 50 and older struggle with hunger every day.  But now, you can do something to help less fortunate Garden State residents.  AARP and the National Association of Letter Carriers is holding it’s 22nd annual Food Drive on Saturday, May 10th.  Please donate non-perishable items from your cabinet, or extra groceries and put them out by your mailbox on Friday night May 9th, or early Saturday morning, May 10th.  Your post office letter …

—   Caregiving is a tough job. In fact, for many caregivers it’s a tough “second” job, as over 70% of New Jersey caregivers are also working. As a result, caregivers often face a long list of challenges that make their day-to-day job that much harder. These challenges range from having to be extremely creative when managing time in order to meet a number of competing demands, to juggling finances in order meet the financial commitment that comes along with caregiving, …

— ©AARPAARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation program, was founded in 1968 by four AARP volunteers. Today, more than 35,000 volunteers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia serve at 6,100+ Tax-Aide sites from February 1 to April 15. Since its inception, this program has helped nearly 50 million low- to moderate-income taxpayers. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes …