— By Michelle Crouch Deb Wagner, 65, retired recently and is back on a budget for the first time in years. So when she heard that insurance carriers wanted to raise home policy rates an average of 18.7 percent across the state, she was not happy. “That much of a rate increase is going to have a big impact on people on a fixed income,” said Wagner, who lives in Swannanoa. “I don’t understand how they are justifying this request. We …

— Don’t miss these upcoming, free AARP course offerings in the Queen City. Finances 50+  Developed by AARP Foundation and the Charles Schwab Foundation, there is still time to take part in a course that helps participants map out an action plan for finding financial freedom. Free of charge and completely non-commercial, Finances 50+ focuses on budgeting, managing credit and debt, and building and protecting your assets. Appropriate for all ages. South County Library, 5801 Rea Road November 13 & 15, 6pm-7:30pm  – https://aarp.cvent.com/F50SCL116 …

— By Michelle Crouch Douglas Sherrow, a severely disabled Army veteran in Mint Hill, struggles to make ends meet on his military pension and Social Security. He and his wife are raising two grandchildren, and he said they’ve racked up thousands in credit card debt over four years. “I’ve never been in the hole this far,” said Sherrow, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a walker. “Taxes keep going up, and my ability to pay them is going down.” Sherrow, 69, …

— By Michelle Crouch When it comes to scams targeting North Carolina’s older residents, Attorney General Josh Stein can rattle them off like a grocery list. In the sweepstakes con, a caller says you’ve won a big prize, but you just need to pay the taxes first. You pay the money, but you never get the prize. In another scam, a caller says you missed jury duty and face arrest if you don’t pay a fine. In the IRS hoax, you’re …

— By Michelle Crouch Rob Cooley knows that keeping his 40 employees happy is crucial to the long-term success of his business, two Apple Annie’s Bake Shops in Wilmington. But it’s tough for small-business owners to offer the same benefits as larger companies, he said, especially when it comes to retirement. “Setting up some kind of retirement plan is just cost prohibitive,” said Cooley, 49, who is also a co-owner of a beer and wine store with his family. “Small businesses …

— RALEIGH — National retirement security expert David C. John, spoke to a group of political and business leaders in Raleigh this week about a voluntary and low-cost way for small businesses to offer an easy and portable way for workers to save. North Carolina has 1.7 million private sector workers without access to workplace retirement savings plans, proven to be the easiest and most effective way for workers to save for retirement. Research has proven that when workers can save …

— “If you have a pension, you’re one of the lucky ones,” said a Duke economist acknowledging that over the past few decades, most employers have shifted away from maintaining a pension fund for their workers and former employees. Increasingly, it’s up to people to save on their own, usually through a 401K from their employer or from opening an Individual Retirement Account. Yet, many workers are finding themselves near retirement, without the retirement income or savings they need to stay …

— Did you know that AARP offers workshops every week in the Charlotte region? Whether you’re an AARP member or not, over 50 or not, all of our programs are free of charge, free of any sales pitches, and all geared towards helping you achieve real possibilities. This summer we began offering our programs at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery! Come have a beverage on us and take advantage of our informative programs led by our dedicated facilitators!   Life Reimagined The life …

— AARP North Carolina and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are hosting Encore Entrepreneur events to help North Carolinians age 50-plus start or grow a small business. The workshops offer advice and resources on matters such as business plans, marketing and social media, funding and franchising. Community leaders will be on hand, along with counselors and mentors from SBA and SCORE, a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services. With more life experiences and disposable income than younger entrepreneurs, …

— CHARLOTTE – Take one look at Bob Roberts on his bike and you’re likely to be inspired. At 69 years old, Bob is an avid rider and, in many ways,  a model boomer.  He takes care of himself and has an active lifestyle, still works in a rewarding field and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. But a closer at Bob – and his helmet adorning the phrase “We are not done” – reveals that his passion …