—   By Marie Houghton, AARP Vermont State President   1984 was a big year in Vermont and beyond. Madeline Kunin was elected Vermont’s first woman governor, Apple unveiled the Mac PC, and Phish played at Nectors each week. It’s also the year Vermonters began paying taxes on their Social Security benefits.   Some 34 years later a lot has changed.  Apple devices are everywhere, Phish sold out 13 nights at Madison Square Garden, and… Vermonters are paying taxes on even …

— More than 100,000 Vermonters whose employers do not offer a retirement plan will be able to save for their future under the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan, which will start operating by January 2019. Setting up a statewide workplace retirement savings plan was AARP Vermont’s top legislative priority this year. Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed the measure into law in June. Once the plan is up and running, small businesses with up to 50 employees can voluntarily participate at no …

— From Vermont Business Magazine – 5/19/17: In its final hours Thursday, the Legislature voted to approve S135, Vermont’s economic development omnibus bill. Section C of the bill sets up a secure public retirement option, the “Green Mountain Secure Retirement” plan, for small businesses. Pending due diligence by the Treasurer’s office, the goal is to implement the retirement plan by January 15, 2019. The program was proposed by Treasurer Beth Pearce’s Public Retirement Study Committee (link is external), which recommended a …

— If you were to ask a typical Vermonter how to fix health care in America, you can be sure [he/she] would not suggest that Washington allow insurance companies to price people out of affordable coverage. Yet Congress is now considering the American Health Care Act — a bill that would do just that. The bill would impose an “age tax” on older Americans.  That means people in their 50s and 60s who are buying health insurance on their own might …

— Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs By Senator Patrick Leahy For far too long, Americans have struggled to cope with the rising costs of prescription drugs.  And when brand name companies can drive up the price of drugs by using predatory practices, we all suffer.  Illnesses get worse.  Families, government programs, and other payers in the healthcare system ultimately bear those added, unnecessary costs. The problem of rising drugs costs is only getting worse.  Last year, Americans learned of the …

— Tax season is underway. This year, AARP Foundation is again providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers across Vermont with low to moderate income through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. AARP Tax-Aide, in its 49th year, is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service, giving special attention to the older population.  You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. Trained counselors are ready to help Vermonters file electronically …

— How much have you saved for retirement? Five hundred dollars? Five thousand? Fifty thousand? If you have even $5 saved, you’re one step ahead of nearly half of working-age households — who have ZERO saved for retirement. This startling fact is just one of the reasons AARP is fighting for Work and Save, a commonsense solution to help individuals save toward a secure retirement  through an easy payroll deduction at work — an option not available to many employees. Work …

— AARP has launched a statewide campaign to help Vermonters keep their finances safe and identities secure. “Every two seconds, someone’s identity is stolen. We want to help consumers fight back,” said Dave Reville, spokesman for AARP Vermont. “Arming people with good information is by far the best protection.” AARP is hosting free shredding events June 16 in Burlington and July 16 in Rutland. Residents can bring bills, pay stubs and other documents to a mobile van to be safely destroyed. …