by Connie McMullen
Nationally AARP is a known leader in helping retirees make good decisions, providing resources on issues ranging from Medicare and Social Security to workforce training and supports; the national organization has made 50 plus living a positive aspect in everyday life. Never before has there been such empowerment for older adults or recognition that aging is an important dynamic in the lifespan, that turning 50 does not mean rest and relaxation after a lifetime of work but new possibilities that are both rewarding and goal achieving in the second half of life.
Author Barbara Morris, publisher of the Put Old on Hold Journal agrees, citing mandatory retirement at age 65. Morris says, “It is an archaic practice that condemns healthy and vital individuals to premature decline.”
Helping guide boomers on financial resources and engagement is Lynda Hascheff, AARP Nevada Director of Community Outreach and Volunteer Projects. A position previously held by Maria Dent, now the AARP Nevada State Director, Hascheff brings a set of skills to the post that fosters encore living.
“It’s a great fit,” she said. “I can work to be the bridge between people and issues. I have good connections in the north. As the Community Outreach Director and Volunteer Program Manager, we can bring all the pieces and components together to offer great opportunities.”
Another plus in the equation is that Hascheff is a Financial Coach for Opportunity Alliance of Nevada, an organization that works to create financial stability for Nevadans. The former Executive Director of Moms on the Run, a local nonprofit that assists patients in treatment of breast and GYN cancer, she brings experience in fundraising, resource building and outreach, as well as connecting those in need with information and services. These skills make Hascheff a valuable player in AARP’s Legislative agenda this session in Carson City, where the organization is championing two bills to help boomers.
Last session, AARP Nevada was very successful in getting the CARE Act signed into law. The CARE Act allows a patient or guardian to designate a caregiver upon admission to a hospital. It requires the hospital to keep that caregiver informed when a patient is being discharged or moved to another facility, and asks hospitals to provide instruction for care needed at home and offer resources when questions arise.
This session, AARP Nevada is supporting Bill Draft Resolution (BDR) 637 which will add to the CARE Act. AARP Government Relations Director Barry Gold says BDR 637 “will build on the success of the CARE Act in helping people financially.” BDR 637, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shannon BilbrayAxelrod (D34), authorizes the use of leave for employee caregiving time. “Caregivers still employed will be able to use some of their earned sick time leave to take care of family members,” Gold said. “You shouldn’t worry about losing your job.”
BDR 1035, sponsored by Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams (D42), creates a Task Force to Study Retirement Savings Options for Nevadans. “Over half of state workers do not have access to retirement savings accounts,” Gold said. “It would look at ways of offering payroll deductions for small businesses, Moms and Pops, who cannot offer retirement savings plans.” The Work and Save Program as it is called, would offer a payroll deduction for employees that will stay with workers from one job to another. “It is a commonsense solution so retirees have means rather than needs,” Gold added.
AARP estimates, “Fortyfive percent of workingage households have ZERO saved for retirement. “Simply having access to a retirement savings plan at work increases savings rates 15 times.” AARP is working in states across the country for Work and Save plans.
To illustrate the need, Hascheff said Moms on the Run provided financial resources for 3040 women a month (outside of medical bills) who could not afford rent, utility bills, and food. “The Work and
Similarly, SB 118 would create an interim Nevada Task Force on Financial Security. According to the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, 55.6 percent of Nevada households are without sufficient liquid assets to subsist at or above the poverty level for 3 months in the absence of income.