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Eighty years ago, the Social Security Act was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide older adults a financial safety net after they retire.

Today, though, that safety net is taxed. 

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By the year 2050, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. Texas has the third largest population of older adults in the U.S. and the population will jump to 20 percent of its overall population in the next decade. 

Dane Walters / KERA News

Preparing for retirement is daunting for anybody. Without an inheritance, a hefty pension or a 401K, it can be tough to just get by.

Take Shirley Martin. She’s 72, she lives in Desoto and she’s struggling to make ends meet. One of every three North Texans is in the same boat. They don’t have enough money set aside to live for three months after a financial hit.

Shirley is one of the people featured in KERA's new series, One Crisis Away. Instead of getting discouraged, Shirley’s getting creative. [Watch the video of Shirley's story here.]

KERA's series One Crisis Away looks at four families on the financial edge. In this profile, meet Shirley Martin, a 72 year-old woman living in Desoto. Divorced and a breast cancer survivor, Shirley can't afford to live on her small annual retirement and Social Security, so she takes in boarders through a nonprofit called Shared Housing.

Here's KERA's video of her story. [Listen to the radio story here.]

Older men are at high risk of suicide, and they're far more likely to kill themselves if they have access to firearms.

Doctors should ask relatives of older people with depression or cognitive problems if there are guns in the home, much as they might ask about whether it's time to take away the car keys, an academic paper says.

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Health insurance companies aren’t the only ones competing for your money as the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate deadline approaches. Scammers are also trying to get in on the confusion. According to Jim Quiggle, a national spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. There are a variety of tricks con artists use to get sensitive information – most often they’ll pose as representatives of government agencies.