Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.
Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistanced has announced that the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.
For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local adminstering agencies and additional information about the program, click here, or call the energy assistance toll-free hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.
The Circuit Breaker Property Tax Relief Grant and Illinos Cares Rx is no longer being funded, effective July 1, 2012. However, a few benefits are still being offered:
- Seniors Free Transit Ride
- The Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride
- Secretary of State License Plate Discount
You must submit a Benefit Access Application online only. Paper applications are not available or accepted.
For more info, follow link to Illlinois Department on Aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
AARP has a new employment site. You can log into it through your LinkedIn ID. It lists job openings from organizations with a commitment to hire older workers.
On a related note, MPPL is hosting a session on Tuesday 11/20/12 at 1:30p:
What the Senior Candidate Has to Offer: Wisdom, loyalty, experience – are you making the most of your marketable qualities as a mature job seeker? Bob Podgorski of St. Hubert Job and Networking Ministry will offer tips for presenting your skills and experiences as a senior candidate to a potential employer. Please register online or by calling 847-253-5675.
Need to find specifics for premium types, costs, and services? A detailed chart is available at http://www.medicare.gov/cost/
Because of budgetary constraints, in 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped sending estimated Social Security benefit statements on paper. For a number of years these statements had been sent to all workers age 25 and older and not currently receiving Social Security benefits. In addition to listing a worker’s lifetime earnings record (the basis for Social Security benefits), the statements contained estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members.
This month (May, 2012), the SSA unveiled a program to provide the same information electronically, on the SSA website. Any individual who wishes to sign up must be at least age 18 and have a valid Social Security number, e-mail address, and United States mailing address. Create an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do
The new electronic version of the benefit estimate statement provides the same information as the paper statement, a worker’s lifetime earnings record and estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and surviving family members. At the same time, the government has resumed mailing paper estimated benefit statements to workers age 60 and older who are not currently receiving Social Security benefits.
The Illinois Department of Insurance site provides information on the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). SHIP is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. A Medicare Supplement Premium Comparison Guide is available, as is Medicaid Related and Long Term Care Information
The U.S. Department of the Treasury moved in late 2010 to make all federal benefit payments electronic by March 2013, a change that will impact everyone nearing retirement and the more than 10 million Americans are already receiving benefits by paper check. Please click here for more information to ensure benefits continue without interruption.
Marking caregiving decisions is difficult. Deciding if a relative is ready for additional help, evaluating health issues, checking finances, and finding the right facility take time and patience.
The National Caregivers Library was created by FamilyCare America, Inc. and is one of the largest single sources of information and tools for caregivers and seniors in the country.
The site provides guidelines for housing, health, and legal issues as well as ways for caregives to pay attention to their emotional needs and well being.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a site for Nursing Homes in Illinois and shares criteria to select a nursing home, level of care expected, patient resident rights, and a Health Care Worker Registry.