Why I Serve

" "On Veterans Day, we remember the men and women who bravely fought for our country, while also reflecting on our active duty heroes who are still risking their lives.

I joined the military at age 17 —not because I was feeling patriotic, but because I was missing something in my life. I wanted a place to belong, to feel accepted, and to somehow live a life of purpose. I was young, idealistic, and maybe a little naïve. During my 24 years of service, I learned about sacrifice, commitment, respect, dignity, service to others before yourself, and pride in my country. Yes, I slowly, and perhaps unwittingly, evolved into a patriot committed to serving my country. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Spreading the News About ABLE Accounts in the Disability Community

On December 19th, 2019, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) will be five years old. Why are we excited? Because this five-year-old has influenced 41,000 people to open ABLE accounts that can earn tax-free income. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Once We Serve, We Always Serve

" "When I made the decision to enlist in the Army, I knew it was a lifetime commitment, whether I was in uniform or not. Once we serve, we always serve.

The esprit de corps of the military— integrity, fellowship, and loyalty — is resolute in the veteran community. The core elements — commitment to country, service to others, looking out for one another — are deep-seated. When I moved on with my career, the creed to serve manifested differently. For the last 25 years, I have served with the federal government, always with agencies that share that commitment, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Veterans Affairs, and Social Security. I try to reinforce my commitment in everything I do, especially as I champion veterans’ causes in my work in the Social Security disability program. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

You’ve Worked Hard for the Money — Now Protect It!

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day LogoMost of us work hard to save and plan for our retirement. But there are people who work just as hard to take it away from us. Who are they? Phone scammers.

While I was working from home the other day, my phone rang three times. A robotic voice told me that I was in debt to the IRS and needed to pay immediately or I would go to jail. I knew it was a scam because the IRS will NOT contact me by phone; but, I wondered, if I were home alone and did not know these types of scams exist, would I be frightened enough to send money? Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Five Ways to Fight Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation

Lance Robertson HHS Studio shot

As Americans, we believe that people of all ages and abilities deserve to be treated fairly and equally and to live free from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Tomorrow, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we join the world in recognizing the importance of elders to our communities and standing up for their rights. Here are five ways you can join this fight. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Shining a Light on Those Who Provide Dementia Care

younger woman hugging elderly woman Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll, not just on those with the disease, but on their families. The effects of this disease, emotional as well as financial, are felt by many in our society. Caring for relatives suffering from this debilitating condition is truly a labor of love, and unfortunately, comes with high costs. This month, as we observe National Family Caregiver Month, we look to shine a light on some of the often overlooked aspects of caring for someone with this disease. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Inspector General Warns Public About Phone Scheme Targeting Former Conn Clients

woman looking at cell phone Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is warning citizens about a phone scheme allegedly targeting former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have received reports that Kentucky citizens who used Conn’s law firm to assist with applying for Social Security disability benefits have recently received suspicious calls from people claiming to be from SSA. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Are You Making This Dangerous Retirement Planning Mistake?

NOTE:  A version of this article was previously published on Suze Orman’s website on April 7, 2016.
Suze OrmanI am concerned that many of you are banking on a retirement strategy that may not work out. According to a national survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than four in 10 Americans say they plan to keep working past the age of 65.

For many of today’s workers, the motivation to delay retirement is financial. A concern they lack the savings to cover all their retirement costs, including health care expenses. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

What Is the Biggest Retirement Planning Mistake?

Suze OrmanThat’s easy to answer: Not having a plan!

Building a financially secure retirement doesn’t happen by itself. You need to make a commitment to smart financial decisions long before retirement — starting in your 20s would have been ideal — and then keep carrying through on your retirement plan.

Here are some other big retirement-planning mistakes I want you to avoid: Continue reading

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail