When visiting a financial adviser for consultation about retirement savings one might assume those counselors have their best interests in mind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. To better ensure consultants are working for consumers and not for fees, the Labor Department will propose new rules to increase standards for brokers who recommend investments for retirement accounts. [More]
Older Americans are struggling to keep their homes across the country, according to a new AARP report, with 1.5 million older homeowners who have already lost their homes and millions more at risk. The housing crisis is having a tough impact on them, and they’re the part of the population who are already among the worst positioned to deal with these problems.
Here’s yet another reason to go for generic drugs when you can: drug makers keep raising prices on brand name products. If you group generics and brand names together, drug prices rose by 3.4% in 2009, according to an industry report. However, if you look at just brand name drugs as the AARP did in a new report, the average price hike was 8.3%. An earlier AARP report from May points out that if you look at specialty drugs “widely used by people in Medicare” then the hike jumps to 9.2%.
It’s not such a great time to be heading into retirement, which may be a reason prospective retirees may want to glance through the AARP’s 50 Ways To Love Your Money PDF.
A Bloomberg investigation found that some insurance policies with the AARP stamp of approval actually cost senior citizens more, and part of that money is getting kicked back to AARP in the form of “royalties” and “fees.” Essentially, the AARP is taking a cut of your premium before passing it on to the insurer. These payments have gone from 11% of AARP’s revenue in 1999, to 43% in 2007. One man found he was paying twice the average for his car insurance. When walked into the the group’s brass and marbled headquarters, flashing his 20-year AARP card, to find out where his money was going, he was told the AARP doesn’t give tours.
This video shows how a variety of food products have shrunk over the years, while the price remains the same, and the tricks manufacturers use so we don’t notice the differences. She stacks up the coffee cans as they go from 16 oz to 11 oz. At one point, Maxwell House says that while the size is going down, the potency is going up. “We’ve fluffed the beans!” they say. So then why do the instructions on the side of the can for the amount of coffee you use to make a perfect cup stay the same? Though we don’t really mourn for lost Maxwell House value, the example is illustrative of standard industry tactics, even on food that doesn’t taste like crap.
Adam’s mom recently received an AARP invitation, which is not surprising since she’s nearing fifty. But we think AARP may want to pass a better filter over the address lists they’re buying, because a few days later Adam received the same invitation. Maybe AARP is trying to expand to seniors and their admirers—sort of like a backwards NAMBLA.
The L.A. Times is reporting that AARP products are not always the best deal for senior citizens. The American Association of Retired Persons is susceptible to a profit motive; $400 million – 40%, of their annual budget – is generated from “royalties and service provider relationship management fees” gleaned from products, such as Medigap insurance, sold to its 38 million members.