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Social Security COLA increase a mixed blessing

A Social Security cost–of–living–adjustment (COLA) of 8.7% is rare — enjoy it now. This may be the first and possibly the last time that beneficiaries today receive a COLA this high. There were only three other times since the start of...

 

The season of remembrance and giving thanks

One of the most poignant exercises I have experienced was during hospice training in which participants envision, and write down, four favorite people, four favorite places, four favorite activities and four favorite objects. In the exercise, we...

 

What to do with your unneeded items

Q: I own too much stuff, and it is daunting when deciding what to do with everything. None of my children nor grandchildren want my memorabilia, collections, furniture, or vintage kitchenware. Any...

 

Assistance paying rent, utilities in Anchorage

Have you ever found yourself, a friend, or a family member in a situation that makes it difficult to pay the rent on time? Or maybe struggling with paying a utility bill? Life happens. And sometimes not in a good way. Dealing with the unexpected...

 

Denali Fault Earthquake, 20 years later

Upon feeling a familiar "swirling" motion that Sunday afternoon of Nov. 3, 2002, I left the kitchen and walked to the living room of our Slana home. I'm always a little jumpy during earthquakes,...

 
 By Jim Lavrakas    Columns    November 1, 2022 

Improving your recreational pickleball play

We can all get stuck in a comfort zone. Trying new things and changing old habits can be a challenge at any age, but as we get older our attitude can become inflexible. Like continuing to try to hit...

 

Early Miners' code ruled in the Last Frontier

As hordes of prospectors streamed into Alaska and Canada in the 1880s and 1890s, crime like thefts and claim jumping became more common. The Canadians had not yet established a law and order presence...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    November 1, 2022 

A front-row seat to entertainment history

Aside from the songwriters, imagine being the first person on the planet to enjoy the words and music of some of the greatest classic songs to ever appear in Broadway and Hollywood productions. Nancy...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    November 1, 2022 

The wild life and death of Anne Heche

Here we go again: another celebrity estate mess. You have probably heard of Anne Heche. Even I knew who she was, and I don’t follow celebrity gossip or go to the movies that often. But even I have s...

 

Home automation, Nest Thermostat, Stable Diffusion

Q. I want to add home automation devices to my house. What is the best way to get started? A. When the topic of home automation has come up in previous columns, my advice has been to hold off investing in expensive hardware. Most of the devices you...

 

Alaska's first ranked choice election a success

Editor’s note: This press statement was received Aug. 31, 2022. Alaska’s Election System gave Alaskan voters more choice, voice and competition on Election Day. A near-record number of Alaskan voters participated in the Aug. 16, 2022, special ele...

 

Retirees with pensions energize rural Alaska

“Expenditures made by retirees of state and local government provide a steady economic stimulus to Alaska communities and the state economy.” – National Institute of Retirement Security, Pensionomics 2021 Tourist greenbacks coming to Alaska...

 

Constitutional Convention would undermine Alaskans' interests

Dear Editor, Seniors should vote Nov. 8 against a convention to revise our state constitution. We could lose a lot in a convention. Article XII, Section 7 says benefits that state, borough, city and school district retirees have accrued “shall n...

 

Age-friendly volunteering: Making Anchorage better together

AARP Alaska wants to insure that people in later life have opportunities to contribute to their communities. AARP volunteers serve throughout Alaska and across the nation to create better places for people of all ages. With deep local knowledge,...

 

Medicare Open Enrollment presents options

Another autumn is upon us, and one thing that means is that Medicare's Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will be happening soon. Each year from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, you can make changes to your...

 

Medicare assistance for Alaskans

Oct. 18, 2022, is Alaska Day. It marks the formal transfer of Alaska from the Russian Empire to the United States of America. 2022 is the 154th anniversary of this transfer that changed and impacted the history of our state. It is something we can...

 

What you need to know about paying for long-term care

Q: Why aren’t assisted living costs covered by my health insurance program? A: When people think about assisted living, they often presume costs are covered by their medical plan. However, as a...

 

Preventing trips, slips, falls and close calls

Fall in Alaska is unpredictable, and usually that means snow and slippery surfaces. It is easy to be distracted when in familiar surroundings, and this creates an accident waiting to happen and we trip, slip, fall or have a scary close call....

 

Celebrating long-term care residents' rights

Across the country, residents of long-term care facilities along with family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month in...

 

A show-and-tell of the colony lifestyle

The third grade students looked at me like they did the other two docents – old ladies who were telling them what life was like back in the good old days of 1935. The way I talked made one student...

 

Ancient rock pictures dot Alaska shores

Not only does Alaska have a history steeped in fur trading, whale harvesting and gold mining. It also has drawings on rocks usually associated with primitive people in exotic faraway lands....

 

Storming the inheritance Bastille

I was watching a Korean comedy series recently online, called “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”. It is about a brilliant but significantly autistic woman who becomes a lawyer. If you don’t mind...

 

Photo scans, medication tracking, Apple Watch

Q. Years ago I converted a box of family photos with a desktop scanner. Are scanners still around, or have they gone the way of the fax machine and pay telephones? A. Tabletop flatbed scanners are still available. And far less expensive than they...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    October 1, 2022

The screen horrors of Lynda Day George

While best known for joining the cast of the popular CBS spy series "Mission: Impossible" for the last two seasons in the early 70s, Lynda Day George became something of a minor horror movie icon befo...

 
 By Jim Miller    Columns    October 1, 2022

How to locate an old 401(k)

Dear Savvy Senior: How do I go about looking for an old former company 401(k) plan that I think I contributed money to many years ago, but forgot about until recently? - Retired in Rochester Dear Retired...

 

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