Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Avoid Credit Card Hacking Over The Holidays

Credit card fraud can happen as the result of thieves finding a credit card billing statement in your trash, or  by someone taking a picture of your credit card when you are checking out, or someone could hack into an online account. You can read more about credit card fraud on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer information page here. To avoid fraud, the FTC recommends that you:
  • Don't give out your account information to a company unless you called them and know that they are reputable company.
  • Open your bills promptly and check for questionable charges.
  • Carry only one credit card for a shopping trip.
 In the short video below, Marietta, the editor-in-chief of the Consumer Action Handbook, discusses how you can avoid being a victim of credit card hacking this holiday season:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Book About a Famous Nonagenarian Athlete

Olga Kotelko was a famous nonagenarian athlete. She held twenty-six world records for World Masters track and field events and won 750 gold medals. She started competing in track and field events at age 77.  She was an amazing athlete who held 17 world records in the 90-95 year old age category. Below is a video interview with Olga Kotelko:



You can read more about Olga Kotelko and about her secrets to successful aging in: "What Makes Olga Run?" by Bruce Grierson. You can borrow this book from the Pasco County Library System.




Monday, December 1, 2014

Social Security Increase for 2015

The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.7% benefit increase starting in January 2015. This cost of living adjustment (COLA) will provide an extra $22 a month to the average retired worker. Do you have an online Social Security Account? If you do not yet receive Social Security benefits, you can use this online account to estimate your future benefits. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you can use the online account to manage your benefits.

Below is a video from Social Security which leads you through the process of setting up an account. If you would like one-on-one help to set up your account, a Social Security representative will be at New River Library this Thursday, December 4th, at 1:00 pm. New River Library is located at 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, Fl.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

National Family Caregiver's Month



President Obama proclaimed that November is National Family Caregiver's Month. The Caregiver Action Network promotes this month as a way to raise awareness of family caregiver issues and to celebrate the work of family caregivers. This year's theme is "Care Comes Home". This theme is based on the fact that most adults prefer to age at home. Many older adults can stay at home because they have help from family members. Four in ten adults in the United States are family caregivers.

Do you care for an elderly relative or friend? Do you need information to help you with your caregiving? Pasco County Public Library System has the following recently published books for caregivers: 


                            How  to Care for Aging Parents


                            Caregiver's Handbook


                         An Unintended Journey


                        Dr Ruth's Guide for Alzheimers


                         Life's Little Emergencies


                         No One Has to Die Alone


                     The Caregiving Wife's Handbook


                                  The Good Caregiver

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Great Volunteer Opportunities

As we get closer to the holidays, you may be looking for volunteer opportunities. Two great volunteer opportunities are becoming a SHINE volunteer or becoming an IRS tax volunteer. SHINE stands for "Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders", a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, where volunteers are committed to helping others make informed choices regarding Medicare insurance benefits. 

What is it like being a SHINE volunteer? Here is the story of a SHINE Volunteer Couple, Bill and Marianne Ferrari: 


Marianne Ferrari writes:

"How do two retired executives spend their time after full careers?  After 27 and 23 years, respectively, we decided to take early retirement.   Bill retired several months prior to me and noticed an ad in the local newspaper for SHINE volunteers. Bill completed the comprehensive training requirements and started to counsel individuals regarding Medicare enrollment and health plan choices.  

As I was still working at the time, I couldn't help but notice Bill's passion about this SHINE program. I chuckled to myself because during our careers we had this ongoing rivalry since I was a Human Resources professional and he was an Operations professional. Needless to say, at times we had different perspectives!    Needless to say, several months later when I retired, I knew which organization I wanted to support—SHINE. 

I thought it was right down my alley since my work expertise was employee benefits.  While my work background is most helpful, I was surprised by how much I didn't know.  I immediately recognized the significant amount of technical and community resource information that one needs to understand to add value. I loved the challenge!  Life-long learning was one of my retirement goals and this service was certainly going to fulfill this objective. 

Since Bill and I are both volunteers, we will sometimes discuss challenges and help each other with creative solutions.  We do this in very general terms so as not to divulge confidentiality of cases.  Our health insurance system is complex and many of our clients are low income and in need of financial and other assistance programs.  

At times it takes teamwork to identify opportunities to provide the appropriate assistance.  It also requires patience, compassion, and a relentless quest to resolve issues.  Finally, SHINE has given back to me much more than I ever expected.  I learned that my job will always be important to me and will always be a source of self- identity.  But I've learned to define "job" as more than labor for dollars.  My job is helping seniors with their healthcare needs. The feeling of contribution and learning is much more fulfilling than any job I've ever held."

For Pasco County residents, there is an upcoming three-day program for individuals interested in volunteering with the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. The training will begin on December 9, 2014 and will be held at Rasmussen College on State Rd 54 in Pasco County.  Transportation costs are reimbursed and meals are furnished.  Visit www.floridashine.org for an online application.  Contact Sue Samson @ 727/570-9696 x234.

There are two volunteer tax assistant programs: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, and it specializes in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

You can find out more about becoming a tax assistant volunteer here. Below is a video about becoming a volunteer income tax assistant:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Upcoming Library Programs



Would you like help attend a caregiver's workshop,  sign up for a Social Security Account online, or learn how to use Facebook? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco County library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here are some of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:

Wed, November 12th at 2:00pm 
  Senior Social
New River Library
Adults, age 50 and above, can enjoy card games, board games, and Wii bowling. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Wed, November 12th and Wed November 19th at 6:30pm
    Hugh Embry Chess Club
    Hugh Embry Library
Enjoy chess out on the main floor from 7-8 pm! We have chess sets, or bring your own.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Thurs, November 13th at 10:00am
    Social Seniors
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join our new group of Social Seniors for coffee, cake, and conversation. Get involved at the library by offering programming suggestions. Or, take this time to meet new friends, discuss common interests, and engage in recreational activities. Occasional workshops on topics of interest may be scheduled. This is a brand new club for seniors, and we need your input!
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


 Thurs, November 13th at 6:00pm
     Knitting Club
     New River Library
 Learn basic knitting techniques. Please bring a pair of size 8 knitting needles and a ball of #4 yarn. This club is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

 Friday, November 14th at 11:00am and Friday, November 21st at 11:00am
    SHINE Medicare Help
     New River Library
A SHINE volunteer (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) will help people with their Medicare enrollment questions.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Tues, November 18th at 200pm
    Introduction to Facebook
     New River Library
 Learn the basics about how to use Facebook to connect with family and friends.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Wed, November 19th at 11:30am
   My SSA: Help setting up your Social Security online account
   Regency Park Library
Get help establishing an online account with Social Security. With an account, you can easily change your address, set up direct deposit, verify your benefits, and much more!
Regency Park Library
9701 Little Road
New Port Richey 34654
(727) 861-3049


Wed, November 19th at 2:00pm 
    Caregiver's Workshop: Understanding Dementia
   New River Library
Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care will be presenting a free caregiving workshop.
New River Library
34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, FL 33543
(813) 788-6375

Thurs, November 20th at 10:00am
    Senior Games
    Land O'Lakes Library
Join us for fun and games at the library. Meet new people while playing cards, board games, or challenging video games.
Land O'Lakes Library
2818 Collier Parkway
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639
(813) 929-1214


Fri, November 21st at 2:00pm
   Senior Popcorn and Cinema
    Hugh Embry Library
Adults, enjoy recent releases of best films of 2014 with free popcorn. Call 352-567-3576 for title.
Hugh Embry Library
14215 Fourth Street, Dade City, FL 33523 
(352) 567-3576

Also, many branches offer book discussions and technology programs (such as a computer classes and tablet classes).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Free Online Genealogy Fair

Would you like to research you family history? You can learn lots of tips by watching the 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair, which was hosted by The National Archives on October 28, 29, and 30. Experts from National Archives' facilities nationwide, the historian from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and representatives from Ancestry and FamilySearch were the speakers for this free event. These presentations should be useful for both beginning and more experienced genealogists. You can read the presentation schedule and handouts for each session here. The presentations are available online at Youtube.com. See below for videos from all three days.
Day 1:

 
Day 2:

 
Day 3: