Cost of Caregiving:”The out-of-pocket cost of caring for an aging parent or spouse averages about $5,500 a year, according to the nation’s first in-depth study of such expenses, a sum that is more than double previous estimates and more than the average American household spends annually on health care and entertainment combined,” reports The New York Times.

And that’s just for starters. When other expenses are factored in, such as groceries, household goods, drugs, medical co-payments and transportation, the average cost of providing long-distance care increases to $8,728 a year. The study is based on a survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, a research and policy organization, and Evercare, a division of the UnitedHealth Group.

The financial side of caregiving is often overlooked in policy discussions. “If you’re spending 10 percent of your income, that’s part of what’s weighing on you, and policymakers haven’t paid enough attention to that,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, president of the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Trumping the Witch Factor: Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi takes on Sen. John McCain’s handling of this question, posed by a supporter at a campaign rally: “How do we beat the bitch?”

“Imagine the outrage if a Clinton supporter used a slur against men in a question posed to the candidate?” writes Vennochi. “What would happen if the candidate laughed and replied, ‘That’s an excellent question.’ It would be war against the so-called Feminazi.”

Our Bittersweet 16: Also in the Globe, Anita Hill describes the correspondence she continues to receive 16 years after testifying in Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

“Today, the most immediate question the letters raise is whether the workplace has improved over the last 16 years,” writes Hill. “Working women regularly share with me their personal stories of how blatant harassment and discrimination, once the norm, has been eliminated. I also hear personal stories from women who have complained and prevailed, using policies set up since the hearings. But I still hear
from women and girls and their lawyers about outrageous cases of abuse.”

Top 25 Locations for Retirees Seeking a Return to the Workforce: The Wall Street Journal has the list. “[For] many age 50-plus workers, the ‘best cities’ are those that
offer a wide range of industry and occupational choices as it becomes increasing acceptable to ‘work around’ in a variety of jobs beyond traditional retirement age,” said Robert Skladany, vice president of research and services at RetirementJobs.com.

Reading Appetites Grow, As Does the Print Size: “Since America’s 78 million baby boomers started turning 60 last year, dozens of novels with graying protagonists and late-life themes have hit the nation’s bookstores, adding a few new wrinkles to the face of contemporary fiction and underscoring a sobering fact about readers in America: The most avid book-lovers are 50 and older,” reports the L.A. Times.

“Increasingly, so are the characters they’re reading about. And ‘the novelists are getting older’ too, said Jane Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins Worldwide. ‘It’s really the graying of America. … This is not a trend. I think it’s the zeitgeist.'”

Christine

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