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November 2019
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December 2019

Baby boomers are looking backward and forward as the year ends

There are similarities between the 1920s and 2020 such as big wealth vs. the rest of us, refugees escaping violence, and Russian influence, says Rebecca Olkowski of the blog BabyBoomster. She describes how both of her parents were born here in the early 1920s, with most of her family arrived in America in the 1880s from parts of Poland, which was Russia then Czechoslovakia and now Slovakia. “The world works in cycles,” Olkowski says. “It’s kind of weird that way.” Meanwhile, some of our boomer bloggers are saying goodbye to another year in their articles and others are continuing to provide helpful information. Their articles include: the passage of time, travels, goals for the year, how to keep warm safely, tough events that give you a new perspective, and lessons from a mother's death. Read more →

Hillsdale Furniture recalls five-drawer chests due to tip-over and entrapment hazards

Hillsdale Furniture is recalling about 31,000 Chadwick and Bailey five-drawer wood chests in the United States and about 740 in Canada. The chests are unstable and can tip over if they aren’t anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in injuries or death to children. The chests don’t comply with the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard, ASTM F2057-17. No incidents or injuries have been reported. Read more →

Keep warm safely this winter

Last February, I had trouble getting out of my driveway in about 3 feet of snow when my power went. I intensely dislike winter snowstorms here in the Seattle area. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds families to be aware of safety in and around the home this winter. The agency offers these safety tips on three winter hazards Carbon monoxide Use portable generators outside your home and place them at least 20 feet away from the residence with exhaust pointed away from spaces where it can gather and be a hazard. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed, or garage. The exhaust from portable generators contains poisonous carbon monoxide, which can kill in minutes. Most portable generator-related deaths from CO poisoning occur during the cold winter months.   Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door open. Install CO alarms in your home on every level and outside all sleeping areas. Test CO alarms monthly.   See the CPSC’s video “Safety Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” for more information. Read more →

Errors on criminal background checks continue to keep consumers from getting jobs, housing, report shows

Passing a criminal background check is usually required to get a job or housing, however, employers and landlords are making decisions based on inaccurate reports.  A report, “Broken Records Redux: How Errors by Criminal Background Check Companies Continue to Harm Consumers Seeking Jobs and Housing,” from the National Consumer Law Center, finds that problems with accuracy in criminal background check reports are still wide spread. “Unfortunately, many background screening companies still seem to prioritize profit over accuracy, leading to reports that cost consumers’ jobs and housing,” said Ariel Nelson, center staff attorney and author of the report. Read more →

Facts and figures for the holidays 2019: Travel

A record number of Americans – 115.6 million – will travel this holiday season. That’s an increase of 3.9 percent over last year, or 4.3 million more people taking a holiday getaway, according to AAA. Auto More than 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and... Read more →

Facts and figures for the holidays 2019: Shopping

How are you doing with your holiday shopping? Have you overspent your budget?  Consumers say they'll spend an average of $1,047.83 this holiday season, up 4 percent from the $1,007.24 they said they would spend last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Total spending is expected to reach between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.  One in five Americans will owe holiday credit card debt into February, at least, according to a survey by WalletHub, a personal finance website. Fifty-eight percent will pay in full by the due date, 19 percent will pay in full by New Year's Day, and 12 percent will still have a holiday balance after January.  Another WelletHub survey found the top two financial resolutions for 2020 are: (1) repay 20 percent of credit card debt, and (2) add one month’s pay to an emergency fund. Read more →

Baby boomers contemplate winter solstice, feeling different, aging, money, and Christmas trees

It’s the holiday season. The New Year will be here soon with new beginnings and old challenges yet unresolved. To inspire you, here are the latest thought-provoking articles and practical advice from our boomer bloggers, as reported by Laurie Stone of Musings, Rants & Scribbles in Best of the Boomer Blogs #628. The articles include: How to appreciate those who are different and ourselves more fully. How to buy gift cards and the return policies for 48 retailers.  Why the holiday celebrations are so nice before the somber, cold and quiet of the rest of winter settles in. How to plan your goals better by exploring five-, three-, and one-year goals. Aging isn’t so bad because we’re happier, smarter, and sexier than we’ve ever been. How to have the money talk. How to have the perfect Christmas tree. Read more →

Hard-boiled eggs from Almark Foods’ Gainesville plant are being recalled due to link to listeria outbreak

Almark Foods is recalling bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs that were produced by its plant in Gainesville, Georgia, due to a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to the eggs, the company announced Friday. Seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported in five states – Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four were hospitalized, with one death occurring in Texas. The illnesses occurred between April 2017 and Nov. 12, 2019. Read more →

Tips for buying gift cards

Gift cards are a popular, convenient gift for the holidays. This holiday season, more than half of Americans plan to buy gift cards, according to the National Retail Federation. They’ll purchase an average of four gift cards worth about $49 each. Spending on gift cards is expected to reach $29.9 billion, up from last year’s $27.6 billion. Although gift cards seem straightforward, it’s important that both the giver and the recipient read the details for each card to avoid problems, and to find out if additional requirements have been put on by the merchant or bank issuing the card, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Protections Federal law provides protections for consumers who purchase gift cards, including store and restaurant gift cards, known as merchant cards. These cards can only be redeemed at the stores and restaurants that sell them. Bank gift cards – which carry the logo of a payment card network, for example, Visa or MasterCard – are also subject to federal law protections and can be used wherever the brand is accepted. Read more →