Event Details


Sept. 20-22, 2012

New Orleans Morial

Convention Center

900 Convention Center Blvd.

New Orleans, LA 70130



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Life@50+ New Orleans
AARP University Session Details

The AARP University was created
to be the center of education for Life@50+ attendees. The goal of the University is to provide interactive, educational sessions by AARP
staff experts on the latest AARP research, programs, services,

benefits and larger issues of interest that affect our members and society.


Review the list of sessions and learn more about what was offered as part of the University at the 2012 Life@50+ event.



Achieving a Secure Retirement: Building Peace of Mind through Social Security and Other Sources of Income

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Gary Koenig, Director Economic Security, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Jonathan Peterson, author, AARP’s Social Security for Dummies, and Executive Communications Director, AARP
  • Jean Setzfand, Vice President, Financial Security, AARP
  • Erin Scheithe, Project Manager, Financial Security, AARP (Moderator)


Social Security is the foundation of most people’s long-term financial support. For many, it’s their only source of income in later years. This session will cover how to maximize your benefits and also find alternative sources of income in retirement. The deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration will be joined by AARP staff experts to help you learn how to meet monthly expenses after your regular paychecks have stopped. Topics will include how to qualify for and estimate your Social Security benefits; how marriage and divorce affect your benefits; and how to use annuities to meet your lifetime income needs.


Are You Really Going to Eat That?

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • John Whyte, M.D., Chief Medical Expert, Discovery Networks, and author of Is This Normal? The Essential Guide to Middle Age and Beyond
  • Kevin Hawkins, Senior Director of Research, OptumInsight, a UnitedHealth Group company
  • B. Smith, restaurateur, radio show host and author
  • Charlotte Yeh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services, Inc. (Moderator)


You can fight disease, lose weight and stay sharp through your food choices — without feeling deprived or resorting to quick weight-loss diets. Yet eating healthfully has become increasingly complicated, restrictive and expensive. Panelists, including a noted physician and restaurateur and author B. Smith, will help you make healthy food choices at home, in restaurants and during travel. The discussion will also help you understand common pitfalls. You’ll learn healthy habits that can last a lifetime! A lively question-and-answer period will be included.


Cool Tech for the 50+

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Laura Mitchell, Vice President for Business Development, GrandCare Systems and Board Member, AGETEK Alliance
  • Mike Lee, Senior Advisor, AARP
  • Rafael 'Tico' Ballagas, Principal Research Scientist, Nokia Research Center
  • Jeff Makowka, Senior Strategic Advisor, Thought Leadership, AARP (Co-Moderator)
  • Bill Walsh, Senior Advisor, My Health Portfolio, AARP (Co-Moderator)


An explosion of new technology is designed to make your life easier and more enjoyable — such as monitoring your health while on the go or connecting with grandkids. The good news is that many of these new gadgets are easy to use and the prices are rapidly coming down. Come see live demonstrations of some of the coolest gadgets on the market — and some that have yet to go public — that use the latest technology to enhance your health, lifestyle and relationships.


Entrepreneurship and the 50+

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


  • Elizabeth Isele, Senior Director, Senior Entrepreneurship Works
  • Jeff Williams, BizStarters.com
  • Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President, Thought Leadership and the Innovation@50+ Initiative, AARP (Moderator)


Most people assume that most new businesses in the U.S. are started by young people, but that’s not true. In fact, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity during the last decade belonged to people age 55 – 64, according to the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. Are you interested in joining this trend? Whether you are looking to start the next big thing or bring a lifelong dream to life, this session will cover the tools, services and resources you can tap into to launch a successful business.


E-Readers for Dummies

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


  • Mike Lee, Senior Advisor, Digital Strategies, AARP
  • Jodi Lipson, Managing Editor, AARP Books (Moderator)


Electronic readers are ultra-portable, lightweight devices that can be packed with novels, newspaper articles, magazines, crossword puzzles and everything in between. This session will cover which of the many e-readers on the market might be right for you. If you already have an e-reader, panelists will also describe how to get the most from it. Hear step-by-step instructions for downloading publications and get tips on protecting your online security. Please feel free to bring your devices and your questions, since there’s plenty of time for Q&A.


Finding — and Landing — That Next Great Job

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


  • Kerry Hannon, Forbes Magazine contributor and author of AARP’s Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy—and Pays the Bills
  • Ed Redfern, Senior Issue Specialist, Education and Outreach/Financial Security and Work, AARP
  • Elisabeth Buser, Project Manager, Education and Outreach/Financial Security and Work, AARP (Moderator)


Boomers are approaching work not as an afterthought but as a pillar of their "retirement" plans. Since strategies for job-searching have changed so much, come get a competitive edge in finding and landing the next great job. Topics will include the best jobs for workers 50+ and how to develop a personal brand that helps you stand out in a crowded job market. Speakers will also discuss AARP’s new Work Reimagined initiative and describe how to use LinkedIn and Facebook to kick-start your search and network with others. Several copies of Kerry Hannon’s Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ book will be given as door prizes.


Health Care and You: Why It’s Important for All of Us

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


  • Nicole Duritz, Vice President, Education and Outreach/Health and Family, AARP
  • Lisa Yagoda, Advisor, Education and Outreach/Health and Family, AARP


From enabling people to keep their current insurance coverage to providing new options and protections, the health care law — called the Affordable Care Act — provides many benefits. The law has already helped millions of older Americans with the cost of their prescription drugs and will help millions more get affordable insurance. Come get the facts about this complex law and learn what it means for you. Two AARP health care experts will describe the law’s current benefits and key provisions. You’ll also see a demonstration of AARP’s online Health Law Guide which provides simple overviews and personalized reports designed to help you make informed health care decisions.


How to Retire the Cheapskate Way

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


  • Jeff Yeager, author, savings expert and host of the AARP Savings Challenge


Come learn how to get the most enjoyment from the fewest bucks in retirement. Author and savings expert Jeff Yeager (who calls himself “The Ultimate Cheapskate”) will share valuable secrets for retiring earlier, better and happier for less money. Jeff has surveyed and interviewed hundreds of fellow “cheapskates” about their approach to retirement and attaining financial independence. Using offbeat humor and clear advice, Jeff will review what he’s learned: everything from simple tips for spending less to potentially life-changing principles for how you view money and retirement.


Make Informed Financial Decisions for Retirement!

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Julie Jason, Co-Founder, Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc.


Many investors who approach retirement worry about losing assets in volatile or down market periods and having to work longer or diminish their standard of living. Julie Jason, an investment educator, will provide no-nonsense advice that helps remove the guesswork. She will help you anticipate market-moving events, resist the temptation to engage in random buying or selling and construct a goal-directed portfolio. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced investor, you will come away with helpful insights and strategies to help you make effective financial decisions for a lifetime.


Managing the Medicare Maze

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


  • Jon Dauphine, Senior Vice President, Education and Outreach, AARP
  • Nicole Duritz, Vice President, Education and Outreach/Health and Family, AARP


Confused about Medicare? Want to know how it works or hear about recent changes? Come talk to the experts — especially since Medicare open enrollment is right around the corner. Join us for a lively discussion that will cover many of the questions that people ask AARP most frequently. Learn about the different parts of Medicare, when is the best time to enroll, how to avoid paying penalties and what to consider when selecting the right plan for you. Ample time will be given for Q&A. Medicare experts will also be available in the AARP Education and Outreach booth during Exhibit Hall hours.


Out and Proud: It’s in Our Hands

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


  • Kate Clinton, LGBT advocate and comedian
  • John Hennessey, Assistant State Director for Advocacy, AARP Maine
  • Natalie Chin, Attorney, Lambda Legal
  • Serena Worthington, Director of Community Advocacy & Capacity Building, SAGE


Once all but invisible, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans are leading more open and proud lives. But more can be done to strengthen the chance that LGBT individuals can live with security, respect and dignity. Dynamic panelists will engage in a fun, frank discussion about how to better prepare ourselves and our communities so people can live out and proud. Topics will cover issues such as “Will I need to become ‘less out’ if I need to rely on more mainstream services and supports?” and “Will others view my partner and/or close friends as my family?”


Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself From the Most Clever Cons

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


  • Doug Shadel, author, AARP’s Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself from the Most Clever Cons, and AARP Washington State Director
  • Christine Keiffer, Senior Director, FINRA Investor Education Foundation
  • Jean Setzfand, Vice President, Financial Security, AARP
  • Leslie Nettleford, Associate General Counsel, AARP (Moderator)


Even the smartest people get swindled. Learn how to protect yourself and your family by hearing stories of how con artists defrauded people like you. It’s important, since nearly one in five Americans over age 50 will get conned. Protect your hard-earned money by learning the strategies con artists use and the victims they target. See exclusive video interviews with con artists. Panelists will help you spot a con and identify their most frequent online, identity, telemarketing and free-lunch scams. Door prizes include copies of the new AARP book, Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself from the Most Clever Cons by panelist Doug Shadel.


Silent Scream: Caring For Your Family Young and Old, 24/7

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


  • Amy Goyer, intergenerational expert
  • Sally Abrahms, Writer/Editor published in Time, Newsweek and New York Times on aging and boomers
  • Carol Levine, caregiving expert, author and Director, United Hospital Fund’s Families and Health Care Project


Are you squeezed between, raising your children and managing your own personal needs while also providing the best care and support for your parents and other loved ones as they age? You are not alone. 42.1 million Americans are caring for someone older than 50 and trying to manage it all has become “the new normal.” We may very well be the first generation to care equally as long for our parents as for our children.

In this session, you’ll hear from experts and real caregivers who will share tips, advice and support. Hear their stories that show the range of emotion caregivers experience from joy and pride to humor and frustration. Share your own daily trials and tribulations with others like you and get advice on how to work through every day challenges and obstacles. Experts will share news and ideas about resources and services for older adults to help you deal with this "new normal.” Meet others like you who you can relate to and together learn how we can carry each other through this deeply personal experience caring for our loved ones.


Tackling Home Remodeling Projects with Strategy and Style

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


  • Rosemary Bakker, gerontologist and Certified Interior Designer, This Caring Home
  • Sal Alfano, Editorial Director, Remodeling Group, Hanley Wood Business Media
  • Nicole Duritz, Vice President, Education and Outreach/Health and Family, AARP


Is your home not aging as well as you are? Have you been so overwhelmed when thinking about remodeling that you don’t know where to start? Come learn how to tackle remodeling projects with strategy and style. Panelists will describe how to organize your home makeover projects into three categories: do it now (inexpensive quick fixes), do it later (adapted to future needs) or do when you remodel (major changes). Learn how to approach the process and get the most from your dollars while keeping future plans in mind.


The New Orleans Vietnamese Community: A Profile of Resilience

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


  • Floyd Mori, Executive Director Emeritus, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL); Senior Legislative Consultant, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
  • Jennifer Linh Vu, Outreach Coordinator, Gulf Organized Fisheries in Solidarity and Hope (GO FISH); President, Gulf Coast JACL Chapter
  • John Hoa Nguyen, New Orleans-area businessman; Board Member, New Orleans Council on Aging; and Member, AARP Diversity Council
  • David Kim, Vice President, Multicultural Markets and Engagement, AARP (Moderator)


This session will focus on Vietnamese Americans who have made strong contributions to economic development and family life in the New Orleans area since many of them settled there in the mid-1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, this cohesive, resilient community came together to help elderly residents who could not evacuate. Representatives of the Japanese American Citizens League and GO FISH will share stories about inspiring local Vietnamese and Cambodian residents, including those who continue to make their living by shrimping and fishing – despite setbacks related to the BP oil spill.


Using Social Media to Connect With Family and Friends

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


  • Marsha Collier, author, AARP Facebook: Tech to Connect
  • Tammy Gordon, Director, Social Communications and Strategies, AARP (Moderator)
  • David Porter


Free technology programs enable you to connect with others in amazing ways. You can chat, share photos and videos, find old friends, meet new ones and get involved in your community. This session will cover the basics of Facebook, Skype, Twitter and Pinterest — and why you need to get on board. Step-by-step instructions will help you get started and protect your security online. Feel free to bring your devices. Several copies of a new book, AARP Facebook: Tech to Connect by panelist Marsha Collier, will be given away as door prizes.


Walking…The Only Exercise You’ll Ever Need: Discover How Walking With Others Increases Longevity

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


  • Suzanne Mayo-Theus Ph.d.; Assistant Professor, Child Development and Family Studies, Southern University at New Orleans; Southern University Soul Steppers Walking Club group leader
  • Sarah Goodman, Program Manager, Ruth Fertel--Tulane University Health Center, New Orleans; TUHC Soul Steppers Walking Club group leader
  • Ruth Kennedy, Hollygrove Soul Steppers Walking Club group leader
  • Ruby Melton, Bunny Friend Neighborhood Soul Steppers Co-Leader
  • Linedda McIver, AARP-LA ASD Multicultural Outreach


A 30-minute daily walking routine boosts brain power, helps control weight, requires only modest investments of time and money and increases productivity. At a rate of 74 percent, AARP members who are active say that walking is their most regular type of exercise. Research shows that walking itself promotes physical activity. Since walking is also an “entry-level” form of exercise — people who develop daily walking routines are likely to eventually practice yoga, go biking or join in other athletic pursuits — AARP believes walking programs are the first step to push greater numbers of Americans age 50 and over to keep fit.


The session shows how two New Orleans’ communities utilized AARP’s Walking Group toolkit to form walking clubs to keep residents age 50 and over physically active and socially engaged.

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