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Nominate a Hero for AARP's Purpose Prize

AARP’s Kate Schineller joins Bob Edwards to talk about the award and the work it honors

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Bob Edwards: Hello, I'm Bob Edwards with an AARP Take on Today. On this week's show, we take a look at a growing retirement trend. Older Americans seeking companionship, mutual care, and in some cases, a less expensive living situation are searching for housemates. Also, a new study shows small businesses with older founders are more likely to survive than companies started by younger people. And it turns out that more than a third of adults aren't getting the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep per night to support good health. Pouring that glass of wine at night just might be the culprit.

But first, do you know someone age 50 or older using his or her life experience to give back, solve problems or change lives? If so, consider nominating them or yourself for the AARP Purpose Prize Award. Each year, the AARP Purpose Prize recognizes outstanding work by people age 50 and over that's focused on advancing social good. AARP's Kate Schineller joins us to discuss the 2019 AARP Purpose Prize. Welcome to the show.

Kate Schineller: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Bob Edwards: Tell me about the type of work the award honors.

Kate Schineller: So the AARP Purpose Prize honors a whole spectrum of kinds of work and issue areas, anything from folks doing intergenerational work, civic engagement, youth development, caregiving, healthy living. Truly the whole spectrum and we do also recognize some international work as well.

Bob Edwards: Are there any past winners you feel are really emblematic of the AARP Purpose Prize?

Kate Schineller: That is a tough question because, of course, we love all of our past winners. But one person does come to mind. So our 2017, one of our winners, Jim Farren, who won at 83 years old and Jim had been a very successful businessman for decades, but when he retired, wanted to go back to his first love, which was literacy, and in particular, working with folks that maybe had been a little bit less fortunate or had some bad shakes in their lives. So he started the Petey Greene Program, initially it was Princeton University students where Jim had gone to school and started working with prison inmates to help them get their GEDs and to help them learn how to read, because as we know, a lot of folks in prison have maybe a third or fourth grade reading level. And now Jim has expanded that work to dozens of universities throughout the country in multiple states, all about helping inmates get that gift of literacy maybe give them a chance when they get out to do something productive.

Bob Edwards: What do winners receive?

Kate Schineller: Well, I think one of the things that really sets the AARP Purpose Prize apart from other awards is not only do you folks get $60,000 each, which is great, but AARP is really committed to growing this movement of 50 plus change makers and investing in them in other ways. So all of the winners receive 12 months of additional technical assistance and support to really help them grow their organizations and then therefore to grow the impact of their work.

Bob Edwards: Well, it sure beats the customary lovely certificate.

Kate Schineller: We do provide that as well, but much more.

Bob Edwards: How can you nominate someone?

Kate Schineller: The nomination process is really, really simple. All you need to do is go to

Bob Edwards: That's pretty easy to do.

Kate Schineller: Yeah. And the nomination process itself probably takes about five minutes and we'll notify the nominees that they are in a contender for the AARP Purpose Prize and there'll be invited to apply.

Bob Edwards: Now, do you have to be an AARP member?

Kate Schineller: You absolutely do not need to be an AARP member.

Bob Edwards: But then who isn't?

Kate Schineller: Or if they're not, they should be. Exactly.

Bob Edwards: And you can nominate yourself.

Kate Schineller: Yup. Oh, we find about half of the nominations that we receive every year are self-nominations.

Bob Edwards: What's the deadline for nominations?

Kate Schineller: It's coming up soon. It is March 31st. So make sure if you're interested in either nominating someone you know or yourself, you have about two weeks left to do it, March 31st.

Bob Edwards: And the winners will be announced.

Kate Schineller: We go through a pretty rigorous review process. So we're looking probably about the end of September, beginning of October.

Bob Edwards: Because you have a lot of entries.

Kate Schineller: We have a lot of entries.

Bob Edwards: And what's that website again?

Kate Schineller: The website is

Bob Edwards: Thank you very much.

Kate Schineller: All right. Thank you so much.

Bob Edwards: That was AARP's Kate Schineller. If you'd like to nominate someone you know or yourself, please visit for nomination details and more information. The deadline for this year's nominations, it's March 31st.

Think back to your 20 something days when living with housemates was just something you did. The rent was cheap, your responsibilities were minimal, and the hodgepodge of furniture that made up your home was always a conversation starter. For some folks now hitting their retirement years alone, they are living arrangements of come full circle. In a growing trend, older Americans seeking companionship, mutual care, and in some cases, a less expensive living situation are searching for housemates. From this, a cottage industry has emerged. Companies like Silver Nest and Roommates for Boomers charge a fee to match older renters and homeowners and help with background checks. The trend is more among women according to those who run matchmaking services. They call it the golden girls' model. Of course, real life is not a sitcom and living with a housemaid isn't without challenges. Shared housing often means moving into someone else's established home and agreeing to live by their rules. A homeowner may feel possessive of routines and belongings while a renter may feel a loss of control. So before you pack your boxes and move in, be sure you and the person you'll be sharing the living space with are compatible. You never know. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Chalk it up to experience or a more conservative approach to managing their cash. But according to a new study by JP Morgan Chase Institute, small businesses with founders who are 55 and older don't go under as often as companies started by younger people. The study is based on data from 138,000 businesses with fewer than 500 employees. About a third of those small companies, including 14% of startups are owned by people 55 and older. Firms run by 50 plus entrepreneurs are growing in the US and are more likely to stick around. In the first year, a 60-year-old entrepreneur's company has an 8.2% probability of going out of business compared with an 11.1% chance for a 30-year-old founder and a 9.6% risk for a 45-year-old. One reason may be that older entrepreneurs are better at cash management, a key factor in business survival. Another may be their chosen industries. The younger business owners in the study were more concentrated in personal services, retail and restaurant fields, all highly susceptible to the whims of economic and lifestyle trends.

Turns out more than one-third of adults are not getting the recommended seven-plus hours per night to support good health. Plenty of factors can contribute to souring your sweet dreams, but when you consider what you drink maybe a culprit to insomnia. Changing your habits just might be the elixir you'll have to swallow. Take Caffeine for example. While it may be intuitive that drinking coffee for an afternoon boost could interfere with your sleep later, everyone metabolizes it at a different rate. You may be surprised what time of day you should be cutting off caffeine. Some people can knock back an espresso late in the day and never find sleep elusive. Others may achieve shuteye only by eliminating all caffeinated beverages after lunch. The same goes for alcohol. Yes, relaxing with a glass of wine can make it easier to fall asleep. However, research shows that while it may help you conk out, there's also a rebound effect that causes lighter and more fragmented sleep in the second half of the night. If you wake up feeling less than refreshed, it's a good bet alcohol played a part. So raise a glass and drink to your health. Just do it well before bedtime.

For more, visit Become a subscriber and to be sure to rate our podcast on Apple podcast, Google play, Stitcher, and other podcast apps. Thanks for listening. I'm Bob Edwards.

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There are just 10 days left to submit nominations for the 2019 AARP Purpose Prize, which awards $60,000 each to up to five people age 50-plus who use their life experience to give back, solve problems or change lives. This week, AARP’s Kate Schineller joins us to discuss the work it honors.

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