Become a volunteer advocate for AARP Massachusetts



By Mike Festa, State Director, AARP Massachusetts

Mike Festa


Attend one of our caregiving and retirement security events

AARP Massachusetts is working to ensure you have the health and financial security you need to take charge of your future and live independently as you age.  To help you learn more, we have scheduled several luncheon events across the state.  Join us to hear more about our state legislative agenda, as we have submitted bills to the Massachusetts Legislature to help workers to save for retirement and to support family caregivers through a tax credit.  Here are the details:


An Act to Establish the Family Caregiving Tax Credit  

Sponsored by State Representative David Rogers (D-24th Middlesex) and State Senator Jason Lewis (D-5th Middlesex)

This bill would establish a tax credit that reimburses caregivers for a portion of what they spend to care for a loved one at home.

A recent study by the AARP Public Policy Institute shows that the average family caregiver spends almost $7,000 a year out-of-pocket to help care for their loved ones, which amounts to, on average, 20 percent of their total income.  An Act to Establish the Family Caregiver Tax Credit would establish a tax credit, capped at $1,500 per year, which reimburses family members for a portion of qualified expenses related to caring for adult family members who need assistance with activities of daily living.

Massachusetts family caregivers provided 786 million hours of unpaid care, valued at about $11.6 billion, in 2015. Most people who receive assistance at home rely exclusively on unpaid family caregivers for help. Some 69 percent of Massachusetts adults report feeling stressed while trying to balance a job and their caregiving responsibilities. More than half (55 percent) of family caregivers report being overwhelmed by the amount of care their family member needs.


An Act to Establish the Massachusetts Secure Choice Retirement Program and Expand the Massachusetts CORE Plan to All Employers 

Sponsored by State Representative Tram Nguyen (D-18th Essex) and State Senator Pat Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex)

Nearly half of workers in Massachusetts have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers. A secure retirement is out of reach for over one million Massachusetts residents, especially those who work for themselves or small businesses. While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough upon which to depend.  Many future retirees will not be able to handle the rising cost of basic needs and health care.

An Act to Establish the Massachusetts Secure Choice Retirement Program and Expand the Massachusetts CORE Plan to All Employers would expand the existing “Connecting Organizations to Retirement” (CORE) plan so that all employers could participate.  The Act would also create the Massachusetts Secure Choice Retirement Program.  Secure Choice makes it easier for businesses to offer employees a way to save for retirement out of their regular paycheck, and it is an easy, stress-free way to grow retirement savings so you can take control of your future.

Each of these bills will improve the lives of older residents of Massachusetts, whether by helping workers save for retirement, or by supporting the commonwealth’s 844,000 family caregivers.

To help you learn more about how AARP supports caregivers and what it takes to achieve a secure financial future, please attend one of our luncheon events across the state. The events are free of charge for everyone, but registration is required.


AARP Massachusetts “Conversation about Caregiving and Retirement Security & Lunch” will be held on the following dates and locations:



Tuesday, Sept. 10, 12-1 p.m.

The Chateau, 131 River Rd., Andover

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.



Thursday, Sept. 12, 12-1 p.m.

TJ’s Food and Spirits, 355 West Union St., Ashland

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.



Tuesday, Sept. 17, 12-1 p.m.

Public Kitchen, 397a Main St., Wakefield

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.



Wednesday, Sept. 25, 12-1 p.m.

Mount Vernon Restaurant and Pub, 14 Broadway, Somerville

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.



Thursday, September 26, 12-1 p.m.

Menotomy Grill and Tavern, 25 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.



Wednesday, October 2, 12-1 p.m.

Antique Table, 19 Crest Ave., Winthrop

Registration is required. Call 1-877-926-8300.