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Mashpee Senior Center – June 18, 2021 | Columns

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Mashpee Senior Center: We Are Here For You!

Welcome back! The Mashpee Senior Center reopened to the public June 1. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Please drop by to say hello, if you need assistance, have a question, or want to learn more about our minibus service or volunteer opportunities. There is no set date for in-person small or large group events to resume at the senior center; more information will be forthcoming at a later date. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy our virtual programs and drive-by events. Face coverings and social distancing are required. We have missed everyone and are looking forward to seeing you all again!

We encourage you to sign up for our e-mails to receive up-to-date news regarding activities, volunteer opportunities, programs and more. Contact the Mashpee Senior Center at 508-539-1440 or e-mail coaofficeassistant@mashpeema.gov to be added to our e-mail list.

Mashpee COA Activities & Virtual Programs

Virtual Aerobics for the Brain, Monday, June 21, from 11 AM to noon (via Zoom)—You are familiar with the quote, “move it or lose it,” yes? Well, like our bodies, we need to keep our minds fit. Join our virtual Aerobics for the Brain sessions and join a fun group to help keep your mind sharp and focused. Have fun, socialize and be challenged. Join us on the first and third Monday of the month for these one-hour Zoom sessions in which folks participate in myriad activities such as problem solving, observing patterns, math equations and other games.

Virtual Mashpee Senior Center Book Club, Monday, June 28, from 2 to 3 PM (via Zoom)—Join us as we discuss the Jeanine Cummins novel “American Dirt,” an unforgettable story of a mother and son fleeing a drug cartel to cross the US-Mexico border. Here is is a sneak peek at next month’s book: “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah.

Patriots Hall of Fame Virtual Tour, Wednesday, July 14, from 10 to 11:30 AM (via Zoom)—Watch this awesome tour from the comforts of your home or with some friends at the senior center. The Patriots Hall of Fame gives its fans a unique, technologically advanced venue to relive and celebrate great moments and great players and even recall some of the hard times that make all fans, including long-time season ticket holder Robert Kraft, appreciate the recent Super Bowl championships. The Hall will impress Patriots and football fans alike. Join its staff for a virtual tour of the Hall of Fame and an inside look at some unique artifacts!

To participate in any of these activities, register by calling Julie Silvia at Mashpee Council on Aging at 508-539-1440 or by sending an e-mail to coaactivitycoordinator@mashpeema.gov.

Mashpee COA Minibus Service

The Mashpee Council on Aging minibus operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9 AM and 1:30 PM. Trips can be arranged to grocery stores, pharmacies, medical/dental appointments, the post office and the bank. (Ride requests for this service must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance). Trips for medical/dental appointments within the towns of Sandwich and Falmouth are also offered on a limited basis during the minibus operating days and hours. To reserve your ride, please call Mashpee Senior Center at 508-539-1440. The driver will get back to you to inform you that your ride is confirmed.

SHINE News

The following is a message from the office of Barnstable County’s regional SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program.

Welcome to Medicare Virtual Fair: Learn about signing up for Medicare, Wednesday, June 23, 3 to 7 PM—This free virtual, online fair is for people turning 65 or becoming eligible for Medicare because of disability. There will be expert presenters on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, costs, and coverage options from the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs. If you have Medicare questions, contact the regional SHINE office at 508-375-6762. If you have questions about the Welcome to Medicare Virtual Fair, e-mail info@shiphelp.org. To register, visit www.shiphelp.org.

Mashpee Police Department’s Tip Of The Month

The following common elder fraud schemes are from www.fbi.gov.

Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites to capitalize on their elderly victims’ desire to find companions.

Tech support scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. The scammers gain remote access to victims’ devices and sensitive information.

Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative—usually a child or grandchild—claiming to be in immediate financial need.

Government impersonation scam: Criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide funds or other payments.

Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim to work for legitimate charitable organizations to gain victims’ trust. Or they claim their targets have won a foreign lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”

Home repair scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvement services that they never provide.

TV/radio scam: Criminals target potential victims using illegitimate advertisements about legitimate services, such as reverse mortgages or credit repair.

Family/caregiver scam: Relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims take advantage of them or otherwise get their money.

Remember, only scammers will ask you to buy gift cards for payment of a bill or money owed. Never give out any personal information over the telephone, be very cautious when giving out personal information on the Internet or giving access to your computer or phone. You can always contact the Mashpee Police Department at any time regarding the legitimacy of a call.

Questions may be directed to Mashpee Special Officer and advocate Tara Carline at 508-539-1480, extension 7253.

AARP Tax-Aide Volunteers Needed

Have fun doing taxes? Do you enjoy people? Do you think numbers can be fun? If yes, then AARP is looking to share the fun with you. Since 1968 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Volunteers have been helping low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their federal and state income tax returns free of charge. New volunteers are trained in the process of completing tax returns each fall and, upon passing the required test, are assigned to various centers across the Cape and islands. Preference is given to centers near their homes. From February through April 15, wonderful people are met and needed help is given. Schedules are flexible and allow for vacation time. If volunteering interests you but you are not sure about preparing tax returns, our Tax-Aide teams are also looking for volunteers with technology and administrative skills to support our tax counselors. Find out more about the fun you can have by being a Tax-Aide Volunteer Counselor. For more information, contact Paul O’Keefe, volunteer coordinator, at pokeefe15@hotmail.com; or call 203-249-1846.

Legal Services, Justice Center Host Virtual Seminar

Mind the Gap: Bridging Coverage Disparities in MassHealth & Medicare Seminar, Wednesday, June 30, at 10 AM—South Coastal Counties Legal Services and the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts are hosting this seminar. The presentation will start by explaining services not commonly covered by MassHealth and Medicare. It will then include information on resources or other programs people can use to afford those non-covered services. This will be a virtual presentation and you may attend via Zoom or by telephone. To register, call or e-mail KD Bond at 774-488-5957 or kbond@sccls.org.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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