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A Pandemic Problem for Older Workers: Will They Have to Retire Sooner? – The New York Times

Posted: June 27, 2020 at 4:49 am

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They face particular challenges brought on by Covid-19 issues, experts say, that could lead to retirement earlier than planned.

Dorian Mintzer loves her work. A 74-year-old psychologist, coach and author, she has no plan to retire, and has continued to work during the pandemic, doing teletherapy from her home in the Boston area.

Now, like millions of other older working Americans, Dr. Mintzer is uncertain about the future of her job much will depend on whether health insurers continue to cover teletherapy post-pandemic.

Im going to keep working virtually the idea of going into an office building, and not knowing whos going in and out Im really not sure about that, she said. And sitting in a room with clients with both of us wearing masks I wouldnt be able to see their facial expressions. So I am now for the first time feeling at a crossroads.

Dr. Mintzer is asking the same questions facing millions of older workers. Its still early, but experts believe the pandemic will upend the timing of retirement plans of many older workers. In some cases, their decisions will be voluntary; in other cases, retirement may be forced upon them by job elimination or unavoidable health risk.

One of the most important factors affecting your retirement security is how long you work. Additional years make it easier to increase annual Social Security benefits through delayed filing: Filing at the earliest age (62) gets you 75 percent of your annual full benefit; every 12 months of delay past your full retirement age (currently around 66, depending on your year of birth) gets you an additional 8 percent until you turn 70. Working longer also can mean saving more, living off those savings for fewer years and getting more years of employer-subsidized health insurance.

Many older workers, generally those over 40, say they will need to work longer because of the economic crisis. For example, 37 percent of baby boomers and 39 percent of respondents from Generation X said they had delayed retirement or were considering doing so, according to a recent survey by TD Ameritrade. But that will be easier said than done: Between 2014 and 2016, just over half of workers who retired between ages 55 and 64 did so involuntarily because of ill health, family responsibilities, layoffs and business closings, according to research by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research.

Here are some of the key issues and questions facing older workers navigating the last part of their careers in the pandemic.

In a typical recession, the unemployment rate for older workers remains below that of their younger counterparts, but thats not the case this time, noted Richard W. Johnson, director of the program on retirement policy at the Urban Institute.

The combined rate of unemployment and underemployment for workers over 65 was 26 percent in May, roughly five points higher than for those ages 25 to 54. That is the largest gap since record keeping began in 1948, Mr. Johnson said. And the combined rates are especially high for older workers who are less educated, black, Latino or in certain industries, such as leisure and hospitality, transportation, and education.

Whats going on? It could be that what were seeing is a continuation of a long-term trend in which seniority-based advantages have been gradually eroding because of the decline in unions, and the shrinking bargaining power of older workers, Mr. Johnson said. But health risks related to the virus are also probably a very important factor.

The pandemic already has fueled a surge in early retirements, according to a report published recently by three economists. They found that among people who had left the labor force through early April, 60 percent said they were retired, up from 53 percent in January, before the pandemic. The largest increase was among people over 65, but nearly half of this group were 50 to 65, said Michael Weber, a co-author of the report and a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

This phenomenon is widespread across older workers, but it really increases at age 65, when economic incentives play a role, he said, noting that thats when Medicare eligibility begins and full Social Security benefits are on the horizon.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that adults over 65 are at higher risk of severe illness from the coronavirus than others.

But the underlying C.D.C. data on illness and mortality is more nuanced. The risks of severe illness or death for people in their 50s or 60s who have no underlying health conditions like heart disease or diabetes are similar to or even lower than they are for workers in their 20s, 30s or 40s with health problems.

There is still some additional risk of bad outcomes as you enter each older decade of age up to age 70 even without an underlying condition, but it isnt as pronounced as the risks for adult workers of all ages with health problems, said Daniel Kim, an epidemiologist and professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

Most at-risk workers cant afford to stay away from work for long periods. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the average earnings of workers 65 and older in 2018 was $49,100.

Its double jeopardy for older workers as businesses open up, said Tricia Neuman, director of the Medicare policy program at Kaiser. If they return to work, they risk getting seriously ill due to Covid, but if they stay home, they may forfeit their earnings. For older workers who were hoping to work long enough to collect full Social Security benefits, the decision to stay home could have lifetime financial consequences.

Many older workers have been able to work remotely during the pandemic. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College calculates that 44 percent of workers ages 55 to 64 and 47 percent of those 65 and older had jobs in 2018 that could be done remotely.

But 30 percent of workers 55 to 64 have physically demanding jobs a figure that rises to 40 percent for black and Latino workers, according to Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and professor at the New School. The New Schools research forecasts that the poverty rate in retirement among workers who are now 50 to 60 will jump to 54 percent from 28 percent because of the pandemic economic shock.

The recession itself is likely the biggest obstacle. The best odds for older workers to land or retain a job are typically found when the economy is strong, noted Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Older individuals have their best chance of continuing to work if their employer will keep them on, especially allowing phased retirements or less demanding roles, he said.

Updated June 24, 2020

A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort and requires balancing benefits versus possible adverse events. Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. In my personal experience, he says, heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask. Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who dont typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the countrys largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was very rare, but she later walked back that statement.

Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus whether its surface transmission or close human contact is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nations job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

If youve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

Are you hoping to get back to work but dont want to return to the workplace? Employers are not required to accommodate you because of your age under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, said Dan OMeara, a lawyer in the Philadelphia office of Ogletree Deakins, a global labor and employment law firm. However, they would have a duty to accommodate any worker with a disability under provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act, he added.

That could include a work-from-home arrangement, if it doesnt pose an undue hardship on the employer, Mr. OMeara said.

In the next round of pandemic relief legislation, employer groups and Senate Republicans are pushing to add protection from legal liability in the event that returning employees become infected.

Some experts worry about an increase in pandemic-related workplace age discrimination.

Older workers already faced much longer periods of unemployment than younger workers before the pandemic, said Laurie McCann, senior attorney at the AARP Foundation, who specializes in age-discrimination and employment matters. I think that will be on steroids this time employers will be more reticent to hire older workers who may be more vulnerable to illness.

However, an employer decision to use age to exclude older workers from returning to the workplace would violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, according to guidance issued this month by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That law protects all workers 40 and older, and covers employers with 20 or more workers.

I dont see much basis to treat older workers as different from younger ones, Mr. OMeara said.

How age discrimination might play out among employers is a different matter and discrimination might not be limited to workers over 65. I dont think employers are hearing 65 and older, Ms. McCann said. I think theyre just hearing older people.

Most couples dont retire at the same time. A 2017 RAND Corporation study found a more fluid pattern, often involving phased retirement, short-term jobs, and periods of nonemployment and returns to work. For most couples, there is a discordant phase, when one spouse works longer than the other, said Katherine Carman, a senior economist at RAND and the lead author of the study.

That pattern has benefited couples from a financial standpoint. Continuing wages from one spouse can stabilize household finances and allow both spouses to stay on employer-subsidized health insurance, which is especially helpful for people not yet eligible for Medicare.

Covid-19 likely will change those patterns, Ms. Carman thinks, since a decision to return to the workplace may not only create infection risk for that person but put a spouse at risk as well.

For many people, part of your personal identity is who you are when you go out into the workplace, Ms. Carman said. And once we are home, we start to change how we think about ourselves, even if were still doing our jobs.

Those decisions could go any number of ways," she added, but I do think this will push people to reconsider their thoughts about whether they want to retire.

Dr. Mintzer, who has written extensively on how couples approach retirement, already is hearing talk about these issues from couples she counsels. Its still early days, in terms of the new reality settling in, she said, but Im finding that its percolating right now.

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A Pandemic Problem for Older Workers: Will They Have to Retire Sooner? - The New York Times

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June 27th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Kevin Rader announces retirement from WTHR after 30 years – IndyStar

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Hear the words of wisdom and advice, stories he won't forget and about a full life from the state's oldest employee, Bob Vollmer, who is retiring. Indianapolis Star

After 30 years at WTHR and nearly 50 years in journalism, reporter Kevin Rader announced Wednesday he will officially retire July 7.

"I think there just comes a time, and I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but there is just a voice inside that tells you when it's time," Rader said. "I still feel like I'm good at what I do, and I want to walk away when I still feel that way."

Rader grew up in Lexington, Nebraska, and first became interested in journalism when a high school counselorentered his classroom to announce a job opening at a local radio station.

"I went in after school to that councilor and said, 'You know, I'm really glad you walked in to tell me that, because I'd like to apply for that job,' and he said, 'Well you're the reason why I walked into that classroom,'" Rader said. "So, I always tell people, I don't know that I picked this business, I think this business picked me."

After graduating from the University of Nebraska Kearney, Rader spent time in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, before taking a job with WTHR and moving to Indiana in 1990.

He has since reported on a variety of topics from the Oklahoma City bombing to Hoosiers sending aid during the Bosnian Crisis.

"I'm so fortunate because I landed at one of the best premiere TV stations in America, I mean you literally were able to, if a big story broke, say 9/11, well I was there the next morning in New York City," he said. "I was there in the room when Donald Trump came down the escalator as president-elect of the United States, and for a farm kid from a small town in rural Nebraska, how could I have ever expected to have the world open up like that?"

Rader said his favorite part of the job, however, is sharing people's stories, like he gets to do through the series "Only in Indiana." Because of this, he plans to continue to write after he retires.

While he wants to continue to share the stories of individuals throughout Indiana, he also plans to write fiction based on stories he has encountered while reporting.

"If you cover the news business, which I have, all kinds of it, you see all differentkinds of life, and I want to write about that," Rader said. "I want to show people some things that maybe we don't get to put in our stories but are really compelling."

In retirement, Rader said he is looking forward to creating his own deadlines and being able to decide what direction he takes with coverage. And while he anticipates feeling slightly restless while he watches events unfold around him, he knows he will be able to feed that urge through his independent work.

When Rader shared on Facebook and Twitter thathis days in television are coming to a close, colleagues and viewers commented their well-wishes, appreciation for his work and sadness that he was leaving.

Met you in Greentown a few years were so kind, Sharon Shane replied on Twitter. You will be missed for your great stories and integrity in reporting.

On Rader's Facebook post, one of his followers expressed their surprise stating, "I wish you were kidding."

"July 7 will be a sad day in tv journalism," Jim Denny replied. "I have been informed, saddened, I have laughed and cried with your stories over the years! You are someone Indiana trusts."

Rader's accomplishments throughout his career include 32 Regional Emmy Awards as well as seven Regional and two National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

As his time at WTHR comes to a close, Rader said he has begun a count down to his last official day. And while he is sad that he will not be able to have a traditionalgoodbye due to COVID-19, it would have been "a little too emotional for me" anyway.

Among the lessons he has learned throughout his career, Raider said one of the most important is that other people's opinions should not deter them from pursuing their dream.

"If there's somebody out there who is saying, 'Well, you know I am stereotyped, I can't do this, I don't want to do this because I'm not the right type of person,' then that means you need to do it," Rader said.

Contact IndyStar Pulliam Fellow Brooke Kemp at her on Twitter@brookemkemp.

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Kevin Rader announces retirement from WTHR after 30 years - IndyStar

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Why your first five years of retirement are critical – MarketWatch

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If youre a glass half full person, heres some good news: About half of retirees are able to maintain their spending levelsin other words, their lifestylesduring their first five years of retirement.

Thats according to a study by the federal governments Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),which looked at retiree spending habits over a 22-year period ending in 2014.

Obviously, retirees are like snowflakes: no two are alike. Yet the study says most tend to have one important thing in common: They usually spend more in their first five years of retirement than at other times, and then it begins to decline. For example, if youve dreamed of traveling the world, checking things off from your bucket list and so forth, youre more likely to do so in the early stages of your golden years than the latter ones, when you may be slowing down.

And its not just splurging in Italy or taking the grandchildren to Disney World. The CFPB cites an external study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which notes that retirees also tend to buy fewer clothes, fewer home furnishings and other things as time goes by.

Read: I want to retire to a rural location with four seasons that gets me out of New York state so where should I go?

But theres something else you need to know about why spending declines after a few years, and its important. More on that below.

Naturally, being able to maintain spending is easier for some than others. The CFPB report says that 27% of retirees were able to spend based solely on income from pensions, Social Security, annuities and other sources of income. Another 24% wear able to so by dipping into savings and selling off investments, in addition to the above things.

But remember: if you dip too deeply into these thingsyour principalit raises the chances of you running out of money later on. Theres a common rule of thumb that you should never take more than 4% of your principal a year, but this is something you should discuss with a trusted financial adviser.

So the first five years are telling, and can reveal how the rest of your life, financially, is likely to go.

Perhaps youve heard that a sound retirement is best compared with a three-legged stool: One leg is a pension, one is Social Security, and the third is personal savings. But the stool has gotten wobblier over the years. Fewer companies have defined pension plans than ever before, shifting responsibility to employees to save through 401(k), IRA and other plans. But tens of millions of Americans, for a variety of reasons, havent saved much, if anything: Nearly 70% have less than $1,000 stashed away, according to a 2019 survey by GOBanking rates.Countless other studies say pretty much the same.

Read: My retirement income is $95,000 a year, and I want a walkable, affordable beach town to spend the winter. Where should I retire?

This leaves Social Security, which was never meant to be a primary source of income, yet for millions, thats exactly what it is. According to the SocialSecurity Administration, 50% of married couples and 70% of unmarried persons receive 50% or more of their income from Social Security. Even worse: 21% of married couples and about 45% of unmarried persons rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.

If youre already in retirement, you know where you stand. If you only have one or one-and-a-half of those legs of the stool, chances are youre still working (or trying to in this economy), and chances are youve downgraded your standard of living. It very well could be that Social Security is just about all youvegot.

However, for younger workers, perhaps 10 to 15 years away from retiring, the CFPB study offers data that could help strengthen your finances as your career winds down.

It showed that homeowners (59%) are more likely to be able to maintain spending in retirement than renters (30%). And not surprisingly, homeowners who paid off their mortgages before retiring were in even better shape. Think about that: No monthly payment to anyone.

If this isnt you, you might want to consider the cost advantages of downsizing. If youre still working and cant relocate, can you at least find something smaller and/or cheaper? I recognize that this may be difficult, and perhaps painful, but if it helps you get a better grip of your finances, it may be worth considering.

And heres a no-brainer: Stay out of nonmortgage debt. Its awfully hard to live well in retirement if youre saddled with car loans, credit card or even student loansyes, some retirees still have student loans. Get this stuff off your books as fast as you reasonably can. Focus on paying off whatever has the highest interest rate first.

Finally, remember how I said theres something else you need to know about why spending declines after a few years? Many people, forced into a corner financially, have no other choice. The CFPB found that retirees who couldnt maintain their standard of living wound up slashing spending by 28% over their first five years in retirement. Of that number, 17% cut spending by more than half.

This is sobering data. Nobody wants to cut their spendingtheir lifestyleby half. But if retirement is still on the horizon for you, consider taking steps now to bolster your situationbefore youre forced to later.

Now my question (s) of the month: If you are eyeing retirement what are you doing now to strengthen your finances? And if you are already in retirement, have you been forced to make any changes? Tell me your stories. Write to mePaul Thanks and I hope youre staying safe this summer.

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Why your first five years of retirement are critical - MarketWatch

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Cracking the Retirement Code –

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Do you know how much your Standard Form 50 (Notification of Personnel Action) statements reveal about your future retirement? The answer might be more than you think.

Before there were electronic official personnel folders, there were cardboard official personnel folders held together by metal fasteners that held copies of an employees SF-50s. and a second copy was given to to the employee for their own records. Its still a good practice to keep copies of your SF-50s.

The reason is you can use these forms to determine the effective date of any relevant personnel actions that define your federal career history. These personnel changes are used in determining your eligibility for retirement and the computation of your retirement benefit.

An employee normally has only one OPF or eOPF. It follows the employee from one agency to another when he or she transfers, or upon request is sent from the Federal Records Centersat the National Archives and Records Administration to the new agency where an individual is reemployed after an extended break in service. Most agencies forward records to the FRC when an employee separates from federal service. A few, however, retain permanent records of separated employees and should be contacted directly for verification of service. Your payroll office also keeps the primary evidence of your federal service by maintaining your individual retirement records.

Some types of service are not reflected on SF-50s. They dont, for example, reflect military active duty service. And there are some types of civilian service that may be documented differently, such as volunteer service in the Peace Corps.

Your SF-50s also dont reflect whether your service is actually creditable towards your retirement eligibility and computation. This should be verified through a human resources specialist at your agency. Sometimes you need to pay a deposit or a redeposit of retirement contributions in order to credit the service. Details regarding creditable civilian service are outlined in Chapter 20 of the Office of Personnel Managements Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System Handbook.

Personnel actions on your form SF-50s include appointments, separations, placement and return to duty from nonpay status, conversions to permanent appointment from temporary appointments, and other types of pay and position changes. Basic pay changes are documented on these statements as well as your retirement plan and life insurance coverage.

An example of how complicated personnel actions have become can be seen by the retirement coverage code noted in item 30 of your SF-50 (on SF-50s issued before Oct. 1, 1988, its item 8), indicating the type of retirement coverage. Instead of showing simply CSRS or FERS, the form can include a myriad of other letters and numbers indicating such types of coverage as:

One reason its important to know what retirement coverage is on these forms is that errors can creep into the process. This has been especially true since FERS was implemented in 1986. In 1999, the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act was enacted to allow employees to correct such errors. This primarily affected people for whom errors caused them to believe they were covered by CSRS rather than FERS. The FERS basic benefit is a little over half that of the CSRS benefit, so FERS employees need to save more for retirement in the Thrift Savings Plan.

If you dont have copies of your SF-50s and youre a current federal employee, you can find the forms in your eOPF. If you recently left your federal job, contact your former agencys personnel office. If its been more than 30 days since you left, you need to contact the FRC. Such requests must be signed and dated, and sent by mail to:

National Archives and Records Administration

Civilian Personnel Records

1411 Boulder Boulevard

Valmeyer, IL 62295

Include your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and a list of all federal agencies where you were an employeewith addresses and dates of your employment, to the extent you know them.

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Sentinel Healthcare extends its COVID-19 tracking system to retirement communities – GeekWire

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The Sentinel Monitor app organizes information about a users symptoms and provides information about the coronavirus pandemic. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

As concerns about a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak are widening, so is the reach of the COVID-19 tracking platform created by Sentinel Healthcare, a Seattle-based medical data startup.

The app-based platform was rolled out three months ago, just as the pandemic was taking hold, and it wasnt long before it was picked up by UT Health Austin in Texas to keep track of the symptoms of quarantined patients.

Weve now contact-traced and diagnosed many, many patients, said Sentinel Healthcare CEO Nirav Shah, a neurologist and the former stroke director at Swedish Hospital in Seattle.

As of this week, about 1,600 of the apps users in Texas have been diagnosed with COVID-19, triggering contact tracing for more than 4,000 people, Shah told GeekWire.

Shah said Sentinel Monitor started registering a spike in the number of cases being diagnosed about two weeks ago. That ended up being borne out, he said. Looking back over the past 10 days weve seen almost a tripling or quadrupling of daily case counts.

Now Sentinel will be putting its platform to the test closer to home.

Today the company announced a partnership with Era Living, which runs eight retirement communities in the Seattle area. Sentinel will support Era Living in testing and monitoring its more than 900 employees and 1,300 residents for COVID-19. Seattle-based Transpara Health will provide logistical and operational support.

Shah noted that some of the first deadly clusters of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. occurred within long-term care facilities, leading off with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash. To head off the spread, residential care facilities are now being required to test their staff and residents for COVID-19 regularly.

Sentinel Monitor can help. Our goal is to be the doctor in the cloud, Shah said. We will be providing the software monitoring oversight for these nursing homes, as well as capturing the lab data.

The system uses a mobile app to collect, store and visualize health data collected from FDA-approved wearable devices. Sentinel analyzes all those data streams, delivers clinical recommendations, and facilitates contact tracing if a COVID-19 case comes to light. The cost of the service is covered through reimbursements from medical insurance as well as federal and state funding.

Sentinel also facilitates dealing with the paperwork that comes with tracking coronavirus cases. What we did in Austin was, anytime theres a diagnosis, the forms are automatically generated for state, county and national entities, Shah said. Those forms have changed many times over the course of the pandemic.

The past few months have brought quite a pivot for Sentinel: Before COVID-19 hit, the 12-employee company was focusing on cardiac care, including methods to monitor blood pressure remotely for signs of hypertension. The rapid rise of the pandemic accelerated Sentinels long-term plan to build systems that track a wider spectrum of symptoms.

COVID helped us build out that infrastructure with a specific disease, but that template works across many other diseases, chronic, acute or otherwise, Shah said. Well be launching other disease categories, which was our core plan for the year.

Shah said getting the data to the right people at health care organizations can be as much of a challenge as collecting the data in the first place. Its not a one-to-one relationship, Shah said. Its not one app to one cloud. Its many people involved.

Sentinel launched in 2018 and raised $2 million in funding last year, led by PSL Ventures, Pioneer Square Labs investment arm. Its latest boost is coming in the form of a strategic investment from Vituity, a California-based health care company specializing in acute-care management and medical staffing services.

The reason why this is pretty fascinating from our perspective is, people arent showing up for urgent care and if thats your business, thats relatively challenging, Shah said. It became a relatively valuable conversation for both of us to think about how we could help provide remote monitoring infrastructure, so that you continue to deliver care another way.

For example, when patients are sent home from the hospital with a condition that needs monitoring, an app-based system can keep track of their symptoms and put them in touch with the right care if a situation arises.

Were trying to build out a remote health care operating system, Shah said. Its exciting and humbling that we get to do it despite being in a pandemic which is the bittersweet part.

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Sentinel Healthcare extends its COVID-19 tracking system to retirement communities - GeekWire

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Centennial Park Retirement Village tells families that staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 – North Platte Telegraph

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A staff member at Centennial Park Retirement Village has tested positive for COVID-19.

The facility told residents and families of the positive test in a letter this week. The person is in quarantine, the letter says. Two phone messages the Telegraph left executive director Julie Skala went unanswered as of Friday evening.

The letter from Skala to residents, families and team members reads:

In the interest of keeping you informed, we were notified today that one of our team members has tested positive for COVID-19. This was confirmed by Acutis Laboratories and verified by the Health Department. This team member is now in quarantined (sic) away from the community and is receiving appropriate medical care and support.

I fully understand your concern for the health and safety of your loved one. While I can confirm that there has been one positive case of COVID-19 in the community, due to state and federal privacy laws and regulations, we are unable to share information about specific residents or team members. We request that everyone please refrain from asking our team members or me for additional details.

Our dedicated caregivers all of whom wear department-of-health-required personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times are actively monitoring residents and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including conducting regular temperature checks. We will continue to engage with local health officials and follow all appropriate protocols and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus.

It is imperative that residents follow CDC guidelines and remain in their apartments. We know this is difficult, especially with the weather getting nicer, but it truly is necessary.

Thank you in advance for your support and understanding as everyone here invests their efforts in caring for you and your loved one. I invite you to go to our COVID-19 response page to see all were doing to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.

I will continue to keep you updated about the status of our community.

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Centennial Park Retirement Village tells families that staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 - North Platte Telegraph

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June 27th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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3 Signs You’re Ready to Retire Now — Even if There’s a Second Wave of COVID-19 – The Motley Fool

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The last few months have been a financial rollercoaster for millions of Americans, to put it mildly. Tens of millions of workers lost their jobs as businesses closed their doors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and investors watched their retirement savings take a nosedive.

Older adults nearing retirement age are particularly concerned about the future, with nearly 90% of Americans who are planning on retiring within the next decade saying they're at least slightly worried about the effect the coronavirus pandemic will have on their retirement, according to a recent survey from Personal Capital.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean you're not prepared for retirement. The coronavirus pandemic may not be over just yet, and there's a chance a second wave (and a second stock market crash) could be on the way. But despite these uncertainties, there are a few signs you're ready to retire anyway.

Image source: Getty Images.

Even during strong economic times, it's important to have a healthy retirement fund before you consider retiring. But this is even more vital right now when the stock market is volatile.

If there's a second wave of COVID-19, the stock market could plummet again like it did earlier this year. That means your savings will likely take a hit as well, and you may need to tweak your retirement strategy. If you've barely got enough saved just to scrape by in retirement, a market downturn could wreak havoc on your finances. But when you have a robust stash of savings, you'll be able to weather the storm and still enjoy a comfortable retirement.

An emergency fund is the key to weathering a potential stock market storm. It's not ideal to be withdrawing money from your retirement fund during a market downturn, because that's when stock prices are at their lowest. By selling your investments when stocks are less valuable, you're potentially losing money compared to if you wait to sell until stock prices are higher.

For that reason, it's best to leave as much money as possible in your retirement fund when the market is experiencing a downturn. But you'll need to get money from somewhere, which is where your emergency fund comes into play. When you have a healthy amount of cash stashed in your emergency fund, you can leave your retirement savings alone as much as possible until your investments recover.

Typically, experts recommend saving enough in an emergency fund to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses. But these are not normal times, so it may be wise to save more than that just to be safe.

In general, Social Security benefits are designed to replace around 40% of your pre-retirement income. However, the program is on shaky ground right now, and there could be benefit cuts in the relatively near future.

The trust funds the Social Security Administration (SSA) relies on to pay out benefits are expected to run dry by 2034, according to the SSA Board of Trustees' latest report. At that point, the SSA will need to rely on payroll taxes to fund benefits, and those taxes are only expected to be enough to cover around 76% of future benefits. In other words, benefits could be reduced by roughly 25% by 2034 if Congress doesn't find a solution before then.

COVID-19 could be making matters worse, too. With tens of millions of Americans unemployed, there's less money than usual coming in from payroll taxes. That means the trust funds could be depleted before 2034, and retirees could face benefit cuts sooner than expected. By coming up with a plan for how much you'll depend on Social Security and factoring in potential cuts, you can ensure you won't be over-relying on your monthly checks.

Choosing when to retire is one of the biggest life decisions you'll ever make, so it's not one to be taken lightly. It can be risky to retire during a pandemic, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. If you've done your homework and prepared thoroughly, you can give yourself the best chance at retiring comfortably no matter what the future may hold.

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3 Signs You're Ready to Retire Now -- Even if There's a Second Wave of COVID-19 - The Motley Fool

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June 27th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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This is the best state to retire but you may not want to go there just yet – MarketWatch

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The best state for retirees to live these days is also one many Americans might want to avoid at least for now.

Florida topped the list of the best states for retirees to live, in a recent study from Blacktower Financial Management Group. A quarter of the states population is age 60 or older, and it boasts sandy beaches and warm temperatures. The average home price is $252,000, and life expectancy is just shy of 80 years old there, the analysis found. The sunshine state jumped nine places from where it ranked in 2019.

Florida may be a hotspot for retirees but its also one of the states that has seen a troubling spike in coronavirus cases, the governor confirmed this week. Other states with rising numbers of cases include Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho and South Carolina, according to NPR.

See:Heres exactly where you should retire based on whats important to you

The southern state surpassed 100,000 total COVID-19 cases on Monday, and saw its highest peak in cases since the pandemic first began. More than 98,000 residents tested positive for the virus, and more than 3,000 people died from it. Most patients who recently tested positive were in their 20s and 30s, down from the average age of age 65 a few months ago, the governor said. Overall, the U.S. has had 2.3 million cases, with a slight uptick in the last three weeks.

Minnesota ranked second, followed by Iowa, Ohio and Texas. The remaining top 10 states included Wisconsin, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Idaho. Blacktower analyzed and weighted crime, cost of living, older populations, average property prices and life expectancy to create its ranking.

The worst state to retire was Alaska, which had the highest crime rate, the firm found. Hawaii had the highest life expectancy in the U.S. and Mississippi had the best cost of living for retirees, with its inexpensive food and property prices. West Virginia had the lowest average property prices.

Also see:Hot springs in January, no traffic and universal health care. The best retirement escape youve never heard of

Though rankings can be helpful, these lists are usually only one step in determining where to move for retirement. There is so much to consider when choosing where to retire, such as income and property taxes, proximity to family, as well as lifestyle and entertainment. Another factor is health care, and being close to facilities that cater to specific health concerns.

Some retirees may not want to move to another state, but another country entirely, which comes with its own list of factors to weigh. A few examples: health insurance, off-season weather and earning active or passive income.

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June 27th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Rob Gronkowski returns: Ranking the 10 best NFL comebacks out of retirement in history – CBS Sports

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High expectations await Rob Gronkowski as the former All-Pro tight end came out of retirement after one year to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- and reunite with good friend Tom Brady. Gronkowski already has his Hall of Fame resume sealed, but he can add to his legacy as one of the best tight ends to ever play the game with a strong finish in Tampa.

Gronkowski isn't the first high-profile NFL player to be lured out of retirement, and he likely won't be the last. Former NFL greats who returned to the game after officially retiring have typically performed at a high level, even in their mid-to-late 30s. Gronkowski is just 31 years old and still in his prime, so a good season or two may be ahead if he can stay healthy.

These 10 NFL greats didn't need to return to football, but each had reasons to return and played at a high level in their second NFL life. Here are the 10 best NFL returns by players who had retired from the league:

White shockingly returned to the NFL after retiring as a First Team All-Pro and finishing with 16 sacks with the Green Bay Packers in 1998 -- at 36 years old. The Carolina Panthers were looking to bolster their pass rush and lured White out of retirement in 2000, signing him to a five-year deal.

White finished with a career-low 5.5 sacks, even though he started all 16 games at 38 years old. Not bad considering he signed in late July, when Panthers training camp was set to begin. He actually finished second on the team in sacks.

White retired for good after the season as the NFL's all-time sacks leader with 198 (which Bruce Smith surpassed in 2003).

Shocking the NFL by retiring in his prime, Williams had tested positive for marijuana for a second time and was facing a four-game suspension. Using the time to "find himself," Williams studied Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine, for a year before deciding to return.

Williams started just three games in his first season back in 2005 with the Dolphins, rushing for 743 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games. He failed a drug test for a fourth time, and was suspended for the entire 2006 season -- playing for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts to stay in football shape.

Williams rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009 at the age of 32 (despite only starting seven games). After a 2007 season which he had to apply for reinstatement to the league, Williams didn't miss a game in the last four years of his career.

He rushed for 3,655 yards and 25 touchdowns in the six seasons following his retirement. Williams wasn't the same player that took over the league in his first five seasons.

Harrison initially retired with the Pittsburgh Steelers at 36 years old in 2014, but wasn't away from the NFL for long. Thanks to injuries piling up on the Steelers defense, Harrison was lured out of retirement weeks later. He started just four games, but finished with 5.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits in 11 games.

Harrison never made a Pro Bowl in the four years after his return, even though he was the emotional leader on the Steelers defense. He recorded 15.5 sacks and 38 quarterback hits with two interceptions in a part-time role with Pittsburgh the first three seasons back, all in his late 30s.

The Steelers played Harrison just 29 snaps in the first 12 games of the 2017 season, leading to his release in December of that year. The 39-year-old Harrison signed a contract with the Steelers arch-rival, the New England Patriots, days later and had two sacks in his first game with the team, a Week 17 win over the New York Jets.

Harrison started Super Bowl LII and played 91% of the snaps, finishing with two quarterback hits against the Philadelphia Eagles. He retired after the 2017 season, recording 17.5 sacks and 42 quarterback hits since returning at 36 years old.

Hard to believe Sanders played at a high level at 37 years old, missing three seasons after retiring from the NFL in 2000. Sanders still had an itch to play and something to prove. Sanders actually was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Chargers in 2002 when Washington released him from the reserve/retired list, but it was too late for him to be activated so he never played a game for the franchise.

Ray Lewis helped lure Sanders out of retirement in 2004 when he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, playing the slot after a decade as one of the best outside cornerbacks in the game. Sanders played in just nine games his first season back, but finished with three interceptions and had five passes defensed. He also returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown in Week 7 against the Buffalo Bills, tying Ken Houston and Aeneas Williams for second place in interception returns for touchdowns in league history.

Sanders played two years in Baltimore, finishing with five interceptions and 10 passes defensed in 25 games, retiring for good at 38. There aren't many cornerbacks who played well in their late 30s, but Sanders was one of them.

Hard to make a top 10 list without mentioning Cunningham's massive return to the NFL. After the Philadelphia Eagles released Cunningham and the St. Louis Rams failed to sign him, Cunningham walked away from the game at 33.

Cunningham, who was a studio analyst for TNT and ran a granite business, signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 1997 as Dennis Green needed a backup quarterback. The former Bert Bell award winner had plenty of game left in him. Cunningham earned the starting job in Week 15 of the 1997 season and led the Vikings to a thrilling 23-22 overtime win over the New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card round, conducting two late scoring drives in the win.

The 1998 season was Cunningham's best in the NFL, as he threw for 3,704 yards and 34 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions to lead the Vikings to a 15-1 record. Cunningham threw four touchdown passes in four separate games and led the NFL with a 106.0 passer rating, earning First Team All-Pro honors at the age of 35. He threw for 505 yards and five touchdowns in two playoff games, but the Vikings were shocked in overtime by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, thanks to a missed 38-yard field goal by Gary Anderson -- who hadn't missed a kick all year.

Cunningham never recaptured that 1998 magic and lost his starting job in 1999, but played three more years as a backup quarterback. He signed a one-day contract to retire with the Eagles in 2002. Cunningham threw for 7,102 yards and 57 touchdowns to 29 interceptions following his return.

Ed "Too Tall" Jones retired from the NFL at 28 after the 1978 season to pursue a boxing career. He actually went unbeaten in his six fights, but wasn't considered a true heavyweight contender. Jones returned to the Dallas Cowboys in 1980 with his best years ahead of him.

Boxing made Jones a better football player, as the Cowboys legend made three Pro Bowls and was a First Team All-Pro selection once in the 10 seasons after his return. Sacks weren't an official stat until 1982, but Jones recorded 57.5 of them in the eight seasons they were official -- all after the age of 31. Jones missed just one game since returning to football and finished with 13 sacks in 1985 and 10 sacks in 1987 (at the age of 36).

Somehow Jones isn't in the Cowboys "Ring of Honor" nor the Hall of Fame. He should be in both.

Nagurski took five seasons off before returning to the game in 1943, at the age of 35. The Bears were short of football players due to World War II, so Nagurski decided to come back as a tackle (he played fullback in his first eight seasons with Chicago).

The Bears were trailing in a must-win game late in the season against the Chicago Cardinals, so they moved Nagurski back to fullback. Nagurski scored a touchdown to put the Bears within one score in the fourth quarter, as Chicago scored 21 unanswered points in the final quarter to send the Bears to the NFL Championship Game.

Nagurski scored on a 3-yard run to give Chicago the lead for good in the title game, finishing with 11 carries for 34 yards and a score in a 41-21 victory. Nagurski went out on top after being away from the game for half a decade, one of the best returns in league history.

Favre actually retired twice, in 2008 with the Green Bay Packers and in 2009 with the New York Jets -- two of the weirdest sagas in NFL history.

His decision to retire the first time came after Favre made a Pro Bowl at the age of 38 and he led the Green Bay Packers to the NFC Championship Game in that same season (2007). Shortly after announcing his retirement, Favre decided to return that summer.

The Packers moved on from Favre and traded him to the New York Jets, where he led the league with 22 interceptions, but made the Pro Bowl. Favre completed 65.7% of his passes and threw for 3,472 yards and 22 touchdowns as the Jets collapsed from an 8-3 start to finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs. Favre played with a torn biceps tendon in his right shoulder the final month of that season.

Shortly after the Jets' season ended, Favre retired again, only to come back and quarterback the Minnesota Vikings in August of 2009. He had arguably the best season of his career at age 40, completing 68.4% of his passes while throwing for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions (107.2 passer rating).

The Vikings reached the NFC Championship Game as Favre took the eventual Super Bowl championNew Orleans Saintsto overtime. Favre played one more season in Minnesota before retiring for good at age 41. He started 321 straight games at quarterback (regular season and postseason) and did not miss a game until his final season.

Favre played his best football into his 40s with a shortened offseason, adding to his legendary career.

Whether Riggins actually retired from the NFL is up for debate, but the Washington Redskins actually did place him on the retired list in 1980. Riggins wanted to renegotiate his $300,000-per-year deal with the Redskins, but the team refused. Riggins left camp that season and the team placed him on the camp-retired list, preventing him from going to another organization.

New Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs wanted Riggins back and gave him a peace offering. Riggins asked for a no-trade clause in his contract, and the Redskins obliged.

Riggins returned at 32 years old, and he was dominant into his mid 30s. Riggins rushed for 4,530 yards and 62 touchdowns in five seasons, having two 1,000-yard seasons and leading the league in touchdowns twice (including a staggering 24 in 1983 at the age of 34). His finest performance came in Super Bowl XVII, rushing 38 times for 166 yards and a touchdown -- a 43-yard run on fourth-and-1 that gave the Redskins the lead for good and became one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.

Those final five years made Riggins a Hall of Famer, capped with a Super Bowl MVP award and a single-season touchdown record that stood for 12 years.

Graham retired from the NFL after the 1954 season, after the Cleveland Browns crushed the Detroit Lions 56-10 in the NFL Championship Game. Head coach Paul Brown begged Graham to return after his replacement quarterbacks struggled in the 1955 preseason.

Graham returned and had one of his finest seasons at 33 years old, leading the league in completion percentage (53.1), yards per attempt (9.3) and passer rating (94.0), throwing for 1,721 yards and 15 touchdowns as the Browns returned to the NFL Championship Game. He also was the UPI MVP and a First Team All-Pro.

Graham threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two touchdowns as the Browns crushed the Los Angeles Rams 38-14 in the title game. He walked off the field with his seventh pro football championship in his 10 seasons (three in NFL, four in All-American Football Conference) -- making a championship game in all 10 seasons he played professional football.

Not only did Graham leave a champion, but he had the best post-retirement comeback of all time.

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Rob Gronkowski returns: Ranking the 10 best NFL comebacks out of retirement in history - CBS Sports

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June 27th, 2020 at 4:49 am

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Nurse Dies Of Coronavirus In Telangana 4 Days Before Retirement – NDTV

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The woman had been on medical leave, but rejoined work due to the staff crunch. (Representational)

A head nurse of the Government General and Chest Hospital in Hyderabad died after testing positive from Covid-19. The senior nurse, who was set to retire by the end of June, was admitted to Gandhi Hospital in a critical condition.

Gandhi Hospital's Dr Prabhakar Reddy told ANI, "A head nurse working at Government General and Chest Hospital, was admitted at Gandhi Hospital after she tested positive for Covid-19 and was also a diabetic. Two days back, she was put on the ventilator, but could not recover. She passed away on Friday morning."

Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan has expressed her condolences over the death. This is for the first time in Hyderabad that a senior nurse has died due to COVID-19 disease.

The woman had been on medical leave, but rejoined work due to the staff crunch. She developed a fever and tested positive for the disease. The woman was posted to a Covid ward and may have have been exposed to the virus, sources said.

Earlier, two staffers in the superintendent's office at Gandhi Hospital also tested positive.

The state on Friday reported 985 new coronaviruscases, taking the overall state tally to 12,349. The state health department informed that out of the total cases, there are 7,436 active cases currently in the state.

As many as 78 patients were discharged on Friday, taking the number of discharged patients to 4,766. With seven deaths due to coronavirusreported in the state on the same day, the number of deaths stood at 237.

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