The National Council on Aging is expanding its national network of benefits enrollment centers to help eligible older Americans and individuals with disabilities apply for benefits programs to pay for daily expenses.

NCOA will provide over $11 million in funding to 90 centers across 39 states—including two in the Puget Sound area–to offer in-person assistance to low-income individuals who are eligible for federal and state programs for healthcare, prescriptions, food, and utilities.

The benefits enrollment centers are funded through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act administered by the U.S. Administration for Community Living. The funding has been extended 11 times with bipartisan support in Congress, helping connect 9.3 million lower-income adults to benefits in 2022-23 alone.

Locations in Washington where enrollment is offered are the Chinese Information and Service Center (206-624-5633, and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (206-624-1023,, both in Seattle.

The centers prioritize outreach to individuals who are historically under-enrolled in benefits or face unique challenges accessing services:

• Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other people of color.

• Members of religious minorities.

• Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals.

• People with disabilities. • Residents of rural areas.

By Akilah Watkins

During Women’s History Month in March, I was struck by the deep contributions women make to our society in so many ways. We’re leaders and innovators, advocates and educators, builders and organizers, healers and caregivers. Many of us hold multiple dynamic roles simultaneously — especially in the non-profit and philanthropic sector. 

Women comprise 66 percent of the non-profit workforce, making us a powerhouse of the charitable sector. Many of the women I most admire in our sector you don’t read about in the history books. These are the women who go door-to-door to ensure community members are signed up for benefits. The women working to register people to vote in the most rural areas of the country. The women who organize grassroots fund-raising efforts to support local causes, working tirelessly behind the scenes to mobilize resources and support. While the women who achieve high levels of leadership in our sector are incredibly impressive, there are countless more women on the frontlines of non-profit work, getting it done. 

Despite the enormous contributions women across our sector make, we also encounter very real challenges, including the sexism that permeates our workplaces and communities. These challenges are compounded for Black, Brown, and Indigenous women working in non-profits and philanthropy, who face intersecting forms of discrimination. 

For example, Independent Sector’s recent “Health of the U.S. Non-profit Sector: Annual Review” shows Black and Hispanic women are paid less on average to work full-time in the non-profit sector than are other workers. The gaps are even larger in the for-profit sector. A typical Black woman in the non-profit sector is paid 21 percent less than the average pay for the sector as a whole. A single statistic, like this one, cannot stand in for the lived experience of millions. But it can be a vital starting point for discussion about how we move toward a more equitable sector. 

We also know that 20 percent of non-profit workers struggled to afford basic necessities in 2021. In our upcoming collaboration with United for ALICE, Independent Sector will focus on better understanding workers in the non-profit sector who live paycheck to paycheck. Disaggregating data on this segment of the non-profit workforce, by gender and other factors, will help us build a more informed picture of who is struggling, and why. We need to ensure no one working at a non-profit is forced to choose between buying medicine for an illness or buying food for their family. 

Inadequate financial and social support, particularly for caregiving responsibilities, may be contributing to high rates of burnout for women and mothers. And I’m deeply concerned about the imbalance in care work that disproportionately affects women. While socioemotional work can be a superpower, we also need to find the balance between caregiving and self-care. The unequal burden of care work and the lack of support women face have forced too many women to leave our sector too soon. 

This is why I advocate fiercely for health insurance, retirement, and childcare for women in the non-profit workforce — and for every non-profit worker, regardless of gender. We need to be able to seek medical care when we feel unwell. We need to have access to reliable childcare to pursue our personal and professional goals. We need to be able to retire with dignity. 

Did you know that a small business can get a tax credit of up to $5,000 per year for starting a retirement plan for its employees? But did you know that a small non-profit can’t claim that very same tax credit? These credits were designed as income tax credits, so – even though non-profits pay billions of dollars in payroll tax every year – non-profits aren’t eligible. 

It’s not just retirement plans. Non-profits are left out of tax credits for providing paid leave, offering childcare, complying with disabilities laws, and more. This system isn’t fair to non-profits and their workers, and at Independent Sector, we’ve started advocating to fix it. We need Congress to step up and recognize the value of the non-profit workforce, and this is one way our policymakers can do so. 

As we reflect on the many contributions of women to our society, particularly within the non-profit sector, it’s clear that significant barriers persist. From the wage gap to the lack of adequate support for caregiving responsibilities, there’s much work to be done to ensure gender equity. 

As sector advocates and changemakers, we must continue to push for policies that empower women in the workforce. This includes advocating for fair compensation, access to essential benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, and addressing systemic barriers that hinder progress. 

Let’s stand together as a sector to support policies that recognize the value of the non-profit workforce and champion women’s rights and dignity. Together, we can create a healthier and more equitable nation where all people thrive. 

Dr. Akilah Watkins is president and chief executive officer of Independent Sector, a national organization that is an advocate for non-profits and foundations. This article was originally published by Independent Sector.


By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,

As a 68-year-old retiree, I’m interested in finding a fun part-time job that can occupy some of my time and generate a little extra income. Can you write a column on low-stress part-time jobs that are popular among retirees?

Part-Time Retiree

Dear Retiree,

Working part-time in retirement can be a terrific way to occupy your time and earn some extra income. The key, however, is finding the right gig that’s fun and satisfying for you. While there are literally hundreds of different part-time job opportunities out there for retirees, here are a few possibilities to explore.

  • Pet Services: If you love animals, consider pet sitting and/or dog walking. Pet sitters, who attend to a pet’s needs when their owner is away, can earn $15 to $40 per visit. Dog walkers can make $10 to $30 for a 30-minute walk.

To find these jobs, advertise your services in veterinarians’ offices or online at sites like or Or, if you’d rather work for an organization that offers these services, visit

  • Teach or Tutor: Depending on your expertise, you could substitute teach or tutor students privately on any number of subjects. Substitute teachers typically make between $75 and $125/day, while tutors can earn between $15 to $30 per hour. 

To look for substitute teaching positions, contact your local school district to see if they are hiring and what qualifications they require. To advertise tutoring services, use websites like and

Or, if you have a bachelor, master or doctoral degree, inquire about adjunct teaching at a nearby college or university.

  • Drive: If you like to drive, you can get paid to drive others around using Uber or Lyft apps, or become a food delivery driver through Instacart or Uber Eats. Drivers make around $15 per hour.
  • Babysit: If you like kids, babysitting can be a fun way to put money in your pocket. Hourly rates vary by location ranging anywhere from $10 to $40 per hour. To find jobs or advertise your services, use sites like as and
  • Tour guide: If you live near any historical sites or locations, national parks or museums (anywhere that attracts tourists), inquire about becoming a tour guide. This pays anywhere from $10 to $40/hour.
  • Write or edit: Many media, corporate and nonprofit websites are looking for freelancers to write, edit or design content for $20 to $60 per hour. To find these jobs try, and
  • Consult: If you have a lot of valuable expertise in a particular area, offer your services as a consultant through a firm or on your own through freelancer sites like,, or
  • Translator or interpreter: If you’refluent in more than one language you can do part-time interpretation over the phone or translate documents or audio files for $20 to $40/hour. Try sites like, or to locate translation jobs.
  • Public events: Sporting events, festivals, concerts and shows need ticket takers, security guards, ushers, concession workers and more. The pay is usually $10 to $20/hour. Contact nearby venues to apply.
  • Tax preparer: If you have tax preparation experience or are willing to take a tax prep course you can find seasonal work preparing tax returns at big-box tax firms like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt for around $17/hour.
  • Bookkeeper: If you have a finance or accounting background you can find freelance bookkeeping gigs at sites like and, or through firms like
  • Librarian assistant: If you love books, public libraries hire part-time workers to shelve books, send out overdue notices, help patrons, etc. Contact your local library to see what’s available.

If you don’t find these options appealing, try, which lists thousands of flexible work-at-home jobs from more than 5,700 employers. Membership fees start at $10.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

Take it from the Federal Trade Commission: Stay alert for scammers impersonating government personnel. They’re after your money.

According to FTC officials, many such schemes start with a phone call about an alleged problem, such as suspicious activity in an account. The story includes a claim that someone is using your information to commit crimes and that all your money is at risk. The caller tries to convince you that a court will seize the money in your bank account or retirement savings. The phony caller — who claims to be a helpful agent from the FTC, the FBI, the Border Patrol, or another government agency or organization — insists the only way to protect your money is to quickly transfer it to a more secure account. Or to cash out your savings or buy cryptocurrency or gold bars.

The truth is, instead of protecting your money, you’re about to lose it. The scammer controls the new bank or cryptocurrency accounts or sends someone to pick up the gold bars or cash “for safekeeping.”

It’s a scam if the caller says you need to buy gift cards, go to a cryptocurrency ATM, or go to the bank in person while they stay on the phone with you. And if the caller tells you to lie to anyone who asks why you’re transferring or withdrawing so much money, that’s also a clear sign of a scam.

Here is what else the FTC wants you to know and do about this scam:

• The FTC will never tell you to move your money to “protect” it.

• Ignore all unexpected requests for money in an unexpected call or message.

• Verify the story. If you think there’s a real problem with one of your accounts, use a phone number, website, or app you know is real to contact the company. Don’t use contact information in any message you received.

Source: Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources