Your AARP Ask the Experts
QWith more companies allowing employees to work from home, are there any “cons” I should consider before joining the tele-commuter ranks?
A Employees who work remotely even part of the time risk getting smaller raises, worse performance evaluations and fewer promotions than their colleagues in the office get—even when they work as
long or as hard. Why? Telecommuters lack “face time”—and not “being
seen” may leave a bigger impression on managers, perhaps unconsciously, than actual performance, according to a study in the MIT
Sloan Management Review. To counter the bias, let others know your
work schedule, respond immediately to emails and check in frequently
if necessary. —Sid Kirchheimer
Q If I take reduced Social Security benefits at age 62, will I move up to full benefits when I reach full retirement age at 66?
A You won’t—and this is a very common misconception. Once you start benefits at a reduced level, you’re basically committing to
that level (with cost-of-living adjustments) for the rest of your life. The
only way to raise the base amount is to go back to work, and even then
it’s not guaranteed. Any rise will depend on whether you earn enough to
raise your average lifetime earnings. —Stan Hinden
Q My local Kroger has stopped selling raw sprouts, and a friend warned me not to put them on my salad at the salad
bar. What’s the problem with sprouts?
A Both Kroger and Walmart have stopped selling raw sprouts because of the risk of food poisoning. Sprouts, from bean sprouts
to the threadlike alfalfa and clover sprouts, have caused dozens of food
poisoning outbreaks in the past 20 years. The bacteria may get inside
the seed, where they can’t be eliminated. The sprouts are grown in a
warm, moist environment, conditions ideal for the growth of bacteria,
including salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Government advice is pretty
clear on the subject: Raw sprouts are unsafe to eat. —Candy Sagon
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volume precludes us from providing personal answers to all questions.