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Dear Eric: I am a 50-year-old technology worker. My boss is in her early 40s. She has made comments about coworkers in their 60s who she says "should retire."

Needless to say I'm not too far behind those folks in age. I get Botox, filler, color my hair, diet and exercise and keep up on all the latest technology. However, like everyone who isn't a vampire, I'm aging. I've had some health issues, and I need to keep working to pay for my health insurance and medications. The earliest I could receive Social Security is still 12 years away.

Widespread ageism is common in the tech industry. Is there a gentle way to remind people that age is not a topic that should come up in the workplace unless it is specifically related to succession or retirement planning? Or do I just let it go?

Eric says: You don't have to let it go. What you're experiencing isn't fair and may cross a legal line. I reached out to human resources expert Hannah Marks at Culture Marks for guidance.

"As a first step for any employees experiencing ageism in the workplace," she said, "it is key to maintain documentation of any/all instances. From there, it's always a good idea to flag the situation to your HR team. Bringing this up to a manager or senior leader is another good option. In more severe cases, or when HR/senior leadership has failed to appropriately address the situation, employees have the right to seek legal counsel."

You do have resources, even if the culture of your workplace suggests otherwise. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 or older.

If you want to learn more about the law and your options for reporting, I'd encourage you to visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website.

Love or a scam?

Dear Eric: I have a cousin who recently told me that he is "in love" with a woman in a foreign country and plans to get married. He would have to fly to her country to get married, leaving behind his son, grandson and mother, who is in a nursing home.

He has never actually met this woman, and I am concerned that the whole thing is a scam. I found out the country is one where foreigners can't have any property in their name, so anything he would buy would be in her name. What should I say to him? I don't want to crush him.

Eric says: You're right to be concerned. Romance scams are quite common. Often, they start online, with the scammers professing love quickly, suddenly needing money and then vanishing.

It's a huge red flag that your cousin's relationship requires him to leave the country and get married. I know you don't want to crush him, but he could be in real danger and a bruised heart is the better option.

Be upfront about your concerns and your reasons. Use the FBI romance scam section to walk your cousin through any similarities in his life. Ask him to talk you through his plan for his family, his mother's care and his plan after getting married. Be probing but kind.

Assure him that he's not wrong for wanting companionship. Tell him that, if this is a scam, it doesn't mean he's not worthy of love.

Ask him to slow down the relationship for his own safety and that of his family. If he's insistent and you still have concerns, you also can report the suspected fraud to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Send questions to R. Eric Thomas at or P.O. Box 22474, Philadelphia, PA 19110.