Did You Know: Older Adults Can Find Financial Assistance in Retirement
The number of adults 65 and older who live in poverty is on the rise, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The economic volatility of the past few years, combined with other factors like the potential for increased medical costs and the loss of income that comes with a work stoppage, has made retirement more challenging for many. Some seniors aren’t sure where to turn when they can’t make ends meet. They may even be embarrassed to ask for help.
But there is help available, and it’s critical to spread the word about it. Seniors living on fixed incomes can get assistance to pay for everything from groceries to medical bills. They just need to know where to look. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
You may already be enrolled in Medicare, but do you know about Medicaid? This government program can lower health care costs, and about a fifth of people who receive Medicare qualify.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers people with low incomes a monthly stipend to cover some food expenses. You need to apply to qualify. You can also look into the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), which provides coupons to seniors to use to buy fresh food from farmers markets.
While insurance may cover the cost of repairing a window broken in a storm, for example, what happens when you need an expensive fix for a problem that wasn’t caused by a natural disaster or anything else insurance covers? One solution is to apply for a grant from the Section 504 Home Repair Program, which assists senior homeowners with covering repairs costing up to $7,500 if they pose a danger to the house or homeowner.
We’ve all been blasting our air conditioners nonstop during this sweltering month of July—and those energy costs can add up. Of course, it’s critical for older adults to use A/C to stay safe in extreme temperatures, but you may worry about how you can pay your energy bill.
The federal government’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is available to people of all ages, gives relief in the form of subsidies to cover energy costs. And for a longer-term solution, you can request an audit from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program to determine ways to save on energy costs.
Relief From Debt
According to Experian, the average consumer debt load went up in 2022, and adults 58-77 had an average debt load of $68,000. When you don’t have a biweekly paycheck, paying off that debt may seem daunting. One way to tackle this is to reach out to the place where you owe the debt, such as a credit card company, and ask about forgiveness or lowering interest payments. While this isn’t a surefire solution, sometimes it can work.
Planning for expenses in retirement can be a challenge because you can’t always predict what you will need. Luckily, there are resources available when you need extra help. Contact Jay to discuss how to best prepare for your retirement.