Inflation is creating difficulties for people globally, but it can create an even more significant hardship for seniors on fixed incomes. There are over 56 million Americans that are 65 years of age and older, and about 12 percent of them live solely on Social Security, which pays an average of $1,658 per month. While payments have increased by 5.9% to account for cost-of-living adjustments, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the consumer price index jumped 8.3% year-over-year in April. So, if you are a senior living on a fixed income, what can you do to adjust your lifestyle until inflation gets under control? FirstLantic offers five tips that you can put into action today.
- Consider getting a roommate. While you may think you’re too old to live with someone else, you might find having another person around will reduce your loneliness, help you around the house and reduce your monthly living expenses. Try a service like com, which makes it easy for seniors to find a compatible housemate.
- Get assistance with transportation. With the rising price of gasoline, you may want to consider leaving your car at home and using a service like Elder Helpers, which provides free transportation through volunteers. Veyo is another option as they partner with insurance companies and health facilities to provide non-emergency medical transportation covered as an insurance benefit. Finally, many counties offer free or low-cost transportation options, which you can find by contacting your county’s Area Agency on Aging.
- Shop around for insurance. If you still need a car, then FinanceBuzz can tell you if you’re overpaying for your car insurance. For home insurance, you can check out Expert Insurance Reviews and advice from com on the best policies for seniors. As for healthcare, to ensure you are getting the best coverage with Medicare, you can get an online quoteat Medicare.org for plans that fit your healthcare needs.
- Access coupons quickly while shopping online. Shopping online can save you money and transportation costs, but it’s not always easy to know if you are getting the best deals. Fortunately, many services now can scan the internet for the best coupon codes available for stores like Amazon, Home Depot, Target, and many more. Try Capital One Shopping, RetailMeNot, and Honey, all of which offer coupon services that you simply add to your browser, and they do the rest of the work.
- Join a discount club. Consider what type of discount club would benefit you the most. A membership with AARP or The Seniors Coalition may help you. There’s also the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association for federal workers. And don’t forget to ask for senior discounts at restaurants, hotels, ride share services, movie theaters, etc.
- Take advantage of free entertainment. Public institutions like libraries, parks, schools, museums, and community centers may offer free or discounted services, educational opportunities, and events. Not only can you rent books and movies from the library, but many also provide free programs and classes. And parks typically hold concerts in the summer for free. Spending some time at a public institution during the day can also save you money on energy costs at home.
- Save on utilities. Check with your provider to see if you can access specific plans that reduce your rate by primarily using appliances during off-peak hours. For some other tips, click here.
Finally, If you aren’t retired yet but are considering it, you might want to delay until your 70, which will essentially buy more Social Security income. After you reach full retirement age, you may increase your benefits by 8% for each year you wait to retire, up to age 70.
To learn more about FirstLantic Home Healthcare services, click here.
To read more FirstLantic blogs, click here.