SENIORS ALERT TO SCAMSApr 21st, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances
Seniors Pinch Pennies
Most of us senior citizens continually look for ways to pinch pennies when we can. Most of us are not in the wealthy ’1%’ bracket so well described in the news of late. So we need to find options for making our money stretch as far as possible. It occurred to SCJ editors this week that there are some common and simple daily occurrences that we need to observe.
Whenever we read something is guaranteed, we need to look for the guarantee. Many times, for example, when we receive offers of a free trip or cruise or gift of one kind or another, the ‘free’ promise is ‘guaranteed’. This is generally an attempt to try to pull us into doing whatever we have to do to get the free item. And it’s usually not free. Seniors are encouraged to avoid the ‘guaranteed free’ trap when you encounter it.
On the other hand, if you are purchasing something that does have a guarantee, look for it. We had to replace a water heater this week. When the repairmen arrived, they asked for the warranty information on the old water heater that was leaking. We provided the entire owner’s manual, including the warranty. They were surprised we had the information and said most people don’t keep that kind of material. We keep all owners’ manuals and warranties in one place–forever–so we can access them when needed. The water heater was replaced at no cost to us because of the warranty.
Another common experience we senior citizens have is the telephone solicitation… someone calling us to ask for money for one cause or another. We seniors are suckers because we were taught to be polite at almost all cost. That’s just the way we were raised. So it is difficult for us to say, “No thank you,” and hang up. But that’s what we have to learn to say/do.
Unless it is an organization that you choose to support, practice saying “No thank you,” over and over until it feels comfortable. Then you will be able to respond to the telephone solicitations without being sucked into giving money to some cause just because you are a polite sucker.
Additional information about senior citizen finances can be found on this AARP information site.