Seniors: Options for Dealing with Escalating Costs

Apr 19th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

With gas prices climbing significantly by the week, options are dropping for persons who are on fixed incomes.  With more and more living expenses eating at the resources seniors have, more and more of us need to determine strategies for meeting those expenses.

What are our options? 

First of all, don’t get overwhelmed by how much is happening to the senior today in terms of resources available to live a relatively comfortable existence.  While some will be severely influenced by the rise in costs, others will simply need to alter routine habits in order to reduce the squeeze.  In both events, it may not be easy. 

Second, deal with what is happening right now.  Don’t get caught dreading what may happen.  While the medicare/medicaid issue is on the front burner, stay in tune with how it will impact the senior community.  Be prepared to work with others, read current information, protest, when it seems necessary, express your concerns to your representative. 

Third, remember last fall when you voted.  Some of those who were elected were supported by seniors.  If they are acting out your desires, as expressed then in the voting booth, they may need to be aware that you have second thoughts. With the reductions in the fiscal budget, it may already be too late to salvage some of the programs that are on the chopping block.

Fourth, be careful what you hope for.  Continuing support for politicians who are motivated by tunnel vision can put some constituents, e.g. seniors, on track for a collision which will create consequences you hadn’t anticipated. 

Fifth, be reasonable.  It will not be possible to preserve all the “favorites” that senior citizens now enjoy.  Some compromises will be necessary.  Be prepared to articulate clearly and precisely what it is you think seniors will absolutely require for the future.  Losing the safety net, presently enjoyed, may need to be adjusted to make the net smaller, with fewer holes. 

Sixth, as the debates over the national debt ceiling become more intense, try to stay aware of the implications for seniors.  Seniors we will always have with us.  Those under 55 need to be especially alert how the system will be changed by the time they arrive at retirement. 

Seventh, if you have been a die hard member of a political party and point of view for years, perhaps it is time to evaluate why.  You may want to declare your independence or simply change altogether, reserving the right to disagree wit your previous affiliation. 

Eighth, continue to review your own health care supplemental insurance and be aware how it complements medicare.  Things change, Stuff happens.  Better to be aware how your own situation will be influenced. 

While we may not be able to stop the rise in gas prices, we can be alert to and aware of how we will meet the continuing erosion of those matters which are critical to our welfare as senior citizens.



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