Yes – you’ve heard “everyone has to sacrifice” to reduce the deficit. And the first things on the chopping/reducing block seem to be social security and medicare.
So – who is the “everyone”? Well, seniors, of course. Especially seniors who only have social security on which to live. They will be super-sacrificing. Meanwhile, the people who plan these “sacrifices” are all the well-to-do members of congress (yes, they are all well-to-do) who don’t have ANY idea what it is to sacrifice.
Even with social security and medicare still here, many seniors are currently having fiscal issues. For instance, read Strapped seniors trying to hang on (April 2011), which noted that 23% of seniors depend on Social Security for 90% of their expenses. S0, should we blame the seniors for not saving?
Actually, no. Many had savings that were wiped out by the stock market and by the shenanigans of our banks. Remember? – this was just before President Obama was elected. And many of the banks were “too big to fail.” But they failed many senior citizens, and those about to become senior citizens.
What can seniors do? Well, one idea put forth in How to Retire on Social Security Alone is to go back to work! (We’ll look at other ideas in a later blog.)
According to the NY Times, May 18, 2012: The Number of Those Working Past 65 Is at a Record High. In fact, “one in nine American men over the age of 75 was working in April .” Good grief! And “More than a third of men ages 65 to 69 are working, as are more than a quarter of women.”
This could mean that older folk are good reliable and interested workers. Or it could mean that some people simply need to work. But the fact is that more people are working late into their 70s.
Need a job? Here’s some help:
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a “nonprofit service and advocacy organization” with a mission to “improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.”
They run a Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCEP) funded by the U.S. Labor Department.
BUT – check out the map of offices! There are no centers in the upper northeast of the U.S. Or, in fact, throughout the Midwest.
There are also several local web sites that are a good place to begin a search. Some of these are:
Seniors can eat better! Here are a couple of ideas and programs:
**** The National Council for Aging runs the National Center for Benefits Outreach & Enrollment. This covers six vital areas for seniors. Let’s look at Food & Nutrition. And, under this heading, let’s look at the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). It provides “low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.”
****The AARP Foundation provides funding for vegetable gardens, which are a great way to get good and healthy food. Like any grant, you have to apply. Collective Roots Helps Seniors Grow Vegetables and Income describes the support of a non-profit (Collective Roots) to grow food for seniors, under the AARP’s Hunger Impact grants.
****And if you have a small patch of land, or a balcony for pots, or even a wading pool, or maybe an old tire – you can grow your own (see Urban Agriculture, a guide to container gardening) – even in New England or New Hampshire!