Most media coverage that discusses finances for seniors often places a focus solely on retirement savings. How much does one have to save to live a comfortable retirement? Where should your investments be placed? Will you have enough saved to go on that vacation you have dreamed about your entire life? Questions like these paint a picture that senior living is a time of leisure and security. What to Do When Experiencing Financial Hardship as a Senior
However, for millions of seniors in the United States, this could not be further from the truth. According to the National Council on Aging, more than 25 million Americans over the age of 60 are economically insecure. What does this mean? These elderly individuals are living at or below 250% of the federal poverty line. Many of these seniors are forced to forego retirement completely, having to work well into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. With so many older Americans facing economic hardship, there are steps that can be taken to recover from financial difficulties. If you or someone you know is experiencing tough economic times, review three top options available for seniors.
Low income/unemployment assistance programs
Often times, government assistance programs fall short of being able to provide substantial support for seniors who are facing money problems. Thankfully, there are other assistance programs available for those with low incomes. Nonprofits and other organizations can help provide seniors with the funds they need to cover their housing payments, food, health care, and more. The length and availability of these programs can vary greatly, so it is important to check with your local assistance organizations for specific details.
Various factors can cause seniors to fall behind on debt payments. Unexpected medical expenses and a lack of necessary funds can quickly lead seniors to miss payments on their mortgage, credit card bills, and more. Individuals who face these kinds of challenges should look into senior debt counseling programs and foreclosure help. Certain counselors work with seniors for little to no fee, and can help provide the education and tools necessary to get current with debt payments.
Medical bills and other emergency expenses can impact anyone at any time. Seniors who have just enough to pay for day-to-day expenses may end up in a tough situation when unplanned expenses arise. For some seniors, applying for a personal loan might be the right choice. While adding debt certainly isn’t the right choice for everyone, those facing temporary, immediate expenses may benefit greatly from the quick funds provided by a personal loan.
Staying focused on the future
No matter what strategy (or combination of strategies) is right for you or someone you know, the most important thing to do is to stay focused on the future. Remaining solution-oriented and keeping a positive attitude makes all of the difference when working through tough times. Utilize the options available to you to the fullest extent, and know that no matter what money problems you face, there are resources to help.
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As a co-owner of Senior.com, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles