Many seniors simply don’t have enough money to enjoy their retirement. Some have small pensions, but many must rely solely on their social security benefits. This can make it difficult to afford basic necessities like transportation, nutritious meals and cover general housing expenses. The good news is there is a wide range of programs offered by the government and non-profit agencies to help them sustain a comfortable lifestyle, eliminate bad habits and retain their independence while living in their own homes.
In the past, drug abuse was something that mostly the younger generations engaged in. However, today the tides are shifting and drug abuse is something that young and old alike deal with daily. Many seniors abuse prescription drugs. It starts out as a way to reduce their pain and then, as they increase the dosage, they need more pills to work effectively. For instance, some senior veterans who suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome recently started using Ecstasy as a treatment for the disorder. Unfortunately, many prescription drugs misused can become highly addictive.
You may wonder “how long does Ecstasy stay in your system“? While, typically, it remains in the system approximately 2 days, the euphoric effects only last a few hours. So, in order to keep feeling that euphoric feeling, people will need to take several doses each day. Thankfully, there are treatment centers that take most types of insurance in nearly every state that seniors can go to and seek treatment to help them end their addiction.
Many seniors don’t have enough money to buy healthy food and this can lead to malnutrition and other illnesses. Fortunately, there are many government and local non-profits that can assist. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is among the most common government-sponsored programs where seniors can receive money each month allocated for food. In addition, there are other programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program and local food pantries, often located in churches. The best way to find out what benefits are available for elders in your area is to call the National Hunger Hotline.
If you are a senior with a disability or without a vehicle of your own due to the cost of maintenance, getting around town to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments can become a difficult task. The good news is that many towns and cities provide discounted or even free transportation services. You can also check to see if the local senior center provides trips to stores and appointments on scheduled days of the week.
While most seniors do receive Medicare benefits upon their retirement, those benefits only cover around 80 percent of the bill. This leaves 20 percent of the balance payable by seniors. And, if they are living solely on SSI benefits, they may not have the funds set aside to cover the gap. Applying for Medicare can help seniors afford to go to the doctor. However, it’s important to remember that, while Medicare can help with the deductible, co-payment, and some special services, it will not cover the cost of any prescribed medications or eyeglasses or dental care. Since the coverage is different state by state, it’s in your best interest to find out what it covers in your area.
Seniors who want to remain in their homes often run into difficulty affording annual taxes, gas, electric, and water bills, as well as affording to make even minor home repairs. Thankfully, there are programs such as LIEAP (also known as the LOW Income Energy Assistance Program). It’s funded by the government and offered in all states. The program takes into account your income and assists with payments, weatherizing the home, and even energy crisis help. Additionally, most states provide property tax exemptions as a way of lowering property taxes to an affordable rate.
Your retirement years should be enjoyable after a lifetime of working full time. However, if you aren’t where you want to be financially, there are many programs available to help. Take the time to do some research and get more comfortable with your golden years.