How Seniors Can Survive Impending Economic Hardship. Part 1
Inflation is soaring to levels we haven’t seen in more than forty years. Everyone is feeling the pinch – but none more so than senior citizens on a fixed or limited income. News reports show seniors have had to drain their retirement savings to financially keep their heads above water. Very soon, their financial stability could be at risk. All over the world, seniors ask themselves, ” How Seniors Can Survive Impending Economic Hardship?”
Most World Governments Have Made A Monumental Cockup
Now don’t get mad about my language, I tell it like it is, and it’s a complete cockup!
There’s no one unaffected by the sting of a poorly run economy where gas prices have almost quadrupled. Grocery costs are rising weekly, and even utilities and services prices are rising ridiculously fast. However, more than any other economic group, seniors are worried. Many wonders if seniors can survive impending economic hardship by making online money.
As a senior, you may have already retired or are getting ready to retire. It may be your plans to relax and enjoy your golden years must be shelved. The pressure might be worse if you rely on Social Security and have no savings. Let’s face it social security money has never been generous and will likely be cut in the future.
You need to regain control over your finances so that you’re not worrying about how you’ll pay your bills. Or even put food on the table! Below, I will be discussing ways to help ease financial hardship. This article has two parts; the second will be published tomorrow. You don’t want to wait until debt collectors are banging your door down.
Stave Off Financial Panic with a Solid Spending and Income Plan
It doesn’t matter where you are with your finances right now. You can get a grip on things and dig your way out! You are not stuck in a hopeless situation, and we’re going to cover every possibility, from people who have been going without basic necessities to those living comfortably but see the writing on the wall.
To make matters worse, you are probably worrying about others. You don’t want to be a burden to anyone else – like your kids or siblings. You want to take care of the situation yourself without help. And you can. What you don’t want to do is put yourself in a panic and go into a financial meltdown. Once you reach that point, you cannot think clearly and take action to ease the monetary strain.
Knowledge is Power
You would benefit first by taking a few hours to sit down and see precisely where you are. Then, write down all of your bills. This list will be headed by the bills you have to pay. Topping that list will probably be your mortgage and car payments. Hopefully, most seniors can survive impending economic hardship without cutting those.
Further down the list are other items you have been splurging on, like Netflix or cable TV. No one is suggesting you shouldn’t have cable TV here. But the idea is to write down essential bills and then bills you could cut if the crunch came to shove.
Make a note of which bills or debts you are behind on (if any) and what the amount due and due date is for each one. If you’re dealing with a credit line or loan, you also want to see which one has the higher interest rate, so jot that down as well.
Don’t be Ashamed
There is zero shame in this situation, so instead of beating yourself up about it, be proud of the fact that you’re working on fixing it so that you can live a comfortable life free of financial worry. Our generation didn’t go into debt, and there is a good chance that you have scrimped and saved all your life but kept your head above water.
You’re not the one who messed up supply chains or shut down the economy. You didn’t raise interest rates or cause utilities to skyrocket out of control. Other people did that – but you’re about to learn how to make it so that their failures don’t affect your ability to survive and thrive.
There are many ways that seniors can make money online. The internet is not a place for millennium geeks but for older people, full of life’s wisdom.
Age is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesnt matter.John Doe
Do You Need To Approach Bill Collectors And Services?
No one wants to ask for help, but sometimes, you have to turn to agencies and services in times of dire financial predicaments. There are national government programs and agencies. One example is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This agency helps seniors manage the cost of their energy bills.
With electricity costs spiraling out of control, you may need this help to ensure you remain cool in the summer and, more crucially, warm in the winter – not to mention be able to cook and take a shower, etc. As things get worse, it may be the things we have taken for granted for most of our lives. They may become luxuries.
All of us seniors are old enough to remember the hardships in the 50s. Some of us are old enough to remember the Second World War. Yet the future looks grim for a lot of us. We are a generation that basically got on with it. We have fought the wars and kept the home fires burning. Now is not a time for pride. Ask for help before things spiral out of control. Things are heading South very rapidly in 2023.
There are other agencies like the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program. This agency ensures all senior citizens can get produce grown locally near them. They also have food deliveries from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for those over 60.
Get Help Directly From Utility Companies
There are Meals on Wheels deliveries and even help for seniors who have pets, so if you’re having trouble affording their medications, food, or other care, you can turn to Senior Paws for Pets for help. Some seniors can survive impending economic hardship by just pulling their belts in.
Even utility companies and services often have their own built in programs to assist people who are having trouble paying their bills. For example, TXU will let you establish a deferred payment plan, and they will help connect you to the organization that can assist you with payments of your utilities, too.
If you have debt or loans, you need to contact each provider to see how they can work with you as you get through this tough financial time. You never want to ignore the problem and watch as fees and interest pile up.
They will sometimes allow you to change your payment date, and many have credit relief programs that will work with you to lower your payments or temporarily pause them.
Some Utility Companies Will Waive Fees
Some companies will waive late fees or interest rates, and some will even forgive the debt entirely. You won’t know until you ask, so you’ll need to contact each one and ask what can be done.
They might make an offer where you can pay 1/3 or 1/2 of the balance, which will be considered paid off. It works best when you come to the table ready to negotiate and do your best to pay the debt indeed and not just get them to write it off.
You can also consider debt consolidation. Try to avoid ruining your credit during this time or even filing bankruptcy. Give yourself a chance to repair the damage that’s been done before you go to extreme measures.
1. Until you sit down and take stock of your current situation, you may not even realize the wasteful spending you’ve been doing. Certain things may have just become the norm for you, and during times of immense money pressure, you may have to change how you shop or what you’re spending money on.
2. You need to tally up your income and then look at your spending on things like your mortgage, insurance, car, and utilities. Whatever is left over is what you’ll be spending on other things like food, clothing, and gas.
Stretch the Cash
There are many ways to stretch the money as far as possible for these things. That means learning and embracing new shopping habits. First and foremost, shop with a list. Don’t just go into the store and toss things into your cart.
You want to plan your meals ahead of time and be strategic. If money is a serious issue for you, you might buy things like inexpensive pasta or beans instead of top cuts of meat like roasts.
You want to shop for store brands instead of name brands for everything. They’re usually the same thing, produced in the same factory but with a different label. And when you shop, look for store fliers that showcase the week’s deals and use coupons whenever possible.
Look for buy one get one free (BOGOFF) deals to make your money stretch farther, and if the store has a rewards card, sign up for it so that you enjoy even deeper discounts. You can also see if your credit cards have cash back offers to allow you to choose grocery gift cards as your payment method.
Shop around for gas and use points and reward cards for that, too. For example, if you shop at Kroger with your rewards card, you’ll rack up points that are used to take off up to $0.40 per gallon at the pump.
You can also find apps and sites that tell you where the cheapest gas is in your area. So plan for that, and when you fill up your tank, do it early in the morning or later at night to get more for your money.
Thrifting is Becoming the New Normal
Thrifting has become very popular among people of all ages for clothes. People donate designer clothes in good shape to thrift stores or consignment shops, so if you need clothes or shoes, these are great places to shop until you can return to a place where you’re spending more on new ones. Besides anything else, thrifting is good for the planet because clothes are recycled rather than thrown away.
You can also find these items and household goods on sites like Facebook Marketplace, so turn to them before you go without them or spend the full price on something more expensive.
For other items, such as credit cards and utilities, shop smart for those as well. Comparison shop for plans to get the best deal on electricity, phone lines, and more. If you get approved for a zero-interest credit card, transfer the balance from a high-interest card to that one to save you money.
Make Big Financial Decisions to Help Keep the Pressure Off
Some seniors need drastic measures to survive the coming financial Armageddon. There are times when even the savviest shopper can’t stem the flow of outgoing money – and in these cases, you may feel the need to make some tough decisions. Sometimes cutting your expenditure is the only way to stop money from bleeding out and putting yourself at greater risk in the future.
First, consider the car you’re driving. Could you downsize or trade it in for something so that you no longer have a car payment? You also have to consider the positive impact this could have on your car insurance because you may be able to get less coverage and cut down on those costs, too.
You also want to consider the cost and burden of your home. Downsizing may be an option if you’re still living in a five-bedroom, large home where you raised your kids. Downsizing is selling the property and moving to a smaller property with fewer and reduced bills to pay. You don’t have to have a five bedroomed house to downsize. Just consider if this is a viable option for you. Consideration costs nothing.
Down Sizing Is Scary but so worth it.
I know this can be a wrench, an enormous emotional wrench. I had to face this in 2022. All my equity was tied up in property. I reached retirement age but lost two pensions. ( That is a story for another day).
Things were less hard then, but I faced a situation where all my equity was tied up in property. I couldn’t let that situation go on. Circumstances were forcing me to sell my five bedroomed, three bathroom house. Yes, it was tough, but I am so much freer for doing it. There is something extremely liberating in getting rid of everything. I took it a step further, and now I am a digital nomad in Mexico, and everything I own goes in one rucksack. Apart from a few momentoes of my life in storage.
The sale released equity for me to live on and also got rid of a lot of emotional baggage. The house and its contents no longer weighed me down. I got rid of a lot of things I no longer wanted or needed. I evaluated all my appliances. If I hadn’t used it for six months, it was out. Weirdly I kept hold of my spiralizer! My iron was the first thing to go.
Sell Things You No Use.
If you choose to go this route, chances are you’ll have a lot of home items that you can sell because they will no longer fit in the smaller place. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell things locally, have a yard sale, go to a consignment shop, or sell them on sites like eBay.
You probably have a TV in every room, so you could sell those, along with the furniture in rooms you’ll no longer need. You could also sell some of the décor pieces or other electronics you won’t use anymore.
Another thing you might consider is moving to another state that’s more affordable for seniors. If you’re living in a place with high taxes and the cost of living is soaring, you can move to a state like Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, or elsewhere to minimize the burden you’re carrying for expenses.
See If Any Local Money Earning Opportunities Appeal to You
Making local money is the opportunity to earn in your own city and state. Sometimes, it’s not enough to cut spending or shop smart – you have to start increasing the amount of money coming in if you want to survive and thrive.
Some seniors are now renting out a room or rooms in their homes to people who need a place to stay but who can’t afford to buy a home or even rent an entire apartment in today’s economy. Or you may consider looking at this comparison site and seeing how much you can earn from your home; it may well be a lot more than you think. I am not talking about filling in survey forms for pennies here; I am talking about a sustainable income that can pay all your bills.
You may have a swimming pool in your backyard, and you can rent that out and rake in money. There are some people making six figures renting out their pool every season to strangers.
You might become a ride-share driver. Some seniors love this gig with companies like Uber or Lyft because it lets them set their own hours and be more social with the individuals they take from one destination to another.
Or, if you don’t want to pick up strangers, you could sign up for sites like Instacart, DoorDash, or UberEats and shop for groceries that you drop off to customers or pick up food from restaurants and fast food places to deliver to them.
Some seniors start in-home daycares for parents who can’t afford traditional daycare (or who don’t want to put their kids in one). Since many parents are also dealing with a broken economy, this is a win-win for both of you.
Of course, you can always exit retirement and start working again in the corporate world. As long as you have the experience and skills to offer, now is a great time to secure employment. How many people in your area were too frightened to work during the pandemic? A lot still have not returned.
Age discrimination shouldn’t be your worry here. Many companies are desperate to get people on board, and many have flexible hours or even telecommuting opportunities.
You can sign up with a recruitment or temp agency. Let them do the legwork. Agencies are connect you with a job you’d excel at based on your skills and education level. This way, you can work directly with the temp agency. They use their contacts you match you to a great job.
If you only need a bit of money to take the pressure off, you might only need to work part-time. But if you’re underwater on your bills by a lot, you might have to return to the workplace full-time.
If this is the case, make sure you find something that will pay enough. You don’t want to be in a position where the increased gas prices wipe out any income. It would also be great if you could enjoy it. It is important you thrive and not just survive. How seniors can survive impending economic hardship is a serious question, but the answers don’t have to grind you into the ground.
Seniors Can Survive Impending Economic Hardship
Things may seem bad at the moment, but there are other ways of making extra money: pin money or high income. You can find genuine ways to make money online. There are a lot of outright scams out there. There are many things that may not be outright scams, but they ARE NOT WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE. Tomorrow we will discuss genuine ways to either use your existing skills to earn money online – or acquire new skills correctly.
If you are a senior and you are struggling, the sooner that you take direct action, the better the outcome will be. It’s scary, I know, to face a future with no savings and no cushion. You can create a free account at Wealthy affiliate a place that teaches you to build a sustainable online income. There are no gimmicks, just sensible advice on how seniors can survive impending economic hardship. It’s never too late to create the life of your dreams