Everyone’s desire is to retire as soon as possible. Retirement never comes without the fear of not being able to survive on SSI. For some retirees, social security benefits are their only source of income.
Retiring is even more challenging due to inflation and other economic factors. However, the word “fear” means “false evidence appearing real”. Surviving on social security alone is possible with the utilization of the appropriate resources. Most retirees are not privy of all the assistance programs that are available to them that can make surviving in retirement possible.
Resources that are Available to Make Retirement Possible
The government and other non-governmental organizations understand that it is not possible to retire without assistance. Hence, they offer a wide variety of assistance programs to help retirees with their major expenses. Governmental programs can aid senior citizens with paying their rent on certain properties that are associated with the local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).
Medicare and Medicaid Benefits
Senior citizens who are at least 64 years and nine-months-old are eligible to apply for Medicare benefits, which cover the first 80 percent of medical costs. Senior citizens who are 65 years old or older are also eligible to receive Medicaid benefits, which covers inpatient medical care, outpatient medical care, nursing homes, and personal care. It can also help pay for Medicare deductibles, Medicare premiums, and other charges that are not paid for by Medicare.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The average monetary benefit from SNAP for people who are 60 years old or older in 2009 was $102 dollars. Eight years later, that amount is probably greater due to inflation. Though some senior citizens do not think that amount of money is worth it, it can make a difference. Just as that old adage says, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
This program assists with the cost of heating and air-conditioning in the areas of bill payment, energy crisis, weatherization, and repairs. Some families have saved as much as $437 dollars a year in their energy bills. Senior citizens who own homes can be eligible for a property tax exemption or property tax reduction. In Colorado, senior citizens can exempt half of the first $200,000 in their homes. These exemption requirements vary by states and municipalities.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VIA) and Tax Counseling (TCE)
IRS-certified volunteers assist senior citizens with managing their taxes to avoid them paying too much and not getting back everything they are owed. They teach them how to manage their taxes in ways such as getting a tax credit for the elderly, deducting some of their medical expenses, deducting their senior living expenses, etc.
AARP Money Management Programs
This Daily Money Management (DMM) programs assist senior citizens with general money management in the areas of paying bills, budgeting, avoiding scams, negotiating with creditors, balancing a checkbook, etc. The budgeting aspect is the most significant component for retirees because it will help them save money and cut unnecessary costs.
Why These Resources Are Worth Using
Many retirees may feel stigmatized by using these programs. They may even feel that these assistance programs are not worth it because what they offer does not make a major difference. In retirement, every penny counts. Every penny he/she saves or receives makes a difference because it all accumulates in the long-term. If the retiree puts the right amount of time and effort in making his/her retirement possible, it will be possible. The retirement years are “The Golden Years”; so the retiree takes advantage of the assistance that is available to them, he/she will have his/her “Golden Years”.