Sometimes, you may feel like you need to tighten your budget as you get older. If you are like most seniors, your income may have decreased after reducing your work hours, or simply retiring. In addition, your healthcare and other living costs may have increased.
However, there are ways you can cut costs if you are a senior who is on a fixed income. Even if you have always had a lower income, you can take advantage of senior-specific discounts and low-cost options. Check out these ways to make your dollars go further.
Numerous programs exist to help seniors earn cash assistance. Both government and private programs are available to help you reduce your expenses or supplement your lost income. Some of the most common of these programs are:
- Social Security Income (SSI) – You have paid into this program most of your life through your paychecks, and it is time for you to collect the benefits during retirement. On average, government retirement benefits can cover about a third of your living expenses.
You become eligible for SSI benefits when you reach 62 years of age. However, if you can wait a few years longer until your official retirement age, you can collect your full amount.
Your official retirement age will depend on when you were born, but it is generally between 66 and 67 years of age.
- Medicare – Healthcare costs can be the biggest expense in your senior years, and affordable health insurance plans help you reduce these costs. You become eligible for enrollment in Medicare around your 65th birthday. You may also be eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A if you have worked enough years to qualify, and paid into the program through your earnings for about 10 years.
- Supplemental Security Income – Often confused for Social Security Income (SSI), this benefit program is for those unable to earn a sufficient working wage, including those who are 65 years of age or older. If you are eligible for this program, you can collect both Social Security Income and Supplemental Security Income.
If you want to receive cash assistance benefits, you do not need to depend on the government alone.
Several non-government organizations are available as well. You may even qualify for better rates than when you were younger.