Older Californians and the agencies that serve them are having trouble making financial ends meet. Most expect it to get worse before it gets better. Time will tell as will the upcoming Presidential election.
We hear and read about the financial meltdown, from Wall Street to Main Street, with no mention to the growing senior population. Seniors have lost over 50% of their buying power since 2000, according to a study released this past spring by The Senior Citizens League, (SCL), a nonpartisan seniors’ advocacy group. “Each year, seniors receive a small increase in their Social Security checks, intended to help them keep up with the costs of inflation, with little consideration to rapid increase of gasoline and home utility costs. But since 2000, the Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) has increased average benefits just 24% while typical senior expenses have risen by 88%, almost four times as fast,” it reported.
Most of the 37 million older Americans who receive a Social Security check depend on it for at least half of their total income. For nearly 35% it is 90% of their income. Low income seniors are most affected by the loss of buying power since they have no other sources of income.
Those seniors in the low income bracket, can obtain some relief from their various city utility firms that offer incentives and low cost energy, both for electric and water.
Seniors are urged to take their request for a safety net to the attention of their city council representatives and to the AARP plus others that can make a difference and be advocates for their needs.
Senior LIVING welcomes your comments. Write to SL. Dept Economy, P.O. Box 2065, Glendale, CA 91209 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.