How To Budget Your Golden Years
In the short term, what is needed the most?
According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, the typical 65 and older senior household spends 35.4% percent of its total income on housing, 14.2% on transportation, 13.2% on healthcare, 12.4% on food and 5.1% on personal insurance .
According to the Pension Rights Center, the median income in 2018 for seniors 65-and-over was $43,696 for households and $25,601 for individuals. Meanwhile, 12% of those 65 and older are living at the poverty level.
When the NCOA surveyed aging network professionals, it learned that seniors usually make a variety of tradeoffs in order to manage their debt. They include forgoing needed home or vehicle repairs , cutting pills , avoiding social engagements , skipping medical appointments , missing rent or mortgage payments and skipping meals .
So, whats the ultimate answer to financial assistance for seniors?
Thats obviously a multi-pronged question. Fortunately, there are numerous agencies, resources and education services that can help senior citizens deal with their debt in a proactive manner.
Medicaid Waiver Program For Older Adults
In addition to the Medicaid Waiver for Older Adults program, people age 50 and over who require long-term care services can remain in their homes while still receiving assistance. These resources are meant to be beneficial to the elderly and those who, although they are not elderly, have some disability that prevents them from leaving their homes or moving regularly.
About Senior Citizens Debt Relief
Where have the years gone? Nearly every 60-something person has wondered and worried about the passage of time. One minute, youre starting a career and family, then seemingly in the blink of an eye, youre preparing for retirement.
But for many senior citizens, there are more urgent questions. Where has the money gone? Was it even here in the first place?
Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis and an expert on retirement, economic growth and tax issues, said that just two decades ago, many seniors were debt free when they approached retirement. The key issue was whether they could outlive their money.
These days, the goal has shifted to simply making ends meet for the rest of their lives.
The growth in debt among seniors is a bit concerning, especially when you consider the history, Villarreal said.
According to an Experian 2018 report, the average total debt for an adult over the age of 60 was $70,633. The number is substantially less than the average national total debt of $93,446, but keep in mind most retired seniors cannot pay off this debt without the cash flow from a 40 hour a week job.
A survey from Consumer Finances said the number of older Americans having mortgages or home equity loan payments rose from 26% in 1989 to 57% in 2013 . For those 75 and over, the figures have gone from 6% to 21% in the same time period.
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Pay Off The Loan With First Social Security Check
If a decision is ever made to borrow money be sure that the application for benefits is filed accurately. If it is not, then there could be a delay in when the first government check is issued. That could then in effect lead to more money being spent on interest for the loan in question, and the borrower could fall behind on their budgeted income/expenses. It is critical to apply correctly, as the first social security check from the government should be used to pay off the loan that expense needs to be paid off before any other bills that the senior citizen has.
This is one of the big risks. If a senior citizen decides to borrow money, but they do not complete their application correctly or if they are not eligible for some reason, the loan may be more challenging to pay off. So anyone that decides to borrow money need to be 100% sure they will receive their first payment in a timely manner.
What the Social Security Administration requires for applying is as follows. Note they could always come back on request additional material as well. So this is the bare minimum. The senior citizen should have copies of their tax returns, proof of being a U.S. citizen or lawful alien, original birth certificates, marriage licenses and more.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is available for low-income residents and assists them with rental costs. Individuals get to choose their own residence and are not limited to subsidized housing projects. You can choose where you want to live so long as it meets the qualifying requirements. The owner of the rental property you choose must also agree to rent the property using the voucher program.
To be eligible for this program, you must be a U.S. citizen and have a household income that is not more than 50% of the median income in your area. Once eligibility is determined and you have selected a residence where the owner agrees to this program, the local housing authority will inspect the property to ensure it qualifies for its voucher program. Conditions can vary depending on the housing authority in your region.
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Is There Senior Citizen Mortgage Assistance
As a senior or retiree, you may be wondering if there is senior citizen mortgage assistance for those buying homes later in life. After all, since you likely lived on a fixed income, you may have more trouble coming up with the money to purchase a home.
Fortunately, there are government home loans for senior citizens in the form of reverse mortgages or FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages .
An HECM works by allowing seniors to convert the equity in their homes into cash. This cash can then be used to take out a mortgage loan for the purchase of a new home.
You will have to meet certain requirements to qualify for HECM, one of which is you must be 62 years or older. Check out the rest of the requirements on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
Even with the HECM program, you should still compare rates for mortgages for seniors and retirees from multiple lenders. You could find special rates for senior citizens.
Now that you know how mortgages for seniors and retirees work, enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool below to find affordable mortgages for seniors and retirees today.
Get Free Motel Vouchers From Online For Homeless People
The organization that is providing free money and grants may ask you to submit a few documents to check your eligibility criteria. Some of the documents they might tell you to submit are income status, health statues and present living conditions. You need to submit those papers with full proof, however you should not provide them with fake information. Before submitting the documents you need to discuss with the authority about the process of the organization.
Prepare and check the application before submission
Whenever you are submitting an application it should be in writing. If you are searching for assistance like free money from organizations, they do not accept any verbal means of application. It should be documents consisting all the information that are required by the organization. You should need to go through the authentic sources of information and prepare your application. Remember any errors in the documents can get your application rejected. You can also try visiting the website of the organization to know detailed information about the application process. You need to submit all the authentic information to complete the application process. If any of the information is fake, it can get your application rejected, so it is better to submit accurate documents. If you find the process difficult, you can try hiring any professional expert to complete the application process. Do check the application form before submitting.
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Transportation Assistance For Low
There are institutions which offer free medical services to the elderly, even though this is not as common as it once was. They will be able to attend their medical appointments, go to the grocery store, and attend church, among other things. Churches and charities are often the ones managing these grants, and they are usually free or at very low cost. You can also contact the Salvation Army.
Social Security benefits can also be obtained by seniors. A person who meets the eligibility requirements can get their first check at age 62. Our emphasis must be on the fact that the longer they wait to apply for benefits, the more money they will receive month after month from the government.
All is not lost if the beneficiary needs additional funds or retirement payments are delayed. You can apply for supplemental loans. The funded money can be used to pay bills, cover medical expenses, or for other purposes. If you have questions, contact the Social Security Administration.
Organizations Can Help Unemployed In Hardship
Organizations can help you after you have exhausted the extensions, many local governments and private organizations may be able to offer you more help. Unlike unemployment benefits, these groups offer food, bill payment or help in finding employment based on need rather than your employment history. Often the need has to be applied and tested. You can find a list of these organizations on the website of your claims status or by contacting the local Social Security office.
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Are You Considered A Senior
In some provinces, the definition of senior is considered to be someone over 55. Other provinces define it as 65 or older. You must turn that age on the year of taxation and application to receive the grant for which you are applying. Be sure to keep this in mind for when you are applying to the different grants.
Can Senior Citizens Get Mortgages
Senior citizens can get mortgage loans just like everyone else it all depends on income, credit score, and cash available. Even seniors into their 90s can get mortgages if they qualify financially.
There are varying reasons for wanting a mortgage. Some seniors may want to downsize to a single-story home or a property that requires less upkeep or perhaps they want to be closer to family.
Some seniors even get mortgages to buy homes for their children who couldnt qualify for a loan.
No matter the reason, senior citizens are more than able to qualify for a mortgage. According to the Federal Trade Commission , elderly people are protected against discrimination from getting a home loan or any kind of credit based on their age. Its called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a federal law that protects borrowers against bias due to age, race, color, religion, national origin sex, marital status, or even those who get public assistance.
This means that all seniors are eligible to buy a home if they can qualify.
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The SNAP program, formerly known as Food Stamps, is a federal government program to help needy persons of any age pay for food. To qualify for benefits, households must meet strict resource and income limits. However, households in which all members receive SSI or TANF benefits are automatically assumed to meet the asset and income requirements for SNAP eligibility, and no further eligibility analysis is necessary.
Households with members who are elderly or disabled are allowed to have up to $3,000 in countable assets, such as cash or money in savings, checking and investment accounts.
The value of the primary residence is excluded from countable assets, as is the value of pension and retirement accounts. The fair market value of a vehicle up to $4,650 is always excluded from countable assets by federal rules, however states have the option to exclude an even higher amount.
In addition to asset limits, recipients must also meet income limits. Households with an elderly or disabled member must have anet monthly income below a certain level in order to qualify for SNAP assistance.
The household’s net income is calculated by subtracting certain deductions from the gross monthly income. These deductions include:
– 20% of earned income
– Standard deduction of $147 for household sizes of 1-3, and $155 for a household of 4.
– Dependent care deduction when necessary to enable a family member to work, attend school, or receive training.
– Court-ordered child support payments.
Warning Signs: When To Take Over Your Parents Finances
There are obvious warning signs when parents are no longer up to the financial task. Theres lots of unopened mail piling up. They are becoming forgetful about cash, while having difficulty with bill paying or balancing their checkbook. Creditors are calling. New purchases start showing up.
If you belong to the Sandwich Generation, its wise to integrate yourself into your parents financial picture as early as possible. That makes it more seamless when the time is right to take over.
What are the priorities?
- Account for Everything Assets, liabilities, debts and income. You need the complete picture. It could be a complicated process, so utilize tax returns and credit reports.
- Evaluate the Bills Make sure theyre not overextended, perhaps having bills past due or in collections. Then create a budget and a spending plan. If the situation is worse than expected, visit a free credit counseling service from a nonprofit agency.
- Get the Authority You need to be granted Power of Attorney. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published a series of guides to help people trying to manage someone elses funds.
- Document Everything Every move you make. Every single one. Write it down. When theres a paper trail, it eliminates potential hostility and second-guessing.
For seniors who are handling their own affairs, theres a basic rule of thumb: Get educated!
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Free Medical Care For Seniors
Even though older individuals suffer from many of the same medical conditions as young people, free health care centers can provide them with special assistance.
Prescription drugs, hearing aids, and basic checkups are some of the most frequently requested services. For older adults, there are several government programs and non-profit organizations available. Here is a list of programs that provide free health care.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is designed to help homeowners and their families manage costs associated with energy bills and energy-related home repairs. This program can help ensure that your home is prepared to battle the cold of winter and the heat of summer.
To be eligible for this program you must need financial assistance to cover home energy costs. If you already participate in other government assistance programs like SNAP, SSI, or TANF, you may be automatically eligible.
To qualify, your annual household income before taxes must be below set dollar amounts. You can see if you qualify using the tool available here.
What Kind Of Assistance Programs Are Available For Seniors
The senior people have to go a very bad condition due to older age, and they struggle heart and soul to meet their spending. The United States of America government provides different benefits programs and assistance programs to make sure they can live better and healthier in this age. There are grants for paying medication costs, health insurance, financial benefits, home care, and Medicare designed for the senior and elderly.
Housing Help For Senior Citizens
The Congregate Housing Services program offers state subsidies and other support services. Qualifiers must have low or moderate income, while living in senior housing. Also required is the need for daily help with activities such as personal services, meals and housekeeping due to advanced age or chronic health conditions.
Rent assistance vouchers, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by public housing agencies, are provided to qualifying seniors. The Section 202 voucher program was developed to help seniors live independently in safe and affordable housing. Individuals can get emergency rental assistance and along with support services such as cleaning, cooking and transportation.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program , designed for seniors with limited income, helps to pay heating and cooling bills, along with some energy-related home repairs.
Link Up , available to qualified low-income seniors, helps pay for the cost of basic local telephone services. Theres automatic eligibility for people who belong to Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . Call the sales department of your local phone company.
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Congregate Housing Services Program
Congregational Housing Services Program. Residents who qualify for this program can receive subsidies and other support services, typically at a lower or moderate income level. To qualify, the applicant must be living in an assisted living facility.
A chronic illness or advanced age may also require them to demonstrate that they need assistance completing certain daily tasks such as getting personal services, preparing their meals, and doing household chores.
Fraud, abuse and scams are often the order of the day, but elderly people are one of the most susceptible. On this issue, there are state laws and non-profit organizations that protect older people.
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