The upcoming recession which has caused major job losses in certain sectors along with increased inflation rates has taken a toll on a segment of the population considered among the most vulnerable.
One woman, Fran Seely, barely scrapes by on her $925 monthly social security checks as she struggles to keep up with her living expenses which include her meals, utilities, and other common monthly obligations.
As inflation has risen past 8% in recent months, American consumers are spending as much as $363 additional dollars on their grocery budget, in addition to twice as much to fill up at the gas pump. These prices have pushed millions of senior citizens into near-crisis mode as they decide between costly medications and covering basic necessities like food and rent payments.
I have to cut back in any way I can. I find myself going into stores and saying, ‘No, I don’t need that.- Fran Seely
Although Seely owns her home outright, she is still below the required income threshold of $22,476 for elderly single homeowners, which increases an additional $5,000 for renters in the same demographic. Currently, she relies on just under $300 in retirement benefits and had to take out a reverse mortgage to make ends meet, which pays roughly $400 per month.
For those in poor health who may face illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, hip replacements, or others requiring daily medication and frequent doctor visits, the situation becomes even more dire. According to research, the average social security disability payment provides about $1234 dollars, however, it pales in comparison to the actual cost of living in places like Oregon, which is closer to $3,479 monthly.
As inflation rates trend higher and people are working longer, for some financial security in retirement is becoming more of an elusive dream.