Elderly Poverty: Shocking but True and What You can Do About It

Health Secrets

Elderly poverty

Elderly poverty – shocking but true!

Elderly poverty is true and shocking but you hardly notice it, or ignore it. You’re so busy with your own life to give it any attention.

But it is all around you. You see it each time you take a walk or go to your neighborhood convenience store. They are those dirty and bedraggled senior citizens sleeping on street corners, alleys and even subways.

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Simple Tips to Avoid Money Problems

Health Secrets

Got money problems?

Money problems can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sex or financial situation.

While younger people may be able to squeeze out of it with ease, the elderly often get mired in all the problems that come with lack of money.

Elderly people no longer have the agility, stamina, and resourcefulness of their younger counterparts. Being retired and living off a pension that hardly makes both ends meet, they are forced to skimp on things that could have made their retirement fun and enjoyable.

Because of this, elderly people are the poorest demographic in many countries including the U.S. A lot of American senior citizens are hobbled with money problems due to decreasing assets, high loan interest payments, and day-to-day budgeting problems.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, 44.4 percent of households led by people 65 and above are deep in debt due to a home mortgage, co-authored student loans, credit card and insurance payments, loan refinancing or default payments.

Are you one of them? Do you sometimes feel like a circus juggler trying your best not to let a ball slip through your fingers for fear of embarrassing consequences if one does?

If you are not, don’t be smug about it. Any of the unforeseen vagaries in life can send you from your high perch directly to a shelter for the homeless, or line up in soup kitchens. It has happened to a lot of people before, it can happen to you.

Before it does (knock on wood), try these…

Simple tips to avoid money problems:

I am living off a very small social security pension which is just enough to pay the bills. A little help from my children and the proceeds of my late wife’s real properties which we sold off allowed me to survive this far.

I know how it is to face money problems each day. It has also made me devise ways to cope with it.

Here’s how…

1.  A good attitude about money:
Money is a tool to sustain life, not life itself.

So use it wisely and prudently. Just because you have an ax doesn’t mean you have to hack at everything that comes your way.

Once it is gone, it is gone for good. And if you are a retiree with no means or replenishing it, you will soon be deep in money problems.

Howard Schultz said: “…I have never defined myself by my net worth. I always try to define myself by my values.”


2.  Live humbly:
Henry David Thoreau said, “I make myself rich by making my wants few.”

Nothing is lonelier than a man ridiculed and vilified after spending his fortune on his friends.

I learned this lesson from my father. When he was on top of his world, our neighbors drooled around his feet. When his fortunes reversed, he was smirked at as he passed by.

You will never be remembered for the expensive things you had, but by how you touched other people’s lives.


3.  Go for what is comfortable, not expensive:
This is my mantra since the beginning and taught this value to my children.

If it is good enough for the price you are willing to pay for, why buy something that will just put pressure on your budget?

Sadly, keeping up with the Joneses is one of the unwholesome values of man. That’s why there are more poor than rich.

Don’t be one of them.


4.  Learn from your mistakes:
Barely three months after retirement, I lost a third of my retirement package through an investment fraud. That experience still sends shivers of anger down my spine – not against the fraudster but for being so stupid.

Bill Gates said, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it’s important to heed the lesson of failure.”

Remember you are beyond your prime when bouncing back from costly money mistakes is practically impossible.


5.  Save:
This is a no-brainer, yet so many people go into retirement with not enough savings, or none at all. In fact, according to time.com 28% of people aged 55 years and above have no retirement savings.

The reasons are fairly common, i.e., credit card payments, child’s college education, small salary, mortgage payments, etc. While they may be valid, they don’t necessarily make it impossible to save.

If you spend first, then save the rest, you can never save. It is only by saving a little first then spending the rest.

You may have to for substitutes or buy what you need, not what you want. No matter how small, over the course of a year, a penny saved every day will be substantial tomorrow.


6.  Stick to your budget:
Thomas Boone Pickens, chairman of the BP Capital Management, makes a list before going to the grocery and buys only what is on his list. He carries no more money than he needs. According to him, “You couldn’t spend money you don’t have.”

Yet he has money, lots of it. He is worth at least $1 billion.

Next to saving, budgeting is one thing people don’t want to do, or won’t do. They say the money they have is not worth budgeting.

Wrong. The less you have, the more you need to make a budget and stick to it.


7.  Learn some DIY stuff:
David Cheriton cuts his own hair to save on barbers.

For a guy who is worth $1.7 billion, this might be carrying things a bit far. But it does make a lot of sense not to pay for things you can do yourself.

Each time I mow my lawn, my neighbors would tell me to hire someone to do it. I can, but I don’t want to. Not only do I save a few bucks, I also get to exercise.

There are so many things around the house you can do yourself rather than hire someone to do it for you.

Money problems among the elderly cannot be taken lightly. It can affect your physical and mental health, put a strain on your relationship, and may cause family breakups.

It can make your retirement life a living hell.

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

Image: http://time.com/money/4258451/retirement-savings-survey/

How to Avoid Financial Exploitation


This could happen to you…

Bob, a successful businessman suffered a stroke at age 60. A little later he suffered another one.

After the second, one his two sons moved in to take care of him. And he did.

First, he convinced his parents to move to a place where the climate is warmer.

Second, forging his parents’ signature, he moved their financial statements to a P.O. box address and instructed their financial advisor to wire funds into the new bank account.

By the time they knew it, he had already stolen $3 million dollars from his own parents, forcing his mother to put his father in a nursing home as she could no longer take care of him.

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How to Prevent Budget Problems

Health Secrets

Do you know what I, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg have in common?

We all live according to a budget.

The difference is that while theirs can buy a yacht, I can’t afford a canoe with mine.

But that’s not the point. The point is, regardless how large or small your bank account is, you still must have a budget. In fact, the smaller your net worth is, the more you need to have a budget.

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When is Retirement Not Fun


Retirement is fun when…

You are healthy and awash in cash;

Your home is home is mortgage-free and your children are done with college, and are successful in their careers;

Surrounded by supportive children, great friends, and a vibrant social circle;

You have a dozen or so grandchildren jostling each other for a favorite spot near your feet to hear you tell them stories of yore;

You can dine out at least once a week, and a member of a social, health, or sports club;

You can go for a vacation once a year or find a place for solitude anytime you want.

If you check out with some or all of the above, you have done well in life. Congratulations! You did ample preparations way, way before retiring and are now enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Retirement, for you, is fun, enjoyable, and rewarding

But if you are living alone, lonely, sickly, with no social interaction, and no place to go even if you want to, then retirement is definitely not fun. Retirement is boring, and an ordeal, especially if you are living off Social Security.

And there are plenty of them near you. In fact, it is likely that within a mile radius from your home, or favorite health or sports club, are seniors who are having difficulty getting by on a day-to-day basis.

One of them is Barbara Woodruff.


When is Retirement not Fun?

Barbara Woodruff, 62 years old, from St. Louis, MO, lost her job as a cashier, then lost her apartment and car when the recession hit. Unable to find another job, she was forced to avail of Social Security benefits.

Now she is one of 9 out of 10 Americans 65 yrs and older, subsisting on social security.

“It is very difficult,” she says of her $ 633.00/mo, income. She had to skimp so much on her expenses and has to improvise just to get by.

Can you survive on $633.00/mo? I guess not!

Barbara is surviving (but more of that later).

To give you an idea how difficult things are for her and her like, her social security income is well below the average of $1,294.00/mo. This is because she skipped a few contributions due to medical reasons.

But even if she is getting the average, she still has a huge shortfall because the average monthly expenses of a 65-yr-old person living in his mortgage-free home is $1,645.00/mo, according to the advocacy group Wider Opportunities of Women

Retirement is not fun, if month after month you face a gaping hole in your budget and you have no means to fill it.

To survive, Barbara availed of subsidized housing which cost her $ 189.00/mo, for a one-bedroom apartment. Then she spends $33.00/month for food stamps, $45.00/mo for cell phone service, and $35.00 on internet service. The rest goes for medicines for her thyroid and cholesterol conditions, and for emergencies.

“My social life is virtually non-existent,” she says. “I can do dinner at a friend’s house or occasionally I might go out if it’s someplace cheap, but going out for drink or dinner, I just can’t do that anymore.”

Retirement is not fun if you have no freedom to choose.


It could be Worse:

Man is a complaining animal. Nothing is ever good to us. We always find something to complain about, be dissatisfied with. We think the other guy is better off than us; that we should have what is due us.

Well, next time you lose your appetite, or don’t like your lunch or dinner, remember that a lot of retirees with practically nothing to eat.

According to the NCOA (National Commission on Aging), in 2014, 10.2 million Americans, 15.8% of adults aged 60+, faced the threat of hunger.

If you have problems sleeping because something is wrong with your bed, pillows, or bed sheets, remember that 4.5 million seniors, 65 + have no homes or living in shelters.

Despite having the resources to go out and enjoy, you still feel bored with life, remember that millions of retirees like you are barely surviving.

If you feel lonely and alone, there are no less than 11 million adults, 65 + who live alone and isolated.

I opted to retire from a comfortable and well-paying job with lots of perks and international travel. I was sick with office politics. I thought it better to put my retirement fund into an investment portfolio.

I imagined doing nothing but enjoy retirement life while my investment would regularly deposit interest earnings into my bank account.

I was never more wrong. It was a very fatal mistake.

My investment collapsed right before my eyes, like ice cream under a noonday sun.

All my wife’s jewelries were pawned, never to be redeemed. I scrounged for money for my daily needs, plus my children’s school allowance and tuition fees. Ultimately I borrowed money to put my daughter through medical school

That was the most harrowing time in my life. It made me promise never to put myself into such situation again.

Both my children finished college, and are now married and having their own lives. And I am finally having fun in my retirement.

How is that for a happy ending? Can you say the same of yours?

Image: http://specialprojects.pressherald.com/aging/swallowing-their-pride-to-avoid-going-hungry/

Health Secrets


How to Make Sure You are Buying Genuine Drugs Online

Warning: 30% of drugs bought online are fake!

The courier has barely left after delivering your online order, but you are already tearing off its outer packing, like a child doing away the wrapper off a gift he was longing for.

Inside is a new prescription drug for your heart condition. Well, it is not exactly new but an alternative of what you have been taking for years.

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Warning: What Happened to Steve Can Happen to You

Online Fraud – the crime of the 21st Century.

Steve was having a retirement life that could make a lot of seniors green with envy. A live-alone, 65-yr-old dude, he is medically and financially sound. But his retirement funds were not giving him a satisfactory return so he thought of investing a part to diversify his portfolio.

That’s when his troubles began.

This is his story…


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Every Day a lot of Seniors are Robbed. Don’t be One of Them

Stanley Podolski, 88 with wife of 66 years, Eleanor, 85-yrs-old. - he foiled a fraud.

Stanley Podolski, 88 with wife of 66 years, Eleanor, 85-yrs-old. – he foiled a fraud.

Do you know that each year, hundreds of thousands of American seniors are robbed of their hard earned retirement funds

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of seniors are victims of fraud and theft,” says Ann Harkins, president and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council. Then she adds, “Many Americans cannot ID the red flags of fraud, and they are not familiar with what to look for.”

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