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

money problems

Got money problems?

Are you having money problems? You are not alone. A lot of people, worldwide, have the same problem.

While younger adults can survive it, seniors often find it difficult to wiggle around the problem. Because of age, they have very few options to mitigate the problem.

And it is ironic that it comes at a time for joy and relaxation; a time to travel or do something interesting, reflect, write a book, or simply put one’s feet on a chair and take things easy.

Instead, you are frequently stressed out not knowing how to pay your bills, buy nutritious food, or your much-needed medicines. You don’t go out to save on transportation money, nor socialize to avoid unnecessary expenses.

You become a pariah to your own self. Money problems often shut you off from the world, make you want to dig a hole in the ground and disappear. It robs you of the freedom of choice.

I know how it feels because I was in a very grave financial situation a few years back. It was tough; it made me feel suicidal. What kept me going then was my wife who encouraged me never to give up.

And I did not.

In hindsight, I find it kind of funny that in the depth of your despair, that’s when you see the light.

I suddenly realized that agonizing over money will not make the problem disappear; money will not rain down from heaven even if you cry buckets of tears.

It made me realize that if you look at money problems from a different perspective, you will find valuable lessons from your misfortunes – the silver lining behind the dark clouds.

I still have money problems but not as serious as before. And that episode in my life made a better person of me. It helped me, and it can help you. I

Here they are:


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

If you consider money the centerpiece of your life, you will forever be miserable because you will never be satisfied with what you have, no matter how large a fortune it is.

So use it to give meaning to your life. Use it wisely and prudently. It is hard to come by, and once it is gone for good. And if you are a retiree, replenishing it is next to impossible.

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


2.  Live humbly:
I have learned over the years that pride ultimately drags you down.

There’s nothing wrong with self-confidence. In fact, we should all be confident with ourselves. But beyond that, when it becomes egoism, it is unhealthy – especially if your ego cannot be sustained or supported.

Live humbly. Humility has its rewards. Besides, after having reached this far, there is nothing to prove anymore, is there?

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


3.  Be practical in your purchases:
People often buy things due to peer pressure or because it is the “in thing.” They want to keep up with the Jones’s. Unwittingly, they get into serious money problems.

Don’t be like them. Buy things because they serve your needs and your budget. While some argue that expensive things last longer, you still have to balance the pros and cons before opening your wallet. There is no point in buying something that will outlive you.


4.  Learn from your mistakes:
They say that life is a good teacher. And it never makes a mistake – if only people heed its lessons.

Your financial problems are not caused by somebody else, or that you were born under an unlucky star. They are caused by the things you did in the past. So don’t ever do them again.

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


5.  Make a budget and stick to it:
Another experience I learned over the years is that the best way to get into money troubles is not having a budget.

No matter how small your financial resources are, have a budget. That is the only way to account and control your expenses. Without it, you will never know where your scant resources went. You will never know if you’ve bought all you need.

If Thomas Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital Management, has a budget, shouldn’t you?

He carries a list when he buys his groceries and will only carry the amount to cover them all. He says, “You couldn’t spend money you don’t have.”


6.  Save:
It may soon foolish to talk about saving if you have barely enough to last a month.

If you keep to your budget and exercise restraint in your spending, you can. It may be difficult, but it is a smart thing to do to cover unseen emergency expenses.

Set aside for the rainy days any amount you can squeeze off your budget. Over time, it can buy a loaf of bread or a box of milk.


7.  Sell a service:
If you have reached this far and still healthy you can earn a few dollars by selling a service.

If you have money problems, it would not be a bad idea to sell your skills to people or organizations in need of it.

There is nothing to be shy about it. You need extra cash, then go out and earn it. Besides, a lot of people are already into it, they created the work-from-home industry.

Money problems among seniors cannot be taken lightly because of the magnitude of the problem and its repercussions.

It can lead to physical and mental health problems put a strain on your relationships and can cause family breakups.

While it can be argued that your money problems have their roots way back, but it is up to you to stop them from spreading before they choke you to death.

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 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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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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Seniors’ Guide to Hassle Free Shopping Online

Online Shopping Senior - I Love This

Online Shopping Senior – I Love This

Since the prototype of online shopping was introduce in 1979 by Michael Aldrich, an English entrepreneur, more and more people are “leafing through their browsers” – electronic equivalent of window shopping.

Yes, in fact in 2012 two thirds of Americans, 50 yrs old and above, buy online – roughly 1/3 of the U.S.’s 193.5 million users. Read more