Seniors on fixed incomes fight inflation
For 10 million seniors, Social Security represents at least 90% of their income. On average, payments amount to just over $1,600 per month.
HOUSTON — As consumer prices jumped 8.6%, according to the US Department of Labor, most Americans are feeling the pain.
Inflation is even higher for seniors on fixed incomes.
Joyce Silla is 71 years old and she sees inflation eating away at her savings.
“It’s gone, it’s sold out. No savings,” Silla said. “That’s it. If I can go from month to month, that’s fine.”
For 10 million seniors, Social Security represents at least 90% of their income. On average, payments amount to just over $1,600 per month. Inflation far exceeds this year’s cost of living increase on these benefits, even though it is the biggest increase in 39 years.
It’s not just food and gas either. Health care costs are rising and many retirement accounts have taken a hit.
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“It’s just a very difficult burden for some of these people to bear,” said AARP’s David Certner. “That’s when they have to make tough choices.”
At 70, Cynthia Tilford returned to work part-time at the University of Houston so as not to empty her accounts.
“The thought of retirement right now is really scary,” she said.
Given inflation, seniors can expect a near-record increase in Social Security next year.
For now, they can visit www.benefitscheckup.org to see what additional help is available. The site is managed by the National Council on Aging.
“We find that your older adults often leave seven grand in aid on the table,” said NCOA’s Ramsey Alwin.