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Old 03-07-2017, 11:58 PM
 
806 posts, read 1,274,294 times
Reputation: 439

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I'm nowhere near retirement yet, but I am helping 2 seniors who are both on SS. One is my mother-in-law, but her $900 SS is being supplemented by her 2 loving sons who give her $1000 each a month. I have been very concerned about how to care for mom if she is unable to care for herself as she would not qualify for Medicaid. She doesn't fit the topic of this thread.

But the other senior does. He gets $900 from SS, $200 of which is SSI. This senior also receives Medicaid. Rent is around $335 for a shared room in a big house with other roommates. He lived in the ghetto. After the bills were paid, he said not much was left and that collecting recyclables gave him an extra $100, which helped out a lot.

He recently had a stroke and is in a nursing home. Just some things I've learned since helping him out:

- HICAP: If you have any questions or problems with Medicare, call HICAP for free, unbiased counseling.

- Cost of Medicare: For low income seniors, there's Extra Help with the cost.

- When to sign up for Medicare: Make sure you sign up 3 months prior to turning 65, even if you don't plan to use Medicare. Sign up on time or you will forever be charged a late enrollment fee, which could be as much as $200/mo for the rest of your life!

- If you are on Medicare, pick your Part C Advantage Plan carefully. This senior had a decent plan, but after the stroke, he found out just how awful they were. Since he had dual coverage (Medi-Medi, as they call it), he is able to switch in and out of plans monthly, not just during open enrollment in the fall. I switched him to a new plan after his plan denied coverage and it's been a huge benefit. This new plan covers so much!

- If any of you end up in a nursing home, pick your nursing home carefully also. Once you've selected a home, it is sooo hard to transfer out!

- Free cell phone: Low income seniors can get a free government issued cell phone through the LifeLine program. I'm familiar with Assurance Wireless, but there are many companies out there.

There may be more, but this is all I can think of at 10:52 pm. Time for some zzzz.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,572,968 times
Reputation: 16777
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
So now we're going to ignore things like medical care and good full service hospitals?

Maybe you can afford to do that. I sure can't.

There is also the issue of social isolation. Also services such as transportation.

Those very very small towns that are so cheap to live that you "don't need subsidies" - and if you are on SSDI you WILL still need subsidies as the max benefit is around $750 - $800 per month - also have no services, no meals on wheels, no elder/handicap transport, and few shopping opportunities for groceries and sundries. No or very small senior citizen centers. No or very bad cable, no or very expensive and slow internet. No movie theaters. Too far from broadcast TV and sometimes even broadcast radio to pick up a signal.

I know of no small town where you can rent an apartment for under $400 a month, and I'm talking VERY small cities of 1200 or less. Not even there are rents that cheap. Maybe in a crime-ridden slum.

You have an extremely unrealistic view of what is possible.
This is true. I live in a small town, but its not that small. The city has many of those services, just that they might not work so well for you. They have a senior citizens bus, and it takes people to doctors or the store. I got to the store that way. Then I arrive with my basket FULL of food and they looked surprised. Where was I going to put it? Who shops when you have limited chance and gets a few sack fulls? Even with a car, I will buy all I need, know how much was spent and can guess how long it will last. It would be useless to just get a sack or two. I quit taking the bus and get a ride from someone who doesn't complain when I fill the basket. The Walmart has a subway so I get him a sandwitch for thanks.

I have Dish, which is cheaper. Really is, and compare costs. I bought, and my house is small and old, but I like old and I wanted small. Will you have outside of that enterrainment easy to get to? No, but if you don't need that, if watching a movie a home with icecream and a good dinner works fine you can get around that.

They have a senior center, but I didn't feel comfortable and the food didn't look appetising, and I have to be picky about food. I guess I and most of the people my age here live in slightly different universes. Doesn't bother me but unless I knew someone who liked to play cribbage and was good I wouldn't hang around.

It all depends on what you want. I like my location since its NOT busy and if you'd like to not be bothered you won't be. I think no doubt if I did relate better I'd like some of the social things. But I've always been a loner.

You can also find small towns close enough to active areas that you can get away pretty easy, but then go home to peace and quiet. And I own my home. It was bought for less than a down payment out in the big world. I like that its mine and I don't have to ask for permission to paint or whatever. We're actually close enough to a larger city that with a car it would be easy to get whatever you need, along with movies and such. And a university.

Pick carefully, but small towns can be a good choice for an affordable and laid back place to live.
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,571,770 times
Reputation: 29034
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
Every state has Area on Aging regional offices. These have hotlines to call where you can find out about senior programs like transportation, food stamps, home delivered meals, Medicaid, in home health care, etc.
Also they usually have a subsidized housing list as mentioned by Minervah.
Most counties have senior centers where community resource info can be obtained as well.
Lots of support if you are 60+.
Good advice. In most states Councils on Aging are organized by county. Google the name of your county plus phrases like "aging services" or "government senior citizen services." Call the place and ask for a consultation with a social worker. They will know about all the helpful options available for people over 65 in your area.

I contacted them for information when my disabled mother moved in with me and they were so helpful. I even got a free consultation with an attorney specializing with eldercare issues to make sure my mother's legal documents were all in order. He gave me great advice on organizing her finances and making sure I had everything I needed for when she is hospitalized or I have to make decisions on her behalf.

The social worker I spoke to explained respite care services, transportation options, and places where my mother could socialize with other seniors, get exercise, take classes, etc. Take advantage of what is offered.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:49 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,172 posts, read 1,272,094 times
Reputation: 4492
Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyDrew1 View Post
The OP's point seemed clear to me that it was directed to the poorer folks.
Of course it was, that was obvious. But being just on SS alone does not mean that, covers a huge range of predicaments as I illustrated. The information provided in this thread is very valuable, again, no debating that. The exact same information is also already in a ton of other threads about living on a shoestring, on a tight budget when unable to work part time. Etc, etc. There is nothing really wrong with another "living on low means" thread, this forum is chock full of repetitive threads. I made the point a while back that soon I'm sure my participation will drop off as it has in other forums where it becomes the same information over and over again. But by wording question as "just SS" income then it opened the thread to predicted abuse.

What the forum needs (and may have somewhere for all I know) is someone with good organizational skills to compile categories of useful information such as provided here and in many others, and cut out all the krap, and make it a concise sticky. Then when people ask the same question over and over again, posters can simply reply "RTFS" (Read The Free Sticky).......gotcha.

Then if they have a queetion about that information, the sticky can be clarified or discussed. Lots of other forums do that.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:34 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,196 posts, read 2,865,272 times
Reputation: 4902
We sat down the other day with retirement planners. NOT financial advisors... but actual planners. They call themselves fiduciaries and yes, they charge for their services if you sign up with them. I was looking for strategies for when to claim SS, when my spouse (who is 2 years younger than I) should claim SS - and when to
dig into the 401K.

I think there's not enough of this kind of planning out there. We would be guessing a lot and probably causing ourselves harm..

The company has this as it's charter: To deliver comprehensive wealth management solutions through a team of independent planners and an industry-leading network of Financial advisors, Social Security experts, Medicare experts, Real-estate professionals, Mortgage officers, Insurance agents, Accountants, Estate planners and Attorneys.

Provides retirees and those planning their future retirement with a range of financial planning services. Offers comprehensive retirement plans and client education through the accumulation and distribution phases of assets. The team of advisors focus on saving and allocating funds in order to assure retirees will have sufficient resources throughout all stages of retirement. The company analyzes Social Security benefits, 401(k) accounts, pensions, and other relevant retirement accounts.

I know there's a lot of guessing going on out there. I would think this would be a boon industry.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,696,516 times
Reputation: 35450
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
We sat down the other day with retirement planners. NOT financial advisors... but actual planners. They call themselves fiduciaries and yes, they charge for their services if you sign up with them. I was looking for strategies for when to claim SS, when my spouse (who is 2 years younger than I) should claim SS - and when to
dig into the 401K.

I think there's not enough of this kind of planning out there. We would be guessing a lot and probably causing ourselves harm..

The company has this as it's charter: To deliver comprehensive wealth management solutions through a team of independent planners and an industry-leading network of Financial advisors, Social Security experts, Medicare experts, Real-estate professionals, Mortgage officers, Insurance agents, Accountants, Estate planners and Attorneys.

Provides retirees and those planning their future retirement with a range of financial planning services. Offers comprehensive retirement plans and client education through the accumulation and distribution phases of assets. The team of advisors focus on saving and allocating funds in order to assure retirees will have sufficient resources throughout all stages of retirement. The company analyzes Social Security benefits, 401(k) accounts, pensions, and other relevant retirement accounts.

I know there's a lot of guessing going on out there. I would think this would be a boon industry.
I believe their fees are pretty high though. They take a certain percentage of what is earned. People who are on limited incomes especially aren't going to have enough to justify the fees.

The topic here is people living on Social Security. They are not going to have the funds as in 401ks or similar savings accounts to justify going to a fiduciary.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:13 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,196 posts, read 2,865,272 times
Reputation: 4902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I believe their fees are pretty high though. They take a certain percentage of what is earned. People who are on limited incomes especially aren't going to have enough to justify the fees.

The topic here is people living on Social Security. They are not going to have the funds as in 401ks or similar savings accounts to justify going to a fiduciary.
Point taken.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:24 AM
 
197 posts, read 243,755 times
Reputation: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
Jasper you & Escort Rider have made my day with your gracious replies to each other. Thank you for making this a better place. :-)

I was thinking the same thing! What a lovely thing to see
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,224,664 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
<snip>
I continue to stay informed regarding the various programs that are subsidized by the federal government and am somewhat concerned that they will be severely cut or eliminated. <snip>
There is currently a HUD document that proposes to cut senior housing assistance by approximately 10% and housing assistance for the disabled by 20%.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.42e41dbbf502

Also, the proposed replacement for the ACA significantly cuts funding via block grants for Medical Assistance - including Long Term Care services.

Prempt: This is not fake news.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,670 posts, read 3,717,053 times
Reputation: 8711
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
There is currently a HUD document that proposes to cut senior housing assistance by approximately 10% and housing assistance for the disabled by 20%. ... Prempt: This is not fake news.
It may not be fake news, but I would hope people would read the whole thing before passing judgement on its contents:

"... While suggesting significant cuts, the preliminary budget maintains the same level of funding to rental assistance programs and avoids reductions that could directly put families on the streets. Instead, it targets funding for building maintenance and community development projects, although HUD recommends in the budget document that those projects receive funding from another source. ...

HUD spokesman Jereon Brown said the budget document “is still a work in progress.” The budget document appears to be part of a back-and-forth with federal budget officials, and it is unclear whether the proposed cuts will be included in the president’s final budget proposal...."

That is: it's a PRELIMINARY budget, still a work in progress (which is to say a starting point for discussion and negotiation), and rental assistance would not be affected. If it forces HUD to examine their programs and payments and eliminate the waste that's always present in a bloated bureaucracy, I'm all for it.
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