The elderly is a group of people who are growing in numbers. They have lived through the ups and downs of the last five and a half decades or more. They saw what the Great Depression did and they were scarred by its consequences in more ways than we can possibly imagine. Programs were not in place in that segment of history to support them in times of heart-rendering adversity. People went hungry and some people died. Others felt like they had lost their dignity, and some felt they had almost lost their souls. Social Security was later created as a safety net to help them get through adversity, and Medicare was created to give them a way to get the medical care they needed and could afford in their old age. Medical problems needed to be addressed early on, and the cost of medical care without good insurance, was financially a heavy burden for them to carry. So the new programs were developed to help the old in many necessary ways. What people needed and wanted back then are the same things people need and want now.
They want to be able to live independently on their own as much as possible. If they are able to work and want to, they need an avenue to do so part-time and be treated without discrimination in the workforce. They have valuable skills to pass on and they enjoy mentoring others. They need steady income to help them be able to work part-time. Social Security helps with that. Over the years, they have had money taken out of their pay checks to go into the fund to help support them. When they are ill, or disabled, they want income in order to be able to live with dignity. They get this from Social Security. The old need some way of adjusting the amount with a cost of living increase that is based more on food, utility bills, rent and property taxes, insurance premiums, transportation costs, etc. They cannot afford to have their income cut, for what ever reason. They have a difficult enough time making ends meet as it is. There needs to be a rule that if the old don’t get much of a COLA increase, than the members of Congress should not get much of a raise either.
I know a lot of people over 66 who live frugally off Social Security. They have no other money. Out of that amount comes Medicare B premiums every month, Supplemental Insurance premiums, Dental insurance premiums, Medicare D (drugs) premiums, and deductibles; rent or property taxes; house and car insurance premiums; food costs; gasoline costs; water,sewer, natural gas, electricity, and trash bills every month; car repairs; medication co-pays; and other bills. It helps to get their car and house paid off before retirement, or these costs also come out of Social Security.
For example: I know a woman, living alone, that received 900 dollars a month in Social Security after her husband died. Out of that amount came: $350 for rent; $60 for gas; $60 for electricity; $35 for water and sewer; $70 for trash for three months; money for bus rides; money to pay for yearly dog shots, licence, and dog food; food at the grocery store; and Co-pays of what Medicare does not cover. Medicare does not pay for Dental, most Hearing costs, or most glasses. This woman also pays for a telephone. Her biggest form of entertainment is watching T.V. and going to the grocery store. She needs $1200 dollars to get her teeth fixed. She has teeth pain as she waits to try to save money by cutting back on food. She gets help from the Government to enable her to pay for Medicare premiums based on her income. In the next post, Part Two of What Do The Elderly Want, I will list the other things that they want.