Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Do you know what the poverty trap is?
A poverty trap is a situation in which someone would have even less money by becoming employed (or getting a promotion) because the financial assistance from government agencies and social service agencies would be reduced or not available due to the increase in income. In other words, you can’t get out of poverty because if you do, you loose what you have and will end up having less than before getting a job.
People in their twenties or thirties still have the potential to break out of the poverty trap but people in their 60’s 70’s or 80’s have little hope of escaping. It not like we can go out and work a second job. Who’s gonna hire us anyway? Many of us can’t even work a first job much less a second one.
It not the cost of living that’s the problem for seniors, it’s the cost of simply trying to stay alive. Things like food, medication, housing, utilities, and other day to day necessities all contribute to financial hardship. I talk with other seniors while waiting in the food bank lines. We have the same things in common. We are struggling with normal living expenses.
Most seniors living solely on Social Security are just one major bill away from homeless. Hmm…. Did you know the fastest growing segment of homeless people are the seniors. Can you imagine being 70, 80, or 90 and living in a homeless camp?
Social Security is remaining the same due to the way the cost of living is calculated. The cost of living is based on the expenses of a young working person not the expenses of an older person. While our income remains the same our expenses continually go up. Take for example; the cost of medicare and the supplement insurance premiums have gone up and so has our co-pay. This means many of us older folks are having to choose between eating, paying our rent, or taking medications. Some seniors are skipping doctor appointments to avoid the costs. Some split pills or just don’t take medications in order to save money. I admit I’m guilty of this too. I’m using diet as my medication.
I don’t get any kind of government assistance. No food stamps or medicaid. I don’t qualify. Yes, I do have a small income from quilting. Its just enough income to give my kids and grand kids birthday or Christmas money and to do things for my mother in the nursing home.
What is the point of this post? Nothing in particular. I’m thinking about my future as a senior. Where do I go from here today? How long will I be able to continue quilting? If I’m already struggling financially what would I do without that little extra income if/when I’m no longer able to quilt? I’m just thinking and type talking while considering what the future will be for me. I have some decisions to make fairly soon.