5 Money Tips for Seniors Facing Financial Difficulties

Gas, food, and utility bills all rise in cost while most seniors live on a fixed monthly income that does not increase. Even seniors who planned well for their retirement can easily find themselves facing financial problems. Fortunately, there are options out there for seniors to help keep their finances from spiraling out of control.

Senior Discounts

Many businesses provide senior discounts, but do not offer them unless requested. Seniors should always ask if there is a senior discount before making any purchase, whether it is getting a haircut or renting a motel room. Senior discounts often cuts costs by 10 – 50%. Little day-to-day savings can add up to a lot of extra money each month. Cutting your everyday costs can help free up extra money for bills or medications.

Join the AARP

The AARP offers numerous discounts for members and resources to help with senior financial planning. Additionally, the AARP offers a free tax preparation for seniors that helps them get a better tax return. One word of caution, the AARP is a consumer-based agency and does try to sell products to members. AARP discounts should only be used for products and services that seniors already plan on purchasing.

Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Homeowners over the age of 62 may want to consider a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is when a bank pays you for the equity you have in your home. In order to qualify, you must either have no existing mortgage or be able to pay off your existing mortgage with the funds from the reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages do not have to be repaid until the homeowner moves or passes away.

Government Assistance

Besides HUD, there are many other government programs available to help seniors with financial troubles. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides grants to qualifying seniors who have trouble with their utility bills. Seniors should also check with their utility providers to see if they offer senior discount plans. The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income families of all ages with food costs. Individuals who are not eligible for Medicare coverage can apply for state sponsored Medicaid coverage to offset their healthcare costs.

Get Financial Planning Help

Ideally, seniors should not have to live from check to check each month. Getting financial help with setting up a budget and putting away a little extra money each month for emergencies is a wise precaution. Seniors who cannot afford to hire a professional financial planner should consider asking their children for help or checking senior resources like the AARP website for financial planning assistance.

The worst thing anyone can do is to wait until a financial difficulty becomes a huge problem. Seniors who have live on a fixed income have to be especially careful to address problems early because they often don’t have the ability to earn extra money. Preparation and utilizing available resources goes a long way towards preventing financial disaster.

About the Author: Tony S. is a full-time writer, blogger, and graphic designer. He enjoys writing about finance, technology, and many other niches and has recently made contributions to CreditLoan.com.