Tips for Saving as a Senior

Once Americans reach Social Security retirement age, some begin to wonder how they can continue to afford their living expenses. Fortunately, there are many ways for seniors to save money and still be able to purchase everything that they need. For instance, Medicare becomes available once elderly citizens turn a certain age. Certain seniors may even be able to obtain PACE Medicare. Furthermore, elderly Americans who participated in retirement planning can begin taking advantage of all their accumulated savings.

Social Security Income, or SSI benefits may also be available to qualifying seniors. With this program, disabled or low-income elderly citizens are able to obtain financial support. CSFP, or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, is also an option for eligible older residents with limited incomes. On the other hand, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program may be a better option for other low-income senior Americans. Read further to learn valuable tips on saving as a senior citizen.

About Social Security Retirement Benefits

Americans who reach Social Security retirement age can benefit greatly from regular monthly income. They obtain this financial assistance by applying for Social Security retirement benefits. Seniors can submit an application once they are 61 years and nine months of age. While elderly Americans are not required to apply for Social Security benefits, they will set themselves up for a more financially stable future if they do. To maximize their SSA retirement benefits, seniors should carefully figure out the age they plan to retire.

Social Security retirement amounts differ depending on seniors’ retirement age. Older citizens can choose to retire at 62, 65 or 70 years of age. Typically, waiting until 70 years of age will result in greater financial benefits. Exact monthly SSA benefits depend on the length of time that a senior worked earlier in life. However, those who retire later can receive approximately $500 to $1000 more than those who do so earlier.

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TIP BOX

Make sure you apply as soon as you think you are eligible for disability or senior benefits. Some programs will not offer payment for previous months.
Make sure you apply as soon as you think you are eligible for disability or senior benefits. Some programs will not offer payment for previous months.
Learn About Food Stamps for Seniors

Foods stamps for seniors may be available to qualifying low-income elderly Americans. Many seniors with limited incomes, such as those relying on Social Security, qualify for food assistance. There are two government programs that provide such assistance for older residents. One is the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The other is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Both enable seniors to afford nutritious food even with a low income.

About the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) helps low-income seniors purchase eligible food items with coupons provided by the government. Elderly residents can buy the following items using the coupons:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Honey
  • Fresh-cut herbs

Under SFMNP, seniors can shop for healthy foods at local farmer’s markets. In addition, they may purchase foods from roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs. Through this program, eligible seniors can save money on their grocery trips while purchasing nutritious food that will help them live healthier lives.

About the Commodity Supplemental Food Program

CSFP, or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, is food assistance that helps seniors 60 years of age and older improve their health through food. Under the program, elderly Americans receive a monthly food package of nutritious foods. Participating in the Commodity Food Program will help seniors keep their food costs low so they can focus on other important bills and payments.

Guide to Retirement Planning

Senior retirement planning options are plentiful and produce best results when thoroughly considered. The purpose of retirement income planning is to estimate the expected expenses that will accumulate throughout retirement versus projected income. Note that retirement savings can be a senior’s sole source of income. A successful retirement plan enables seniors to have enough money to last them through approximately 18 to 22 years of retirement. Even low-income seniors with small retirement accounts can benefit from retirement planning as long as they invested into their accounts during working years.

Seniors should look over the types of retirement plans they invested in when they were employed. Part of planning for retirement involves deciding when to access certain accounts. For instance, a 401k account is available to access without penalty once a senior is 55 years of age. However, elderly Americans can continue to invest into that account until 70 ½ years of age. Furthermore, seniors with Roth IRA accounts can begin withdrawing at 59 ½ years of age. Pensions are another retirement option for many seniors who remained with a company for an extended period of time. As with other retirement options, a pension plan allows seniors to withdraw funding after they retire. Successful planning involves understanding the terms, conditions and benefits of many retirement scenarios and them choosing the most financially beneficial option.

Learn About Medicare

The Medicare program is available for seniors who are 65 years of age and older. While there are certain restrictions to Medicare coverage, elderly citizens can still benefit from many services. For instance, older Americans can receive high-cost medical services such as occasional hospital stays under Medicare Part A without paying monthly premium.

By enrolling in supplemental Medicare insurance, such as Part B or prescription drug coverage, seniors can still save money. Although plans other than Part A require a monthly premium payment, they can still help to reduce medical costs. For example, Medicare benefits for Part B include free and low-cost preventative care services and screenings. Moreover, while elderly Americans who enroll in the Part D prescription drug plan must pay Medicare premiums, they will still save money on hundreds of generic and name-brand medications.

The PACE program is another way for elderly Americans to save money on necessary healthcare services. Under PACE, eligible seniors can receive nursing home-level care and be able to obtain:

  • Dental care.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Meals.
  • Specialty medical services.
  • Prescription medication.
  • Nutritional counseling.
  • Social services.
  • Transportation for medical appointments.

PACE Medicare is available to seniors who are enrolled in Medicare but it may not available in all states. Moreover, elderly citizens eligible for Medicaid will not be required to pay a premium for long-term health services. However, seniors not qualified for Medicaid can still save money through PACE because there is no deductible or copayment for drugs and services provided by PACE healthcare professionals.

Find Out About Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income program is another simple way for seniors to save money. SSI benefits include a regular and dependable monthly income. Elderly residents who collect a limited income, such as in the form of retirement payments, can easily qualify. The SSI benefit amount varies depending on income and state but seniors can expect approximately $700 per month as individuals and $1000 as partners.

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