by Marge Crawford
Discuss issues that older adults (62+) face today that are peculiar to older adults of the previous
generation. My report will give information about the issues that seniors face today with some suggestions
of dealing with these special problems and hopefully give encouragement.
NOTE: I appreciate any feedback concerning this writing. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many articles with research have been written concerning the problems faced by older adults in America. My writing is an attempt to bring some information to our generation so that we can better understand what has transpired to change our way of life.
Thomas Day, Director of National Care Planning Council (wrote a book, How to Deal with 21 Critical Issues Facing Aging Seniors (2014). He also wrote an article concerning this matter, ‘Understanding the Issues Facing Aging Seniors’. He writes in his book in depth and explains these issues so well. Sometimes we think we are experiencing these issues that cause us anxiety and worry but in actuality these are common with other seniors.
Another article entitled Seniors and the problems they face, addresses the issues today that Seniors deal with. (Bizymoms, People and Relationship, Elderly Problems)
‘Moms and dads, who toiled and strived to bring up their children have now come to the end of their lives and are all of them able to live in happiness towards the end of their lives? Certainly, not all. It is only a handful of senior citizens who are financially stable or even extremely wealthy and healthy who are able to enjoy life to the fullest as they are void of any responsibilities and with economic stability they possess.
But for most of them, poverty has had the adverse effects at the tail end of their lives. Though some of them are still capable of working in most cases they are not offered jobs. There are also those who are far too senior and should not be working but yet due to lack of finances and no other options they are compelled to work. Would they ever be able to take that well deserved rest or would they have to work until they go their graves?
Poverty impacts so many other aspects. To be able to afford 3 square meal is a luxury for some of them. This is more apparent in developing countries. The seniors are so dependent on their children but the meager earnings the children receive is barely enough for their own families and the parents.
Poverty also impacts a very important aspect of their lives, i.e. health care. In countries where free medical benefits are not available seniors are unable to find means to pay medical insurance or medical bills. If their health requires surgery or any other medical attention short or long term, how will a senior citizen be able to afford it. Are they going to be left to die?
Even to go visiting their friends and relatives and to enjoy their company is a luxury that they can ill afford as they do not have the means to get about nor even afford a taxi. In some countries where public transport is not available to all, they have nothing to keep themselves entertained but to sit at home all day waiting for their Masters call.
It seems as if life has robbed them of their hope. Due to poverty they do not have anything to look forward to. Festivities mean nothing to them as they do not have the means to celebrate.
Due to poverty some senior citizens lose their independence. They live on hand outs and at the mercy of others.
Though they dedicated their whole life to their children, when it is their turn to take care, children sometimes wash their hands off them and parents who are senior citizens are left without dignity. What emotional pain they go through. ‘
If a senior citizen should be critically ill and is in need home care, they would never be able afford such a luxury and what consequences they may have to face would be unimaginable.
The problems a senior citizen has to face are many and what can be hoped is these situations will be addressed in the near future.
RETIREMENT HISTORY. The American Express Company established the first private pension plan
in the United States in an effort to create a stable, career oriented workforce.
1919– Over 300 private pension plans exist, covering approximately 15 percent of the nation’s wage
and salary employees.
1935–Social Security is enacted, establishing age 65 as the normal retirement age. At the time of
enactment, it was believed most workers would not live for an extended period after retirement and
thus would receive Social Security benefits for a minimal amount of time.
1) FINANCIAL. According To the Social Security Administration,the average monthly Social Security
payment was $1,341 in January 2016. That’s enough income for a married couple each receiving this
amount to cover basic expenses such as housing, food,transportation, healthcare and utilities,
according to U. S. News Analysis of Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics Data.”
My Personal family history concerns my great-grandmothers that I did not know personally but have
written about them. Although they had their own homes that they owned, their failing health forced
them to have to leave and live with one of their children until their deaths. All their lives they worked
hard to raise their children and keep their farms but old age for them was not pleasant. I hear many
people complain today about contributing to the social security fund which they believe will be
depleted when they need it. But generally, men die before women and and today these women have the
means to live independent in apartments they can afford. Then they are not a burden to their families
and society. Imagine what the poverty level would be without this benefit.
With our population today life expectancy has moved from the 80s to the 90s. This has caused
anxiety about monies put aside to augment social security. Some people live on Social Security but
it is difficult with today’s cost of living going up all the time, i.e. gasoline,groceries, drugs, etc.
Granted most seniors will slow down and not be as active late in life but no one likes to be home
bound due to lack of money to do anything.
Senior Citizens can earn additional income through full-time or part-time work, temporary positions
and freelance and consulting work, notes John Mackey for The Motley Fool. Other ways of earning
extra money include selling possessions, garden produce or hobbies and crafts; delaying receipt of
Social Security benefits; renting out extra rooms; reviewing investments to determine whether there
are poorly performing investments to replace.
For those who do retire with IRAs and a 401 K the senior must make a decision about where to put
the monies to enable them that the money be available during the retirement years. Depending on
your risk position that is where the funds should be placed. The general categories are:
Low Risk: CDs and bond market; Medium Risk: Mutual funds in certain sectors (energy, healthcare,
retail, etc.); High Risk: Stock market
Always ask what the fees are for the adviser. These costs are usually hidden.
A Book that is helpful for making financial decisions for senior citizens, is entitled Personal finance
for Seniors For Dummies. (You can order this book on the Shop page of this website.)
Personal Finance For Seniors For Dummies is basic enough to help novices get their arms around
financial issues, while also challenging advanced readers to identify areas for improvement.
Financial security. Only about one in five people believe they will need support managing their finances as they get older. But professionals think otherwise. They say most older people will need help figuring out their finances, especially when it comes to medical bills.
Sudden bills. Seniors worry about the constantly increasing cost of living, as well as a sudden and unexpectedly large medical expense. Professionals agree that an unexpected medical problem is the biggest concern for an aging population.
Cutting costs. When looking to save money, people turn to senior discounts and try to limit expenses involving travel and vacation. Professionals take a longer term perspective. They recommend that more people consider working beyond retirement age to shore up their finances, and then take some serious steps to reduce their biggest ongoing expense, which is the cost of housing.
2) MEDICAL, DENTAL AND DRUG PLANS. Choices at renewal time every year is complicated. There are supplemental plans where all expenses are usually paid because Medicare is the primary insurance and the plan chosen is secondary. Other plans are directed by the insurance company with Medicare secondary. The senior pays more in co-payments and with procedures pay a percentage. Seniors can get an appointment to discus what medical and drug plans. Call your senior center for their phone number for an appointment.
As seniors age, health issues occur, i.e. heart, kidney, osteoporosis, cancer, strokes, etc. This may leave a senior disabled. Decisions must be made of rehab, additional drugs, nurse care at home. This requires more anxiety when decisions have to be made. Altzemia, a form of dementia, is another medical condition that will affect the ones closest to the senior. Ask about the resource center near you when you call your senior center. Our resource center is located in the Merritt Island Mall, Sunflower House.
3) RELATIONSHIP ADJUSTMENTS. Certain events occur that cause drastic changes in seniors lives, i.e. death or divorce of spouse. Aging seniors have more difficulty. Frankly, today our society has been changing for the past generation; consequently, articles have been written about this subject. (See article————.) Support groups are available to help the transition from a couple to a single at local hospitals, senior centers as well as senior resource centers. In our area ‘Aging Matters’ is funded to provide help. You will find that you are not alone going this difficult time.
After retirement some people have to make a decision to move to be close to your children and grandchildren or possibly to live with them. Some pros and cons to consider.
Pros: Will be able to cheer on grandchildren at concerts and games which would develop strong relationships with grandchildren. Plus you will be available to help your children with your grandchildren’s many activities as they grow up.
Cons: You may not be free to plan your own vacations. As your children move to other locations, you may have to follow. You will be their babysitter and other tasks that have to be oompleted when both parents work. Before making this decision boundaries and expectations have to be declared by both parties.
Our children marry and move to other areas of our country and sometimes in the world. This has changed the structure of our families in that our children live independent lives and may not want to be responsible for us when we need them. This calls for establishing close friendships through our activities we enjoy. Your senior center provides many activities and classes for you.
4) SECURITY PROBLEMS. The last generation did not have to lock their homes and cars. Now we know that criminals are out there and could invade our homes. This has changed our society to one that trusts no one, to set up secure alarm systems, own big dogs to ward off burglars, and general fear of what will happen next. As we watch television with all the violence and terrorist acts that occur near our homes, fear creeps into our minds. More and more people are owning personal guns to protect themselves.
Every day we hear of another person who has been ripped off by scams. This is scary, I know for I have been approached by two scam artists. Once the man from that I was behind in income tax of some kind and that I was to be arrested shortly but that I could avoid this with money. I knew I did not owe any money so I did not respond to what they wanted. But it still was scary. Second, I answered an advertisement for a job for a man from Canada who was coming down to do a research assignment for Patrick AFB and needed someone to help his invalid woman part time and also prepare their rented home for their arrival. They sent me $2,000 cashiers check for my first month’s salary and to set up their home. However, he informed me that they had purchased some art work that needed to be paid before their arrival. He wanted me to deposit the check into my account and then pay this bill. Flags went up in my mind so I googled ‘Cashiers check scam’. After calling the bank that the check was written on, the bank said it was no good. That was the end of that. Anytime someone wants money over the phone or from your personal checking account, that is sign that it is a scam. Be careful.
5. PRESSURE BY SOCIETY TO OPERATE TECHNICAL DEVICES. Our phones are now computers as well as devices to call and answer phone calls. So many apps we can download to make our lives more enjoyable, i.e. solitaire, crossword and other games. This is a way to pass the time while waiting for an appointment or friend running late.
Operating a computer at a late age can be very confusing. I would recommend using a smart phone, android, not I-Phone.
1)Use it to call answer phone calls; learn to find recent calls and put new contacts into phone. (Verizon or AT&T, your provider, can help you.) Look at this as an adventure. I guarantee it will because you eventually will see this phone as computer to find anything.
2)Learn to text. In your ‘contacts’, you can call or text (see icons). Type in message. Send.
3)Now install e-mail (either you or your provider). Note: Try to be independent and do not contact a relative. You can do this. Write down password but if you forget, hit ‘forgot password’ and you can have a reset sent to you on your phone by call or text.
4.The next step opens up the world. Install Chrome. This app enables you to enter in the window a question you have:
a) professional phone nos., addresses, directions, i.e. doctors, lawyers, etc.
b)In addition, you can enter the name of someone famous and learn about the lives of these people.
- type in an address for directions from your location at that time. WOW d) for any question when you are uncertain, type it in and get an answer, i.e. ‘what is the phone no. for voice mail,’ where are my contacts on this phone?’ etc.
Designing and implementing a formal final years plan