(2 Minute Read)
It was recently announced that there will be no cost of living adjustment made to Social Security Benefits in 2016—and many are foretelling that 2017 will also be a slim year for seniors. What steps can you take to get by on less when everything seems to cost more? Sometimes these hurdles can seem insurmountable.
Cut Back Costs
The simplest way to manage this difficulty is to cut back on spending. However, this doesn’t mean stop eating healthy food or taking medications. Instead, take a look at costs you can cut back without harm to yourself, like housing. If you’re still living in and maintaining the four-bedroom bungalow where you raised your family, mortgage payments and utility bills might be draining more than you realize from your budget. Consider selling and relocating to a cheaper residence or apartment. Many seniors have begun to look into group living options, both for solo individuals and couples. If you want to stay in that four bedroom, rent some of them out!
Many experts have pointed out that even if a cost of living increase had been added to Social Security, some seniors wouldn’t have noticed. Why? The Medicare Part B premium may also be increasing in 2016, but only for about 30% of users. If you pay to be part of Medicare Part B—a voluntary aspect of Medicare that covers doctor visits and outpatient care—you may have the premium payments deducted from your Social Security check each month. If so, you’re safe: there’s a federal law mandating that Medicare can’t get more expensive if a COLA increase is not given. But what if you’re part of the 30% that pay a Part B premium out of pocket, or are new to Medicare? You could be facing a whopping 52% increase in your premium—even if you aren’t already drawing Social Security. The situation is a sticky one that is still evolving today—with approval of the new budget, the increase won’t be nearly as steep. Read some of the most recent news here.
Of course, it’s also obvious that if you need more money, you should increase your income. But for some, this might not be an option. If you don’t have a part time job, you could get one. If you do have one, see if they will give you more hours. If you just want more cash to enjoy life, you should also consider selling a life insurance policy in a life settlement. You’ll be making room in your budget since you won’t have an insurance premium any more, and you’ll get an infusion of resources to carry you through until the next COLA increase. Visit our calculator to see if you qualify!