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Seniors face poverty

The largest number of Americans is either in retirement or about to retire, whether they have the money or not. We are facing the greatest population in poverty since the great depression. Elderly are finding the money set aside to take care of them through retirement is not there. Many had worked hard all of their lives and truly believed that Social Security was their nest egg., many put money into retirement funds (believing this money would offset the Social Security) and still others bought a home and land (believing this was their retirement. These are not people who have been on public assistance during their life and now find they are. These are not people who played, partied and gambled (this being ‘I will just take a little and put it back next month’); they are those caught in the financial bubble of the later 2000’s.

Many of our elderly are back at work because they cannot make ends meet. And still others are making difficult choices, they never dreamed they would face (to buy food or get medicine). Our nation has been the World’s Number One Power and now we cannot take care of our elderly. There are some things we can do. First if we still have that house, hang on to it if at all possible and look into a reverse mortgage (be sure to have someone other than yourself look over the contract). Second, we can take advantage of some of the discounts available to us for living this long (discount on property tax or senior shopper days at the local grocery) also, the local food bank has food for seniors. And we can keep track of what our government is doing about our concerns

Today, many are changing their minds about who is to receive community support and what the conditions of that need are. No longer thought of as taking advantage, now thought of ‘there by the grace of – go I’. In many communities, the local parks service has garden patches for use by people to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Some of us are too frail or do not have transportation to get to some of the resources however there is discounted bus service and neighbors who can band together. What use to be a community of Moms looking for resources and carpooling when the kids were little is now a community of seniors looking to stay above water. Services are available we just need to look.

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