The government announced that monthly Social Security payments will increase by two percent next year. For most people, that will raise monthly payments by a little over $25 per month. The average Social Security check is about $1,375. The raise will bring monthly payments to about $1,400. While this is the biggest raise senior citizens have seen in years, many wonder if it’s really enough.
Bills Keep Increasing
There’s a lot of concern over a two percent increase not being anywhere near enough. If you look at the cost of electricity between 2016 and 2017, nationwide the average cost per kilowatt hour went from 12.68 cents to 13.12 cents. That’s an increase of 0.44 cents.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the average household uses about 900 kWh per month. That comes to an increase of about $4 per month or $48 per year. The increase barely covers half of the cost of the increase in electricity bills.
The EIA also estimates that heating bill increases for the 2017/2018 heating season could increase by 4 to 12 percent for electricity, 3 to 19 percent for natural gas, 5 to 32 percent for heating oil, and 2 to 41 percent for propane.
What Can Seniors Do
Cutting expenses is the best step anyone can take. Install LED bulbs. Turn heat down at night when sleeping or when people are out of the house. Invest in Energy Star appliances. Add insulation and weatherstripping to prevent heat loss.
Some companies pay men and women to take surveys. That’s one way to gain a small supplemental income. Mystery shopping is another. Hobbies also become great ways to earn some extra cash. The elderly can sell quilts, knit products, baked goods, and furniture they’ve made.
Look into programs that can help reduce senior expenses. Many seniors don’t realize they qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, and that can help cut grocery bills without sacrificing nutrition. Heating fuel assistance may also help cut monthly expenses. Discounts may be available on phone service, electricity, and property taxes.
The elderly need to make sure they eat properly. If they cannot cook or struggle to get to the grocery store, caregivers are a great solution. Caregivers help seniors age at home with services like meal preparation, transportation, and medication reminders. Consider home care providers for your elderly parent who is aging in place alone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Monroe Township, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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