As my income lessened, my budget has become extremely important. I always have another budget in which I project what it will cost to purchase something I want or to make another move to a city or new place I want to live. Many times, this budget has plotted a way for me to get away from an unpleasant experience.
The names of these other budgets vary depending what I want to do. I have had budgets entitled “Moving from NC,” “Leaving Memphis,” “Moving to Florida” and such. Lately, none of the budgets has projected what it would cost to “buy” something I want. Right now there is no alternate budget. There is just the one called “Surviving.”
Many of you seniors who read this blog will understand the title of this last budget. Surviving is about all that we can do with our present income. Things have gone so well with the US that we did not even get a small increase in our Social Security. This increase rarely bumped our income up significantly, but it helped with cost of living.
Since there was no increase this year, my surviving is a bit harder. Food prices have gone up 20% in the last six months; my rent was raised $40 in the “senior” apartment where I live. (We have not received many of the services promised when we were lured into this place, and the service one year later is practically non-existent.) Gasoline did go down for a while, but now is climbing at an alarming rate. Luckily, I am now so poor that I can qualify for some benefits. They, however, do not allow me to live as well as I did one year ago.
So this is the plight of my fellow neighbors and me. We all worked hard and for many years; many of us had “retirement” savings that have fallen away due to illness or unexpected events. We are now living on the “compliments” of our government and they appear not to like us very much. Some even want to eliminate Social Security. These people are pretty wealthy, being Congressmen and all, so they do not understand how we seniors live.
If I were to live another 20 years, I do not know what will happen to me. I have no family to take care of me, and the way it looks now, no one else will provide any care. At times in my past I have jokingly said I would take my dog and live in a box on the beach. This might actually be my future, but I am sorry to say, I will not be alone. Many others will have to join me if things do not change.