Our seniors have less than $300 to make ends meet in an emergency

Our seniors have less than $300 to make ends meet in an emergency

With how tight the Puerto Rican pocket is, the possibility of some savings for unforeseen events that may occur is almost remote for the elderly population.

According to an economic study by AARP, seniors in Puerto Rico have an average of $298 to attend to emergencies.

“It doesn’t even give you a week,” said Jose Acarón, AARP’s government director.

“One is supposed to have at least three months of expenses saved,” he added.

But the reality of the elderly is not far from the majority of the working population. The analysis conducted by the organization highlights that 52% of workers between the ages of 35 and 64 would not be able to face an emergency costing more than $400, 9% would face up to $500 and the remaining 34% have more. from $500.

This scenario occurs, as pointed out by the elderly advocate, Dr. Carmen Delia Sánchez Salgado, because there is no culture of frugality in Puerto Rico’s economy.

He pointed to the fact that the possibility of starting to save money seems so far-fetched once one is over 65.

“Puerto Ricans are not equipped for economics. But there is also another reality, that old people have nowhere to save, and if they do, it is necessary to use it, precisely, at that stage of life when they do not receive income and their income does not increase.detained.

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María Magdalena Fontaine Santiago, who is close to reaching the age of 83, explains that she has been able to save money in recent years, thanks to her move to the house in which she was born and is almost 90 years old, in Bognado. Afuera de Vega neighborhood, she landed, and rented the house her husband left her before he died for $600 a month.

Part of the money, he said, goes to the same unexpected events that happened to him in the old house he now occupies. Your next investment will be new cabinets, like the ones you’ve caught moths in.

“You have to draw from savings,” he said, showing that he had no other alternative.

But, not all seniors are happy about having Baccio to solve it.

Information provided by Gilberto Cabrera, an external relations consultant and spokesperson for AARP in the United States, indicates that the truth is that 24% of those over the age of 58 failed to stick to their budget during 2022.

“Most worryingly, one in four respondents revealed that they could not save anything in 2022. And as if that weren’t enough, 17% of them used their credit cards for unexpected expenses, including medical expenses.” . , referring to a survey conducted by Credit Karma.

Unlike the lawyer, Cabrera doesn’t believe it’s impossible for seniors to start saving. Although he agreed that the most recommended thing is to start making pot since you start working at the most productive age.

“What we are looking for is to help people start the year financially on an equal footing, to create the discipline to be able to save part of their money,” he explained, highlighting the national campaign implemented by the American Pensioners Association to promote savings to respond to it. Medical and home emergencies.

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He established that the important factor is to “live in reality, and adjust to your earnings and expenses.”

He admitted that “the elderly are in a tighter position than the rest of the people.” But he alluded to the fact that the belt could be tightened in aspects that could be categorized as “more whimsy than anything else”.

He explained that “simple things like cutting coupons that arrive in the mail or from the supermarket itself” can be done to generate savings. But the most important thing is to start by drawing up a budget, in which sublime income and expenses, such as utilities, medicine, and food, are divided.

“The hardest thing about setting a budget is sticking to it. Like this diet, we all want to go on a diet to lose weight and be beautiful, but we don’t,” the official said.

To help with budgeting, AARP has created an online “money map,” which serves as a budgeting and guidance tool. It is achieved under guidance moneymap.aarp.org.

Cabrera stressed that the use is free, it is not required to be a member of the organization and the published information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Those who cannot use a computer said that they can take a notebook with annotations. He explained that the most important thing is “discipline”.

Here are AARP’s tips for budgeting:

  • Calculate your income.
  • Calculate your expenses.
  • Use the budget monitoring tool. One of them is provided by the National Council on Aging, called AgeWellPlanner. This is similar to the AARP money map.
  • Find and ask for information about all the benefits you may be entitled to, such as rent payments, food purchases, and subsidies to pay off water or electricity. It can increase your income.
  • Set a spending limit and stick to it.
  • Reduce credit card debt.
  • Automatic bill payment mode. This way you will avoid paying extra fees.
  • Insure your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This will not affect your credit score, but it will prevent fraudsters from opening credit cards in your name.
  • Plan for unexpected medical expenses.
  • Review all subscription services, such as the internet, gyms, magazines, and newspapers, and stick to the ones you already use.
  • Review and claim discounts granted by insurance and other service providers to the elderly.
  • Review your entire food budget and don’t buy foods you won’t really eat. But most importantly, if you have food in the fridge, it’s best to use it up before ordering more food.
  • It saved an 8.7% Social Security increase. Instead of spending it, put it aside each month in your savings.
  • Find ways to cut expenses. Some of these quirks can be easily suppressed.
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