According to the Social Security Administration’s April 2017 Snapshot, the average retirement benefit is $1,321. Survivor benefits for widows and widowers are slightly lower at $1,305. It’s likely that your mom’s Social Security payment is $1,300 or less each month.
This may be the only retirement income your mom has. With that amount, she may be paying the rent or mortgage payment, a car payment, insurance, utilities, groceries, taxes, and emergency expenses. It’s very likely that she’s living from check to check. Here are four unexpected places where your mom can help cut monthly expenses.
Has your mom expressed interest in going back to college? She could. Many colleges offer free or discounted courses to seniors. Colleges like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer free online courses to any interested party. Your mom can experience a college course without leaving her home.
Talk to your mom’s favorite grocery stores. See if they have a senior discount day. For example, seniors who have a Plenti card receive a 5 percent discount on their groceries at Bi-Lo. Some Piggly Wiggly stores offer a discount of 4 or 5 percent on certain days of the week. Participating Rite Aid stores offer the Wellness65+ plan that offers discounts of 20 percent on Wednesdays or 30 percent on the first Wednesday of the month.
Not every state, city, or town offers a discount on property taxes, but some do. In New York, senior citizens meeting the income requirements can have their home’s value reduced by up to 50 percent. Seniors have to sign up for the discount each year. Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Washington are just a few of the many states that offer discounted property taxes to seniors.
Is your mom struggling with electricity bills? Talk to her electric company. A number of electricity companies have discounts for seniors. If they don’t, they may have programs that can help cut your mom’s bills or help her avoid the sharp increases in the winter by creating level payments throughout the year.
These are a few places you can help your mom cut her bills. It never hurts to ask companies that get her repeat business if there are ways she can cut expenses. Cable companies might be willing to extend an introductory offer to keep her business. She may be able to go without a land line and only use a cell phone.
One place you don’t want to cut corners, however, is on matters involving her safety. If your mom has a hard time cooking meals, carrying her laundry up and down stairs, or driving to appointments, hire home care. She can have a trusted caregiver helping her with daily activities. Call a home care service today to learn more about the options available to your mom.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from home care in Martinez, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.