Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Many Of Those 65+ Need The Help Of Other New Seniors

The "Golden Years" may not be what many expected. As the US population continues to grow older, with the first of the boomers now turning 65, there's a growing concern that many facing their retirement years are unprepared to enter this next phase of life. Will society let them fall through the cracks?

There's plenty of news about the huge number of people swelling the New Seniors' ranks. In addition to the 30 million pre-boomers, those born between 1930 and 1945, boomers are turning 65 at the rate of one every ten seconds for the next nineteen years.

According to the National Council On Aging (NCOA), 16% of those 65+ live in poverty, which is higher than the proportion of all Americans in poverty. The plight is most disturbing among women who live alone, particularly minorities. The council believes the struggles of older poverty are invisible to policymakers and the public, even though millions are living on the edge of financial crisis.

To deal with the strife that comes from those on fixed incomes must endure, such as unanticipated medical expenses, taxes, inflation and other hidden costs, the NCOA has launched a pilot program to educate those 65+ navigate through the financial malaise. However, there are only twelve locations nationwide providing these needed services.

The supply of help may never be able to meet the demand as more and more Americans become New Seniors. Therefore, it is up to those of us with the experience and the inclination to help our fellows in need. Local community and seniors facility can direct interested New Seniors to where their services may be best utilized.

These people are not looking for a hand-out, but they do need a helping hand. Volunteer programs feed and provide services to shut-ins. But more and more people need to be shown how to live on a budget or petition local, state and federal governments for financial aid or tap into existing programs in order to lessen the burden on those struggling to make ends meet.

Bringing people together rather than forcing them to hide because they are having financial troubles can improves self-esteem. This allows individuals to accept the fact they are not the only ones suffering from a lack of money. By hearing how others are dealing with this reality, those experiencing difficulty may make adjustments to improve their situation. And having mentors to teach them can result in them getting their lives back on track.

Many of those 65+ have been blessed with retirement programs and an investment portfolio that should afford them a comfortable way of life for years to come. With this financial peace-of-mind, wouldn't it be nice to donate a little time to work with other New Seniors who are not so fortunate?

Don Potter is a Philadelphia native and 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement and frequently writes and speaks on marketing issues. Potter is the founder and editor-in-chief of NewSeniors.com, the first online magazine dedicated to those 65+.

NewSeniors.com articles provide thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate. The editorial content features general news and information as well as videos of interest to the burgeoning 65+ audience. A touch of nostalgia is also included. Learn more by logging on to http://www.NewSeniors.com
By Don Potter

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