20 Financial Resources for Seniors
For older people, sticking to a tight budget isn’t easy. People are living longer, and many costs, including medical bills, have grown much faster than anyone anticipated. In fact, according to Healthview Services’ 2021 Retirement Healthcare Costs Data Report, an average, healthy, 65-year-old couple retiring today will spend $662,156 on healthcare costs in retirement. Their costs will increase by 5.9% per year, as healthcare cost inflation continues to more than double the rate of U.S. inflation. If that same couple starts receiving Social Security payments at 65, healthcare expenses will consume 68% of their benefits.
Surveys show that approximately seven million older adults struggle to pay their medical bills. If you or a loved one is struggling financially, the following resources, including organizations, government programs, independent living assistance, and pet support, may be able to help. As always, your Prospero care team is here to answer any questions.
Senior support organizations
There are many nonprofits and other organizations available to help senior citizens. Here are four resources and charities to consider if you need emergency financial assistance:
- Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America is a charity organization that supports senior citizens through service programs. Some of these programs include a supplemental nutrition assistance program, transportation services, Medicare enrollment support, nursing care, affordable housing programs, and more. There are also benefit programs for low-income seniors.
Availability: Alaska, Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.
2. Feeding America
Feeding America is a program that helps feed hungry people all across the United
States, including nearly 5.4 million seniors. This program uses a nationwide network of food banks to distribute meals to many people in need.
Availability: Nationwide and Puerto Rico
3. Retirement Jobs
Retirement Jobs is a program that helps seniors find jobs at companies that are looking for their skills and expertise. This organization will even help you edit your resume in order to land a job you really want.
4. Dental Lifeline Network
Dental Lifeline Network is a nonprofit that helps people with dental costs through a system of dental programs nationwide. This network is composed mostly of volunteer dentists and dental labs across the United States.
Government finance programs
Here are 10 government-based financial benefit programs for seniors:
iCanConnect provides training and equipment needed for seniors with significant hearing or vision loss. iCanConnect helps seniors with the costs of computers, braille displays, smartphones, tablets, and other equipment.
Availability: Nationwide, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
2. USDA Housing Repair Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers government benefits in the form of single-family housing repair loans and grants. There are eligibility requirements for grants. Most loans are offered at a 1% fixed interest rate over a 20-year period.
Availability: Nationwide and Puerto Rico
3. Housing and Urban Development Programs
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has two programs for seniors with low-income status who need help supplementing their income. In order to qualify for the HUD’s reverse mortgage program, you must be a homeowner aged 62 or older and have your mortgage paid off. They also offer assistance for subsidized property for renters.
Availability: Nationwide, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
4. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a program that provides federal government funds to families and low-income senior citizens who need help with their energy bills.
Availability: Nationwide, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Medicaid is a government health care program for low-income individuals, including seniors. This program covers most medical costs from prescription drugs and medical care to nursing home care and attendant care services.
Availability: Nationwide, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Extra Help Program from Medicare provides prescription drug assistance up to $4,900 per year to seniors with limited income. Many states offer financial assistance for seniors through the Medicare Savings program in order to pay healthcare premiums and deductibles.
7. Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides access to locally-grown produce. There are eligibility requirements, including a total household income within 185% of the federal poverty level.
Availability: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
8. Commodity Supplemental Food Program
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program helps eligible people aged 60 years or older receive food packages.
Availability: Nationwide and Puerto Rico.
BenefitsCheckUp is a program run by the National Council of Aging. This is a directory of government programs available across the United States. This directory of more than 2,500 programs includes resources ranging from medications and healthcare to tax relief and employment for seniors.
10. IRS Elderly Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Credit can help reduce the amount of taxes owed each year by seniors who meet their eligibility criteria.
Independent living assistance resources
Many seniors who live independently need assistance with everyday activities such as cooking and shopping. Here are three programs designed to help seniors who live alone:
1. Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels serves home-cooked and nutritious meals to people aged 60 years or older. If you have limited mobility, you can receive meals at home. People that are more mobile are encouraged to come to a group setting to receive meals with others.
2. Senior Companions
Senior Companions is a program of volunteers who are also seniors. These seniors help other elderly people live independently. They offer assistance with daily tasks and provide valuable companionship.
3. ADA Paratransit
The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Paratransit program has services related to transportation and travel for eligible seniors. Those who qualify can request unlimited trips.
Pet support for seniors
Owning a pet can provide much needed companionship that is essential for health and overall wellbeing. However, veterinary bills, pet food costs, vaccinations and other supplies can get costly. These last three organizations offer financial assistance to help seniors care for their pets:
1. Senior Paws for Pets
Senior Paws for Pets is a program that provides pet food to those seniors who participate in the Meals on Wheels program and also need help feeding a dog or cat.
2. The Humane Society
The Humane Society has a list of resources available in various states that can help you when you are having a hard time keeping up with pet costs. These organizations can help with spay/neuters, vaccinations, medications, vet care, and pet food.
Availability: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.
3. Best Friends Animal Society
The Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization that helps people with low-cost spay and neuter services, adoption, and educational programs. Their database of state and national resources can help seniors find financial aid for supporting pet care.
Availability: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.
You don’t need to bear the burden on your own.
Financial burden, no matter its source, is a huge strain on psychological health and overall wellbeing. Prospero is a home-based medical care provider that believes people should have access to quality healthcare at home. Starting with the first visit, we take the time to learn your medical and non-medical needs. Together, we design a specific plan aligned with your hopes and goals. This helps you maintain your independence and lessens the burden that tends to fall on family. Building trust, while providing quality care, is our top priority. Please call our care team anytime — day or night — at 1-888-608-1741, TTY 711 if you have questions or want to see if you are eligible for Prospero’s services.