The original promise of retirement is comfort and rest, but with the current situation of things in the economy, the golden years and the promises that come with it all seem fake, or maybe they are things of the past and no longer applicable now.
Instead of retiring to live a peaceful and stress-free life, senior citizens in their golden years are struggling with health issues, neglect, debt, and other financial issues, and there’s a lot of uncertainty they feel as a result.
The national council on aging said that these older adults struggle with rising housing and health care bills, adequate nutrition, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings, and job loss. In addition to having no active income from work, inflation and taxes make the pension money a little less valuable over time.
Much of the income that comes from retirement depends on the amount of pension money that a retired senior citizen is entitled to, and alongside this, there are also personal savings. But American citizens in their golden years hardly have enough in personal savings to cater for their needs or sort out their debts, and as if that’s not bad enough, this debt pandemic is worse for people of color, Asians, and Hispanics because of systemic lower pays during their work years.
All these factors ultimately make pensions lower, coupled with the earlier mentioned inflation and taxes that devalue money. As a result, many senior citizens in their supposed golden years could end up heavily dependent on social security benefits just to stay afloat.
It’s common to have health issues come up during the golden years due to age prevalent diseases. Tackling this can be a challenge especially with the cost of medical care constantly increasing. Medical experts have also said that the disproportions in access to health care will unfortunately only continue to grow, and this can be seen as many senior citizens do not seek medical care when new medical problems arise because of financial constraints which further fuel this disparity.
Also, transportation to healthcare facilities poses another challenge for those with specific diseases that need a network of medical professionals to deliver the best care. Mobility can become an issue at the later part of life and having to move around frequently or travel long distances for medical care may be impractical.
Although a Medicare savings program can help ease the costs of medical care through payments of premiums, the requirements to qualify for that are not always things that can be met by everyone, one of which includes earning above $1,000 a month.
The idea of celebrating the golden years is that at that period of life there should be some level of comfort, some kind of reward for all the years of being in the workforce. It should be a time of peace and calm with access to everything you need to live out the rest of your days happily, however, this is not the reality. So much for calling it ‘golden’ years.