March 28, 2022

Retirees on Fixed Incomes Live Day-to-Day Amid Rising Inflation

With inflation levels at a 40-year high, many Americans are feeling the squeeze from rising prices nationwide. Yet for those over the age of 65 who rely on a fixed income, historic inflation presents a dire threat to their already strained budgets.

Roughly half of older people who are living alone already struggle to get by on less than $27,000 a year, which the Elder Index regards as the bare minimum for a healthy single renter to cover expenses. This means that even the slightest increase in prices can push an older person into poverty.

And while cost-of-living increases to Social Security checks provide some relief to medium- and long- term effects of inflation, they do little to protect retirees from short- term price increases. This proves especially detrimental for the 12 percent of older adults who survive solely on Social Security income.

Elderly populations across the U.S. have already reported cutting back on necessities such as meat, vegetables, personal care and even hot showers. Seniors experiencing homelessness are expected to triple in number by the next decade, due in part to rapid inflation.

“Far too many older Americans struggle to survive on Social Security checks alone,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “That’s why it’s so urgent to expand Social Security and increase benefits by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share to help ensure a secure retirement for all.”

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