Preparing to Live Off of Social Security Benefits
So you’re moving towards retirement and you’re anxious about what you should expect from living primarily off of Social Security benefits. Understandable. There are tons of people who are just like you who have shared the same concerns or are preparing for their futures, as well. Planning for retirement is an important and essential task to take on in order to set yourself up financially for the rest of your days. With the checks from Social Security averaging out at low amounts across the board, the best way to keep your head above water is to educate yourself and to be realistic about the landscape of your upcoming financial situation. For assistance, those dealing with Disability Benefits in Ohio should contact the SSA of Cleveland (AKA the Social Security Administration) for official information that can help you with the planning process. In the meantime, check out some helpful tips below on how to maximize your benefits and make them stretch.
1. Get a head start
There is no such thing as starting too early when it comes to preparing for retirement. Opening a retirement savings account and saving as much as you possibly can ahead of time will be the smartest move you make to support yourself in your golden years. From setting up a 401K to opening up an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), creating stability for the future is key.
2. Look into assistance programs
With Social Security checks totaling up to an average of ~$15,000 a year, living off a low income does come with some necessary perks in the form of assistance. There are several government programs available to help seniors afford food, housing, heating, healthcare, and more. Such programs as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), “Extra Help” with Part D, public housing/housing vouchers, Medicare Savings Programs, PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), and LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) are some services to look into. Not to mention, there are several senior citizen discount programs running at several merchants and establishments that are set up to give seniors a break. Be sure to take advantage of all the programs available to you!
3. Obtain professional help
When in doubt, reach out! Serving the senior community, there are various professional services available to help with financial to legal issues. Such programs include DMM (Daily Money Management) to assist in setting up a financial plan and more, local legal service providers offering low-cost services, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly).