Monday, September 17, 2012

Money

I broke a tooth last night and am waiting till my dentist's office opens to make an appointment. It's not painful, though I think I'm look at a $1,000 crown, and that is painful. The credit card bill for Worldcon has not yet arrived. I am going to have a frugal fall.

I am making about $17,000 a year less than when I was working three years ago. After taxes that would be $13,000, all discretionary, since I have the same basic expenses I had three years ago.

This is the reality of retirement for many people. Something that would have been irritating when I had a job becomes much more disturbing. I have Medicare and carry supplementary medical and dental insurance. Still, the money I am going to have to spend on this tooth is not in my budget.

A quick check of the Internet gets the following:
The average Social Security payment is $1,230.
Twenty-three percent of people 65 and older live in households that depend on Social Security for 90% or more of their income, according to a 2010 AARP report. About 26% more receive at least half of their family income from Social Security.
So about 25% of retirees are living on $ 14,760-$16,400 a year; and about half are living on $30,000 or less a year.

$1,000 begins to look like a lot of money.

When people in Congress talk about cutting Social Security or increasing the cost of Medicare, they are talking about reducing the incomes of people who make this kind of money.

It's not a lot of money. In addition, one has to figure that most people have more and more medical expenses as they age. It's scary to think of being old and sick and without adequate funds.